• This Past Year’s “Top 10″ Weird but Most Fascinating Medical Anomolies – #8

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    Menopause is weird – not just for hot flashes anymore!

    Okay so this find is from OWN…but there is medical proof to this…women who are peri-menopausal can experience more than just the common symptoms of intense heat, sweating and uneasiness that fluctuating hormone levels cause.

    Researcher from institutions across the U.S. have seen symptoms such as:

    • sore joints
    • dizziness
    •  “burning tongue,”
    • heart palpitations
    • “buzzing sensations” in the head

    A few years ago – in October 2010 – scientists from the University of Exeter and the Institute of Cancer Research in England also documented genetic variants that can indicate a woman’s predisposition to early-onset menopause.

    Read more… , more… and even more…

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  • Our Not Weird but Fascinating Bodies

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    August 14, 2013 /  More Fascinating than Weird

    Did you ever wonder at what stage a fetuses develops finger prints?

    …or Did you know that a person’s the tongue has a unique pattern just like finger prints?

    …or How much saliva do we produce every day?

    tongues

    sporting two green tongues

    If your answers are “yes,” “no” and “it never occurred to me” then “fascinating” is more likely the operative term for your curiosity, not “weird.”

    Checkout the sites Health24.com (“30 fascinating body facts“), MedIndia and other fascinating facts at Discovery Fitness & Health HowStuffWorks.com – 16 amazing facts.

    Stay curious!

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  • Absorbed by Weird Tumor

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    The good news was it was not cancer…the bad news was they had to operate anyway.

    What was that greenish blue mass? Read on…

    Japanese patient’s ‘tumour’ turns out to be 25-year-old towel

    Japanese patient’s ‘tumour’ turns out to be 25-year-old towel

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  • What should WeirdMedical become in 2012?

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    We’re back!

    But back to do what?

    While listening to a Steve Martin interview this morning on NPR where he was talking about how he gets his best material, the question hit me > “What do we now have too much of – Greed? Corruption? Empty bank accounts? Systematic consolidation of wealth and fleecing of the global working public?”

    Don’t know nothing about birthin’ babies OR those thangs.

    Nope the answer is “serious.” We have too much serious in our industry. In the past “WeirdMedical” has become “SeriousMedical”…and that’s no fun.

    Of course you might say it’s important to be serious so people take you seriously…but that’s no fun either.

    In the past we erred on the serious, amazing, strange and even ookey side of weird, steering away from gruesome, gory, evil medical oddities. We’ll probably continue to do so…and that’s our choice…but it’s time to throw in silly, funny, goofy and even ridiculous medical.

    But come on, it’s time to laugh…or at least smirk a little…stay tuned.

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  • Weird DHHS Projects as Non-Performers on ExpectMore.gov

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    Amazing, an actual website produced by the federal government that exposes those federally funded agencies’ programs that are at the extremes of the spectrum…either strong performers or huge disappointments.

    The agency that ranks these programs is the U.S. OMB (Office of Management and Budget).

    Net findings by the OMB? –> “20% of Federal programs are Not Performing.” see ExpectMore.gov

    OMB

    Our solution –> let’s shut down these programs immediately and create accountable programs that effectively fund education, infrastructure development, healthcare efficiency programs and comparative effectiveness research.

    A few of our favorite poor performers:

    1) Health Information Technology Research (AHRQ) -> Read more…

    2) Office on Women’s Health -> Read more…

    3) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology -> Read more…

    …and these are just three out of 30 major poor performing programs managed by the Dept of Health & Human Service.

    No wonder our U.S. healthcare system is bloated and ineffective. Where is the accountability?

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  • Weird Gluing Technique for Baby’s Brain

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    Who of us in the medical industry would have the guts to give a neurosurgeon permission to have our infant’s brain glued?

    According to the authors – “It was just a few months before the parents noticed Joley’s head was growing rapidly and was unusually larger than [her twin’s] Jared’s . Her mother could see the tiny veins in Joley’s head bulging out from her scalp.”

    …But crazy glue worked!

    Successful brain glue technique

    Image of glue in Ella-Grace Honeymans brain

    Got to love N-butyl-cyanoacrylate…read more at HealthMad.com…

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  • Beyond Weird…Space Shuttle Atlantis completes final mission

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    Welcome home to our Atlantis Space Shuttle and and the STS-132 mission crew!

