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Medicine Science

World's Oldest Tumor Found In a Neanderthal Bone 46

First time accepted submitter minty3 writes "A fibrous dysplasia tumor has been found in the bone of a Neanderthal that is more than 120,000 years old. The world's oldest tumor in a Neanderthal rib was part of a collection of bones, which were excavated more than 100 years ago from a site in Krapina, Croatia. They were X-rayed in the 1980s, and initially didn't reveal the tumor. It was only when scientists took a closer look at a radiograph where a rib fragment appeared to be 'burned out' did they return to the rib and subject it to higher quality scans."
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World's Oldest Tumor Found In a Neanderthal Bone

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  • by cunniff ( 264218 ) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:04PM (#43931745) Homepage

    Paleontologists have found 150-million-year-old dino tumors, see []

    The university is welcoming four renowned curators from Carnegie Museum into its classrooms to teach seminars and use the museum collection, which is considered one of the world's premiere displays of natural history artifacts, for demonstrations. Included in the collection is a 150-million-year-old fossilized dinosaur bone complete with a tumor.

    I would not be surprised if there are even older amphibian tumor fossils out there somewhere.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:08PM (#43931771) Journal

    Looks like the paleo diet didn't work for Grok after all...

  • interview (Score:5, Funny)

    by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:11PM (#43931797)

    When questioned, the Neanderthal said, "It's naht ah tumah!" and then ran off to fornicate with his housemaid.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The doctor finally has time to see this patient next Friday.

  • The original paper (Score:4, Informative)

    by RDW ( 41497 ) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:35PM (#43931955)

    The original paper is quite readable, and rather more informative than the 3rd hand ibtimes source: []

  • I just googled "Krapina, Croatia", there really is such a place, and now I want to go there to visit.

    Another "todo" for my bucket list!

  • We've known for over 20 years that neanderthals have tumors... they're just in denial about it. []
  • What if *you* ate a diet almost exclusively of charred red meat over a fire whose smoke you inhaled for several hours a day while you cooked?t
    Not to mention the herbs they threw on the fire and inhaled for entertainment.

    • As far as I'm aware, Neanderthals were in fact quite hungry a lot of the time and didn't eat meat every day. They were going by on daily fruits, nuts and vegetables and only had meat when the hunt was successful.
  • It was the appointment reminder from his doctor for next week.

  • Car insurance from Geico, but no health insurance.

    (Until the implementation of ObamaCare of course)

  • Just recently there was a "scientific study" that claimed that cancer was caused by the excesses of modern life. They claimed this only on the fact that they could not find any cancer in egyptian mummies. []

    Well, those pseudo scientists certainly got their well deserved "Grog's Revenge".
    • by codeButcher ( 223668 ) on Friday June 07, 2013 @04:03AM (#43933719)

      Seems like cancer is not so "man made" after all

      Disclaimer: I'm not a healthcare professional, but I sometimes do play one on the internet... (In fact, I do like to read a lot about keeping myself healthy, both from conventional sources and alternatives ones.)

      What I believe (in other words, YMMV) about cancer follows along the following lines: All people have some cancer cells inside their bodies, floating around like "seeds". Mostly, people's immune systems are able to cope with these cells and dispose of them before they can develop. However, due to a variety of factors (genetics, diet, environmental pollution, etc.) immune systems in some people are not able to cope at some stage and the cells develop into a tumor.

      It's a matter of statistics. Not all people following a modern western diet and lifestyle will develop cancer, as not all prehistoric people on a paleo diet would be cancer-free. But what is seen is that there is a substantial increase in cancer developing on certain aspects of modern "factory" diet and lifestyle.

      So, no, cancer is not "man made", but modern greater susceptibility to it may well be "man caused".

      One would assume that prehistoric people would be selected (micro-evolution) in such a way that they would perform best with their given environment and diet. (If one is a creationist, for the sake of the argument one can assume that people where created to function the best on specific types of food, also created for the purpose.) However, modern times have brought about great population movements, rapid urbanisation, and other environmental changes through industry, mining, chemistry etc. We have also seen a rapid change in diets and foodstuffs. The assumption is that innovation can be roughly quantified along exponential growth curves. I wonder if at a certain stage we have, or are bound to, pass the threshold where natural selection can not keep up with the pace of innovation for any given tech. In the mean time, people getting sick and dying from modern "lifestyle diseases" (or not getting out of the basements and producing offfspring) is simply natural selection for the newly changed environment that people find themselves in in their lifetimes. (Or the inevitable pre-programmed consequences of leaving God's ordained will as evident from natural creation.)

      I, for one, am of the opinion that I should use the larger amount of control I have over resources and time, as brought about by modern tech (and a fairly good-paying job in IT), to back-modify my own environment to mitigate the effects of some of the rapid changes. In practice this involves acquiring a small parcel of land where I can raise food crops for my own use, use modern tech, e.g. irrigation timers and power tools, to remove a lot of the time consuming and back-breaking labor out of it (while still retaining some manual labour as my body does need, and thrives on, some amount of exertion), use modern information sources (Internet) to benefit this endeavour as well as to obtain seeds and other materials that would otherwise not be obtainable in my immediate vicinity.

      • by Smauler ( 915644 )

        It's a matter of statistics. Not all people following a modern western diet and lifestyle will develop cancer, as not all prehistoric people on a paleo diet would be cancer-free. But what is seen is that there is a substantial increase in cancer developing on certain aspects of modern "factory" diet and lifestyle.

        The life expectancy of people in prehistoric times was about 30 on average. Not many people get cancer before they are 30. The one major thing that means we are more likely to get cancer than

  • The key proof that that this is the oldest tumor is that on the wall above where the remains were found, hastily chiseled into the side of the cave, were the words "Frist Tum0r!!11!!!!"

  • Here we are, deep into the age-determination threads, and nobody's yet posted that it couldn't be a 100k year old tumor because the Earth's only 6k . What's wrong with /. this Friday that such a thing could happen?

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak