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The panspermia theory has antecedents which go back to the Old Kingdom in Egypt, and which are also found in early Hinduism, the philosophy of the Greek pre-Socratic philosopher Anaxagoras, and amongst the Jewish and Christian Gnostics. It is remarkable how explicit some of these early sources are in suggesting that the entire cosmos is full of seeds, and that life on earth originated from them. Here, a survey is undertaken of all these early beliefs, in order to present a pre-history to these conceptions and show that such ideas appear to be as old as civilization itself.
Cochlear implantation has a limited but definite role in the rehabilitation of certain neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) patients. The presence of a dead ear either before, or after, tumour removal does not necessarily imply loss of function in the eighth nerve; in some instances the hearing loss will be cochlear. Promontory or round window electrical stimulation may help to identify those individuals with surviving eighth nerve function. In such patients multichannel cochlear implantation promises a better level of audition than the auditory brain stem implant. This paper highlights such a case and the management problems are discussed.
Large data sets are an attractive source of information for outcome assessment, but their use involves certain problems and risks. Data base evaluations are retrospective and unblinded; they often represent the result of multiple analyses of multiple endpoints, and it is difficult to identify the procedures used and analytic choices made because critical details are often omitted. While data bases can suggest problems and offer answers, they cannot prove them; data base analyses must be followed by trials.