Child’s foot was removed 31,000 years ago in earliest known amputation

A 31,000-year-old Stone Age skeleton has been found with the lower part of its leg cleanly removed, and the bones reveal that the child survived for several years after it happened

Humans 7 September 2022

The left tibia and fibula showing the amputation surface

The left tibia and fibula end suddenly (on the left) where they were cut

Tim Maloney

A Stone Age child living 31,000 years ago in what is now Borneo seems to have had their leg carefully amputated above the foot and survived for several years afterwards.

This suggests that the hunter-gatherer community the person was part of had the medical skills to stop someone bleeding to death or dying from infection – both common hazards of amputation before modern medicine, saysMaxime Aubertat Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.

Before the latest finding, …

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2009 Margaret Williams, PhD; Claressa Lucas, PhD;Tatiana Travis, BS Under a moderately-high magnification of 6500X, this colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted a grouping of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria. Please see PHIL 11092 through 11140 for additional SEMs of these organisms, specifically PHIL 11121 for a black and white version of this image. You?ll note that a number of these bacteria seem to display an elongated-rod morphology. L. pneumophila are known to most frequently exhibit this configuration when grown in broth, however, they can also elongate when plate-grown cells age, as it was in this case, especially when they?ve been refrigerated. The usual L. pneumophila morphology consists of stout, ?fat? bacilli, which is the case for the vast majority of the organisms depicted here. These bacteria originated on a 1 week-old culture plate (+/- 1 day), which had incubated a single colony, at 37?C upon a buffered charcoal yeast extract (BCYE) medium with no antibiotics.

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