Where Do Our Drugs Come From?

Where Do Our Drugs Come From?

Pills and capsules in medical vial

The incredible chemical weapon-making abilities of fungi, bacteria, and plants have created a diverse array of compounds that are useful to humans.

10 Actors Who Never Had Plastic Surgery (And 10 Who Clearly Did)

10 Actors Who Never Had Plastic Surgery (And 10 Who Clearly Did)

In this modern era of social media and 24-hour news, image is everything and nowhere is that truer than in the world of Hollywood.

For some actors and actresses, the need to stay looking as a fresh-faced and youthful as humanely possible is paramount and something worth shelling out exorbitant sums on, via any number of weird and wonderful surgical procedures. To these stars, splashing out on plastic surgery could be the difference between landing that much-sought after role in the next big blockbuster and a straight-to-video monster movie.

Not everyone agrees, though. To some, the need to stay as natural looking as possible is far more important. Age equals wisdom to these stars. Thus they would rather sport every imperfection as a part of their on-screen personality than present an artificial version of themselves. These two contrasting views have coexisted in Hollywood for some time now, with plenty of actors and actresses familiar to millions falling into one of these two distinct groups.

Some wear their rejection of plastic surgery as a badge of honour, others do the exact opposite, and then there are those who have clearly had plastic surgery, whether they care to admit it or not.


Having established herself as one of the most attractive women alive with her starring role as Catwoman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, you would be forgiven for thinking that Michelle Pfeiffer, like her on-screen character, had nine lives.

After all, what else is there to explain Pfeiffer’s eternal good looks, which defy the fact she is edging ever closer to her 60s and what ranks as retirement age for most of us?

The answer, it turns out, is nothing artificial; just a strict diet and fitness regime combined with an acceptance that all of us grow old, whether we like it or not. I certainly see that I’ve changed. I just try not to dwell on it, Pfeiffer told People a few years back. Aging happens to every single one of us. Once you accept that it unburdens you.”


There was a time when Burt Reynolds was one of the biggest and best-looking stars in Hollywood. The 1970s was a particularly prolific time for the Michigan-born leading man, who starred in classics like DeliveranceThe Longest Yard,and Smokey and the Bandit.

Though the decades that followed were less kind to Reynolds on the acting front, he continued to work steadily and, by 1997, was back with a bang thanks to a stand-out performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights.

Reynolds largely retained his good looks too, though as time as worn on, it’s become increasingly apparent that all was not as it seems. “I inherited my smooth skin from my father,” Reynolds once told OK! Magazine but few are convinced.

Though he has admitted to having work done on his eyes for medical reasons, some suspect that Reynolds may have also had a face-lift as well as regular Botox injections. He denies all though.


Brad Pitt has long been the subject of intense scrutiny online over his looks with several outlandish rumours surfacing in recent years.

In Touch ran a report claiming that the Fight Club star decided to move on after his divorce from Angelina Jolie in a most unusual way: by apparently having extensive plastic surgery to improve his looks and gain a confidence boost ahead of life as a newly-single man. It’s not exactly the most convincing of tabloid tales, despite claims of insider knowledge.

Pitt, for his part, has always insisted his good looks are purely down to genetics and good living, rather than anything cosmetic. “I’m one of those people you hate because of genetics,”once claimed. “It is the truth … One thing sucks, your face kind of goes. Your body’s not quite working the same. But you earned it. You earned that— things falling apart.”


The world fell in love with Melanie Griffith in 1988’s Working Girl, a role that also earned her Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. With the world at her feet, Griffith seemingly squandered her talent on notable flops like The Bonfire of the Vanities and Shinning Through – the latter earned her a Razzie nomination.

Griffith has put in some fine performances since, of course – 1995’S Buffalo Girls is well worth watching – but as time has gone on she has become more famous – or infamous – for her surgically-enhanced looks.

Speaking to Porter in 2017, Griffith blamed a series of procedures she had done two decades previously for her strange looks, which were not initially apparent to her. “I was so hurt,” she said. “I went to a different doctor, and he started dissolving all of this s**t that this other woman doctor had put in.”


Having announced herself as a fully-fledged A-lister back in 1997 alongside Leonardo DiCaprio on James Cameron’s Titanic, Kate Winslet has done a damn fine job of staying at the top and maintaining her killer curves and striking looks along the way.

Given her leading lady status, Winslet would be forgiven for indulging in a little nip and tuck here or there, but the actress has always insisted on growing old gracefully – and has some entirely valid reasons too.

“It goes against my morals, the way that my parents brought me up, and what I consider to be natural beauty,” she told The Telegraph “I will never give in … I want to be able to really show the expressions on my face.” Now into her 40s, Winslet’s star status and eye-catching beauty doesn’t look like dimming any time soon.


Once a Hollywood heartthrob tipped for big things, Mickey Rourke now represents a symbol of the dangers of having too much success too soon in the movie industry.

Similarly, his face stands as an example of the dangers of too much plastic surgery, though Rourke does have more mitigating circumstances than most: a brief career as a boxer meant he required a considerable amount of reconstructive work.

Even so, the Angel Heart star is the first to admit his mistakes in that particular department. “I went to the wrong guy to put my face back together,” he told MailOnline. “I had my nose broken twice. I had five operations on my nose and one on a smashed cheekbone.”

Though he’s had surgeries since to correct some of these issues, Rourke’s chequered past with plastic surgery is all to evident.


Val Kilmer spent close to two decades delivering memorable performances alongside tales of difficult behaviour on set before time took its toll on his once-boyish good looks. No longer among Hollywood’s go-to leading men, Kilmer’s star has faltered slightly in the years since, but he has remained steadfast in his refusal to go under the knife.

Still most definitely “a looker,” Kilmer is aging like a fine wine, despite speculation he has suffered serious ill health in recent years.

Kilmer may have kept a lid on these issues but the rumours suggest the Top Gun actor previously battled throat cancer and may have even had a tracheotomy – a surgical procedure where an opening is created in the anterior wall of the trachea to help with breathing.

Kilmer continues to rebuff these suggestions though, assisting he underwent surgery for another, unspecified health issue. Either way, he’s growing old gracefully all things considered.


Meg Ryan has come a long way since When Harry Met Sally but there are probably plenty of fans out there who wish they could have the old Meg Ryan back.

A fine actress and star of some of a string of hits in ’90s and early 2000s, Ryan has pretty much gone off the radar in recent years. Since 2009, she’s appeared in just two films one of which – 2015’s Ithaca – she directed herself.

Could this downturn have anything to do with her face? Though Ryan has always refused to confirm going under the knife, her puffed-up appearance and strikingly different facial features tell another story. If Ryan has undergone plastic surgery then it seems apparent that multiple procedures have taken place. Ryan remains silent on the subject, though.


It’s hard to believe that Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts’ signature hit movie, is well over 25 years old considering the fact its star still looks as youthful as ever.

Evidently a fitness fanatic who watches what she eats and takes all-round care of herself, Roberts has emerged as something of a bastion of the anti-surgery brigade in recent years. During an interview with You Magazine, organised to promote her role as beauty ambassador for the brand Lancome, Roberts revealed her stance when it came to plastic surgery.

“By Hollywood standards, I guess I’ve already taken a big risk in not having had a facelift,” she said. “But I’ve told Lancome that I want to be an aging model – so they have to keep me for at least five more years until I’m over 50.” It might have seemed like a risk at the time but, judging from her looks right now, it’s one that has totally paid off.


Sylvester Stallone has made no secret of the fact he has undergone plastic surgery, though he has more of a valid reason than most.

When Sly was born he was taken from his mother’s womb using forceps. Unfortunately, the procedure ended up destroying some of the nerves in the left side of Stallone’s face, resulting in his crooked mouth and signature drawl.

By the time Rocky rolled around, Stallone realised that his face was beginning to sag on that side so decided to have it surgically lifted. Whether that is the extent of Stallone’s surgical history is unclear, though The Expendables star sees no issue with going under the knife.

“Sure. Why not do it?” he responded once when asked his opinion on plastic surgery. “You have body work done on your car.”


There was a time in the early 90s when Kevin Costner ruled at the box office, with movies like Dances with WolvesPrince of Thieves and The Bodyguard showcasing the actor and director’s impressive range.

Then The Postman, Costner’s post-apocalyptic tale about mail delivery, arrived and overnight Costner went from hero to zero. Now better known as a character actor and the occasional star of enjoyable B-movie action fluff, Costner has at least retained his good looks– all while staying completely natural too.

“I am never going for a hairpiece, dye, or nips and tucks. You will always have to take me as you find me,” Costner told Celeb Now in 2006. Though the rumours persist, Costner pays little to no attention to them. Maybe the public should too.


Once a part of the Brat Pack made famous by a string of memorable movies in the late 80s, Demi Moore seemed to have parlayed that early success into a fully-fledged career with hits like Ghost.

However, the ’90s was a difficult time for Moore and she opted to take a career break as the decade continued, eventually resurfacing for 2003’s Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.

The film, which saw Moore’ villainous character introduced emerging from the sea in a skimpy bikini, prompted speculation the actress had undergone significant cosmetic surgery. Breast implants, collagen injections, and liposuction were just a few of the procedures Moore was alleged to have undergone.

However, the actress denied any suggestion she ever went under the knife during an interview with the French edition of Marie Claire magazine. Few are convinced though, given her dramatic transformation.


Though it might sound hard to believe, Salma Hayek is now into her 50s. What makes that news all the more remarkable is that, during that time Hayek has never gone under the knife. In fact, Hayek is staunchly against the idea of plastic surgery, describing the results of these types of procedures as “not beautiful.”

“I believe that every woman is entitled to fight to preserve her youth,” she told Allure. “It’s like the uniform of a generation … And it’s not necessarily beautiful. It’s not wrinkled-looking, but it’s not beautiful.”

Instead, Hayek relies on a stringent regime of exercise, beauty therapy and a healthy, balanced diet. Whatever it is, it seems to be working wonders with the actress looking just as a fresh as she did all those years ago alongside Antonio Banderas in Desperado.


Though it may pain Grey’s Anatomy fans to know, the reality is that Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd wasn’t always that dreamy. The Maine-born actor is alleged to have undergone rhinoplasty surgery (a nose job) to reconstruct his nose and help add the cherry on top to his signature good looks.

Noticeably thinner at the tip and bridge in recent photos compared with older images, Dempsey has never clarified for certain whether or not he has gone under the knife and is unlikely to anytime soon.

Around the time Renee Zellweger faced increased scrutiny over her noticeably different appearance, Dempsey came out in support of his Bridget Jones’s Baby co-star and her right to privacy telling The Hollywood Reporter “She [Zellweger] should not have to face such scrutiny.” Well, this just got awkward.


Javier Bardem is just one of those guys. You know, the kind that ages like a fine wine, much to the chagrin of all those around them.

Being Bardem’s best friend sounds like a thankless task; constantly living in the shadow of someone who gets better and better looking with age while you grow old and grey. It’s probably the exact same scenario if you are one of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s pals, for that matter.

Still, while unsubstantiated rumours of nose jobs and other possible procedures persist, Bardem is undoubtedly all natural – there’s no amount of money on Earth that could create all those perfectly positioned wrinkles.

Like Brad Pitt, Bardem is evidently just one of those people born with good genetics – which probably goes some way to explaining why he’s a huge movie star too.


Friends mega-star Jennifer Aniston has made no secret of the fact she has gone under the knife. Prior to hitting it big on the smash hit sitcom, Aniston underwent the first of two nose jobs to entirely transform her face from the one that featured in the low-budget horror hit Leprechaun.

She then had a second nose job in 2008, in the wake of her divorce from Brad Pitt. That may not be the end of it though – Aniston is alleged to have undergone several more unconfirmed procedures to alter her appearance and maintain her youthful, eye-catching looks.

Regardless of whether or not Aniston has indeed gone under the knife on several more occasions, the reality is that it seems to be working: Aniston is as beautiful as ever.


Another ageless Hollywood star, Halle Berry looks as youthful today as she did all those years ago alongside Eddie Murphy in Boomerang.

While Catwoman may rank among the worst comic book movies of all time, the film’s anti-cosmetic beauty message appears to resonate with Berry’s own beliefs. The actress is another staunch anti-plastic surgery star, viewing these types of procedures as unnecessary and part of an alarming trend in the industry.

“You have this plastic, very much copycat sort of face that’s evolving, and that’s very frightening to me,” she told MSN. “It’s really insane, and I feel sad that that’s what society is doing to women.”

Still the only black woman to have won a Best Actress Academy Award, the truth is that Berry would rather be known for her achievements on the screen than her good looks. Luckily she’ll be remembered for both.


John Travolta has never been the most forward when it comes to his private life. Whether it’s his links to Scientology, his marriage or his hairline, Travolta has never been one for opening up and revealing all to the media.

Which is probably why he’s never spoken about his history with plastic surgery which, if pictures are to be believed, is pretty extensive. Among the procedures Travolta is alleged to have had are fact lifts, hair transplants and Botox injections.

Evidently eager to maintain the good looks he boasted in films like Grease and Saturday Night Fever, Travolta has undergone quite the transformation in recent years. While they might have left him feeling like his younger self again, the pictures suggest otherwise. Danny Zuko he most definitely is not.


Russell Crowe is a busy man. So busy, in fact, it seems highly unlikely that he would even have the time, let alone the inclination, to undergo plastic surgery.

Not content with starring in a string of hugely successful movies and even moving into work as a director, Crowe also plays as part of his own band and co-owns the Australian National Rugby League team the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Also known to enjoy a drink now and then, Crowe has cultivated an image as a man’s man – something that going under the knife would completely undermine.

More importantly, Crowe regularly struggles with his fluctuating weight and is not known for his careful, calorie controlled diet – and his fans love him all the more for it. There’s not a chance in hell of Crowe getting a facelift, nose job or Botox blast.


It’s remarkable to think that Jane Fonda has been making movies for over five decades. It’s even more remarkable that, despite her advancing years, she remains as spritely and alluring as ever..

The Oscar-winner has made no bones about the secret behind her on-screen longevity: plastic surgery. “I wish I were brave enough to not do plastic surgery but I think I bought myself a decade,” she told The Guardian in 2015.

Fonda certainly appears to be fighting fit, having earned acclaim on the hit Netflix series Grace and Frankie. And while the effects of the surgery are clear for all to see, few would disagree with the fact it’s clearly worked: Fonda is close to 80 years old yet could easily pass for someone 20 years younger.


