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Archive for 'Research News'

Recent Ups and Downs of Coffee Enemas

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Two recent medical studies add milk and sugar, so to speak to what we know, medically, about coffee enemas.

Up with Coffee Enemas (2020)

Coffee Enemas: A Narrative Review,” Linda L Isaacs [pictured here], Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, vol. 21, no. 12, December 2020. The author, an M.D. in Austin, Texas, explains:

Coffee enemas have been in use for at least 150 years, despite the efforts over the last several decades by some in the orthodox medical community to stamp them out as “quackery.” The author and her patients, and other practitioners, find them very useful for the alleviation of a variety of symptoms. In this review, the history of their use, possible mechanisms of action, and risks are discussed, as well as the validity of the attacks against them.

In this video, Dr. Isaacs present her view of coffee enemas:

Down with Coffee Enemas (2020)

The Safety and Effectiveness of Self-Administered Coffee Enema: A Systematic Review of Case Reports,” Heejung Son, Hyun Jin Song, Hyun-Ju Seo, Heeyoung Lee, Sun Mi Choi, and Sanghun Lee, Medicine, vol. 99, no. 36, 2020. The authors, at Seoul National University, Chungnam National University, and several other institutions in South Korea, and the University of Florida, report:

Relevant studies were retrieved from [the major medical literature databases]….

Nine case reports that describe adverse events were identified and included in the analysis. Of these, 7 recent ones reported colitis after self-administration, mentioning that the most plausible cause assumed was the coffee fluid itself, which contained numerous chemical substances. Two others reported more critical adverse events. All 9 case reports with acceptable quality of evidence warned against the self-administration of the procedure. No study that reports the effectiveness of coffee enema was found.

Conclusions: Based on the evidences reviewed, this systematic review does not recommend coffee enema self-administration as a complementary and alternative medicine modality that can be adopted as a mean of self-care, given the unsolved issues on its safety and insufficient evidence with regard to the effectiveness.

Previous Research on Coffee Enemas

We have reported, in the magazine and here on the web site, on some earlier research studies about coffee enemas. among the more popular of these are:

The Royal Treatment

Amateur research, some of it, speaks of coffee enemas as a refreshing approach to good health. Prince Charles of the UK has been reported to regularly boost and use coffee enemas as a health measure.

In this action video, a possibly amateur scientist nominative-determinedly named Anna Blackpool demonstrates the kind of therapy that Prince Charles supported on a gut level:

Musical instruments – masculine or feminine? [study]

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

If you’re wondering whether musical instruments can be graded according to whether they’re perceived as masculine or feminine, the answer is yes (such perceptions can be graded).

For an example study, look no further than the Journal of Research in Music Education, Volume: 29 issue: 1, page(s): 57-62, Issue published: April 1, 1981, where you’ll find : Sex-role Associations of Music Instruments and Occupations by Gender and Major by Philip A. Griswold and Denise A. Chroback.

The research team found that the musical instruments’ gender association continuum tended to play out like this [ most ladylike first ] : Harp, flute, piccolo, glockenspiel, cello, violin, clarinet, piano, french horn, oboe, guitar, cymbal, saxophone, bass drum, trumpet, string bass, tuba.

A full copy of the paper may be found here

Research research by Martin Gardiner

Endless Forms Most Stupid, Icky, and Small

Friday, April 30th, 2021

Biology is not all cut, not all dry, not all Disneyfied, not always at all easy to classify tidily. This paper tries to kick any intellectually recalcitrant reader into realizing that:

Endless Forms Most Stupid, Icky, and Small: The Preponderance of Noncharismatic Invertebrates as Integral to a Biologically Sound View of Life,” Jesse E. Czekanski‐Moir and Rebecca J. Rundell, Ecology and Evolution, vol. 10, no. 23, 2020, pp. 12638-12649.

The authors, at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, explain:

“We show that simple, small, and intriguingly repulsive invertebrate animals provide a counterpoint to misconceptions about evolution.”

(Thanks to Sally Shelton for bringing this to our attention.)


The Precuneus and Anterior Cingulate Gyrus of Professional Comedians

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

This study attempted to see if there is something funny in the brains of professional comedians. The study is: “Mapping the ‘Funny Bone’: Neuroanatomical Correlates of Humor Creativity in Professional Comedians, Jacob Brawer and Ori Amir, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, epub 2021. (Thanks to Emine Kidjo for bringing this to our attention.)

Here are some words and numbers from the study:

The authors, based at Pomona College, Claremont, California, and one of whom is a semi-professional comedian, explain:

Measures of cortical surface area (gyrification and sulcal depth) and thickness were extracted for each participant. Compared to controls, professional comedians had greater cortical surface area in the left inferior temporal gyrus, angular gyrus, precuneus, and right medial prefrontal cortex….

The functional connectivity between the ECN and DMN is particularly apparent in the mPFC, precuneus, and the anterior cingulate gyrus, all of which display a positive correlation between comedic skill and measures of surface area.

The Height of Policing

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

The higher one stands skeletally, the higher one is likely to rise in rank, if one is officially part of Dutch policing, suggests this study:

Effect of Self-reported Height on Occupational Rank Among Police Officers: Especially for Women it Pays to be Tall,” Abraham P. Buunk, (pictured here), Gert Stulp, and Wilmar B. Schaufeli, Evolutionary Psychological Science, epub 2021.

The authors, at the University of Groningen, KU Leuven, and Utrecht University, explain:

“This study among 725 male and 247 female police officers from The Netherlands examined the association between self-reported height and occupational rank from the perspective of sexual selection. Male and female police officers were taller than the average population. A larger percentage of women than of men was found in the lowest ranks, but in the leadership positions, there was a similar percentage of women as of men. Overall, but especially among women, height was linearly associated with occupational rank: the taller one was, the higher one’s rank.”

The graph you see here comes with this explanation: “Percentage of women and of men in the various ranks. The percentages refer to the percentage within each sex in a given rank. Numbers in white represent sample sizes in each rank.”

Improbable Research