A lady-in-waiting or court lady is a female personal assistant at a court, royal or feudal, attending on a royal woman or a high-ranking noblewoman. In Europe, a lady-in-waiting was a noblewoman, but of lower rank than the woman to whom she attended. Although she may either have been a retainer or may not have received compensation for the service she rendered, a lady-in-waiting was considered more of a secretary, courtier or companion to her mistress than a servant. In other parts of the world outside Europe, the lady-in-waiting referred to as palace woman, was in practice a servant or a slave rather than a high-ranking woman, but still had about the same tasks, functioning as companion and secretary to her mistress. In courts where polygamy was practised, a court lady was formally available to the monarch for sexual services, she could become his wife, courtesan, or concubine. Lady-in-waiting or court lady is a generic term for women whose relative rank and official functions varied, although such distinctions were often honorary.

A royal woman may or may not be free to select her ladies, when she has such freedom, her choices are heavily influenced by the sovereign, her parents, her husband, or the sovereign's ministers. The development of the office of lady-in-waiting in Europe is connected to that of the development of a royal court. During the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, Hincmar describes the royal household of Charles the Bald in the De Ordine Palatii from 882, in which he states that court officials took orders from the queen as well as the king. Merovingian queens are assumed to have had their personal servants, in the 9th century it is confirmed that Carolingian queens had an entourage of guards from the nobility as a sign of their dignity, some officials are stated to belong to the queen rather than the king. In the late 12th century, the queens of France are confirmed to have had their own household, noblewomen are mentioned as ladies-in-waiting. During the Middle Ages, the household of a European queen consort was small and the number of employed ladies-in-waiting, rather than wives of noblemen accompanying their husbands to court, was small: in 1286, the queen of France had only five ladies-in-waiting in her employ, it was not until 1316 that her household was separated from that of the royal children.

The role of ladies-in-waiting in Europe changed during the age of the Renaissance, when a new ceremonial court life, where women played a significant part, developed as representation of power in the courts of Italy and spread to Burgundy, from Burgundy to France, to the rest of the courts of Europe. The court of the Duchy of Burgundy was the most elaborate in Europe in the 15th century and became an example to France when the French royal court expanded in the late 15th century and introduced new offices for both men and women to be able to answer to the new renaissance ideal. From small circle of married femmes and unmarried filles, with a humble place in the background during the Middle Ages, the number of French ladies-in-waiting were expanded, divided into an advanced hierarchy with several offices and given an important and public role to play in the new ceremonial court life in early 16th-century France; this example was followed by other courts in Europe, where courts expanded and became more ceremonial during the 16th century, the offices and visibility of women expanded in the early modern age.

During the late 19th century and the early 20th century, most European courts started to reduce their court staff due to new economic and political circumstances which made court representation more questionable. The duties of ladies-in-waiting varied from court to court, but functions discharged by ladies-in-waiting included proficiency in the etiquette and dances prevalent at court. In the late Middle Ages, when the court of the emperor no longer moved around the household of the empress, as well as the equivalent household of the German princely consorts, started to develop a less fluid and more strict organisation with set court offices; the court model of the Duchy of Burgundy, as well as the Spanish court model, came to influence the organisation of the Austrian imperial court during the 16th-century, when the Burgundian Netherlands and Austria was united through the Habsburg dynasty. In the early and mid 16th-century, the female courtiers kept by female Habsburgs in the Netherlands and Austria was composed of one hofmesterees or dame d'honneur who served as the principal lady in waiting.

During the tenure of Maria of Austria, Holy Roman Empress in the mid 16th-century, the court of the empress was organised in accordance with the Spanish court model, after she left Austria, there was no further household of an empress until the 1610s. This resulted in a mix of Spanish customs when the Austrian court model was created. In 1619, a set organisation was established for the Austrian Imperial court which came to be the characteri

Potomac sculpin

The Potomac sculpin is a freshwater species of sculpin that lives in West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Potomac sculpin has a large mouth, with the eyes located on the upper part of the head, it has fan-like pectoral fins, connected dorsal fins. It has twenty-six or fewer lateral-lines pores. In addition, it has fifteen pectoral fins, it has spots of coloration on its chin. The sculpin has an average length of 7.8 centimeters and has been recorded with a length of up to 14 centimeters. It lives in James River drainage area in Virginia, as well as the Potomac River drainage system in West Virginia and Pennsylvania; the sculpin lives in small to medium-sized streams, is tolerant of warm water temperatures. The stream conditioned favored by this species varies depending on sex. Male sculpins tend to live in aquatic plant growth. Female sculpins tend to live in streams with faster currents. C. girardi juveniles tend to live in streams with minimal current. The sculpin is a carnivore, it consumes copepods, mayflies chironomids.

Cottus girardi occasionally consumes other species of fish. The fish reproduces through spawning, they are believed to spawn in late winter. This sculpin is considered to be of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature because it has a large natural range, a large population and a number of subpopulations, a stable population trend over time. In addition, there are no major threats to the survival of the sculpin


Regulator of G-protein signaling 14 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the RGS14 gene. RGS14 is a member of the regulator of G protein signalling family; this protein contains one RGS domain, two Raf-like Ras-binding domains, one GoLoco motif. The protein attenuates the signaling activity of G-proteins by binding, through its GoLoco domain, to specific types of activated, GTP-bound G alpha subunits. Acting as a GTPase activating protein, the protein increases the rate of conversion of the GTP to GDP; this hydrolysis allows the G alpha subunits to bind G beta/gamma subunit heterodimers, forming inactive G-protein heterotrimers, thereby terminating the signal. Alternate transcriptional splice variants of this gene have been observed but have not been characterized. Increasing the expression of the RGS14 protein in the V2 secondary visual cortex of mice promotes the conversion of short-term to long-term object-recognition memory. Conversely RGS14 is enriched in CA2 pyramidal neurons and suppresses synaptic plasticity of these synapses and hippocampal-based learning and memory.

RGS14 has been shown to interact with: GNAI1 and GNAI3. Overview of all the structural information available in the PDB for UniProt: O43566 at the PDBe-KB