Science Looks At Life And Death

Science Looks At Life And Death



Getty images.

We used to think of death as a moment. We reel when a beloved person meets a tragic end, be it in real life or our favorite show. The reality is, death is often a long, drawn out process that has to do with treatment, hospitals, and in the end, hospice care. Of course, it can strike suddenly too and without warning. But medical science has progressed to the point where we aren’t thinking of death so much as a moment anymore, but a process.

So does that mean we can slow it down or even pause it? According to Dr. Sam Parnia, in his book Erasing Death, new techniques are being used which can reinvigorate the body and the brain. He also believes that death could someday be reversible.

Dr. Parnia has done studies on sustained resuscitation. He says some patients can be brought back merely with CPR, hours after their heart stopped beating, without any permanent damage to the brain. He’s also studied near-death and out-of-body experiences to see if these hold any medical secrets, which could be used to tell us something about the condition. Could a near death experience signify resuscitation of the brain, Dr. Parnia wonders?

“We've never had an objective method to go beyond the threshold of death and study what happens both biologically and from a mental and cognitive perspective,” he told NPR’s Terry Gross on Fresh Air. “Therefore everything that we deal with is basically hearsay and people's own beliefs."

In his experiments, he found that cooling the body a few degrees Celsius can actually slow the rate of cell death, particularly of neurons in the brain. He isn’t alone. In fact, a number of different medical professionals are leaning toward longevity medicine.

Biologist Mark Roth, at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is working with animal subjects, putting them into suspended animation. The idea is that a patient who is in medical crisis could be put into a suspended state like hibernation, until he or she could be stabilized and in this way, get past it.

Though we tend to expire when the oxygen level is low, many animals go into a suspended state in extremely low oxygen environments. In the lab, one must enter into such an environment quickly. Roth is currently working with nematodes—a kind of roundworm—and expects to eventually work up to humans.

A vegetative state is another aspect of what we consider the gray zone between life and death. Medically, this is when sufficient damage to the brain has occurred, where the person isn’t aware of and can’t respond to their surroundings. They may breathe, have a heartbeat, move their eyes, even show reflexes, but they can’t respond to stimuli or interact with the world. Their brain stem is operating normally, but other parts of the brain may be damaged or inoperable. Most patients who enter such a state never leave it.

Now a curious case is shaking up how we consider this condition. A 35-year-old man “woke up” after being in a vegetative state for 15 years. In this study, recently published in the journal Current Biology, French researchers found a way to restore some consciousness to a patient, a feat considered impossible previously. It was thought that patients in this state for a year or longer couldn’t be revived.

Brain scans of a patient roused from a vegetative state through vargal nerve stimulation. Current Biology.

Angela Sirigu was the lead researcher. She and colleagues, at the of the Institut des Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod, in Lyon, accomplished this by stimulating the vagus nerve, one of the longest running in the body. It goes from the brain stem all the way to the gut and connects to most of the major organs along the way.

Unlike in the movies, where a patient miraculously shoots out of bed after years of being bedridden and unresponsive, Sirigu and colleagues say this was a gradual process. Researchers ran different tests to gauge his awareness.

The man’s eyes widened when someone approached him suddenly, seeing the person as a threat. He was able to stay awake for longer periods when someone read him a book. He could also follow objects with his eyes or turn his head when asked to. This and brain imaging evidence suggests their technique is reaping results.

Vagal nerve stimulation is already being used to treat depression, epilepsy, and other disorders. It activates the noradrenergic pathway, which initiates alertness and can even trigger the fight-or-flight response. Researchers admit little is known about how or why this has helped rouse the patient out of a vegetative state.

Yet, this study may change how medical professionals care for those who have entered such states. Sirigu said, “The sooner we can stimulate it (the vagus nerve), the sooner we can interfere with the body functions and restore some kind of physiological equilibrium.”

This is more of a proof-of-concept study. A larger sample is sorely needed. Sirigu says she and colleagues are putting together a larger, follow-up presently. This is just the beginning.

What’s more, press sensationalism aside, the patient was brought from a vegetative to a minimally conscious state, which isn’t exactly a full recovery. Even if these results can be repeated with other such cases, more studies will be needed to uncover exactly how the technique reaps results.

We’re still a long way away from the day when medical science is able to take the next step and fully restore a patient. But that day is likely to come.

To learn more about the gray areas between life and death, click here:





10 Incredible Things Coffee Does To Your Body

10 Incredible Things Coffee Does To Your Body


Coffee gets a bad rap. Maybe because it tastes so good. Things that taste good are almost always bad for us, right?

There are some less than awesome things that can be rightfully blamed on our favorite morning brew, like insomnia, jitters, and heartburn. But people tend to overlook the truly incredible things that coffee does for us.

Of the 150 million Americans who drink a collective 400 million cups of coffee each day, most of us only give it props for its magnificent flavor and its ability to help us wake up and stay that way. Beyond the glorious caffeine, however, a lot of components in coffee are actually hard at work behind the scenes benefiting us in the most surprising ways!

10 Improves Your Mood

As any true coffee lover can attest, there is just something special about that first cup of coffee in the morning that makes everything right with the world. Coffee improving one’s mood probably sounds like a “duh,” but there is actually some science behind it.

A study from 2011 shows that moderate coffee consumption decreases the risk of depression in women, lowers the risk of suicide in men, and generally puts you in a better mood by acting as the tastiest antidepressant on Earth.[1]

It isn’t just your imagination if that steaming cup of morning coffee makes you noticeably less irritable. It has actually been proven to positively enhance your mood by boosting serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine production.

9 Increases Mental Acuity And Brain Health

The effects that coffee has on the brain do not stop with putting you in a better mood. Coffee can also do wonders for long-term memory. Studies show that a boost of caffeine before a demanding task can increase processing and memory retention. It also helps with focus, reaction times, and reasoning.[2]

The good news does not stop there.

According to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, drinking at least three cups of coffee a day could stave off Alzheimer’s disease. If you have not poured yourself another cup yet, consider that coffee also targets the part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease, reducing the risk of the disorder by 25 percent in men and a little less than that in women.

8Helps To Prevent Diabetes

Coffee drinkers can take solace in knowing that their java addiction may be helping them to keep diabetes at bay. That tasty cup of joe targets your insulin behind the scenes by increasing adiponectin, one of the many things that helps to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.

Pair this with magnesium and antioxidants, and that simple cup of brewed beans becomes a powerful disease-fighting blend of awesomeness. The effects are temporary, of course. So it only makes sense that those who drink more coffee are better protected.

These rules do not apply for people who already have diabetes. In those cases, blood sugar levels from and sensitivity to coffee can vary from person to person.[3] Check with your doctor before you make any changes to your diet.

7 Coffee And Your Heart

People have long considered coffee to be bad for the heart, but recent studies have debunked these misconceptions. There appears to be no link between increased risk of heart disease and coffee. To the contrary, emerging evidence suggests that coffee is actually good for the heart.

Overall, coffee has been shown to be a powerful ally with respect to cardiovascular health. Although the effects are stronger in women, moderate coffee consumption has proven to slightly decrease heart attack risk for both genders.

If you really love coffee, here is some even better news: Three to five cups of coffee a day can significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke. That’s actually quite a bit of coffee if you think about it. As if this was not big enough news already, java also helps to decrease the risk of congestive heart failure and coronary heart disease.[4]

6 Protects Your Liver

If you are the type who likes to come home after a long, hard day and have a beeror two or too many, here is some good news for you. Coffee drinking can help save the liver you thought college may have destroyed!

Java reduces the levels of enzymes that indicate liver damage and works to fight off liver cancer and cirrhosis. Two cups a day can reduce the risk of hospitalization and mortality from liver disease by 50 percent.[5] This is huge!

Cafestol and kahweol are the two substances in coffee that are responsible for this potentially lifesaving perk. Like anything, the results will vary from person to person, so don’t go thinking that this is carte blanche to go on an epic binge topped off with a cup of joe. For optimal results, coffee consumption needs to be a lifestyle and not a quick fix.

Coffee has also been shown to decrease the risk of liver cancer. Three or four cups a day may decrease the risk by 38 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

5 It’s Good For Your Eyes

Step aside, carrots. There is a new player in town when it comes to improving eyesight.

For everyone who is sick of being told to eat carrots because they are good for your eyes, this one is for you. Scientists are discovering that coffee is actually amazing for your vision. Coffee contains chlorogenic acid (CLA), a powerful antioxidant shown to prevent eyesight deterioration from retinal damage.

People tend to forget that coffee has hundreds of other properties besides caffeine, and CLA is one of them. With raw coffee containing 7–9 percent CLA versus 1 percent caffeine, CLA is definitely the bigger player on the field here. Though CLA is proving to be a powerful ally in retinal health, there are still many unknowns.[6]

Who knows? This could lead to CLA in the form of eye drops one day for optimal effect.

4 Fights Cancer

Recent studies show that the antioxidants in coffee reduce the risk of some cancers. Better yet, it appears that the more you drink, the better protected you are. This means that four or more cups a day of your favorite brew could potentially spare your health and save your life. Some of the cancers from which coffee helps to safeguard you include oral, uterine, prostate, and brain cancers—and this is only a handful of them.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that coffee drinkers were less at risk for melanomas. As published in the Experimental Hematology & Oncologyjournal, one study found that caffeine curbs certain proteins in lung cancer cells, which can prevent these cells from growing and multiplying.[7]

According to other research, women who drink at least three cups of coffee a day lower their risk of developing endometrial cancer by 19 percent and experiencing a recurrence of breast cancer by 49 percent. However, it is important to note that the breast cancer patients were also taking the cancer drug tamoxifen.

3 Aids In Weight Loss

Obviously, a large latte with whip cream and extra shots of chocolate and syrup is not doing your waistline any favors. But for those who don’t mind plain black coffee, it is a whole different story. Coffee has been shown to slow weight gain, if only for the short term.

Chlorogenic acid, the compound in coffee that’s associated with improved eyesight, may also help to slow carbohydrate absorption. In addition, the caffeine in coffee can contribute to a metabolic rate increase of 3–11 percent. Caffeine speaks directly to the nervous system, telling it to break down fat cells, which directly leads to the burning of fat.[8]

Of course, the results will vary from person to person. The most profound results occurred in leaner individuals. Those carrying around more weight will not benefit as much. But every little bit counts, right?

Coffee also helps with weight loss by enhancing athletic performance. Studies show an 11–12 percent boost on average as java mobilizes fatty acids from fat tissues.

Before you go sucking down entire pots of coffee in hopes of a permanent trim figure solution, keep in mind that studies have only shown this to work temporarily. The body will eventually become immune to the effects of coffee, and it will cease to work as well as it may have earlier.

2 Gives Your Sex Life A Boost

Perhaps the most exciting perk on this list: Coffee makes you better in bed!

Ready for the steamy details? For women, drinking coffee increases the blood flow to the genitals, which means increased arousal. Never a bad thing. A cup of coffee 15 to 30 minutes before a quick romp in the sack will ensure optimal arousal in addition to a caffeine boost for energy! This benefit also extends to the casual coffee drinker who may only have one cup a week.

Men who drink three cups a day are less likely to deal with erectile dysfunction (ED).[9] This is great news. In the United States alone, 18.4 percent of men who are at least 20 years old suffer from ED. Caffeine relaxes the penile helicine arteries and increases blood flow to the area, making erection possible. The one exception to this is men who suffer from diabetes.

1 Lowers Risk Of Death

Take a minute to let this one sink in. Coffee may prevent death . . . for a while anyway.

Before you get too excited, coffee isn’t necessarily a fountain of youth, but it may be the closest thing we have to it. David Furman, PhD, and consulting associate professor at Stanford University, explains, “More than 90 percent of all noncommunicable diseases of aging are associated with chronic inflammation.”[10]

Why is this a big deal to coffee drinkers? Because consumption of coffee results in lower activity in gene clusters associated with the inflammatory protein IL-1-beta. Long story short: Inflammation is super bad, and drinking coffee reduces inflammation.

This perk occurs with decaf, too. In a study from the University of Southern California with over 180,000 participants, researchers found that drinking three cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of premature death by 18 percent. Even one cup a day lowered the risk by 12 percent.

Coffee may not help you to live forever, but it may tack on a little more time. Not to mention making each day just a little more enjoyable.

Kid Wakes Up From Surgery, Tells Nurse To Show Her Boobs

Kid Wakes Up From Surgery, Tells Nurse To Show Her Boobs


We’ve seen a lot of people say some crazy shit after waking up from surgery, but this baller just might be the funniest one yet.



“I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

“Can you see me?”


“Can I see you?”



“Because you need to rest.”


That’s some rather cute dialogue between a father and his son as he’s waking up from surgery. It really is. But it’s nothing compared to what happened once the nurse walked into the room.

“Hey bud!”

“How’s it going?”

“I heard you’re having a good time.”

“Oh, I’m having a good time all right.”

“You are?”



“Hell yeah. Show me your tits.”

That’s a clutch dad right there. I mean, not only does he make his boy apologize for asking to see that nurse’s cans, but he also continues to record his “higher than a motherfucker” son just in case he says something else degrading, stupid, funny or all of the above.


Dan Bilzerian Reveals He Had Two Heart Attacks After Four Day Sesh

Dan Bilzerian Reveals He Had Two Heart Attacks After Four Day Sesh

Dan Bilzerian has exactly hidden away from the fact that he likes to live his life in excess. If a party invite says bring a date, he'll take seven. If that same party says bring your own booze, he'll take a brewery along. And, of course, to arrive at the event in style, he'll buy something like a convertible limo helicopter.

He boasts his lavish lifestyle to his 22.6 million Instagram followers, but as we already know, what you see on social media usually isn't an accurate representation of reality.

This is the case for Bilzerian, who recently revealed that one heavy party session almost killed him.

Speaking to Graham Bensinger, he spoke of how his excessive use of cocaine and Viagra, as well as binge drinking over four days, resulted in two heart attacks.

At the time he was only 25, which goes to show just how much strain he was putting on his heart with the drugs.

He claims that he took six times the recommended dose of Viagra, a lot of cocaine, weed and drank for four days straight with about an hour's sleep. This led to a pain in his shoulder, which he shrugged off and decided to do press-ups to relieve.



When that didn't work and he started getting shortness of breath, he rang his mum and ended up at the hospital where doctors were allegedly reluctant to treat him.

Sure enough he'd suffered a heart attack, and following day had another one.