    Just over 10 hours ago Atlantis touched down at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, concluding its 32nd and last voyage as a space workhorse. According to NASA it went as “smooth as silk.”

    Upon the routine arrival inspection, the shuttle is reported by NASA engineers to be in fine repair, after 25 years reported to have the capacity to easily double the miles it has already logged – 120 million miles. [Seattle PI.]

    Space Shuttle Atlantis

    Space Shuttle Atlantis The Space Shuttle Atlantis is towed back to the Orbiter Processing Facility after landing on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Click picture.

    This fact makes it all the more difficult to fathom. It is beyond weird that our space shuttle era is coming to a close, retiring Atlantis first, then Discovery and finally Endeavour at the end of this year.

    These spacecraft, their mission teams and crews have allowed us to dream we are astronauts, exploring one of our last frontiers, or engineers, enabling that exploration.

    Let our medical industry salute NASA’s vast team of astronauts, engineers, aerospace professionals and its supporting industry suppliers as the STS program winds down.

    …and let’s give one more pitch to President Obama – to rethink retiring this program to wait until the mid-2030’s for the Mars program, else the loss of  yet anther critical national treasure further tarnishes our nation’s hope for the future.

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  • Weird Taxpayer-Funded Museum of Medical Oddities

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    Now this is a good use of our federal tax dollars…

    In the northwestern reaches of Washington (D.C. that is) sits a museum that is a “must see” if you like the slightly off-taste, arcane, twisted and in some cases, down-right gross medical oddities. Visit the bricks and mortar “Roadside America of American medicine,” the National Museum of Health and Medicine, America’s oldest taxpayer-funded Cabinet of Curiosities near Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

    A row of little skeletons.

    At the National Museum of Health and Medicine you can see precariously displayed and disturbingly barely described:

    • hanging display of a complete brain and spine, suspended in liquid in an eerily lit glass cylinder
    • girl’s head preserved in arsenic
    • well-preserved hairball from the stomach of a 12-year old girl who compulsively ate her own hair
    • skull with a huge civil war bullet buried in its frontal lobe
    • and the list goes on…

    To visit…virtually go to the RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Reporters or National Museum of Health and Medicine, or in real life visit:

    6900 Georgia Avenue, Washington, DC

    Hours:     M-F 10 am – 5:30 pm, Sa, Su, Hol call ahead

    No kidding. This is for real – so when you go to the NMHM in D.C., tell them you want your tax dollars’ worth!

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  • Weird World – Wireless Connectivity Endangering Patients

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    April 14, 2010 /  Beyond Weird, Hack This!

    Be it a defibrillator or a MRI scanner, patients become increasingly more vulnerable to hackers each day…

    According to the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) April 1, 2010 article, “Improving the Security and Privacy of Implantable Medical Devices,

    “…medical devices vary widely with regard to security features, because no specific security guidance or requirements have ”     been promulgated by the FDA. In the past, the agency has not viewed itself as a key contributor to the security of medical devices, noting that “the software engineering community, not the FDA, will dictate the solutions.” According to a 2009 report from the Government Accountability Office, the FDA has yet to develop a policy framework for the privacy and security of personal health information.”

    Clearly as wireless connectivity becomes more widespread access to device controllers and software becomes even easier. Quoting the MD&DI’s “DeviceTalk” site summary of the NEJM article:

    “Hackers could manipulate the technology to:

    • Extract data
    • Reprogram the devices
    • Flood the devices with information to block incoming communication
    • Drain a device’s batteries”

    As U.S. federal law stands now, medical device manufacturers hold the sole legal responsibility for remaining alert to, aware of, and ready to act on security breeches. This responsibility is dictated by HIPPA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) although no guidelines for device controller or systems software are in place.

    The authors of the above NEJM article, Drs. W. H. Maisel and T. Kohno, are urging the FDA to change its position on regulating devices systems software and for manufacturing companies’ software engineers to include security features during the design phase.

    Read more…NEJM Article Authors: William H. Maisel, M.D., M.P.H. – Medical Device Safety Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; and Tadayoshi Kohno, Ph.D. – Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle.

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  • Weird Facts about Phil

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    As the one of the more obscure U.S. holidays comes to a close…and with 6 more weeks of winter to endoure…

    It is time we all learned more about…you guessed it…Punxsutawney Phil.

