Anthropomotron Day 36 (Already?!)

February 6th, 2013

I’ve been working on the body mass estimation part of Anthropomotron. I got a few things done off of my to-do list and then I got an email from a researcher a paper she and her colleagues wrote on estimating body mass. Surely their paper is on the list… nope! I must have missed it when I was searching through my database, even though I already have a PDF of her paper. It’s:

Robbins G., P. Sciulli, and S. Blatt (2010) Estimating Body Mass in Subadult Human Skeletons. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 143(1):146-150.

The Robbins and colleagues technique is very interesting and unique in the app. For subadults 17 years old and younger, you take the age and J, or the torsion constant (i.e. second moment of area) of the femoral shaft, and produce an estimate of body mass from those variables. Here is what the interface looks like (the calculations aren’t functional yet):

Anthropomotron-Robbins1

You actually calculate J from measurements of femoral shaft so I made both options available: either input J yourself if you have it handy:

Anthropomotron-Robbins1a

or enter the components of J so the app does that step for you:

Anthropomotron-Robbins1b

Cortical thickness is its own calculation so entering its base components instead (external diameter and medullary diameter) will be a selectable option as well.

Post-hiatus I’ve gotten really familiar with the code involved so everything should be done in this section soon! There is a little footnote to this method that required some special code to round the age appropriately, which I’ll detail next time. Many thanks to Dr. Gwen Robbins Schug for reaching out and suggesting this technique.


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