While lying in the hospital bed Bilzerian had to be honest with a doctor about what he'd been putting into his system, so in front of his mum, dad and girlfriend he admitted he'd done pot, coke and Viagra.

He claims the doctor was Conrad Murray, who would famously go on to be charged with involuntary manslaughter over the death of Michael Jackson, after he administered the singer with a lethal dose of propofol.


The health shock wasn't really a wake up call for Dan Bilz, who actually threw away the medication he was supposed to be on for life after a week. He was told by doctors that there was no problems with his heart and that the drugs are to blame for the attacks.

Because he survived the ordeal, which he was sure would be the death of him, he thought of himself as a 'bullet-proof tiger'.

Teacher With Rare Form Of Amnesia Goes Missing Amid Hurricane Destruction

Teacher With Rare Form Of Amnesia Goes Missing Amid Hurricane Destruction

 "It's definitely made me reconsider everything. Who was I before? Who was I then—is that part of me? Who am I now?" The New York Times reports Hannah Upp, a 32-year-old teacher in St. Thomas, disappeared Sept. 14, a week after Hurricane Irma hit the Virgin Islands. Her clothes, car, keys, cellphone, passport, and wallet were found at a beach where she had gone for a swim. Upp was still missing five days later when Hurricane Maria battered the Caribbean. Upp is far from the only person missing in the wake of the storms, but her case is unique in that she may not even know she's missing. Upp has dissociative fugue, a very rare type of amnesia made famous by the fictional Jason Bourne. "Normally, we forget things in little pieces," Dr. David Spiegel says. "These people forget things in large pieces that involve what they've done for the last year or two years."

In 2008, Upp was found floating face down in New York Harbor by a ferry captain. She had been missing for three weeks at that point and remembered nothing of that period. "I went from going for a run to being in the ambulance," Upp said after her rescue. Newsweekreports Upp disappeared again in 2013 in Maryland—this time for two days. Now friends and family are hoping Upp has once again entered a fugue state and didn't drown or fall victim to a crime. "My hope is that she found somewhere safe to hide," friend Maggie Guzman says. Official resources are stretched thin responding to the two hurricanes, so Upp's friends have been searching for her and putting up posters, hoping she sees one. "If she’s in her fugue state, it would at least get her to the point where she realizes something’s wrong," friend Jake Bradley tells the Virgin Islands Daily News.

New Medical Device Creates Precise Surgical Sutures

New Medical Device Creates Precise Surgical Sutures

This device may help you recover faster from surgeries!

15 Gynecologist Confessions That Will Gross You Out

15 Gynecologist Confessions That Will Gross You Out

Of all the medical professions today, people have always been somewhat fascinated by gynecologists. It’s not like brain surgery, optometry, or dentistry. There’s something a little taboo about it. People’s imagination tends to run wild whenever they think about what goes on behind the doors of a gynecology clinic. We have this idea in our minds that it’s all fun and games, and it involves one smoking hot doctor woman doing all kinds of unspeakable things to incredibly sexy girls. But as you’re about to find out, it’s not really like that at all. There are many things about this profession that aren’t pretty, sexy, interesting, or “risque.”

Like any other medical job, it involves people of all kinds, and that’s where it gets interesting. These gynecologists have seen basically everything under the sun, and while their confidentiality agreement prevents them from talking about their patients, there’s technically nothing stopping them from going on a website like Reddit and starting an AMA (ask me anything) thread. Some of the questions are pretty predictable, such as “What is the grossest thing you’ve ever seen.” Others are more specific. But one thing’s for sure – gynecology is a lot more disgusting than you probably imagined…

15. A Huge Ovarian Tumor

When gynecologists go on the Internet and ask people questions, one of the most common questions is “What is the grossest thing you’ve ever encountered?” This might not be the most intelligent question, and it pretty much appeals to the lowest common denominator, but one can’t deny that it’s the question that everybody probably wants to ask a gynecologist. So, when faced with this question, one gynecologist answered: “I have had to deal with a patient who had a testosterone secreting ovarian tumor that had her clitoris grow to a pretty large size.”

Wow. I don’t even know where to begin with this confession. First of all, she’s talking about an ovarian tumor, which is pretty gross. Second, the tumor has caused the clitoris to grow to a huge size. Just try to get that mental image out of your head. And third, the tumor secretes testosterone? I don’t even want to know what that means. And I’ll probably never look at a vagina the same way.

14. Huge Warts Down There

As previously mentioned, the most common question that people ask gynecologists is “What is the weirdest/grossest thing you’ve ever seen?” Luckily, there were a few gynecologists that decided to spill the beans on the Internet and give us the dirty details. What this means is there are a lot of weird things being talked about by gynecologists, not just one thing. When another gynecologist was asked that same question, they answered: “I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff, but one of the worst was someone who had genital warts the size of cauliflower florets that essentially replaced the entire lower vagina.”

This is another confession which is enough to make you barf. Genital warts are bad enough, but I’ve never heard of a case where they got as big as cauliflowers! That’s just insane! I bet this gynecologist’s eyes popped out of their head when they first laid eyes on them. Poor woman.

13. A Retained Tampon

Another gynecologist also went online to answer questions, and once again they were asked the common question, “What is the weirdest/grossest thing you’ve ever experienced in your line of work?” And once again, they had an answer that probably made a lot of people feel sick. Their answer was: “A retained tampon is probably one of the worst odors I have ever encountered in medicine.” 

Previous to seeing these gynecologist confessions, I had no idea that odor could be such a big deal in their line of work, but it makes total sense now that I think of it. After all, there’s a lot of bacteria down there, and that can cause a lot of odor. Especially if there is a “retained tampon” up there. And for this gynecologist to say that it’s the worst odor they “have ever encountered in medicine,” it must be a really bad odor. Because you just know that as a gynecologist, they must have encountered all kinds of odors throughout their career.

12. Persistent Arousal Syndrome

Gynecologists can experience all kinds of strange things. Sometimes, these are problems that we didn’t even know existed. One example is a gynecologist who confessed “I did have a patient who complained of constantly having orgasms to the point of discomfort. It’s something called “Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome” and I had no idea what to do for it. I had to send her to a specialist.”

Constantly having the big O might not be something that people would consider “gross” per se, but it definitely wasn’t pleasant for the woman experiencing it.  It might sound funny or even pleasurable to many people, but it’s a real problem! And this just goes to show that in many cases, gynecologists see such strange things that even they have no idea how to help. It must have been something that was unpleasant for both the doctor and the patient, as having orgasms constantly must have been pretty awkward for both parties.

11. The Real Statistics About HPV

One of the most shocking confessions from gynecologists concern not just one particular patient, but all of women in general. Because gynecologists see so many women on such a regular basis, they have a unique insight into what kind of problems women experience on average. You might be surprised how common certain illnesses are. One gynecologist confirmed a disturbing statistic that might make you a little more cautious with your sexual partners. But at the same time, how is it possible to avoid HPV if 80% of women have it? Anyway, here’s the confession: “It’s estimated that 80% of women will be infected by HPV some time in their lifetime, but I’d bet that it’s more than that. I pretty much tell patients that unless they are virginal or unless they and their husband were virginal when they met (and they’ve stayed in a monogamous relationship), they’ve been exposed to HPV at some point.”

10. The Exotic Grossness She’s Seen

One female gynecologist confessed all of the weird, gross things she’s ever seen in one epic quote: “I’m going to say all patients +400 lbs come to mind, but you know, there’s also some almost indescribable crap that you see in gynecology (cancer can actually be pretty disgusting). More exotic grossness would be a couple of dermoid tumors filled with jelly and hair… and a sort of mummified triplet that died in utero at about 15 weeks, that then delivered after its full-term siblings.”

This is almost too much to stomach. I never really realized that gynecologists have to examine 400 pound women before. Can you imagine what that would be like? Lifting up the flaps of fat and… Ew. But there’s more where that came from. She also talks about tumors filled with jelly and hair, and a “mummified triplet.” I don’t even want to think about this.

9. She Found An 8-Ball Up In There

When asked what the weirdest thing she’s found inside a vagina, one gynecologist revealed that she extracted an “8-ball (as in billiards). The general surgeons and ER docs pull much funnier things out of rectums than we do out of vaginas.”

I’m not sure how an 8-ball managed to get stuck up there. Was it a game of pool gone wrong? Was it the result of a wild night out, of which she has no recollection? And how on earth did it manage to get stuck up there? I guess we’ll never know. But perhaps the most disgusting thing about this is the fact that she admits that ER doctors pull much “funnier” things out of rectums that gynecologists do out of vaginas. Weirder than an 8-ball? I guess you have to let your imagination run wild in order to imagine what could possibly be stranger than an 8-ball. But I’m sure it happens! Imagine how embarrassing it would be to have your gynecologist pull that out of you!

8. Horror Pregnancy Story

Vaginal examinations are weird enough, as we’ve been finding out. But gynecologists also deal with pregnancies, and that’s when things start to get really gross. When asked about any horror stories regarding pregnancies, this gynecologist came up with a whopper: “Yes, and that has happened once — a patient with a placenta previa who was hemorrhaging and was only 21 weeks pregnant. We were barely keeping pace with her bleeding. I guess you wouldn’t call it a termination per se, but we delivered her by C-section even though the baby was clearly pre-viable. It was an awful case.”

This is both sad and disturbing. This just goes to show that being a gynecologist isn’t all fun and games, and it can lead to some pretty disturbing scenes. Many of the gynecologists who have gone on the Internet to answer questions have admitted that sometimes it’s hard to get to sleep at night. Experiences like these are why.

7. Seeing Your Patients At The Grocery Store Can Be Awkward…

Being a gynecologist is probably one of the more stigmatized medical professions. Despite this, one gynecologist went online and revealed that when he tells people about his job, he doesn’t really get any weird reactions. The only time it gets awkward is when he sees his patients at the grocery store or in other public places, as he admits. And he has a point. Imagine how weird that would be to see your gynecologist, knowing he’s seen your most intimate parts!

Here’s his confession: “Generally, I haven’t had any weird reactions to it. Sometimes if I see a patient at the grocery or someplace outside of the health care setting, the patient might act a little flustered, kind of like seeing your high school teacher in the grocery store. I can only think of once where a patient said quite loudly something along the lines of ‘Hey, weird to see you here since you’ve SEEN MY VAGINA!’ That flustered me a little bit.”

6. What It’s Really Like

Although questions like “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen?” or “What’s the strangest thing you’ve found inside a woman’s vagina?” are common, many people just want to know what it’s actually like to be a gynecologist. We all have our preconceptions and strange ideas about what actually happens inside that room, but the truth can only be divulged from a real gynecologist. Well, be careful what you ask about, because this gynecologist might have added in a little too much information when they explained what life was like as a gynecologist: “…You do your ob/gyn rotation and you kinda like it because you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and then all of a sudden, you’re running around a hospital at 2 a.m. covered in bloody amniotic fluid, thinking, well, crap.”

Suddenly, being a gynecologist seems a lot less sexy and glamorous, what with all the bloody amniotic fluid and stuff…

5. The Highs And Lows Of Being A Gynecologist

Being a gynecologist has its ups and downs. There are some days when you feel like you’re making a real difference. Other days, the work totally defeats you. One gynecologist who went online to answer questions was asked about their best and worst experiences throughout their career of being a gynecologist. The best experience was predictably heartwarming. But the worst experience was both sad and gross. “Best experience… saving a 17-year-old’s life sans hysterectomy after she showed up bleeding in my EC after a botched abortion…Worst experience(s)… delivering women w/ a full-term stillbirth.”

There probably isn’t much else more disturbing than a stillborn child. Imagine seeing that with your own eyes. It must have been so disturbing. I doubt she ever got that mental image out of her mind… I know that this confession alone is enough to put a lot of people off becoming gynecologists.

4. A Terrible Pregnancy

Some of the more elaborate procedures used by gynecologists to deal with pregnancy complications are a little disturbing. One gynecologist detailed her preferred method of dealing with a certain type of complication. Her method is the “laparoscopic salpingostomy,” which is just as gross as it sounds. While it usually isn’t too bad, this gynecologist admits there was one instance when things got a little…messy…

“Usually I can do a laparoscopic salpingostomy, which is a minimally invasive procedure that opens up the tube and takes the pregnancy out. Sometimes if bleeding is severe, you have to do an open procedure to save time. One time, during my training, we took out the embryo totally intact in its little sac during a emergency surgery for someone who was bleeding badly. It was kind of sad.”

Kind of sad? Isn’t that a little bit of an understatement? But I suppose these doctors are used to these sorts of things happening.

3. Some Women Can’t Reach The Big O

Gynecologists have seen it all, including some things that a lot of people would rather not even think about. In the case of this confession, it’s something that would make women in particular uneasy. She explains the case of a “cystocele repair,” something that women often get if they’ve had their g-spot removed. She is of course referring to the barbaric and senseless practice of female circumcision, which is still common in many countries. The aim is to prevent a woman from experiencing any kind of pleasure while they have sex. Here’s the quote from one gynecologist who talks about this practice: “I just hate to think of women who have, say, a cystocele repair thinking they can’t ever have an orgasm again because their G-spot got removed. There are nerves that run in the area… beneath the vaginal mucosa/muscularis… that are very sensitive and can effect orgasm, no doubt.”

2. Tearing During Pregnancy

Another thing that women would probably rather not think about is tearing during pregnancy. As many of you are probably aware, it’s pretty common during pregnancies for this to happen. The details of such a thing are enough to make people shudder, even if they’ll never have to actually experience pregnancy. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. According to this gynecologist, there’s a few ways to reduce the risk of tearing during childbirth: “As for tearing during delivery, there are several factors that will determine if you tear and any one of them can make a problem. 1. natural elasticity 2. size of baby 3. skill of delivery provider 4. speed of delivery. Prebirth stretching, olive oil, primrose oil are all common, but there are no scientific studies to demonstrate effectiveness. It is unlikely to cause harm, so do it if you feel it will help.”

1. A Rusty Safety Pin Got Stuck Up There

Of all the things gynecologists confess, one of the most common things that they talk about are forgotten tampons. This is probably because it’s one of the grossest things they experience throughout their career, but it might also be due to the fact that they’re actually pretty common occurrences! That’s right, according to this gynecologist, women tend to have a nasty habit of forgetting about their tampons! And as the others have noted, the smell is one of the worst things imaginable.