    Yes, today was Groundhog Day Tuesday, and Phil saw his shadow! But did you know that this little guy is a huge American tradition? The Christian Science Monitor shares with us 5 little known facts about our little PA buddy:

    1) Phil is immortal.

    2) Phil’s about as accurate as your average meteorologist.

    3) Phil’s got competition.

    4) Phil’s gone high tech.

    5) There’s no Groundhog Day in Alaska.

    Hey…this post is fair game. We never promised consistent medical oddities but we always promised consistent weird.

    Stay tuned for Fastnacht Day Tuesday – now that IS a medical condition waiting to happen!

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  • Weird Way to Sleep with the Fishes

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    Preclinicals – not for just rats, mice and pigs anymore…

    Now, zebrafish…For the treatment of Insomnia researchers from Harvard have recently found a new surprising option to aid in therapy development.

    Found in tropical regions, this fish proves a worthy test subject in either adult or larvae form. One interesting point noted by the researchers was that zebrafish generally show more relation to humans in sleep patterns than other animals. Also, zebrafish can be cheaply and quickly raised as test subjects. In all, the researchers found 463 sleep altering compounds in the fish, of which many resembled human characteristics.

    Sleepy head:
    Credit: Albert Pan and Alexander Schier

    Having trouble sleeping? Oddly enough you may a sleep study with this fish!

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  • Weird Potato Salad Remedy

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    January 13, 2010 /  Biological Wonders, Historically Weird

    Ready for a weird workout routine for 2010?

    The Ross sisters have a weird ability. During the 1940s they performed a unique blend of  acrobatics and contortionism. While they have not performed in years, the Internet has brought them renewed interest with clips of their act appearing on YouTube. In their “Solid Potato Salad” clip they perform one of the most weird displays of motion one can imagine. Named Veda, Dixie, and Betsy Ann, these sisters may look alike but what may really add to their weird and uniqueness is that they are born three years apart from 1926 to 1929.

    Biographical Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ross_Sisters, Video Source: Thats Entertainment III DVD

    Biographical Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ross_Sisters, Video Source: That's Entertainment III DVD

    You have NO excuses for your 2010 fitness resolution…get off your chair and go workout!

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  • Weird Ability to Eat Anything…but 6,000 Calories in One Day?

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    December 22, 2009 /  Biological Wonders, Weird Holidays

    Keep an eye on dads as well as the kiddies!

    A recent study found that children can consume up to 6,000 calories on Christmas day, December 25. This includes all the snacks, cookies and meals found between family dinners and treats Saint Nick leaves behind. The study was performed by experts for the Carnegie Weight Management based in Leeds Metropolitan University. They found on average, 956 calories for dinner 587 for desserts on top of breakfast lunch and treats. While children were the most indulgent Men were also found to be gluttons. While this may not be the weirdest display of human nature, it is definitely not healthy.

    Source: Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1236388/Obesity-warning-children-eat-6-000-calories-Christmas-Day.html)

    Source: Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1236388/Obesity-warning-children-eat-6-000-calories-Christmas-Day.html)

    Note about your family:  Watch-out for each other during this special time of the year!

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  • A Weird and Annoying Disorder…

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    November 16, 2009 /  Biological Wonders

    Talk about sneezing your head off…

    A 12-year-old girl from Virginia, Lauren Johnson, has developed a weird disorder. As reported last Wednesday, Lauren has been sneezing 20 time a minute, 12,000  times a day for over two weeks. Currently, her worst side effect is a raw nose from the incessant use of tissues.

    Lauren’s syndrome is referred to as “Machine Gun Sneezing” during which victims cannot stop sneezing. She is one of less than 40 known cases in the world, doctors have tried 11 medical therapies and hypnosis, nothing has worked so far. Her weird condition began after she caught a common cold.

    Source: Ah-ah-achoo! The girl who sneezes 12,000 times a day has doctors baffled, Daily Mail, UK

    Source: "Ah-ah-achoo! The girl who sneezes 12,000 times a day has doctors baffled," Daily Mail, UK

    Just imagine…they have tried everything from conventional medicine to hypnosis therapy…any ideas for Lauren?

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  • Weird…Immortality and Cancer Inextricably Linked

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    November 11, 2009 /  Awesome Medical Feats, Biological Wonders

    Nobel winners uncover a connection…

    The 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine went to three scientists who discovered an  enzyme called telomerase that allows cells to divide indefinitely. In general, cells have a limit on the number of times they can divide and over time this causes degradation of organic structures, or aging. In an article published by WIRED Aaron Rowe reveals that the scientists realized that they could persuade cells into producing telomeras.

