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  • Author: Elżbieta Ostrowska x
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Bodily Violence and Resistance in Wojtek Smarzowski’s Rose (Róża, 2011)

Abstract

The article argues that Wojtek Smarzowski’s film Rose (Róża, Poland, 2011) undermines the dominant bigendered logic of screen death and suffering in the Polish films depicting the experience of World War II. In these films, there is a significant absence of images of female suffering and death, which is striking when compared to the abundant images of wounded and dying male bodies, usually represented as a lavish visual spectacle. This unrepresented female death serves as a ‘structuring absence’ that governs the systematic signifying practices of Polish cinema. Most importantly, it expels the female experience of World War II from the realm of history to the realm of the mythical. This representational regime has been established in the Polish national cinema during the 1950s, especially in Andrzej Wajda’s films, and is still proving its longevity. As the author argues, Smarzowski’s Rose is perhaps the most significant attempt to undermine this gendered cinematic discourse.

Specifically, the essay explores the ways in which Smarzowski’s Rose departs from previous dominant modes of representation of the World War II experience in Polish cinema, especially its gendered aspect.1 Firstly, it examines how Rose abandons the generic conventions of both war film and historical drama and instead, utilises selected conventions of melodrama to open up the textual space in which to represent the female experience of historical events. Then the author looks more closely at this experience and discusses the film’s representation of the suffering female body to argue that it subverts the national narrative of the war experience that privileges male suffering. A close analysis of the relationship between sound and image in the scenes of bodily violence reveals how the film reclaims the female body from the abstract domain of national allegory and returns it to the realm of individual embodied experience. The article concludes that Rose presents the female body as resisting the singular ideological inscription, and instead, portrays it as simultaneously submitting to and resisting the gendered violence of war.

Open access
Littoral cell angioma mimicking metastatic tumors

Abstract

Littoral cell angioma is a rare primary, vascular tumor thought to originate from the endothelial cells lining the sinuses of the splenic red pulp (the “littoral cells”). It is a benign, usually asymptomatic lesion diagnosed incidentally. Ultrasound and tomography appearance is not characteristic and histopathological examination is required. This work provides a case-study of littoral cell angioma which was seen in a 55-year-old female who complained of non-specific upper abdominal pain. Computed tomography revealed multiple hypo-attenuated splenic lesions suggestive for metastasis. A splenectomy was performed and routine microscopic examination supported by immunohistochemistry reactions with CD68, CD34 and CD31 showed littoral cell angioma.

Open access
Association of FTO gene with obesity in Polish schoolchildren

Abstract

The goal of the study was verification of fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene polymorphisms as significant risk factors of obesity in the population of Polish children. Body mass index (BMI) and DNA were evaluated, where DNA was extracted from saliva, collected from 213 children at the age of 6-13 years. DNA was genotyped by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and HRM (high resolution melting) techniques, as well as by direct sequencing. Three (3) FTO polymorphisms were identified: rs9939609, rs9926289 and rs76804286, the last polymorphism located between the first two. For the first time, absolute linkage disequilibrium (LD) of FTO gene rs9939609 and rs9926289 polymorphisms was confirmed in data for the Polish population (D’=1, r2=1). The lack of a complete dependence among the three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the FTO gene was a consequence of the concurrence of homozygotes with minor alleles A of rs9939609+rs9926289 of FTO (AA+AA) with major alleles of rs76804286 (GG). A case-control association analysis for BMI in obese children (n=51), as compared to normal-weight children (n=162), was based on the effects of genotypes homozygous for the minor alleles of the studied SNPs in recessive and codominant inheritance models (assuming an independent effect of each genotype). A comparison of children with normal BMI with obese children indicate a strong co-dominant effect of a genotype in homozygotes of minor alleles (AA+AA) of completely linked rs9939609+rs9926289 (OR at age 8.89 ± 1.54 years=4.87, 95% CI 1.81-13.12, p=0.002). An almost five-fold increase of obesity risk in the examined children indicates that the genetic factors, associated with excessive body weight gain, exert stronger effects in the early period of ontogenetic development vs. puberty and adulthood. The role of genetic factors in predisposing to obesity declines with age

Open access
Association of FTO and TMEM18 polymorphisms with overweight and obesity in the population of Polish children

Abstract

The objective of the study was to verify whether or not FTO rs9939609, rs9926289 and TMEM18 rs4854344, rs6548238, rs2867125 variants are important risk factors for overweight and/or obesity in Polish children aged 6-16 (n=283). FTO rs 9939609 and rs9926289 exhibited a strong codominant obesity-predisposing effect of genotypes homozygous for minor alleles (OR=5.42, 95% CI: 2.04-14.39, p=0.0006). The important finding of the study is increased risk of overweight (OR=5.03, 95% CI: 1.15-21.93, p=0.0306) in individuals homozygous for the minor alleles rs4854344, rs6548238 and rs2867125 in the recessive inheritance model, while no other significant associations between TMEM18 variants and risk of obesity were found. Given the identified interaction TMEM18 genotype × BMI category (p=0.0077), it seems that the effect of homozygous for the minor alleles may be compared to a “weight guard”, which significantly increases the risk of overweight, but not of obesity, because it promotes weight gain only up to the threshold of obesity. Conclusion: The proposed hypothetical effect (“weight guard”) of homozygous for the minor alleles in the TMEM18 based on a rather small sample is a possible explanation of the effects of minor alleles, which minimize the risk of obesity.

Open access