But that’s not all this particular gynecologist found. As it turns out, the strangest thing they ever came across while doing an examination was a rusty old safety pin. Wow. “Forgotten tampons are not rare. I see this once or twice a year. You can imagine the embarrassment of the patient. It doesn’t smell very good. I once removed a closed safety pin from the vagina of a 4-year-old. It was quite rusted and must have been there for at least a year.”





People do a lot of dumb, dangerous things to their bodies, which is why ‘Cracked’ consulted a medical doctor to talk about everything medical physicians and professionals all the world over would love to tell their patients about health, medicine and sticking things up their butt…if it didn’t threaten their job security.

Hospital Gets Death Threats Over Charlie Gard

Hospital Gets Death Threats Over Charlie Gard

Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental medical treatment rallied Sunday in London, while hospital officials say emotions are running so high in the case they have received death threats. A small group of about 20 activists supporting Gard's parents, including some from the United States, gathered Sunday afternoon outside the High Court in London where legal proceedings will resume Monday. Charlie has a rare genetic condition and suffers from brain damage. His parents are fighting to get him more medical care but Great Ormond Street Hospital officials say the experimental treatment won't work and will just cause the 11-month-old more suffering. They argue that his life support should be turned off and he should receive palliative care.

Hospital chairwoman Mary MacLeod said the London police have been contacted because of numerous threats received by the hospital's employees. "Staff have received abuse both in the street and online," she said. "Many of these messages are menacing, including death threats." Charlie's parents have lost all previous court cases, including one before the European Court of Human Rights, to force the hospital to let them bring their son to the United States for an experimental treatment. The loss in the European court, following an earlier defeat in Britain's Supreme Court, seemed final. But both Pope Francis and President Trump expressed an interest in Charlie's fate, and the hospital asked for a new court hearing because of what the family claimed was new medical evidence.

Catholic Doc Claims He Can Reverse Early Abortions

Catholic Doc Claims He Can Reverse Early Abortions

Several US states, including Georgia, Utah, and Idaho, have enacted laws or are considering bills allowing for "abortion reversals." Per the concept driven by California doctor George Delgado, if a woman takes only the first of two pills in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and regrets her decision, he'll pump her full of progesterone to try to counteract the first pill. Medical community members, however, say Delgado is "experimenting on women" and using a highly flawed clinical trial of just six pregnant women to spread his agenda, reports Marie Claire. Still, state governments are using it as the basis of bills requiring women who seek abortions to receive info about abortion reversals, with a disclaimer the procedure isn't scientifically vetted. "We're just saying you have the right to try. We're not saying it's going to work," GOP Rep. Ben Smaltz of Indiana said earlier this year.

Critics argue high levels of progesterone have yet to be tested for either safety or efficacy. The four women he wrote about who went on to carry to term (two didn't make it that far) had only taken the first pill, mifepristone, which is less than 50% effective on its own. (Abortion success rates shoot up to 97% when the second pill, misoprostol, is taken.) "Just as we have laws protecting babies who have already been born from being killed, we should have laws protecting unborn people from being killed," Delgado, a practicing Catholic, argues. He's also on the record calling contraception "evil," saying HIV-positive men shouldn't wear condoms when having sex with their wives because it's a "barrier" to the "conjugal embrace." His abortion-reversal hotline has received more than 1,800 calls since 2012, 600 of them in 2016 alone, with women paying $200 to $1,500 for out-of-pocket treatment.

Human Life May Have No Limit

Human Life May Have No Limit


Good news for those making plans for their 110th birthday: The human lifespan is perhaps far more robust than previously thought. The Guardian reports that new research disputes a high-profile claim last year that the human lifespan has maxed out at 114.9 years. In an extraordinary scientific feud, five research teams banded together to trash that conclusion, publishing their findings in the journal Nature, which is where the original study appeared. Author Jim Vaupel, a specialist in aging at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany, tells the paper there's no evidence for an upper limit on human longevity. And if there were, he adds, "it is above 120, perhaps much above—and perhaps there is not a limit at all."

Vaupel calls the original study led by geneticist Jan Vijg of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York "the worst piece of research I've ever read" in Nature, adding that he was "outraged" that the journal would publish "such a travesty." Vijg, who's standing his ground, had used existing data to show that after a period of steadily rising longevity, humans appeared to hit a ceiling of 115 in the mid-'90s. But the new papers pooh-pooh the plateau prediction and, in a sci-fi twist, suggest humans could be blowing out 150 candles by the year 2300. Vijg suggests his nitpicky critics didn't read his work properly, and perhaps have issues with their own mortality. "When you look at these super-old people, there are not many of them," he says. "That's kind of the point, isn't it?"

Just Dan Bilzerian And Mel Gibson Hanging Out, Getting Stem Cell Infusions In Panama As Boys Do

Just Dan Bilzerian And Mel Gibson Hanging Out, Getting Stem Cell Infusions In Panama As Boys Do


When groups of guys hang out, usually it’s watchin’ sports and eating burgers, crackin’ open a couple cold ones with the boys. But what about when you’re fabulously wealthy like Dan Bilzerian and former movie star Mel Gibson? Rather than sittin’ in the man cave with a bag Doritos playing Xbox, you jump on your Gulfstream to Panama for stem cell infusions, as (very, very rich) boys do:

Getting stem cell infusions in Panama. Mel’s 99 year old father was being pushed into the stem cell clinic by a nurse in a wheelchair and a month later he put the nurse in the wheelchair and pushed her around. It can cure autism, knee/shoulder/spinal injuries, multiple sclerosis, and the list goes on. Sucks that these puss bags in the US are taking forever to approve it…

Joe Rogan’s podcast talks with Dan Bilzerian. They talked quite a while about the magic of stem cell infusion, which Dan says helped him rebound in lightning fast time from multiple injuries. It’s also known for helping to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Kind of a weird “hanging out” activity, but hey — nothing like some stem cell injections before a couple of cold ones with the boys.


Potential Cancer Fighter in the Pantry: Red Onions

Potential Cancer Fighter in the Pantry: Red Onions - 


Have an appetite for onions? Your body could be benefitting in ways scientists are just beginning to understand. In the latest study on what may well be a superfood, scientists at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, report in the journal Food Research International that red onions in particular boast an ability to disrupt cancer cell communication and promote a generally poor environment for cancer cells, "which inhibits growth." The team was looking specifically at colon cancer, but they found that the onion cells are just as good at killing breast cancer cells. The trick, reports Huffpost, will be to extract the key ingredient, dose it just right, and use it medicinally.

That key ingredient is quercetin, a flavonoid already known for its cancer-fighting properties. This study finds that onions in general have unusually high levels of quercetin compared to other foods, and that Ontario onions in particular have high levels of the compound compared to onions grown elsewhere. But red onions also boast high levels of anthocyanin, a plant pigment that help make quercetin molecules better scavengers. (Because anthocyanin helps make foods colorful, it makes sense to the researchers that red onions, which are so dark, have the greatest cancer-fighting potential.) It's unclear whether red onions from outside of Ontario will be as effective, but Time reports the researchers think it's likely, and plan to start clinical trials.

Doctors Removed This From Patient ‘Constipated’ For Two Years

Doctors Removed This From Patient ‘Constipated’ For Two Years


A team of surgeons had to remove an incredible 30 inches of a man’s large intestine after diagnosing him with a rare condition that caused his excrement to become stuck inside him.

The 22-year-old unnamed patient is believed to have been born with the condition known as Hirschsprung’s disease – or HD – characterised by  a lack of nerves in some muscles inside his colon, meaning his stool can’t pass.

As a result, the man’s abdomen began to bulge at a very young age – to the point where people thought he appeared heavily pregnant – and he had to rely on laxatives to force bowel movements.

Doctor Yin Lu and his team of experts at the 10th People’s Hospital of Shanghai, in East China, said they were stunned by the size of the man’s abdomen, saying ‘it looked like it could explode at any time’.

The medic’s instinct told him the patient was suffering from a form of megacolon and tests quickly confirmed the young man had months’ – if not years’ – worth of faeces trapped in a section of his colon.

He was taken into what was eventually a three-hour surgery to have 76 centimetres (30 inches) of his large intestine removed.


It was stitched closed at either end to prevent his stool from falling out and was in the end measured at some 13 kilogrammes (28 lbs).

The patient is stable and is expected to make a full recovery.

HD is said to occur in roughly one out of every 5,000 birth and is usually diagnosed in children; however, some sufferers do not realise they have the condition until they reach adulthood.

Michigan Doctor May Have Cut 100 Girls' Genitals

Michigan Doctor May Have Cut 100 Girls' Genitals


In April, a Michigan doctor was charged with performing genital mutilation on two young Minnesota girls. On Wednesday, feds dropped what the Detroit Free Press calls a "bombshell" in the case: They estimate not two but up to 100 girls had their genitals cut by Dr. Jumana Nagarwala. "The Minnesota victims were not the first victims," Assistant US Attorney Sara Woodward told a judge as part of what is the first case of its kind to be prosecuted in federal court. The government says it has evidence of eight victims (though the Detroit News notes the case at hand still just involves the two). The feds arrived at their estimate based on defendant Dr. Fakhruddin Attar's alleged statement that he gave Nagarwala use of his Livonia clinic as many as six times a year over a dozen years.

The allegation came as Woodward argued Attar and his wife, who is accused of helping to calm and restrain the girls during the procedure, should not be released on bail in advance of the October trial. A judge disagreed; they'll be on house arrest going forward, and barred from using the Internet. The prosecution argues the three, members of an Indian-Muslim sect called the Dawoodi Bohra, illegally cut the girls' genitals as part of a religious rite. The defense counters they simply underwent what the News terms a "benign" procedure that involved scraping the mucous membrane of the girls' genitalia; lawyers say what was removed was then deposited on gauze pads and returned to their mothers for burial.

Man Who Received New Penis Is 'One of the Happiest Patients'

Man Who Received New Penis Is 'One of the Happiest Patients'


"He is certainly one of the happiest patients we have seen in our ward,” Seeker quotes Dr. Andre van der Merwe as saying. Van der Merwe and his surgical team recently completed their second successful penile transplant—this time on a 40-year-old man who lost his penis 17 years ago during a botched circumcision ritual. The team performed the world's first penile transplant in 2014. The unnamed patient is doing well and should have complete sexual and urinary function within six months. It's said he got "quite emotional" when he saw his new penis, the International Business Times reports. "For these men the penis defines manhood and the loss of this organ causes tremendous emotional and psychological distress‚” Times Live quotes Dr. Amir Zarrabi as saying.

The world has only seen three penile transplants—one was performed last year in Boston, UPI notes—but there's a big need for the surgery in South Africa, where it's estimated there are up to 250 penile amputations every year due to traditional circumcision rituals. As an initiation rite, young men are circumcised with a spear tip then sent into the wilderness for weeks, during which time infection often sets in. The transplant procedure requires reconnecting tiny blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and the urethra and making sure blood can flow for erections. It's complicated by cost, a lack of donors, and the need to use medical tattooing to match skin tones. Doctors are trying to figure out how to reduce the cost while increasing donors.

Website Debuts to Help US Women Carry Out DIY Abortions

Website Debuts to Help US Women Carry Out DIY Abortions

A Dutch organization that advises women on reproductive rights has now launched a website to help US women terminate pregnancies on their own. The Guardian reports on the "Self-Managed Abortion: Safe and Supported" portal, or SASS, set up by Women Help Women. Through it, 23 trained counselors will answer questions and give advice if women have already decided to take the drug misoprostol. The medication, which, when taken alone or in combination with mifepristone, keeps a pregnancy from happening, is only legal in the US at medical facilities, though it can be purchased OTC in Central American nations. A Women Help Women rep says the idea for the site came about after a Guardian story documenting a Texas woman's trip to Mexico to get the drug, and all the questions she had once she got it.

The site won't provide pills, and organizers say they won't even suggest women take them—they're just there to keep women safe if they've already decided to. "It's worse to just remain silent," says a UC San Francisco obstetrics professor who calls misoprostol a "very safe and effective" drug (though it's more effective taken with mifepristone, which isn't as easy to obtain). For women who do have complications and must seek medical care, the Washington Post notes they'll be advised that drug-induced and spontaneous abortions typically look the same, and that the drug isn't detectable via drug test. Abortion foes note the meds can be dangerous if not taken correctly or if taken late in the gestation period, and that this site could put women at risk by providing info on taking them. Women Help Women is being cautious in case of legal ramifications: Its servers are located outside the US, as are its two dozen or so staffers.

A Weed Trial For Veterans With PTSD Has Been Approved

A Weed Trial For Veterans With PTSD Has Been Approved


After a seven year wait, a cannabis trial for veteran's with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Vice has reported.

A research and educational non-profit organisation, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), spent the last seven years advocating for a FDA-approved trial investigating weed as a treatment for PTSD.

The organisation was finally able to begin enrolling veterans to a trial February. They have so far signed up 12 volunteers onto the programme.

In 2015, a year after the end of the conflict in Afghanistan, it was claimed an average of six British military veterans per day were coming forward with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Mental health issues had also risen by 26 percent compared to the previous year.

And in the US it is estimated 11 to 20 percent of the US veterans who invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The condition is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after witnessing extremely distressing events - like military combat - and can cause significant distress across a variety of symptoms, including flashbacks, emotional numbing, nightmares, outbursts of anger, depression and anxiety.

Back in February, a former SAS veteran broken cover to warn that the mental health challenge facing soldiers today present a 'ticking time bomb' which could have serious implications.

U.S. soliders of 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division patrol during a search operation to hunt members of Taliban in Nerkh district of Wardak province in west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 1, 2009.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Credit: PA Images

The former SAS officer, whose identity cannot be revealed, believed that it's how the armed forces are being used today that's largely responsible.

"The tempo of war in Afghanistan was a massive factor when you look at the increased rates of PTSD we're seeing today," he says passionately. "If you're always fighting, then you become fried and you just never quite recover. There is no conscious decompression, no time to come to terms with loss of comrades or difficult incidents.

"I knew a couple of snipers in Afghanistan that ended up being fried. They had everything thrown at them and no respite, so subsequently they just had nothing left. You could see it in their eyes, and I don't think they would have ever been the same again. Add that to the type of wars we're fighting - long, drawn out, political affairs with no real end game or victory - and the mental toll is enormous. We're talking long-term damage to fighting spirit and morale."

But the soldier's knowledge of PTSD and other mental health issues extends back much further than Afghanistan - and is also much more personal. In 1982, after joining the army, he was deployed to the Falklands having turned just 20 years old. It was an experience that would forever change him.