    However, there is a catch.

    Currently cells in adults divide roughly 80 times before they die off, which limits susceptibility to cancer. When cells produce telomerase they continue dividing, which eventually leads to a higher probability of developing cancer.

    Chromosomes

    Chromosomes

    Mark Muller, a cancer and telomerase researcher at the University of Central Florida, stated that “Ninety percent of all cancer cells are telomerase rich.” Further, he posits that telomerase inhibitors could fight cancer itself and allow the cancer cells to essentially die off.

    While currently the telomerase enzyme causes a Catch 22 of immortality and cancer, ethical and other pragmatic issues aside, it may be that in the future drugs may be able to combat cancerous cells without attacking all telomerase-rich cells, allowing mankind to achieve immortality in a safe manner.

    Ready to rise above mere mortality?

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  • Weird…”Back to the Future” Medicine

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    Time to take notes from your great grandma!

    In these troubled times people will find that they are required to be more resourceful with their lives. Home remedies offer an economical option for many ailments. From Netty pots to Epsom salt soaks there are many weird options that can save a trip to the doctor, and may also protect you from MRSA or H1N1. Who wouldn’t want a peppermint oil rub for a headache?

    Here’ are some from the blog “Forgotten Medical Cures” to improve the iron deficiencies in your blood…

    Wish to try:

    — iron nails soaked in water?
    — using iron utensils as well as skillets and pans?
    — even viscous black strap molasses?

    And only for the bold…spinach cooked with ox blood and silver beets…an acquired taste! Read more…

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  • Weird Sibling Rivalries

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    September 21, 2009 /  Biological Wonders

    Rare…“Fetus in fetu”?

    Not a completely unheard of situation but doctors in China have just recorded one of the rarest. A case of “fetus in fetu in a 1-year-old girl. Her Parasitic twin became trapped in her abdomen and continued to develop over the last year, creating a huge bulge and major health risk.

    According to Wikipedia this occurs in only 1 of 500,000 live births***.

    One-year-old girl has baby in stomach (Source: NEWS.com.au)

    One-year-old girl has baby in stomach (Source: NEWS.com.au)

    Now awaiting surgery, this girl will have a weird story to tell!

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  • Wet but Weird Drinking Water?

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    August 12, 2009 /  Biological Wonders

    Something’s causing twins in a remote Indian village…

    In Kodinji, a small village in India with about 15,00 people, there are 230 sets of twins. This is four times the the standard rate of twins occurring naturally. It’s no wonder the village has been dubbed “twin village” by locals.

    A local doctor has hypothesized that increased rate of twins could be caused by the water near the village, although no formal studies have been performed.  According to current knowledge, there are no pollutants, toxins or other unnatural chemicals that the villagers interact with.

    Two Twins

    Two Twins from Kodinji Village (Source: Reuters)

    While it remains to be seen what the cause of this is, we do know that just growing up there can sometimes be difficult. Twins can have difficult lives with people often confusing one person with another. And at least one boy, not a twin, feels a little left out in a village that makes twins trendy. (Source: Reuters “Doctors baffled by Indian village of over 200 sets of twins“).

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  • Weird – Now We’re Building Organs…

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    June 16, 2009 /  Biological Wonders

    Regeneration is just not for frogs anymore!

    Developed by researches from University of Twente, this is a first for stereolithography. Biodegradable and resorbable polylactic acid (PLA) can now be used to create three-dimensional scaffolding for new organs. Organ cells grow around and throughout the PLA structure. As the PLA resin simultaneously breaks down and absorbs, no foreign resin material is left behind leaving a perfectly-formed new organ in its place. A very unique and weird development.

    Read more by clicking on the image below…

    Biodegradable synthetic resin replaces vital body parts (Source: University of Twente)

    Biodegradable synthetic resin replaces vital body parts (Source: University of Twente)

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  • Introducing WeirdMedical!

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    March 1, 2009 /  Welcome Messages

    This is for YOUbiotech and medtech professionals!

    Take a break from our bleak economic news to have a little ooky fun.

    From odd medical relics to amazing medical discoveries – get a peek into the future of medical care…if we dare.

    Stay tuned for your mini-mental holidays by April Fools Day!

    With weird regards  –

    Your WM Team

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