ABSTRACT: Aim: This historical medical literature review aims at understanding the evolution of the medical existence of oral cancer over times, particularly better comprehending if the apparent lower prevalence of this type of cancer in antiquity is a real value due to the absence of modern environmental and lifestyle factors or it is linked to a misinterpretation of ancient foreign terms found in ancient medical texts regarding oral neoplasms. Methods: The databases MedLne, PubMed, Web of Science, Elsevier's EMBASE.com, Cochrane Review, National Library of Greece (Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Athens) and the Library of the School of Health Sciences of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece) were extensively searched for relevant studies published during the past century on the history of oral cancer and its treatment from antiquity to modern times, in addition to the WHO website to analyse the latest epidemiological data. In addition, we included historical books on the topic of interest and original sources. Results: Historical references reveal that the cradle of the oral oncology was in ancient Egypt, the Asian continent and Greece and cancer management was confined to an approximate surgical practice, in order to remove abnormal masses and avoid bleeding with cauterization. In the Medieval Age, little progress occurred in medicine in general, oral cancers management included. It is only from the Renaissance to modern times that knowledge about its pathophysiological mechanisms and histopathology and its surgical and pharmacological treatment approaches became increasingly deep all over the world, evolving to the actual integrated treatment. Despite the abundant literature exploring oncology in past civilizations, the real prevalence of oral cancer in antiquity is much less known; but a literature analysis cannot exclude a consistent prevalence of this cancer in past populations, probably with a likely lower incidence than today, because many descriptions of its aggressiveness were found in ancient medical texts, but it is still difficult to be sure that each single description of oral masses could be associated to cancer, particularly for what concerns the period before the Middle Ages. Conclusions: Modern oncologists and oral surgeons must learn a lot from their historic counterparts in order to avoid past unsuccessful efforts to treatment oral malignancies. Several descriptions of oral cancers in the antiquity that we found let us think that this disease might be linked to mechanisms not strictly dependent on environmental risk factors, and this might guide future research on oral cavity treatments towards strategical cellular and molecular techniques.
Project description:Dental calculus, or mineralized plaque, represents a record of ancient biomolecules and food residues. Recently, ancient metagenomics made it possible to unlock the wealth of microbial and dietary information of dental calculus to reconstruct oral microbiomes and lifestyle of humans from the past. Although most studies have so far focused on ancient humans, dental calculus is known to form in a wide range of animals, potentially informing on how human-animal interactions changed the animals' oral ecology. Here, we characterise the oral microbiome of six ancient Egyptian baboons held in captivity during the late Pharaonic era (9th-6th centuries BC) and of two historical baboons from a zoo via shotgun metagenomics. We demonstrate that these captive baboons possessed a distinctive oral microbiome when compared to ancient and modern humans, Neanderthals and a wild chimpanzee. These results may reflect the omnivorous dietary behaviour of baboons, even though health, food provisioning and other factors associated with human management, may have changed the baboons' oral microbiome. We anticipate our study to be a starting point for more extensive studies on ancient animal oral microbiomes to examine the extent to which domestication and human management in the past affected the diet, health and lifestyle of target animals.
Project description:The rapidly growing global population places cultural heritage at great risk, and the encroachment of modern settlement on archaeological sites means that valuable information about how past societies worked and interacted with the environment is lost. To manage and mitigate these risks, we require knowledge about what has been lost and what remains, so we can actively decide what should be investigated and what should be preserved for the future. Remote sensing provides archaeologists with some of the tools we need to do this. In this paper we explore the application of multitemporal, multisensor data to map features and chart the impacts of urban encroachment on the ancient city of Jerash (in modern Jordan) by combining archives of aerial photography dating back to 1917 with state-of-the-art airborne laser scanning. The combined results revealed details of the water distribution system and the ancient city plan. This demonstrates that by combining historical images with modern aerial and ground-based data we can successfully detect and contextualize these features and thus achieve a better understanding of life in a city in the past. These methods are essential, given that much of the ancient city has been lost to modern development and the historical imagery is often our only source of information.