"Going to war was a major event in my life and had a profound effect on me," he explains. "I didn't realise it at the time but high levels of fear and anxiety kicked in, and I was in a bad way after that war. Straight afterwards, not knowing or understanding what I was going through, I just ploughed on with my job. Then I collapsed one day and developed cardiac arrhythmias. At night, I couldn't switch the light off for fear of the dark. But I hid all of this, and suppressed it all with sheer willpower. I didn't know what else to do back then."

Over the last decade, the Ministry of Defence has incorporated information about mental health issues on many of the armed forces websites. Awareness, diagnosis and treatment rates have all significantly increased, too.

Currently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, alongside Prince Harry, are also working with Heads Together in a bid to further remove the stigma surrounding mental health and get people talking about it.

Many veterans suffering from the psychiatric disorder self-medicate with cannabis already, however there is no evidence at this time that marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD.

However, this lack of evidence could be due in part to a lack of research into the drug's effectiveness, hence the study. The trial presents a potential solution and one that MAPS believes is worth exploring.

FASCINATING FACTS OF THE DAY: 20 Eye-Opening Medical Facts That You Should Keep In Your Mind

FASCINATING FACTS OF THE DAY: 20 Eye-Opening Medical Facts That You Should Keep In Your Mind


The human body is a wonderful creation. Evolution over millions of years has created such a complex system that we haven’t yet known all the mysteries it beholds. Each time we discover something new about the body, we are astonished and awestruck. The advances in various sciences have created a vast store of knowledge to study and learn, from which we were able to gather a few fascinating medical facts…

1. If you’ve ever noticed a single pupil appear white instead of red in a child’s photograph taken with flash, it could be Retinoblastoma – a type of eye cancer. In a normal eye the reflection is red instead of white because of the blood vessels.

Image Source: kidseyetumor

Retinoblasts are fast growing cells that grow and mature, forming the retina of a baby during the early stages of pregnancy. However, in some cases they do not stop dividing and reproducing, resulting in a malignant tumor in the eye – known as Retinoblastoma. Mostly, children who are 5 years or less fall victim to it with around 200 to 300 being diagnosed positive each year. Retinoblastoma is very rare among adults. In children it occurs 75% of the time in one eye , while 25% in both. It could also be inherited if at least one of the parents had it. (source)

2. It is possible to transplant a toe in place of a lost thumb through microsurgery. The surgery was first successfully performed on a rhesus monkey in the year 1964.

Image Source: cpmc, slightlywarped

Toe to thumb transplantations have been taking place since many years. The thumb is the most important finger in the hand as it has the ability to oppose the force of the rest of the fingers, making it possible for a hand to hold, press or pick something. The thumb is said to be responsible for more than 50% of a hand’s function and agility. In case of congenital anomalies or traumatic loss of the thumb, the great toe is particularly suitable to replace it. Doctors perform what is known as microsurgery to connect the nerves, small arteries and veins of the hand to those of the transplanted toe. Later the toe adapts to the structure and decreases in size. (source)

3. High levels of stress can literally kill your brain. Studies have found that prolonged exposure to stress can affect the brain’s ability to learn, control impulses, reason or remember by permanently damaging your neurons.

Image Source: huffingtonpost, thinglink

Cortisol, one of the hormones released while you are experiencing stress can damage the Hippocampus by stopping new neurons from generating and destroying the existing ones. Other areas that are negatively affected by stress include Amygdala and Medial Prefrontal Cortex by increasing and decreasing their sizes respectively. The Medial Prefrontal Cortex is responsible for complex cognitive behavior, social interactions, decision making, working memory and controlling impulsive behavior. Amygdala is responsible for the formation of memories associated with emotional events, whereas Hippocampus is responsible for learning and memory.(source)

4. The bridge of the nose and the corners of the mouth form what is known as the danger triangle of the face. In rare cases, popping a pimple in this area can lead to brain infections, facial paralysis or even death.

Image Source: wikpedia commons, orasurgery

Because of the way the blood supply to the nose and the area around it functions, it is very likely for infections to spread to the brain from that area. There is a vein that connects the facial vein with the cavernous sinus which is very close to the brain and the inside layers called meninges that surround the brain. Though popping a pimple is a very common practice to quickly get rid of a pimple, if not properly done, it keeps the surface of the skin open. The exposed surface might get infected which could be carried back to the cavernous sinus and infect the meninges.(1, 2)

5. Applying sugar on wounds can heal them by drying them out, promoting fresh tissue growth and dehydrating infection-causing bacteria.

Image source: pixabay

Almost 4,000 years ago, Egyptians used to treat battle wounds by packing them with sweet substances like sugar. According to Professor Rudy Siewert, the chairman of the department of surgery at Klinikum Rechts Der Isar in Munich, the simple and age-old treatment is now coming back to use. Some doctors in Europe have started giving it a try. Dr. Richard A. Knustson, an orthopedic surgeon in Greenville, was frustrated with wounds infected with resistant bacteria when he tried using a paste which he made by mixing sugar with iodine solution. He has used it on about 6,000 patients with all kinds of wounds including burns.(source)

Woman Had 'Teeth' In Her Vagina And Ripped Her Boyfriend's Penis

Woman Had 'Teeth' In Her Vagina And Ripped Her Boyfriend's Penis


Ah sex. Fraught with sexual insecurities, we're worried about whether our bodies look good, our pubic hair, our performance, whether we're sexy enough. But are you worried about vaginas with teeth?

No? Well you will be. It's called vagina dentata.

It's a scary folk tale about a woman's vagina with teeth - supposed to terrify men into staying away from unknown women.

And now it's come true for one poor woman and her injured lover.

Theresa Bartram and her partner ended up covered in blood after an amorous encounter.

She wrote on facebook: "Became physically ill, experienced violent electric pains. [I was] told I was imagining it... saw psychologists n psychiatrists and told I was over anxious and if gps say I'm fine then I must be. I bloody wasn't.

My white cells were always sky high. I could barely stay awake. I couldn't think. Violent nerve pains in groin, perineum and down legs.
I eventually got a gp who heard my pleas n got me to a surgeon who took one look and confirmed it was meshed up down there.
He took it out just over a yr ago. Abdominal and vaginal cut. Big caesar scar.
I was full of pus. Smelled v bad for a long time. Foreign body response syndrome as well."

And if you thought that having teeth in your vagina was bad enough, it actually gets worse. The reason that her partner got injured was because of a botched surgery on her bladder. Years before, she got a plastic mesh sling called a transvaginal tape (TVT) to stop her leaking. Unfortunately the mesh was fitted too low down and eroded through her vaginal wall.

Basically she has mesh in her intimate lady area.

While she knew that injury was caused by the mesh, her doctors assured her everything was fine.

Teresa and her partner stopped having sex and split up half a year later. Obviously a bit distraught, she stopped eating and stayed single. Nightmare situation - especially if your doctor isn't helping.

But the story gets even worse! Two years ago, her vagina began leaking a green, foul-smelling puss.

The poor woman. So the doctors decided that yes, actually something was up the mesh was removed urgently.

It had gone through the belly button side of her vaginal wall, causing an abscess which turned septic.

Feared US Outbreak Of Fatal Fungus Confirmed

Feared US Outbreak Of Fatal Fungus Confirmed


The CDC warned American hospitals last year to keep an eye out for the emergence of a possibly fatal, drug-resistant yeast infection, and now the agency's fears may be realized. CDC officials tell the Washington Post that 35 patients in the US have been stricken with Candida auris, a fungus that can cause bloodstream, wound, and ear infections, with another 18 people harboring the microbe without becoming ill. Some strains of the pathogen don't respond to the three main classes of antifungal drugs, and based on the small number of cases health officials have had the chance to review, 60% of patients hit with C. auris have died (though the agency notes many of those patients had other serious medical issues they were contending with). The fungus is contagious and durable, especially in health care facilities, where it can stick around on furniture and other equipment for months.

The first C. auris strain was reported in 2009 in a Japanese man, and it has since spread around the globe, including to Colombia, India, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Pakistan, South Korea, Venezuela, and the UK. The first US case was reported in 2013, and the CDC's latest report places 28 of the incidents in New York state, with other affected states including New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois. CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat said at a recent briefing that "scary," "difficult to combat" drug-resistant microorganisms are on the rise, per the Post. Some good news is that C. auris hasn't morphed yet into new strains, and most people's chances of contracting it are very low, with it only affecting "the sickest of the sick," says CDC infectious disease specialist Tom Chiller. Also encouraging: a recent study IDing an antifungal that may prove useful.


France Just Made All Of Its Citizens Organ Donors

France Just Made All Of Its Citizens Organ Donors


Thanks to a new law, every French citizen has automatically become an organ donor.

The rule, which came into effect on January 1, sees France follow in the footsteps of Spain and Austria when it comes to "presumed consent", which means anyone can become an organ donor when they die unless they choose not to.

Image: PA

If French citizens want to take themselves off the list, they will have to sign up to the National Rejection Register, which doctors will check at the time of death before factoring in organ or tissue removal.

The Guardian reports 150,000 have already signed up to the register.

If unable to sign, people can also write a refusal which can be left with a relative, or similarly make on oral testimony to them.

Back in 2008, the UK rejected a system of presumed consent on the grounds of public awareness about organ donation between more important.

In 2015, Wales overturned it and became the first nation in the UK to implement the system.


Everywhere else in the UK must register as a donor.

According to NHS Blood and Transplant, 6,416 people are currently waiting for a transplant in the UK, according to NHS Blood and Transplant.

CBD: Marijuana Without The High

CBD: Marijuana Without The High

When most people hear about marijuana, they think about the high caused by THC. But what if marijuana didn’t cause a high? Well it can happen, with a little cannabinoid called CBD.

Filling A Cavity May Never Be The Same

Filling A Cavity May Never Be The Same

A novel therapy holds real promise in changing the way dentists treat your cavities—they'd get the cavities to fill themselves. As the Guardian reports, researchers at King's College London found that they could stimulate stem cells within the teeth to regenerate through a relatively simple approach: They insert a tiny drug-soaked sponge in the cavity. "The sponge is biodegradable, that's the key thing," researcher Paul Sharpe tells the BBC. "The space occupied by the sponge becomes full of minerals as the dentine regenerates so you don't have anything in there to fail in the future." In their study, the drug used was tideglusib, which has been used in clinical trials as a treatment for dementia and Alzheimer's.

Having a tooth refill itself naturally is far preferable to the usual treatment of filling the cavity with some kind of amalgam that raises the risk of related problems down the road. "This simple, rapid natural tooth repair process could thus potentially provide a new approach to clinical tooth restoration," write the researchers in Scientific Reports. Also promising is that because the drug already has been proven safe for clinical trials, the turnaround to real-world applications could happen relatively quickly. One caveat: The study was on mice, and researchers can't say for sure yet whether they'd get the same results in larger, human cavities.

Those Vitamins You're Taking Probably Aren't Doing Jack Squat To Improve Your Health

Those Vitamins You're Taking Probably Aren't Doing Jack Squat To Improve Your Health

 Unless a medical professional has advised you to take a particular supplement, those little shiny pills aren't doing anything but costing you cash.

13-Month-Old Twin Boys Born Conjoined At Head Are Successfully Separated

13-Month-Old Twin Boys Born Conjoined At Head Are Successfully Separated


Jadon and Anias McDonald were born connected at the head. The 13-month-old twins underwent separation surgery on Thursday and, after a 16 hour surgery, have been separated. Immediately following the procedure, doctors started on reconstructive skull surgery. Jadon emerged from the procedure at 7:40 AM while the boys' mother, Nicole, report Anias is still in surgery with no estimate as to when he'll be out. The surgery was led by expert Dr. James Goodrich who has now performed the operation seven times.

10 People Who Performed Surgery On Themselves

10 People Who Performed Surgery On Themselves


We try to refrain from giving medical advice on this website because – well, because we’re not doctors. If we were doctors we wouldn’t be writing articles about boobs and fails and the other wonders of the world. So you should know right away that the surgical procedures in this piece are things you absolutely should not try at home. That didn’t stop the ten men and women we’re about to introduce you to, though. They each had a problem that only surgery could solve, but instead of going to the doctor they chose to just do it themselves, to varying effect.

Zheng Yanliang


The American health care system has pretty deep flaws, sure, but it’s not like the glorious People’s Republic of China is doing much better. Just ask Zheng Yanliang, who was diagnosed with massive, painful arterial thrombosis in his legs but couldn’t afford the surgery to take care of the situation. Doctors told him that the condition was quite rare and he wasn’t likely to live more than a month. So what did he do? Using a paring knife, a hacksaw and a backscratcher wrapped in a dishtowel, Yanliang cut off his own damn leg. The pain was so intense that he lost four molars from gripping his jaw so hard. Known as a neighborhood tough guy, the one-legged Yanliang is now dealing with an infection in the other leg.

Evan O’Neill Kaine


Not all self-surgeries are carried out by amateurs. Evan O’Neill Kaine was one of the most respected practitioners of his era, and when he required an appendectomy in 1921 he took it as an opportunity to prove a point. Instead of letting a colleague do the work, Kaine simply numbed the area with local anesthetic and took the appendix out himself. The operation went uneventfully, with the exception of a stray intestine popping free through the incision and having to be pushed back into place. The surgeon explained that he both wanted to understand how patients felt during an operation as well as test the efficacy of local painkillers.

Jan de Doot


Stones are a hell of a thing, and back in olden times people didn’t realize that diet contributed to them. Dutchman Jan de Doot had been under the knife for surgeries before, but when he developed a sizable stone in his urinary tract, he decided to take matters into his own hands. A blacksmith, de Doot first forged his own custom surgical knife. He then cut an incision in his perineal area (you might know it as the taint) and started moving his legs up and down to dislodge the stone from his bladder. Unfortunately, it was a big one – the size of a hen’s egg – so he eventually had to reach in and pull it out. Ouch.

Dwain Williams


Plastic surgery is one of those things where you want an experienced hand on the scalpel, especially around the face. But when Fort Lauderdale man Dwain Williams was quoted $5,000 to clean up scar tissue on his forehead from an old accident, it was way outside his budget. So he decided to take matters into his own hands, using a box cutter to hack away at the mass and recording the whole procedure for a grisly video that he posted to viral fame on YouTube. It took a few hours to get all of the scar tissue out, and Williams claims to be very happy with the end result.

