Archive for 'Research News'

Beware of the toilet: The risk for a deep tissue injury during toilet sitting

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

While some books are concerned with spending time on the Iron Throne, scientists are concerned with time spent on the Porcelain Throne when reading those books.

“… there are no published studies regarding sustained tissue loads during toilet sitting and their effects on tissue physiology.”

The hole in scientific literature is filled with an in-press paper titled, “Beware of the toilet: The risk for a deep tissue injury during toilet sitting.”

We found that prolonged sitting on toilet seats involves a potential risk for PrI (Pressure Injury) development, the extent of which is affected by the seat design.

This research is distinct from the 2000 Ig Nobel Public Health Prize, which reported injuries on people from toilets that could not withstand pressure from people on toilets. This research, instead, reports injuries on people from people not withstanding pressure from themselves on toilets.

“Will a vegetarian diet during pregnancy drive your child to drugs and drink”

Monday, October 9th, 2017

This news article explores whether a particular science study corresponds to reality. The news article is “Will a vegetarian diet during pregnancy drive your child to drugs and drink?“, by Sharon Begley, published  in Stat.

The science study itself is “Meat Consumption During Pregnancy and Substance Misuse Among Adolescent Offspring: Stratification of TCN2 Genetic Variants,” published in the journal Alcoholism. Figure three of that study is an image which some people might find thought-provoking, one way or another:

Squeezing the Data From Squeezing the Face (with added poison)

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

Should patients — after they have had poison injected into their face — then squeeze their face? If so, then how often, and exactly where? Those are the bundled questions this study tried to get at, with perhaps a hint that further attempts to answer the questions might be able to produce some hint of possible success of some kind:

A Comparison of Facial Muscle Squeezing versus Non-facial Muscle Squeezing on the Efficacy of BotulinumToxin-A Injections for the Treatment of Facial Dystonia,” P. O’Reilly, J. Ross, J. Norris, and R. Malhotra [pictured here], Orbit, vol. 31, no. 6, 2012, pp. 400-403. The authors, at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, West Sussex, UK, explain:

“Twelve patients underwent the non-squeeze / squeeze / non-squeeze protocol and the remaining 14 patients underwent the squeeze / non-squeeze / squeeze protocol. All patients experienced at least one treatment with and one treatment without performing post-treatment squeezing exercises….

“Although this study failed to demonstrate an enhanced effect of botulinum toxin-A with muscle contracture in a clinical setting, further studies looking at a more defined subset and larger number of patients could possibly lead to statistical significance.”

The authors also remark: “Although there is a theoretical risk of inadvertent spread of botulinum toxin-A with extensive muscle contraction, no such cases were demonstrated here.”

Distinguishing Real vs Fake Tiger Penises [law enforcement guide]

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

This eight-page report is a practical guide for law enforcement officials:

Distinguishing Real vs Fake Tiger Penises,” Bonnie C. Yates, Identification Guides for Wildlife Law Enforcement No. 6., 2005, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, Ashland, Oregon. (Thanks to Silvan Urfer for bringing this to our attention.) The author reports:

“Dried genitalia are an important element of traditional medicine in many cultures around the world…. Wildlife law enforcement officers can learn to differentiate the various species sources of these products and detect genuine tiger penises from the abundant fakes currently being sold to unsuspecting tourists and consumers.

“In animal markets, some parts and products are not what they are labeled. One of the most difficult products to identify has been genuine dried tiger penises. The reason for this is the rarity of the real thing and a long tradition of the production of ‘lesser tiger’ or tiger substitute, that is, any other large mammal that can be promoted as a replacement for tiger. When rehydrated and consumed in a soup or tea, this product is believed to serve as an aphrodisiac or restorative tisane. To date, no dried penis from an actual tiger has been seen in the Lab as evidence in a wildlife case.”

The photo above, from the report, comes with this caption: “Fig. 4. Looking at the base of a bull’s penis carved to simulate a tiger’s penis. This is how cattle genitals are made to be used as replacements for genuine tiger parts. Notice the V-shaped cuts in the tissue underneath the lowest barbs (arrow).”

BONUS FACT: The 1992 Ig Nobel Prize for Art was awarded to to Jim Knowlton, for his classic anatomy poster “Penises of the Animal Kingdom,” and to the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts for encouraging Mr. Knowlton to extend his work in the form of a pop-up book.

Frost on Ice

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Another case of nominative determinism:

If you want to make steps towards understanding the highly complex issues regarding how when and why ice cracks, you’ll probably need the help of an expert on the subject. Who better to turn to than Professor Frost of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, US, who has extensively studied such things.

See: ‘Mechanisms of crack nucleation in ice’ published in the journal Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Volume 68, Issues 17–18.