Project description:Germination of 2000-year-old seeds of Phoenix dactylifera from Judean desert archaeological sites provides a unique opportunity to study the Judean date palm, described in antiquity for the quality, size, and medicinal properties of its fruit, but lost for centuries. Microsatellite genotyping of germinated seeds indicates that exchanges of genetic material occurred between the Middle East (eastern) and North Africa (western) date palm gene pools, with older seeds exhibiting a more eastern nuclear genome on a gradient from east to west of genetic contributions. Ancient seeds were significantly longer and wider than modern varieties, supporting historical records of the large size of the Judean date. These findings, in accord with the region’s location between east and west date palm gene pools, suggest that sophisticated agricultural practices may have contributed to the Judean date’s historical reputation. Given its exceptional storage potentialities, the date palm is a remarkable model for seed longevity research.
Project description:Although sheep (Ovis aries) have been one of the most exploited domestic animals in Estonia since the Late Bronze Age, relatively little is known about their genetic history. Here, we explore temporal changes in Estonian sheep populations and their mitochondrial genetic diversity over the last 3000 years. We target a 558 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial hypervariable region in 115 ancient sheep from 71 sites in Estonia (c. 1200 BC-AD 1900s), 19 ancient samples from Latvia, Russia, Poland and Greece (6800 BC-AD 1700), as well as 44 samples of modern Kihnu native sheep breed. Our analyses revealed: (1) 49 mitochondrial haplotypes, associated with sheep haplogroups A and B; (2) high haplotype diversity in Estonian ancient sheep; (3) continuity in mtDNA haplotypes through time; (4) possible population expansion during the first centuries of the Middle Ages (associated with the establishment of the new power regime related to 13th century crusades); (5) significant difference in genetic diversity between ancient populations and modern native sheep, in agreement with the beginning of large-scale breeding in the 19th century and population decline in local sheep. Overall, our results suggest that in spite of the observed fluctuations in ancient sheep populations, and changes in the natural and historical conditions, the utilisation of local sheep has been constant in the territory of Estonia, displaying matrilineal continuity from the Middle Bronze Age through the Modern Period, and into modern native sheep.
Project description:The Zoological Museum of the University of Athens (ZMUA) was established in 1858. It is the oldest natural history museum of Greece. The museum began its operation with the acquisition of a core collection and has been expanding ever since. One of the most substantial parts of the museum's collection consists of the avian exhibits, originating from around the world.Today, the avian collection consists of 2,948 specimens, preserved mostly through taxidermy, along with a significant number of eggs. The birds have been collected from around the world. A substantial part of the collection consists of individuals originating from Greece, Brazil, Canada and Australia. Having this valuable source of biogeographic information and a potential reserve of historical genetic diversity, ZMUA presents here the contents of the avian collection.
Project description:Osteomas are benign slow-growing osteogenic lesions of unknown aetiology which can be central, peripheral or extraskeletal. Peripheral osteomas of the maxilla are very uncommon. We report a 72-year-old female patient who presented to the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Dental School of Athens, Athens, Greece, in 2015 with swelling of the palate following a tooth extraction. Clinical and radiographical features were indicative of a solitary peripheral osteoma of the hard palate. An excisional biopsy and histological examination of the lesion confirmed the diagnosis. No complications occurred during the postoperative period and there was no evidence of recurrence at a one-year follow-up.