Sampson Parker


Amputation is one of those surgeries that’s a pretty big deal, and having to do it to yourself is pretty nuts. Farmer Sampson Parker didn’t have much of a choice, though. In 2007, Parker was working in his cornfield when some stalks got jammed in his corn picker. He reached in to get them out, but the rollers sucked his hand in. He yelled for help, but things got worse when sparks from the machine lit the field around him on fire. Knowing it was a life or death scenario, he pulled out a pocketknife and sawed through his arm to free it. When it got down to the bone, Parker brutally broke it by dropping all his weight to the ground. He was able to drive his truck to the middle of a nearby road and get the attention of passers-by to take him to the hospital.

Jerri Nielsen


We kind of take it for granted that if we need a doctor, one is probably within driving distance. But what if you’re stationed at the Scott-Amundsen Antarctic Research Station, possibly the most remote location on the planet? Dr. Jerri Nielsen was there in 1999 when she noticed a mysterious lump in her breast. Planes can only land at the station four months out of the year, so she was isolated from any potential cancer treatment. At first, Nielsen started preparing for her own death, but then she rallied, trained a carpenter and welder to assist her, and cut out the lump to perform a biopsy on it. She then began a course of self-administered chemotherapy until the weather calmed enough to fly in another doctor.

Ines Ramirez Perez


When you have a baby inside you for nine months, your top priority is getting that little bugger out. But for Ines Ramirez Perez, her new addition was being pretty stubborn. Trapped in a rural cabin in southern Mexico with no doctor for miles and no transportation, Ramirez Perez put herself in the history books by becoming the first woman known to have tried to perform a Cesarean section on herself and survive. Using a kitchen knife, she sliced open her abdomen and pulled little Orlando from her uterus, stitching up the incision with an ordinary needle and thread before passing out. Thankfully, she was brought to medical professionals the next day who cleaned up any potential problems.

Leonid Rozgov


Let’s head back to Antarctica for another dude isolated from medical help with a serious problem on his hands. Soviet scientist Leonid Rozgov was part of the twelfth Russian expedition to the South Pole, but he quickly knew something was wrong when he started feeling weak and nauseous. The culprit: an inflamed appendix, which had to come out. With an assistant holding a mirror to help him see, Rozgov dosed himself with a local anesthetic and cut through his abdominal wall. Eventually he dispensed with the mirror entirely and did the rest of the operation by touch alone, removing his inflamed appendix which was just a day from bursting. After the incision was sewn up and the room sterilized, Rozgov finally gave himself painkillers and passed out.

Graham Smith


Sometimes self-surgery happens as a result of people running out of patience. Graham Smith had received an abdominal operation back in 2001, but the surgeon left a length of suture in his guts that caused him pain and discomfort. In 2011, the surgical thread started sticking out through his skin, but for whatever reason no medical professional got it out. That drove Smith, an engineer, to basically invent his own surgical tools and take the cord out himself. Because the stitches were knotted together, he had to unravel them as he pulled them out or risk a loose fragment causing more infection. The operation was a success, but his physician wasn’t too happy about Graham’s initiative.

Amanda Feilding


Let’s close this off with perhaps the most terrifying form of self-surgery we’ve ever heard of: putting a damned drill into your brain. Amanda Feilding is a proponent of the medical practice of trepanation, which basically entails taking a drill to your skull to “release the pressure” in there. In 1970, Amanda filmed herself performing the operation for a short film entitled “Heartbeat In The Brain.” It’s tough to watch – as you’d expect for a woman drilling through her forehead – but she claims that the operation was a success and the hole restored the “full pulse pressure” of her heartbeat, preventing brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.

10 Unsolved Mysteries Of The Human Body

10 Unsolved Mysteries Of The Human Body


Despite huge advancements in science and our understanding of the human body, there is still plenty we simply cannot answer. Why do we yawn and what is deja vu?

10 Human Test Subjects Whose Deaths Left A Lasting Legacy

10 Human Test Subjects Whose Deaths Left A Lasting Legacy


Over the centuries, the medical field has seen incredible advancements. Unfortunately, those advancements haven’t come free, and there are countless individuals who have paid the ultimate price for making the world a safer, healthier place. For some, their deaths have saved many other lives and their sacrifices have not been in vain.

10 Arthur Bacot


Photo via Wikipedia

Arthur Bacot was a clerk living in London in the early 1900s, but his true passion was entomology. He published a number of works on the subject, and in 1910, he was asked by the Lister Institute and the Indian Plague Commission to work with fleas to discover how plague was transmitted.

He went on to work with lice, experimenting with his personal flock. Bacot raised the lice in cardboard boxes and cloth bags suspended under his clothes, allowing them to feed off his blood.

When Bacot and his associates headed to Egypt in 1922 to study typhus-infected lice collected from a public bathhouse, Bacot was bitten by the creatures. He ultimately died from typhus, but his work considerably advanced the world’s knowledge of how typhus and other diseases are transmitted.


9 Dr. William Stark


Photo credit: Spy Garden

In the 18th century, Dr. William Stark began a series of experiments to see what would happen to him when he ate a severely restricted diet. Unfortunately, the answer was that he died.

His work was published after his death. It included extensive documentation on everything from exactly how many ounces of food and water he consumed to some of the most detailed information we have on what happens to the human body when nutrition is severely limited. For his first diet, he consumed only bread and water as a baseline. Eventually, he added other foods like boiled beef, suet, eggs, and cheese.

He didn’t include fruits and vegetables, and Stark soon recorded his gums becoming black and bloody, one of the major signs of scurvy. He died on January 14, 1770, not long before he planned on adding fruits and vegetables to his diet.

8 Daniel Carrion


Photo credit: Ceshencam

Oroya fever appeared in Peru in 1871, and it came with skin lesions, fever, a high mortality rate, and immunity to conventional medicines. In 1885, medical intern Daniel Carrion began studying the disease that had claimed lives so quickly that the afflicted rarely had time to seek medical treatment before they died.

Carrion injected himself with a serum drawn from the facial skin lesions of a patient who had already contracted the disease. Carrion’s goal was to study the entire disease progression, which meant not treating the illness. He died a little over one month later, having proven that Oroya fever and verruga disease were different stages of the same illness, now called Carrion’s disease.

Carrion was eventually named a medical martyr and Peruvian national hero.


7 Clara Maass


Clara Maass answered the call when nurses were needed to care for yellow fever patients in Havana. The 25-year-old veteran nurse had just recovered from dengue contracted in the Philippines. From March to June 1901, she volunteered to be injected with experimental inoculations and infected with yellow fever to build immunity to the disease.

She died only days later, and newspaper stories expressed outrage. Maass had been compensated $100 for her participation, raising questions about how informed she (and other volunteers) had been. Volunteers signed consent forms, but a review of the forms found that some things—like the high mortality rate associated with yellow fever—were missing. Even after signing the documents, volunteers testified that they believed they were at little real risk.

Public backlash was immediate, and all human experimentation involving yellow fever was halted.

6 Ellen Roche


In 2001, 24-year-old Ellen Roche of the Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center volunteered to participate in a study to determine how the respiratory system of a healthy person prevents an asthma attack. The experiment involved triggering an asthma attack in a healthy subject and monitoring the body’s response.

After inhaling hexamethonium, Roche developed a severe cough and was on a ventilator within a week. She died one month after agreeing to participate in the study. Her death led to a series of federal investigations into the processes of the study, the information given to volunteers, and the steps needed to assess study risk.

Blame fell on the Johns Hopkins research team as well as the authors of studies referenced in their research. Johns Hopkins, the FDA, and the Office for Human Research Protections began overhauling guidelines to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening again.

5 Clarence Dally


Photo credit: smithsonianmag.com

Clarence Dally, a glassblower by trade, worked at Thomas Edison’s laboratory. In 1895, Edison and Dally started experimenting with X-rays and Dally stood in radiation for hours at a time.

Five years later, Dally was already developing lesions. His left hand had been X-rayed for countless hours. When that hand became too painful to use, he switched to his right. It wasn’t long before he needed to keep his hands immersed in water to try to relieve the burning.

The burns on his hands were repaired with skin grafts from his legs. His left arm was eventually amputated, and four fingers were removed from his right hand. It was only then that Dally stopped his work with Edison, although Edison promised to support him for the rest of his life.

Dally’s right arm was removed in 1903, and he died in 1904. Edison gave up on X-rays because of the dangers.


4 Simeon Shaw


Photo credit: vichadasiaprende.com

In the 1980s, the test subject known only as CAL-2 was revealed to be a four-year-old Australian boy named Simeon Shaw. When Simeon’s family sued over his death in 1997, the pittance they were awarded led to comparisons between the US researchers and Nazi experimenters.

Simeon had been suffering from a rare form of bone cancer when he was admitted into a study that injected subjects with plutonium. He went to the University of California at San Francisco for medical treatment in April 1946 and was discharged in May. The boy died on January 6, 1947.

When courts looked at the events surrounding his tragic death, they couldn’t even determine the point of the experiment. According to research notes, it was done partially to determine the effects of bone-seeking radionuclides on bone cancers and to explore peacetime applications of the material. Experimentation continued.

3 Jesse Lazear


Photo via Wikimedia

Walter Reed is credited with developing the cure for yellow fever. But it was Jesse Lazear who was infected with the disease and died for it.

Lazear became involved with yellow fever research at the end of the Spanish-American War. Although no one was certain how the disease spread, the two leading theories were that it was a bacterial disease or that it was spread through mosquito bites. Reed’s team set up experiments to determine which theory was correct.

Some volunteers were exposed to the bloody clothing and blankets of patients diagnosed with yellow fever while Lazear exposed others to mosquitoes. For years, it was believed that Lazear had been bitten accidentally.

But when Reed’s journals were released years later, they indicated that Lazear had voluntarily infected himself. He confirmed that yellow fever was spread by mosquitoes, a huge step forward in disease research.

2 Elizabeth Fleischman Ascheim


Elizabeth Fleischman Ascheim was known in both the military and civilian medical fields as one of the best early X-ray technicians in the world. She used fallen and wounded soldiers from the Spanish-American War to demonstrate how useful the technology could be in finding bullets and determining the extent of injuries.

To convince some of her patients that the procedure was both safe and painless, she would often expose herself to the X-rays first. By 1903, she had developed lesions on her hands. Before the year was out, she was forced to seek medical care.

Her arm was amputated in 1904, but the cancer and lesions returned at the point of amputation. She died on August 3, 1905. While her work confirmed the dangers of X-rays, it also helped to promote the idea that X-rays could be alifesaving tool for the medical profession.

1 Ronald Maddison


Photo credit: The Sun

In 2003, an inquest into the 1953 death of RAF Engineer Ronald Maddison revealed an incredibly dark chapter in British history. When Maddison volunteered to take part in trials at Porton Down, he believed that he was helping to find a cure for the common cold. Instead, he was exposed to 200 milligrams of sarin to determine how much of the nerve agent was needed to be fatal.

Five decades later, Alfred Thornhill, who had been kept quiet by the Ministry of Defense, came forward to tell his story of witnessing Maddison’s horrific death. Thornhill’s testimony—and the Maddison family’s campaign for justice—led to a public inquiry into what turned out to be 50 years of chemical and biological research at Porton Down.

Plastic Surgeon: This Is The 'Perfect Face'

Plastic Surgeon: This Is The 'Perfect Face'


Combine Keira Knightley's eyes with Kate Middleton's nose and Penelope Cruz's lips and you have a beauty overload—and also the world's most desirable face, at least according to one plastic surgeon. Julian De Silva from London's Centre for Advanced Facial Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery came up with the "perfect face"—also including Miley Cyrus' forehead, Jennifer Lopez's eyebrows, Reese Witherspoon's skin, Angelina Jolie's cheeks, Cher's jawline, and Selena Gomez's chin—after polling 1,000 female patients over the last decade, per the New Zealand Herald. "You will often have a consultation with a patient who will present you with a picture of a well-known person and will say: 'I want to look like that,'" De Silva says.

Puzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

Apparently patients know their stuff when requesting the Duchess of Cambridge's nose. It's "mathematically perfect" with a 106-degree tip rotation, De Silva says, per the Telegraph. Onestudy suggests a 106-degree nose is "the most aesthetic," but most patients "know that a new nose is not going to make them look like Kate Middleton," says De Silva. Don't think this "perfect face" is all that perfect? Neither does Good Day DC anchor Maureen Umeh. "It looks like she has a condition or something," Umeh said in a segment Thursday, per the Huffington Post. (She gave this face.) BuzzFeed notes that De Silva's creation is taking flak because it includes features of mainly young, white women.




The 20 Worst Prescription Drug Side Effects

The 20 Worst Prescription Drug Side Effects



Everything has a side effect, from coffee to Tylenol to eating too much pizza (that’s called “getting rad”). Most prescription drug side effects are usually not that big of deal. Who cares about having dry mouth when you don’t have blood clots, right? Unfortunately, the more costly and specific the medication, the worse the side effect usually is.

The 26 Craziest Anesthesia Awareness Horror Stories

The 26 Craziest Anesthesia Awareness Horror Stories


10 Disturbing Historical Medical Experiments

10 Disturbing Historical Medical Experiments

Unfettered medical experiments are the stuff of nightmares as often seen in hack-and-slash horror movies. Little is known, however, about how much pain and suffering has been caused over the centuries at the hands of science and supposed progress, but stories do exist.

Some medical experiments, particularly from the 19th and 20th centuries, seemed harmless or even silly knowing what we do today. Other experiments, however, were enough to make a normal person sick.

Experiments on children, animals, and the poor are seen as particularly evil because of their defenseless nature. There were no laws a century ago to protect these victims—or anyone else—from doctors and surgeons who wanted to play God with the lives of the living and, strangely enough, with the dead.

Featured image credit: Paramount Pictures

10  Children Of The Poor Were Inoculated


In 1908, doctors were frantically trying to find a cure or prevention for tuberculosis. At a children’s hospital in Washington, DC, TB “experts” decided to experiment on children who came from poor families. They inoculated 10 children with “bacilli of tuberculosis and cultures of Koch’s tuberculin without the knowledge or consent of the parents or guardians of the children.”

When discovered, the doctors refused to release the names of the children on whom they had experimented because “their parents belong to the ignorant class and might make strenuous objection to such experiments.” While no one denies that there was an obvious need for a solution to the TB dilemma, the fact that doctors felt the need to experiment on children of the poorer classes without their parents’ knowledge or consent was a violation of people’s individual rights and can easily be viewed as an evil act.

