Tuesday, June 23, 2009
«Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold»The authors explain: "The purpose of this study was to investigate the significance of and to compare any influence of fibre-type material and textile construction of underwear on thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort of humans during rest in the cold. The tests demonstrated the significant cooling effect of wet underwear on thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort. The thickness of the underwear has more of an influence on the thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort, than the types of fibres tested."
«Navigation-Related Structural Change In the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers»Authors at the University College London, about their research: "Structural MRIs of the brains of humans with extensive navigation experience, licensed London taxi drivers, were analyzed and compared with those of control subjects who did not drive taxis. The posterior hippocampi of taxi drivers were significantly larger relative to those of control subjects. A more anterior hippocampal region was larger in control subjects than in taxi drivers. Hippocampal volume correlated with the amount of time spent as a taxi driver (positively in the posterior and negatively in the anterior hippocampus). These data are in accordance with the idea that the posterior hippocampus stores a spatial representation of the environment and can expand regionally to accommodate elaboration of this representation in people with a high dependence on navigational skills. It seems that there is a capacity for local plastic change in the structure of the healthy adult human brain in response to environmental demands."
«Pressures Produced When Penguins Poo -- Calculations on Avian Defecation»Ever wondered how far a penguin can fire waste from its anus? Wonder no more. Victor Breno Meyer-Rochow of International University, Bremen, and Jozsef Gal of Lorand Eotvos University, Hungary, used the basic principles of physics to calculate the pressure that builds up inside a penguin. Dr. Meyer-Rochow explained that the research began in 1993, when he led the first, and so far only, Jamaican expedition to the Antarctic. Later, while showing students pictures of faeces-lined penguin nests, he was asked how the elaborate displays were created. "They get up, move to the edge of the nest, turn around, bend over - and shoot," he said. That's when he got the idea to calculate the pressure produced by penguin poo.
«Farting as a Defence Against Unspeakable Dread»According to it's author, "this paper describes some features of the behaviour of a severely disturbed adopted latency boy. Peter was born premature, suffered several early hospitalizations and surgical operations, and at 2 months of age was removed from his mother's care by Social Services for neglect and abandonment. When feeling endangered, Peter had developed a defensive olfactive container using his bodily smell and farts to envelop himself in a protective cloud of familiarity against the dread of falling apart, and to hold his personality together."
«Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature»The paper reads: "The ultrasonic velocity in Cheddar cheese is temperature dependent. This relationship can be used to make corrections when determining ultrasonic texture or to determine mean temperatures in cooling/heating processes. At 0 < style="border-bottom: 1px solid rgb(112, 58, 0); text-decoration: underline; color: rgb(112, 58, 0); font-size: 14px; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-family: Georgia,Arial,Verdana;" class="IL_LINK_STYLE">Differential Scanning Calorimetry thermograms linked the temperature dependence of ultrasonic velocity to fat melting. Three parts are distinguished in the curve as a consequence of the fat melting and the appearance of free oil. The most reliable temperature interval to carry out ultrasonic measurements in Cheddar cheese is identified as 0 to 17 °C."
«Safe and Painless Manipulation of Penile Zipper Entrapment» Author Satish Chandra Mishra, about his enlightening paper: "Entrapment of penile foreskin is quite a distressing situation for the child and the parents and can be a frustrating management problem. Any overzealous intervention would simply worsen the situation. Also, attempts to cut open the zip fastener are time taking and may not be either helpful or feasible in all the situations. The approach to the zipper manipulation should be quick, simple, non-traumatic and reproducible irrespective of the age of the child, mechanism and site of entrapment, presence of the local edema and zipper size or design."
(Satish Chandra Mishra; Charak Palika Hospital; 2005)
"A quick, simple and non-traumatic approach to penile zipper entrapment"
«Love and Sex with Robots» "My forecast is that around 2050, the state of Massachusetts will be the first jurisdiction to legalize marriages with robots," researcher David Levy at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands told LiveScience. Levy recently completed his Ph.D. work on the subject of human-robot relationships, covering many of the privileges and practices that generally come with marriage as well as outside of it.