Project description:AIMS:To (i) describe an intervention implemented in response to the HIV-1 outbreak among people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in Greece (ARISTOTLE programme), (ii) assess its success in identifying and testing this population and (iii) describe socio-demographic characteristics, risk behaviours and access to treatment/prevention, estimate HIV prevalence and identify risk factors, as assessed at the first participation of PWIDs. DESIGN:A 'seek, test, treat, retain' intervention employing five rounds of respondent-driven sampling. SETTING:Athens, Greece (2012-13). PARTICIPANTS:A total of 3320 individuals who had injected drugs in the past 12 months. INTERVENTION:ARISTOTLE is an intervention that involves reaching out to high-risk, hard-to-reach PWIDs ('seek'), engaging them in HIV testing and providing information and materials to prevent HIV ('test') and initiating and maintaining anti-retroviral and opioid substitution treatment for those testing positive ('treat' and 'retain'). MEASUREMENTS:Blood samples were collected for HIV testing and personal interviews were conducted. FINDINGS:ARISTOTLE recruited 3320 PWIDs during the course of 13.5 months. More than half (54%) participated in multiple rounds, resulting in 7113 visits. HIV prevalence was 15.1%. At their first contact with the programme, 12.5% were on opioid substitution treatment programmes and the median number of free syringes they had received in the preceding month was 0. In the multivariable analysis, apart from injection-related variables, homelessness was a risk factor for HIV infection in male PWIDs [odds ratio (OR)?yes versus no?=?1.89, 95% confidence interval (CI)?=?1.41, 2.52] while, in female PWIDS, the number of sexual partners (OR for >?5 versus one partner in the past year?=?4.12, 95% CI?=?1.93, 8.77) and history of imprisonment (OR yes versus no?=?2.76, 95% CI?=?1.43, 5.31) were associated with HIV. CONCLUSIONS:In Athens, Greece, the ARISTOTLE intervention for identifying HIV-positive people among people who inject drugs (PWID) facilitated rapid identification of a hidden population experiencing an outbreak and provided HIV testing, counselling and linkage to care. According to ARISTOTLE data, the 2011 HIV outbreak in Athens resulted in 15% HIV infection among PWID. Risk factors for HIV among PWID included homelessness in men and history of imprisonment and number of sexual partners in women.
Project description:The 13(th) century BC witnessed the zenith of the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean civilizations which declined at the end of the Bronze Age, ?3200 years ago. Weakening of this ancient flourishing Mediterranean world shifted the political and economic centres of gravity away from the Levant towards Classical Greece and Rome, and led, in the long term, to the emergence of the modern western civilizations. Textual evidence from cuneiform tablets and Egyptian reliefs from the New Kingdom relate that seafaring tribes, the Sea Peoples, were the final catalyst that put the fall of cities and states in motion. However, the lack of a stratified radiocarbon-based archaeology for the Sea People event has led to a floating historical chronology derived from a variety of sources spanning dispersed areas. Here, we report a stratified radiocarbon-based archaeology with anchor points in ancient epigraphic-literary sources, Hittite-Levantine-Egyptian kings and astronomical observations to precisely date the Sea People event. By confronting historical and science-based archaeology, we establish an absolute age range of 1192-1190 BC for terminal destructions and cultural collapse in the northern Levant. This radiocarbon-based archaeology has far-reaching implications for the wider Mediterranean, where an elaborate network of international relations and commercial activities are intertwined with the history of civilizations.
Project description:This data article presents the data collected through an extensive research work conducted in urban areas in the city of Athens (Greece) during the period 2010-2012. Data concerns 2287 questionnaires and microclimatic data collected through interviews to the visitors of the examined areas with parallel monitoring of the urban microclimatic characteristics. The field surveys carried out occasionally throughout the year covering as much as possible the different seasons under Mediterranean climate conditions. These data are related to the research articles with the titles: Seasonal differences in thermal sensation in the outdoor urban environment of Mediterranean climates-the example of Athens, Greece (Tseliou et al., 2017) and Outdoor thermal sensation in a Mediterranean climate (Athens): The effect of selected microclimatic parameters (Tseliou et al., 2016).
Project description:New diagnoses of HIV-1 infection among people who inject drugs (PWID) rocketed in Athens, Greece between 2011 and 2014 (HIV-1 outbreak). Our aim was to identify, during that period, potential cross-group transmissions between the within-Greece PWID and other risk or national groups using molecular methods. Sequences from 33 PWID were outside the PWID-outbreak networks in Greece (PWID-imported transmissions). Phylogenetic analyses on 28 of these sequences (subtypes A and B) showed that 11 subtype B infections originated from Greece, whereas 8 and 7 subtype A strains were from former Soviet Union countries (AFSU) and Greece, respectively. The putative source in half of the PWID-imported transmissions with Greek origin was an individual who acquired HIV via sexual contact. During four years of an HIV-1 outbreak among PWID in Athens, Greece, 33 individuals in this group (4.6% of all diagnoses with phylogenetic analyses) are likely to represent infections, sexually or injection-acquired, outside the within-Greece-PWID-outbreak networks. Combined molecular and traditional HIV surveillance to monitor introductions of new strains, and interventions that aim at reducing the rate of both injection and sexual risky practices are needed during drug injection-related HIV outbreaks.