Often called the Great White Plague, tuberculosis claimed about 110,000 people yearly in the United States during the early 1900s. From 1908 to 1921, two French bacteriologists worked on a vaccine to put an end to TB.

9  Cholera Beds


The United States was not the only country trying to learn more about infectious diseases, how they were spread, and how to put a stop to them. In 1871, Russia was working on finding out just how cholera was spread while also exploring the power of thought on the health of a person (a hot topic back then).

Using murderers already in their prison system, they placed four of the men in beds where people had died of cholera. After sleeping in the beds, the men showed no signs of the disease. Next, the men were told to sleep in four different, clean beds. This time, the men were told that the people who had slept in those beds before them had died of cholera. It was reported that three of the four men died of cholera within four hours.

During the cholera epidemic in the 19th century, doctors soon discovered that cholera was not transmitted from person to person. Instead, cholera is transmitted through unclean drinking water. This is why the prisoners did not show any signs of the disease after sleeping in contaminated beds.

8  Happy Thought Horseshoes


History is full of wacky experiments and strange attempts at cures. In 1895, newspapers in the United States were abuzz with the latest medical experiment out of Paris involving happiness. A Parisian doctor believed that happiness could be transferred from one person to another.

To prove his theory, he had happy people wear a horseshoe on their head. The belief was that they would “magnetize” the horseshoes with their happy thoughts. The happy horseshoes were then given to people suffering from melancholy, and these people were made to wear them.

The doctor believed that this would transfer the happy thoughts from the horseshoe to the wearer. The article states that the doctor had everyone wear the horseshoes on their heads and not their hearts so that the horseshoe would be a “visible mind cure in active operation.” It is more likely that the horseshoes were a visible power of suggestion that may or may not have worked on certain people.

7  Struck By Lightning And Then Grounded


In a classic case of “who needs enemies when you have friends like this,” one man was unfortunate enough to have friends who thought themselves capable of conducting their own medical experiment. In 1881, the man was struck by lightning and left paralyzed.

His friends came to believe that he was paralyzed because he still held the electric charge from the lightning in his body. “His friends reasoned that if Earth would receive electricity from the buried end of a lightning rod, it would in the same manner draw out the charge with which they supposed him to be filled.”

Like a bad Monty Python skit, his friends decided to dig a large hole and bury the paralyzed man in the ground up to his chin. Unfortunately, his friends’ logic was severely flawed and the poor man died in the ground. There is no mention of charges being filed against his friends.

6  Poisoned By Suggestion


Here again, we have a case of the medical class testing out the power of suggestion in what could only be seen as a cruel joke by today’s standards. A report was published in 1904 about an incident that happened in Havana during the Spanish-American War in 1898. According to the story, a surgeon and a young lieutenant got into a bit of a tiff and a duel was suggested. The method of “fighting” was decided by the surgeon to be “two pellets, the one harmless, the other containing prussic acid in concentrated form.”

Two other surgeons made the pellets and returned to the area where the duel was to take place. They announced, “The surgeons who have prepared them have surrounded the fatal one with wintergreen.” The dueling surgeon ate his pellet, knowing full well that he had nothing to worry about.

Then the lieutenant placed his pellet in his mouth and tasted wintergreen. The young man’s face went pale, believing that he had just consumed poison. One of the witnessing surgeons pressed on with the ruse, “If you have anything to say, I should advise you to say it quickly.”

The lieutenant fell to the ground, his legs failing him. He tried to speak his final words, but a surgeon told him that his tongue would soon be paralyzed. The young man lost his power of speech. Just as the surgeons thought that the young man was about to expire, they called for whiskey and let the poor man know that he did not swallow any poison and that it had all been part of a medical experiment to see if someone could be killed by the power of suggestion.

5  Electric Dead Heads


Photo credit: Dimitra

What is most surprising about some of the medical experiments conducted over 100 years ago is not only how gruesome the experiments were but that they were described in detail in the newspapers. A report published in 1866 details an experiment done in France. Four men mutinied at sea and were brought back to land to be executed.

Immediately after they were beheaded, their heads and bodies were handed over to surgeons for experimentation. The description of their experiments reads:

Next to the bodies, rolled up in napkins, were four livid heads. The work of dissection commenced instantly. The nerves quivered, and the flesh was still warm. The continual contractibility of the heart was proved, as well as in the aorta, where sensitiveness was extreme.

The contractibility was manifested on simply touching the part, and, of course, was still more apparent when subject to electric currents. The muscular contraction was so intense that, even after 20 minutes, one of the doctors, on applying an electric current, made the four heads grimace in the most horrible manner.

Oillie’s face especially assumed the most frightful expression. A pencil was placed between Oillie’s teeth; it was bitten through and smashed as though it was made of glass.

4  Experimentation On Orphaned Children


The Washington Herald lit up the pages in 1913: “Orphan Children Made Subjects for Vivisection.” The report gives details on how orphaned children were used as test subjects in different hospitals around the world.

Some children were given syphilis injections and other diseases in the name of science and progress. A Japanese doctor was cited as having experimented on 146 orphaned children obtained through the hospitals.

At a hearing before the International Congress, “[a] graphic portrayal of subjects of vivisection, both human and animal, showing them in their various stages of torture under the scalpel and other instruments of vivisection, was the feature of the evening session which was devoted to a series of motion pictures.”

At the time, no laws existed to protect orphaned children from being used for medical experiments. It was stated that “medical men experimented only on poor people whose lives are worth nothing.” While the International Congress agrees that “most of the vivisection practiced today is perfectly barren work and incursuseless torture,” the group decided to keep watchful eyes on the experimenting doctors instead of abolishing the practice altogether.

3  Sweat Injections


Is sweat really that bad? One bacteriologist thought so in a newspaper article from 1898. He placed his test subject in a steam bath, and afterward, he scraped off the sweat to test it. He found that the sweat was teeming with germs and came to the conclusion that sweating released bacteria that was inside the body.

He believed that an accurate diagnosis could be made of the patient’s illness bymaking the patient sweat. The article goes on to state that “small animals are readily killed by subcutaneous injections of perspiration collected after violent exercise.”

Contrary to the old belief that sweat is full of germs, new research shows that the body releases an antibiotic called dermcidin in the sweat. While this discovery is fairly new, scientists have found that dermcidin can kill E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and other harmful bacteria.

2  Grafting Animal Glands Onto Humans


Photo credit: Wellcome Images

In the New York Tribune newspaper, a curious article was published in 1921 entitled “Japanese Medical College to Experiment With Glands.” At first glance, that sounds safe enough, but further reading tells the reader that “Japanese physicians and doctors are to undertake experiments in grafting animal glandsinto the human interstitial gland to produce renewed vitality for men and women in their dotage.”

Further research revealed that in the early 1900s, doctors and surgeons worldwide were experimenting with grafting animal glands onto people. The idea behind the whole thing was to prevent aging and to even increase sexual drive. The images above show a patient before a rejuvenation graft (left) and one year afterward (right).

Eventually, doctors came up with a special serum made from a mixture of animal sex glands that was injected into aging men with the desired result being similar to today’s Viagra. There were even reports of doctors grafting animal testes onto aging men, and in one effort to keep men young, sperm was directed back into the body instead of allowing it to escape during ejaculation.

1  Executed Man Brought Back To ‘Life’


It was a gruesome find, and the 1879 article was enough to make anyone queasy. Entitled “Died Twice,” the article dared the reader to read on with “The Dead Man Made to Cough, Roll Its Eyes, and Moan.”

As the story goes, Merrick the wife murderer was hanged and his body handed over to the Indianapolis Medical College for medical experiments. The professor heading the experiments addressed his class by saying, “Gentlemen, this subject affords an opportunity of showing how far vital action may be suspended and again restored.”

Sure enough, air was pumped back into the dead man’s lungs with a bellows apparatus. The coagulating blood was removed and replaced with a strange mixture of sheep’s blood and milk that was heated up to 38 degrees Celsius (100 °F).

Wires attached to a battery were inserted through two holes drilled in the skull. Assistants manually reanimated the dead body. The professor became excited when he was able to feel a pulse in the dead man, and the students witnessed the swollen eyes of the dead man “roll in their sockets.”

Then the professor and assistants turned off all the apparatus that they had used to animate the corpse. They found that the pulse became erratic, but the pupils continued to respond to light and shade.

Suddenly, the “heart beat more steadily, the face became of better color, and the chest jerked as if there was a desire to cough.” The professor began drilling more holes in the body’s skull and “[touched] the brain with the galvanic points, which caused the legs to jerk, the hands to clench, the eyes to roll, open, shut, and the tongue to protrude.”

When the professor was finished, all the apparatus was removed from the body, but the body continued to cough, roll its head, and convulse. The body experienced a second death some minutes later.


Inside The Bizarre ‘Venus’ Figures Once Used As Anatomical Models

Inside The Bizarre ‘Venus’ Figures Once Used As Anatomical Models

She’s called the “Anatomical Venus” and rests in peace, beneath a Venetian glass and rosewood case, in a medical museum called La Specola, which opened in Florence, Italy, in 1775.

She is beautiful, endowed with supple flesh, touchable curls that create a pillow around her head, and even a string of pearls around her neck. Her head is tipped back ecstatically, resembling a moment of spiritual rapture from one angle, an intense orgasm from another. She is, in her peaceful repose, as physically enchanting as Sleeping Beauty, save for the fact that her innards and guts are spilling out.

Today we think of science as white coats and pristine labs, objective diagrams and empirical evidence. Human bodies are abstracted into bones and blood, muscles and nerves, symptoms and responses. Medical depictions reflect them as such, sans soft skin and pursed lips and golden headbands.

Thus the bizarre beauty of the “Anatomical Venus,” created by sculptor Clemente Susini between 1780 and 1782, comes off as disgusting in a contemporary context. Exposed in every possible sense of the word, the Venus is female beauty objectified to grotesque extremes. Her eyes gently shut and body spread wide, it’s almost as if femininity is considered most beautiful when lifeless, that a woman is most desirable as an aesthetically pleasing spread of inactive parts.

It’s this jarring, immediate reaction that shook intellectual historian Joanna Ebenstein to the bone. In an interview with The Huffington Post Arts, she admitted that she initially couldn’t imagine how a thing that appears, to a contemporary viewer, so utterly repulsive and strange, was once a sanctioned, accepted educational tool. What did the world look like when this Anatomical Venus was a sensible model of the human body? And what has changed since that renders this old world view so impossible to understand?

Ebenstein became fascinated with the Venus after visiting La Specula as part of a self-described pilgrimage, visiting the most important medical museums in the Western world. For some reason, the Anatomical Venus — one of several models housed in the museum’s rooms, all filled with three-dimensional human diagrams meant to educate not just doctors but men, women and children — stood out.

“Part of the reason the Venus is so strange, I think, is because it flickers on all of these edges, and that flickering is very exciting to some people, very disturbing to others,” Ebenstein said. “The edges it flickers on are traditional binary divides between things we normally consider completely irreconcilable, things like art and science, beauty and death, spectacle and education, alive yet not alive.”

This encounter led Ebenstein on another journey through Europe, to document as many similarly peculiar Venus figures as possible. Her findings are compiled in an enchanting and repulsive book titled The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic.

“Although your brain knows they’re not alive, they still feel as if they’re about to move,” Ebenstein said of the models. “Wax mimics flesh in this completely persuasive way. Even though you know otherwise, there is another voice inside you ... Your rational mind is telling you one thing and your senses are telling you something else. It’s an intriguing place to be.”

Ebenstein is the founder of the Morbid Anatomy blog and the creative director of the Morbid Anatomy Museum, based in Brooklyn, New York. The space, Ebenstein explained, provides a place for objects that otherwise would have been dropped from the historical record, because they just don’t fit in with our contemporary understanding of the world, broken up into specific disciplines and fields of knowledge.

Today, science and art are often visualized at opposite ends of the knowledge spectrum, one objective and the other subjective. Similarly, spirituality and sexuality often remain separate, one sacred and one profane. But centuries ago, when the fair-skinned and bloody-bellied Venus came to be, such distinctions hardly held true.

While human dissections are now primarily associated with medical inquiries, Ebenstein clarified that artists were originally the most active dissectors in the game. What’s more, the distinction itself between artist and scientist was tenuous, at best. Take Leonardo da Vinci, known for peeking inside bodies to examine their muscular makeup in order to perfect his depictions of the human form.

The fluid relationship between art and science helps illuminate why in the world a medical diagram would be created with such intense adornments. Beyond Leonardo, there was also God, the artist who created all humans in his image, or so the dominant belief went. A rendering of human life, many felt, conveyed the power of God’s gift.

The hugely different spiritual climate in the 18th century helps explain why so many of the waxen women wear expressions contemporary viewers might describe as orgasmic. “It is my belief they were not interpreted sexually at the time,” Ebenstein clarified. “When you go into Italy’s churches today you see all of these figures, men and women, with their heads thrown back in what looks like sexually ecstasy. But it doesn’t read that way to Catholics.”

Ebenstein spoke in particular about Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s baroque sculpture “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa,” which features a seemingly erotic expression. She described an excerpt from Teresa’s 16th-century autobiography, in which the saint is visited by a divine spirit. It reads: “He appeared to me to be thrusting my heart and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me on all fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great that it made me moan, and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain that I could not wish to be rid of it ... The pain is not bodily but spiritual.”

The passage has some heat to it, to be sure. But it outlines a different kind of passion than the one expressed between carnal lovers. “There is a very complicated relationship between mystical ecstasy and sexual ecstasy,” Ebenstein said. At their core, sex, religion and death all symbolize portals of escape and transcendence, means of leaving the body and accessing what’s beyond. There’s a reason French philosopher Roland Barthes nicknamed the orgasm “the little death.”

“All of these other things that produce an ecstatic experience are now condemned by the church, like sex and drugs,” Ebenstein continued. “We still seek them out; it’s how secular people get as close to a mystical experience as they can.” Back when Venus was born, however, religion was the primary means of losing oneself. “With the purely secular view of the world most of us have now, the only possible interpretation is a profane one.”

Through the course of her book, Ebenstein conjures the knowledge systems of 18th-century Europe, helping to illuminate how such a disturbing tradition was once accepted without question. Even more curious than Venus herself, Ebenstein reveals, are the world views that brought her into being.

This is not to say there is nothing icky about the Anatomical Venus. Especially since there are very few examples of male figures occupying a similarly paradoxical space. Save for one model that Ebenstein saw on her pilgrimage, all of the male medical models were presented without skin — not quite so idealized and sensual, unless you’re into skinless dudes.