(D. Levy; University of Maastricht; 2007)
"Human-robot marriages will be legal by 2050"
At first, sex with robots might be considered geeky, "but once you have a story like 'I had sex with a robot, and it was great!' appear someplace like Cosmo magazine, I'd expect many people to jump on the bandwagon," Levy said. In his thesis, "Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners," Levy conjectures that robots will become so human-like in appearance, function and personality that many people will fall in love with them, have sex with them and even marry them. "It may sound a little weird, but it isn't," Levy said. "Love and sex with robots are inevitable."
«Rectal Foreign Bodies: Case Reports and a Comprehensive Review of the World's Literature» The citations include reports of, among other items: seven light bulbs; a ; two flashlights; a wire spring; a snuff box; an oil can with potato stopper; eleven different forms of fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs; a jeweler's saw; a frozen pig's tail; a tin cup; a ; and one patient's remarkable ensemble collection consisting of spectacles, a suitcase key, a tobacco pouch and a magazine.
(D. Busch and J. Starling; Madison, Wisconsin; 1986)
"The study reports, among other items: a beer glass, a suitcase key and a magazine"
«The Effect of Country Music on Suicide» According to the authors, Steven Stack and Jim Gundlach, the paper "assesses the link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates. Country music is hypothesized to nurture a mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, , and alienation from work. The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link between country music and suicide. Our model explains 51% of the variance in urban white suicide rates."
(S. Stack and J. Gundlach; Wayne State University and Auburn University; 1992)
"The greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate"
«Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans»
(S. Ghirlanda, L. Jansson, M. Enquist; Stockholm University; 2002)
"The animals showed preferences for faces consistent with human sexual preferences"
Authors at the Stockholm University explain it: "We trained chickens to react to an average human female face but not to an average male face (or vice-versa). In a subsequent test, the animals showed preferences for faces consistent with human sexual preferences (obtained from university students). This suggests that human preferences arise from general properties of , rather than from face-specific adaptations. We discuss this result in the light of current debate on the meaning of sexual signals, and suggest further tests of existing hypotheses about the origin of sexual preferences."
Monday, June 22, 2009
Hospital makes a wrong-sided brain surgery... for the third time in a yearFor the third time on the same year, doctors at Rhode Island Hospital have operated on of a patient's head. The most recent incident occurred Nov. 23 2007. An 82-year-old woman required an operation to stop bleeding between her brain and her skull. A neurosurgeon at the hospital began a surgery by drilling the right side of the patient's head, even though a CT scan showed bleeding on the left side, according to local reports. The resident reportedly caught his mistake early, after which he closed the initial hole and proceeded on the left side of the patient's head. The patient was listed in fair condition on Sunday.
The case echoes of a similar mistake last February, in which a different doctor operated on the wrong side of a patient's head. And last August, an 86-year-old man died three weeks after a surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital accidentally operated on the wrong side of his head.
The Surgeon who removed the wrong legIn what was, perhaps, the most publicized case of a surgical mistake in its time, a Tampa (Florida) surgeon mistakenly removed the wrong leg of his patient, 52-year-old Willie King, during an amputation procedure in February 1995.
It was later revealed that a chain of errors before the surgery culminated in the wrong leg being prepped for the procedure. While the surgeon's team realized in the middle of the procedure that they were operating on the wrong leg, it was already too late, and the leg was removed. As a result of the error, the surgeon's medical license was suspended for six months and he was fined $10,000. University Community Hospital in Tampa, the medical center where the surgery took place, paid $900,000 to King and the surgeon involved in the case paid an additional $250,000 to King.
The healthy kidney removed by mistakeIn St. Louis Park, , a patient was submitted at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital to have one of his kidneys removed because it had a tumor believed to be cancerous. Instead, doctors removed the healthy one.
"The discovery that this was the wrong kidney was made the next day when the pathologist examined the material and found no evidence of any malignancy," said Samuel Carlson, M.D. and Park Nicollet Chief Medical Officer. The potentially cancerous kidney remained intact and functioning. For privacy and family's request, no details about the patient were released.
Wide-Awake Surgery led to his suicideA West Virginia man's family claims inadequate anesthetic during surgery allowed him to feel every slice of the surgeon's scalpel - a trauma they believe led him to take his own life two weeks later. Sherman Sizemore was admitted to Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, W.Va., Jan. 19, 2006 for exploratory surgery to determine the cause of his abdominal pain. But during the operation, he reportedly experienced a phenomenon known as anesthetic awareness -- a state in which a surgical patient is able to feel pain, pressure or discomfort during an operation, but is unable to move or communicate with doctors.
