Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 238

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Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF…introducing Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 238.

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Question 1:

What ‘club-shaped’ organism, the cause of a ‘leathery’ disease, killed about 4000 people in the former Soviet states between 1991 and 1996?

+ Reveal the Funtabulous Answer

  • Diphtheria caused by the exotoxin of Corynebacterium diptheriae.
  • An epidemic swept through the former Soviet states due to a number of factors: decreased immunisation rates and the breakdown of public health; waning immunity in adults who were vaccinated as children; poor socioeconomic conditions; population movements; and the resurgence of more toxic strains. [Reference]
  • Korynee = club (refers to the organism’s shape), diptherite = greek for leather (refers to the greyish membrane that is usually present – classically in the pharynx).
Click on the photo to link to DIPNET the diphtheria surveillance website.

Question 2

How did Le Fort develop his classification of facial fractures?

+ Reveal the Funtabulous Answer

  • René Le Fort (1869 – 1951) was a French surgeon employed a number of different wounding agents which included a wooden club, a kick, a metal shaft and projecting the head against the corner of a marble table to develop the Le Fort classification of facial fractures.
  • Contrary to popular belief there were no cannon balls, mine shafts or bricks used.
  • The breakdown of his detailed 35 experiments in 1900 are as follows:
    • Metal shaft versus face = 1
    • Kick to the face = 2
    • Head versus corner of marble table or dissection table = 4
    • Head in a vice and tightened = 5
    • Wooden club to the face = 23 [Reference 1, Reference 2]

Question 3

What is selfitis? 

+ Reveal the funtabulous answer

  • A genuine mental condition whereby people feel compelled to continually post pictures of themselves on social media.
  • Originally a hoax, the term was first coined in 2014 as a spoof news story. Following on from this, researchers at Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management in India discovered it to be a true phenomenon.
  • What is your level of selfitis?
    • Borderline – Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media.
    • Acute – Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each one on social media
    • Chronic – Uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day. [Reference]

Question 4

Time is a healer (as they say), but is it faster during the day or night?

Reveal Answer

  • The daytime.
  • According to an observation study on burns patients, those who sustained the injury during the day healed faster (17 days versus 28 days if it was sustained at night).
  • Their theory postulates, the cellular clock modulates the efficiency of actin-dependent processes such as cell migration and adhesion, which ultimately affect the efficacy of wound healing. [Reference]
  • On a similar theme, another research team found less adverse affects when heart surgery was performed in the afternoon versus the morning (28 out of 298 vs 54 out of 298). [Reference]

Question 5

A defensive mucus secreted by slugs has inspired what medical invention?

Reveal Answer

  • Glue that sticks on wet surfaces.
  • The university’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering turned to the “Dusky Arion” slug, which creates sticky mucus as a defence against predators.
  • The incredible stickiness comes from the trinity of the attraction between the positively charged glue and negatively charged cells in the body; covalent bonds between atoms in the cell surface and the glue, and the way the glue physically penetrates tissue surfaces. [Reference]
  • A team in Harvard University have used it to glue a hole in a pigs heart successfully.

…and finally

Courtesy of Strata5 on twitter

Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 238 Neil Long

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Author: Neil Long

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