2017 Rewind: 11 weirdly interesting news stories from the world of health
By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: December 31, 2017 10:29 pm
In all seriousness, here are some unusual news from the world of medicine in 2017. (Source: Thinkstock images)
Matters concerning health and medicine must be dealt with in all seriousness. From medical inventions to finding revolutionary cures, scientists, doctors and medical experts go through a lot to bring about change and make the world better place. But, sometimes, no matter how serious their findings are, it can blow your mind, baffling you to the core. And if whacky inventions were not enough, there were many bizarre incidents in 2017 in the world of medicine that tickled our funny bone. So as the year comes to an end, here are some unusual discoveries and weird surgeries the world witnessed this year.
Dead butt syndrome
Yes, you read it right. We all know that sitting for prolonged hours at out office desk is harmful. We know about the side effects on our body, say, related to the heart and body weight. But did you know, it’s your bums that support your body for all those hectic hours and it’s slowly dying (sort of). Dead butt syndrome or Gluteal Amnesia develops when the gluteus medius — one of the three main muscles in the buttocks — stops functioning correctly. And even though it sounds funny, its effects are not. Since the gluteus medius helps in stabilising the pelvis, gluteal amnesia can not only lead to severe lower back pain and hip pain but also cause problems in the knees and ankles, as the body tries to compensate for the imbalance.
Poop pill can cure common infections
While there is a general idea what faeces can spread infections, it seems researchers had a Eureka moment when they realised otherwise. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a fierce infection called Clostridium difficile was curable with nothing but your poop. Yes, as a solution to the deadly infection which kills 15,000 people per year, researchers found that with an intake of a faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in a pill—a poop pill, it actually helps. The infection usually happens after a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which tend wipe out healthy bacteria normally found in people’s gut. The transplants work by replacing those microbes again. It’s far cheaper and less painful solution than colonoscopy.
Baby’s poop can reveal their IQ
And if you’re still not convinced that poop is more just than waste, then perhaps this finding will let you take it very seriously. Recent research showed that faeces have an interesting link to baby’s IQ and their cognitive skills. According to a study published in Biological Psychiatry, researchers found an association between certain kinds of microbial communities and higher levels of cognitive development later stages of life. Are you one of those, who creep out every time your little one is done the deed and you need to change the nappy and dispose of them with disgust? Well, reading this might change your mind next time you see baby’s faecal matters.
Our brain swells and shrinks everytime we learn a new skill. (File)
When brain kills neurons
As strange it may sound, but every time we learn something new like a brand new skill, new cells burst to life in our brain. However, soon afterwards the brain kills some of the old cells that it deems as nonessential in retaining the new knowledge. So every time we learn something new, our brain swells and shrinks and this is a Darwinian process. In a study published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, researchers said brain determines which neurons are best to most efficiently reserve what it has learned. The culling of the extra cells is like a survival-of-the-fittest contest.
Dogs can smell cancer
Dogs are man’s best friend we know, and it can not only smell danger like explosives, recent study shows our furry friend can even detect cancer! Yes, canines can be trained to be cancer-sniffing wizards, using their sensitive noses to detect cancerous fumes wafting from diseased cells. It’s known fact that cancerous cells emit unique odours, but scientists have not been able to identify the specific compound responsible for the smell. So, doctors are now hoping that dogs might be able to help pinpoint cancer-specific odours. In order to do so, they give the dogs certain cancerous samples to sniff, and then slowly remove compounds from the sample. If the dog stops responding to the sample after several components are removed, “then you know you’ve taken out that component of the mixture that is specific to the cancer,” said Dr Hilary Brodie, a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of California, Davis. However, it all depends if your paw-some friend, if it is having a bad day despite its training it can miss a diagnosis.
Tears contain an enzyme that can generate electricity. (Source: ThinkStock Images)
Tears can generate electricity
There is a huge ongoing debate about fossil fuels and non-renewable energy. While scientists around the world are urging people to shift to renewable and natural power sources like wind, water and sun, a team also found an unusual hydropower — tears. Yes, believe it or not, but crying is not bad after all more than just cleaning your eyes. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physics, a team of researchers from Ireland found that tears contain an enzyme that can generate electricity. The enzyme, called lysozyme, also found in saliva and mammalian milk, is in a crystalised form, it appears to have a property called piezoelectricity. Which means that the anti-bacterial enzyme can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy when pressure is applied. Wondering how it will help in medicine? Well, as lysozyme is a biological material, it could have medical applications. Lysozymes are nontoxic, so could have many innovative applications, such as electroactive, anti-microbial coatings for medical implants, lead author in the study clarified.
Honourable mention: Man Flu is real
Yes, over the years Read More…
Via:: Health – Indian Express