Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Coffee Intake and Incidence of Erectile Dysfunction [research study]

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

A new study about erectile dysfunction suggests — and also does not suggest — that drinking decaffeinated coffee ups a person’s risk of having erectile dysfunction, especially if the person is a male. The study is:

Coffee Intake and Incidence of Erectile Dysfunction,” David S. Lopez, Lydia Liu, Eric B. Rimm, Konstantinos K. Tsilidis, Marcia de Oliveira Otto, Run Wang, Steven Canfield, and Edward Giovannucci [pictured here], American Journal of Epidemiology, epub 2017).

The authors explain: “We investigated the association of coffee intake with incidence of ED [erectile dysfunction].”

The authors tell how they did that: “A prospective analysis of 21,403 men aged 40-75 years old was conducted… Total coffee, regular and decaffeinated coffee intakes were self-reported on food-frequency questionnaires. ED was assessed by means of questionnaires in 2000, 2004 and 2008….”

Then the authors tell what they identified: “No significant differences were identified for incident ED after comparing highest (≥ 4 cups/day) with lowest category (0 cups/day) of total and regular- coffee intakes.”

The study includes, also, an observation that non-expert readers might find disturbing:  “For decaffeinated coffee intake, after comparing the highest category with lowest category, we found a 37% increased risk of ED…”

But those same non-expert readers, if they have taken worry, might find some comfort in a sentence that occurs farther down in the paper: “Overall, long-term coffee intake was not associated with risk of ED in a prospective cohort study.”

CAUTION: One should remember the maxim that “correlation does not imply causation.” In the case of this study, it is possible to conclude, if one is incautious, that erectile dysfunction causes men to drink decaffeinated coffee.


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.

The Case of The Painful Burp and the Not-Painful Swallow

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Pains in the mouth are not uncommon. What is somewhat more uncommon is a not-painful swallow with a painful burp. The case study, “The Wrong Toothpaste and The Painful Burp,” dives into this mystery for a 31-year old man.

To his surprise, there was only slight exacerbation upon swallowing, whereas burping triggered very severe pain with radiation to the ears, lasting approximately 5 seconds.

Researchers used techniques that involved examining an ulcer on his uvula and taking a video of the patient burping (with audio).

The uvula with the incorrect toothpaste use is on the left. The same uvula with correct toothpaste use is on the right.

Finally, the patient realized that he had accidentally been using a toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate for a few weeks prior to symptom onset. He has not experienced any recurrences upon switching back to his regular toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulfate.

The full citation: Pareek, M. and Bhatt, D. (2017). The Wrong Toothpaste and the Painful Burp. The American Journal of Medicine, 130(1), pp.e19-e20.

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.

“Dead Cat Bounce” (an elucidation)

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

If you’re not sure what the phrase “Dead Cat Bounce” might mean, then the online pages of the journal Medical Economics are at hand for assistance. The publication informs, with regard to Dead Cat Bounce :

That term refers to a stock that’s had a rapid, steep decline, followed by a brief rally. Like a dead cat dropped from the roof of a building, it may bounce up a little, but that doesn’t mean it has another life left.”

Also noted are : “Bottom fisher.” “Pump and dump” and “Cats and dogs”

See: The “dead cat bounce” and other financial jargon