“The soul might be like this; so hard, so necessary yet almost nothing. What the soul is, I believe I will never quite know. Though I play at the edges of knowing, truly I know our part is not knowing, but looking, and touching, and loving. ”—Mary Oliver, from Bone
Oldest Human Tumor Found in Neanderthal Bone
The oldest human tumor ever found — by more than 100,000 years — has been discovered in the rib of a Neanderthal.
The bone, excavated more than 100 years ago in Croatia, has been hollowed out by a tumor still seen in humans today, known as fibrous dysplasia. These tumors are not cancerous (they don’t spread to other tissues), but they replace the weblike inner structure of a bone with a soft, fibrous mass.
“They range all the way from being totally benign, where you wouldn’t recognize them, to being extremely painful,” said David Frayer, an anthropologist at the University of Kansas who reported the finding along with his colleagues today (June 5) in the journal PLOS ONE. “The size of this one, and the bulging of it, probably caused the individual pain.” Read more.