According to the complaint, anesthesiologists administered the drugs to numb the patient, but they failed to give him the that would render him unconscious until 16 minutes after surgeons first cut into his abdomen. Family members say the 73-year-old Baptist minister was driven to kill himself by the traumatic experience of being awake during surgery but unable to move or cry out in pain.
Not so funny: wrong artery bypassed
Two months after a double bypass heart operation that was supposed to save his life, comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member Dana Carvey got some disheartening news: the cardiac surgeon had bypassed the wrong artery. It took another emergency operation to clear the blockage that was threatening to kill the 45-year-old funnyman and father of two young kids. Responding to a $7.5 million lawsuit Carvey brought against him, the surgeon said he'd made an honest mistake because Carvey's artery was unusually situated in his heart. But Carvey didn't see it that way: "It's like removing the wrong kidney. It's that big a mistake," the entertainer told People magazine.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Received the wrong heart and lungs, then died17-year-old Jésica Santillán died 2 weeks after receiving the heart and lungs of a patient whose blood type did not match hers. Doctors at the failed to check the compatibility before surgery began. . After a rare second transplant to attempt to rectify the error, she suffered and complications that subsequently hastened her death.
Santillán, a Mexican immigrant, had come to the United States three years before to seek medical treatment for a life-threatening heart condition. The heart-lung transplant that surgeons at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., hoped would improve this condition instead put her in greater danger; Santillán, who had type-O blood, had received the organs from a type-A donor.
The error sent the into a comalike state, and she died shortly after an attempt to switch the organs back out for compatible ones failed. The hospital blamed human error for the death, along with a lack of safeguards to ensure a compatible transplant. According to reports, Duke reached an agreement on an undisclosed settlement with the family. Neither the hospital nor the family is allowed to comment on the case.
A $200,000 testicleIn yet another case of a wrongful operation, surgeons mistakenly removed the healthy right testicle of 47-year-old Air Force veteran Benjamin Houghton. The patient had been complaining of pain and shrinkage of his left testicle so doctors decided to schedule to remove it due to cancer fears. However, the veteran's medical records suggest a series of missteps -- from an error on the consent form to a failure on the part of medical personnel to mark the proper surgical site before the procedure. The error, which took place at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, spurred a $200,000 lawsuit from Houghton and his wife.
A 13-Inch souvenirDonald Church, 49, had a tumor in his abdomen when he arrived at the in Seattle in June 2000. When he left, the tumor was gone -- but a metal retractor had taken its place. Doctors admitted to leaving the 13-inch-long retractor in Church's abdomen by mistake. It was not the first such incident at the medical center; four other such occurrences had been documented at the hospital between 1997 and 2000. Fortunately, surgeons were able to remove the retractor shortly after it was discovered, and Church experienced no long-term health consequences from the mistake. The hospital agreed to pay Church $97,000.
An open heart invasive procedure... on the wrong patientJoan Morris (a pseudonym) is a 67-year-old woman admitted to a teaching hospital for cerebral angiography. The day after that procedure, she mistakenly underwent an invasive cardiac electrophysiology study. After angiography, the patient was transferred to another floor rather than returning to her original bed. Discharge was planned for the following day. The next morning, however, the patient was taken for a open heart procedure. The patient had been on the operating table for an hour. Doctors had made an incision in her groin, punctured an artery, threaded in a tube and snaked it up into her heart (a procedure with risks of bleeding, infection, heart attack and stroke). That was when the phone rang and a doctor from another department asked “what are you doing with my patient?” There was nothing wrong with her heart. The cardiologist working on the woman checked her chart, and saw that he was making an awful mistake. The study was aborted, and she was returned to her room in stable condition.
The Fertility Clinic that used the wrong spermWhen Nancy Andrews, of Commack, N.Y., became pregnant after an in at a New York , she and her husband expected a beautiful new addition to their family. What they did not expect was a child whose skin was significantly darker than that of either parent. Subsequent DNA tests suggested that doctors at New York Medical Services for Reproductive Medicine accidentally used another man's sperm to inseminate Nancy Andrews' eggs.
The couple has since raised Baby Jessica, who was born Oct. 19, 2004, as their own, according to wire reports. But the couple still filed a against the owner of the clinic, as well as the embryologist who allegedly mixed up the samples.