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The Influence of Ancient Chinese and Arab-Islamic Alchemy on Medicine

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Modern medicine is a wonderfully complex field of study, with several advances in both its theoretical and practical aspects being made everyday. In light of the pride modern physicians and scientists take in their vast knowledge, it is important to

Modern medicine is a wonderfully complex field of study, with several advances in both its theoretical and practical aspects being made everyday. In light of the pride modern physicians and scientists take in their vast knowledge, it is important to remember how far we have come throughout history. Many civilizations and cultures around the world have made essential contributions to medicine, both great and small, but no one can deny the impact both ancient Chinese and Islamic medical and alchemical practices have had on modern medicine. Qi was the central principle behind Chinese correlative thought, and it was believed to be the one thing that drove human life, as it occurred everywhere. Written texts took an increasingly more prominent role in the transmission of knowledge, and in no time at all, the educated yi ("physician") emerged. Other noteworthy contributions include an early conceptualization of the circulatory system, the development of pharmacies, the establishment of proper medical school systems, and the emergence of a set of standard hygienic practices that would allow people to take responsibility for their own health. The scholars of the Islamic Golden Age, for the most part, seemed to decry the mixing of the occult with science, and therefore sought to draw a clear distinction between alchemy (by limiting its application to the transmutation of metals) and what they deemed "real" science. Notable contributions of Arab-Islamic scientists include the pioneering of a hospital prototype, along with the development of the science of chemistry and the introduction of the experimental laboratory as the birthplace of new scientific knowledge. The important question that has yet to be answered is how extensive the connection was between the Chinese and Arab worlds. Trade was thriving during the medieval period, and so it is not wrong to assume that the exchange of goods would go hand-in-hand with the exchange of knowledge. We may never fully know exactly what happened, but further research on this topic may eventually bring an answer to light.

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2018-05

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The Aesthetics of Mass Murder: Katyń and the Artistry of Killing

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This project looks at ways in which the individual comes into contact with history. By looking at the Katyń Massacre, we can see how violence and history can be viewed from aesthetic perspectives. This allows us to take part in

This project looks at ways in which the individual comes into contact with history. By looking at the Katyń Massacre, we can see how violence and history can be viewed from aesthetic perspectives. This allows us to take part in the conversations concerned with genocide in other ways than from ethical and sympathetic perspectives. By examining the Katyń through an aesthetic lens, the individual can approach violence in new and unique ways. This research highlights for us a new way of approaching history and violence while simultaneously offering a way for the individual to have a new voice in history. The poetry that follows the research offers a way for us to aestheticize violence and use language to approach it in a way that is simultaneously cruel and beautiful.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Translation of De Plantis Aegypti

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De Plantis Aegypti is a medical botany text from 1592, written by Prospero Alpini in Latin. In this text, Alpini details a variety of plants native and grown in Egypt, how they are grown, how they are processed, what they

De Plantis Aegypti is a medical botany text from 1592, written by Prospero Alpini in Latin. In this text, Alpini details a variety of plants native and grown in Egypt, how they are grown, how they are processed, what they look like, and what if any edible and medical uses are documented. This project focused on transcribing and editing the Latin text, translating the Latin text into English, and comparing the medical claims to the modern scientific literature. This is the first translation of this text into English or any other language. Alpini also wrote two other books, which also have never been translated. The intended goal was to demonstrate that renaissance scholars understood medicine well, if not the mechanisms through which those medicines worked. After analyzing the modern scientific literature on the plants mentioned within the text, it was found that every medical use referenced in the text was either directly supported, indirectly supported, or there was no data from the literature. In other words, none of the medical uses were found to be disproved. On the other hand, quite a few of the plants actually had similar efficacies as modern pharmaceuticals. In addition to the notes on the modern science, there are also quite a few notes based on the grammar and the orthography of the text. This project is but a sampling of the plants mentioned De Plantis Aegypti, there are dozens more, which I plan on translating and doing a similar analysis on at a later date.

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Date Created
2016-05

Consent: A Novella on Medical Ethics

Description

Human subject research is a sensitive ethical topic in today's society, and with good cause. The history of human subject research is full of tragedy and wrongdoing, which is what has led to the firm restrictions we presently have. At

Human subject research is a sensitive ethical topic in today's society, and with good cause. The history of human subject research is full of tragedy and wrongdoing, which is what has led to the firm restrictions we presently have. At the same time, we also acknowledge the value behind human subject research and the information science can obtain from such endeavors. This project analyzes this conundrum through a narrative describing a group of scientists who choose to ignore some of the laws and regulations concerning human subject research in order to pursue neurological based research for a "greater good." In the novella, the scientists end up harming several people while performing their illegal research, but are able to obtain successful results. However, the group is eventually caught, and end up having to face the consequences of their actions. The situations and interactions the story presents are meant to juxtapose both sides of the human subject research ethical argument in a unique way in order to allow the reader to critically think through the argument themselves and form their own opinions on the matter.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Building an Identity: Exploring the Relationship between Colonial and Georgian Architecture to Colonial Culture in Old Virginia in the Seventeenth Century to Eighteenth Century

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The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important

The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important pieces and projects the colonist's need to connect to the past as well as their innovations in their own cultural exploration. The thesis examines the living conditions of the colonists that formed Jamestown, and describes the architectural achievements and the historical events that were taking place at the time. After Jamestown, the paper moves on to the innovations of early Virginian architecture from Colonial architecture to Georgian architecture found in Williamsburg. Conclusively, the thesis presents a historical narrative on how architecture displays a collection of ideals from the Virginian colonists at the time. The external display of architecture parallels the events as well as the economic conditions of Virginia, creating a social dialogue between the gentry and the common class in the colony of Virginia.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Selenium Supplementation and Cardiovascular Outcome Markers in Hemodialysis Patients: An Evaluation of Bioelectrical Impedance

Description

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most deadly outcomes of end stage renal disease. Bioelectrical impedance is a intriguing, yet unproven method of measuring fluid buildup in the heart, and is marketed as a early diagnostic tool for onset of

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most deadly outcomes of end stage renal disease. Bioelectrical impedance is a intriguing, yet unproven method of measuring fluid buildup in the heart, and is marketed as a early diagnostic tool for onset of cardiovascular disease. In this study, selenium supplements were given to a cohort of dialysis patients in the Phoenix metro area and their fluid tolerance was measured with thoracic biolectrical impedance. BNP was used as a correlate to see if bioelectrical impedance was correlated with heart disease. The study found no correlation between BNP and bioelectrical impedance and thus was not an accurate diagnostic tool in a medical setting.

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2013-05