When the Carolina Reaper (Thunder) Claps Back

A 34-year-old man ended up in the hospital after a chili pepper eating contest in New York State. The unnamed man ate one Carolina Reaper—the hottest verified chili in the world—and suffered excruciating headaches soon after. His experience was published in the British Medical Journal Case Reports on 9 April 2018. The man began dry heaving immediately after the chili eating contest. In the days … Continue reading When the Carolina Reaper (Thunder) Claps Back

Scientists Discover New “Organ”

Scientists have discovered a new organ that has been hiding in plain sight. The study, published in Scientific Reports on 27 March 2018, describes the new organ—called the interstitium—as a network of fluid-filled sacs woven together by dense, fibrous connective tissues. According to Dr. Niel Theise, a liver pathologist at New York University’s School of Medicine and co-author of this study, not only is the … Continue reading Scientists Discover New “Organ”

“Super-gonorrhea” Untreatable with First-line Antibiotics

A man in the UK has contracted the “worst-ever” case of super-gonorrhea. This is the first instance the infection could not be cured with standard antibiotics, according to British public health officials. The man, who remains unidentified, contracted the superbug after a sexual encounter with a woman in South East Asia late last year. The man developed symptoms about a month later, and sought treatment … Continue reading “Super-gonorrhea” Untreatable with First-line Antibiotics

Are Generics as Effective as Brand Name Drugs?

If a doctor has prescribed you generic medication, don’t worry: generic drugs are very common. Eighty percent of prescription drugs dispensed in the United States are generics. Most physicians prescribe generic medication because they are proven to be as effective as brand name medication and much cheaper. In 2008, generic medication accounted for 69% of all drugs dispensed in the U.S., but only 16% of … Continue reading Are Generics as Effective as Brand Name Drugs?

Why can’t Infants Eat Honey?

Most commercially sold honey in the United States contains a label warning consumers not to feed honey to infants less than one year of age. This is because honey often contains spores of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, the spore-producing bacterium responsible for botulism. C. botulinum feed on dead and decaying organic matter and is commonly found in soils and sediments throughout the world. Honey … Continue reading Why can’t Infants Eat Honey?

Why don’t Babies Shiver?

When compared to other animal newborns, human infants are born underdeveloped. Human babies cannot walk, feed themselves, or support their own heads. Infants also lack another survival skill: the ability to shiver as a means of thermoregulation. Thermoregulation allows humans to maintain a stable internal body temperature. Healthy human adults have internal body temperatures between 97°F (36.1°C) and 99°F (37.2°C). If a human’s body temperature … Continue reading Why don’t Babies Shiver?

What is Death from “Natural Causes?”

Infants born in America in the early 20th century could not expect to live very long. In 1900, the life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 46.3 years for males, and 48.3 years for females1. The leading causes of death in 1900 were acute diseases like pneumonia and influenza; tuberculosis; and diarrhea, enteritis, and ulceration of the intestines2. Children were particularly susceptible to these … Continue reading What is Death from “Natural Causes?”