To explain the discord, Ebenstein mentions Ludmilla Jordanova’s Sexual Visions, which describes the way men and women’s bodies were interpreted, medically, at the time. “She argues that the male body was seen as canonical, and used to demonstrate the workings of things like musculature and the nervous system,” Ebenstein explained. “What was interesting about the female body was how she wasn’t canonical. The focus is on what makes her different: her femininity, her ability to give birth, to produce milk.”

Overall, The Anatomical Venus succeeds in tracing an ongoing, if not disturbing fascination with pretty, dead girls through various times, spaces and mediums. From Edgar Allen Poe’s famous line, “The death then of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world,” to the eerie floating form in Sir John Everett Millais’ “Ophelia,” to Laura Palmer of “Twin Peaks.”

So, yes, it appears the world has long possessed an unsettling obsession with objectifying women. Aestheticizing and fetishizing their lifeless forms is perhaps the most gruesome outcome of this fancy. There is certainly far more complexity to Venus’ story, which Ebenstein unpacks in lush detail. But, in learning her story, the reader also becomes a complicit voyeur, still magnetized to the strange and horrifying beauty gazing lifelessly back at us from the page.



The Anatomical Venus by Joanna Ebenstein is published by Thames and Hudson.


Mom Goes Into Hospital to Give Birth, Leaves Without Legs

Mom Goes Into Hospital to Give Birth, Leaves Without Legs

A UK mom of seven delivered her eighth healthy child at the hospital in December, but a medical glitch caused the woman to lose both legs as a result. Per the Torquay Herald Express, 31-year-old Ella Clarke had a potentially dangerous placenta condition during pregnancy common with women who've had cesareans (Clarke delivered most of her other children that way), and she suffered complications during this C-section that caused her to lose 12 pints of blood. She delivered a healthy baby girl, Winter Rose, the Mirrorreports, but Clarke needed five blood transfusions and an emergency hysterectomy. Doctors placed the Torquay mom into an induced coma, and while she was under, blood clots formed in her legs and halted circulation. Surgeons were forced to sever both legs below the knee.

Clarke woke, unaware she had been in a coma for days and ready to hold her newborn. "Instead I was told doctors had amputated my legs." A hospital spokesman has expressed "sympathy" to Clarke and says they're conducting "a full and thorough investigation"—but that's little consolation to Clarke, who's now trying to acclimate to prosthetic legs, her days as a busy, active mom permanently upended. "What life can I have now?" she says, per theMirror, adding that her kids are afraid to even hug her because they're scared by her "stumps." "This has impacted us far worse than you can ever imagine." The couple have started legal action against the hospital.


Possible New Tylenol Warning: 'May Cause a Lack of Empathy'

Possible New Tylenol Warning: 'May Cause a Lack of Empathy'

If the results of a new study hold up to further research, Tylenol may have to start coming with a new warning label: "may cause a lack of empathy." Researchers studying acetaminophen—the active painkiller in Tylenol and about 600 other medicines—found people taking it showed less empathy toward the physical and emotional pain of others, Live Science reports. According to a press release, this could be a big deal as nearly a quarter of American adults take some form of acetaminophen every week. "If you are having an argument with your spouse and you just took acetaminophen, this research suggests you might be less understanding of what you did to hurt your spouse’s feelings," says the study's senior author, Baldwin Way.

The study—published May 5 in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience—consisted of multiple experiments involving stories of suffering, actual painful blasts of noise, and more,CNN reports. The results appear to confirm earlier studies of brain activity that showed empathy was somehow neurologically related to how a person processes their own pain. The results also "raise concerns about the broader social side effects of acetaminophen," according to the study. “We don’t know why acetaminophen is having these effects, but it is concerning,” Way says in the press release. The researchers plan to test ibuprofen next.


Oh, Good. A Biotech Company Has Been Given Permission From The U.S. Government To Raise The Dead

Oh, Good. A Biotech Company Has Been Given Permission From The U.S. Government To Raise The Dead

A U.S. biotech firm is about to do something very bad.

No, they aren’t going to wreck the car. They are going to raise the dead.

The U.S. government granted Bioquark permission to begin testing a new stem cell therapy on humans who are clinically dead, in the hopes that they can bring them back to life.

Hmmmmm. From The Guardian:

A biotech company in the US has been granted ethical permission to recruit 20 patients who have been declared clinically dead from a traumatic brain injury, to test whether parts of their central nervous system can be brought back to life.

Scientists will use a combination of therapies, which include injecting the brain with stem cells and a cocktail of peptides, as well as deploying lasers and nerve stimulation techniques which have been shown to bring patients out of comas.


The tests will be performed on 20 patients who have been kept alive via life support machines, and will entail months of monitoring to determine any efficacy.

The trial participants will have been certified dead and only kept alive through life support. They will be monitored for several months using brain imaging equipment to look for signs of regeneration, particularly in the upper spinal cord – the lowest region of the brain stem which controls independent breathing and heartbeat.

The team believes that the brain stem cells may be able to erase their history and re-start life again, based on their surrounding tissue – a process seen in the animal kingdom in creatures like salamanders who can regrow entire limbs.

Then, zombies human salamanders everywhere. Somehow, the CEO of Bioquark sees this as a good thing.

Dr Ira Pastor, the CEO of Bioquark Inc. said: “This represents the first trial of its kind and another step towards the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime.

The company received permission from the Institutional Review Board at the National Institutes of Health, who determine whether experiments on people are ethically permissible. This somehow made the cut.

Bioquark said they are going to begin recruiting subjects immediately. The first round of experiments will not attempt to revive them completely, which is good, I guess.

No, that will come later.

The first stage, named ‘First In Human Neuro-Regeneration & Neuro-Reanimation’ will be a non-randomised, single group ‘proof of concept’ and will take place at Anupam Hospital in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand India.

The peptides will be administered into the spinal cord daily via a pump, with the stem cells given bi-weekly, over the course of a 6 week period.

Dr Pastor added: “It is a long term vision of ours that a full recovery in such patients is a possibility, although that is not the focus of this first study – but it is a bridge to that eventuality.”

Well, at least the car will be okay.



Cosmetic Trend For Teen Girls: Labia Surgery

Cosmetic Trend For Teen Girls: Labia Surgery


Adult women can choose to have their labia reshaped as part of a "vaginal rejuvenation" surgery, in which the muscles of the vagina are tightened. Now teenage girls apparently want in on the action, too. Doctors say they're increasingly getting requests from young girls to have their labia trimmed—sometimes to relieve discomfort or a risk of infection, but more often because they're unhappy with the way it looks, reports the New York Times. Some 400 girls 18 or under had labiaplasty last year; that's an 80% increase over 2014, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (that count doesn't include operations performed by gynecologists). Why the jump? Experts cite the preponderance of young girls who shave or wax their pubic hair, thereby making the flesh there more visible.

What they see might not jibe with their often-skewed expectations regarding size, shape, and color. And when it comes to those characteristics, there's a huge range of what's "normal," reports Health. It cites a study that found length can range from three-quarters of an inch to nearly 4 inches, and width from a quarter of an inch to 2 inches. Teens might also feel self-conscious in tight clothing, perHealthDay. "This age group may be under particular stress regarding these issues because of societal conceptions of the ideal female body," the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains in new guidelines for adolescent labiaplasty. A recent study showed many British women were worried their genitals weren't normal, per the Huffington Post, and even comedian Nikki Glaser debated labiaplasty as a youth.


5 Beauty Surgeries Gone Terribly Wrong

5 Beauty Surgeries Gone Terribly Wrong


The 25 year old woman who discovered her £4,000 breast implant was left hanging OUT of her chest

Lauren Yardley had always dreamed of having a more curvaceous figure. So at 25, and tired of her "boyish" shape, she decided to buy what Mother Nature had not given her. She paid almost £4,000 for a breast implant operation, increasing her A-cup size breasts to DD.

But to her horror, just two months after the surgery, her body started to reject one of the implants. Weeks later, it actually started protruding from her chest and came through the skin. Now the nursery worker wants to warn women of the potential pitfalls of cosmetic surgery. (Source)


The US ex-stripper who nearly died from botched booty implant

American Renee, a former stripper and VIP nightclub hostess in Las Vegas, had wanted a larger butt to maintain her status as one of Sin City's sexiest party girls. Instead, it nearly killed her and brought her unwanted notoriety when the video she put on YouTube showing her bum implant flipping over under her skin got one million views.

Now the mum-of-four hopes to warn other people of such a risky procedure.



The woman who had DIY plastic surgery on her face and ended up deformed

You can still see the horrifying effects of botched plastic surgery on a woman who says, "it's a nightmare that doesn't seem to end." However, in the case of the woman we'll call Mary, who asked that her real name not be used to protect her privacy, there is no doctor at fault. She only has herself to blame.

In search of an inexpensive, do-it yourself version of a silicone injection she had gotten from a doctor to smooth a scar, the Midwestern mother injected her lips and face with silicone she purchased over the Internet. At first she thought she'd hit the beauty jackpot. But within 24 hours those desired results quickly turned into a before and after nightmare.

The silicone procedure was nothing new to Mary. For nearly $1,000 a plastic surgeon had injected it into her face once before to help fade a scar from an accident. But what he used was medical-grade silicone, and what Mary purchased wasn't medical grade and was labeled as a personal lubricant. Mary acknowledged that she thought it would be alright to inject herself with silicone because she'd seen a doctor do it. (Source | Via)


The woman who managed to lose 125 pounds but had her body destroyed by a bad tummy tuck

Helena Grace could barely believe her luck when she was told she could have a tummy tuck on the NHS. After losing nine stone in just a year, thanks to a gastric bypass (also on the NHS), the 36-year-old nanny from Chesham, Bucks was left with large amounts of unsightly loose skin around her abdomen.

Helena, who was once 21st 8lb, hoped the procedure – called an apronectomy or mini tummy tuck – would restore her self-confidence. Instead, the operation left her deformed, revolted and despairing every time she looked at her body.


The man who died from penis-enhancing injection

A New Jersey woman has been charged with homicide after authorities said she injected silicone into the penis of a man who later died of a blood clot. The 22-year-old victim had been seeking an affordable penis enhancement.

Kasia Rivera, 34, of East Orange, was arrested on manslaughter charges and unauthorized practice of medicine in the death of Justin Street. Street died the day after he received the injection at Rivera's home. The medical examiner determined the cause of death as silicone embolism as a result of the injection, according to prosecutors. (Source)




Here’s How Smoking Marijuana Before Bed Affects Your Brain, For Better Or Worse

Here’s How Smoking Marijuana Before Bed Affects Your Brain, For Better Or Worse


Pairing marijuana with bedtime seems like a natural thing, like peanut butter and jelly or a Corona with lime on the beach. Unfortunately for all the stoners out there who like to take a casual bong rip before catching some Z’s, smoking marijuana before bed does in fact affect the way you sleep – however it’s not necessarily negative. It’s not necessarily positive, either. In fact what really matters is what YOU want to get out of your nightly round of sleep: longer deep sleep or more REM sleep?

MIC interviewed several experts in the medical marijuana field to find out how smoking before bed affects the way you sleep, and while there wasn’t an overwhelming consensus overall the experts did manage to agree on a few things:


  1. Marijuana helps you fall asleep, as long as it’s an indica and not a sativa

…Did I say “a few things?” Sorry, I meant “one. One thing and that’s it.” Other than that, scientists seem to be in disagreement over whether having deep sleep vs REM sleep is more important, both of which are affected by marijuana:

“The key sleep state is the REM sleep,” or stage 4, Dr. Kevin Hill, director of the Substance Abuse Consultation Service, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, told Mic. “That’s the restorative stage for your sleep. Evidence suggests that’s lowered by marijuana.”

Dr. Perry Solomon, chief medical officer at HelloMD, a digital health care platform for medical marijuana, says it’s the third stage of sleep — deep sleep or slow-wave sleep — that seems to let your body renew and repair itself. Stage 3 is “the most sensitive to cannabis,” Solomon told Mic. “Marijuana seems to make that stage longer, and people get a more restful sleep when [slow-wave sleep] is longer.”

While Solomon (and a health report from Harvard Medical School) says that stage 3 sleep is probably what repairs your body the best, Hill says stage 4, or REM sleep, is what refreshes your brain. Weed makes that brain-refreshment stage less effective.(via)


So what matters to you more: that your brain is refreshed, or that your body is repaired? There’s even a third option, which is “I don’t really care about either I just like to smoke before bed,” in which case hooray! You read this whole thing and came out with absolutely no intellectual gain whatsoever.

In the end, make to take this all with a grain of salt though – the science is reportedly “inconclusive” due to the fact that medical marijuana research is still in its infancy.





Here’s How Smoking Marijuana Before Bed Affects Your Brain, For Better Or Worse



A Baby Dies After His Parents Allegedly Try To Cure His Meningitis With Syrup

The parents of a toddler from Canada who died of meningitis are on trial because they allegedly tried to cure his worsening symptoms with various home remedies until it was too late.

Ezekiel Stephan died of meningitis in 2012 at age 18 months, the Global News reported.

Ezekiel Stephan died of meningitis in 2012 at age 18 months, the Global News reported.

The child had been ill for weeks, with symptoms including a runny nose, fever, and breathing troubles, his mother, Collet Stephan, told police, according to CBC.

Collet and her husband, David, own a supplements company called Truehope Nutritional Support, which has faced legal troubles in the past, according to CBC.

The mother said she asked a nurse friend to check on her child and was told the baby may have meningitis.

However, police say Collet and her husband David didn’t take their son to a doctor. Instead, they allegedly treated him with a variety of home remedies to boost immunity.

However, police say Collet and her husband David didn't take their son to a doctor. Instead, they allegedly treated him with a variety of home remedies to boost immunity.

These treatments allegedly included maple syrup mixed with water; juice with frozen fruit; and a concoction of garlic, ginger root, and apple cider vinegar, among other things, CBC reported.

The couple also visited a naturopathic doctor, the Global News reported, who suggested a viral meningitis treatment, but didn’t examine Ezekiel.

Meanwhile, the child was becoming stiff and lethargic, according to police.

The couple said they saw improvements in Ezekiel after giving him the natural treatments, but then he suddenly stopped breathing. They called an ambulance, but the child died five days later, CBC reported.

The couple is now on trial on charges that they failed to “provide the necessities of life” for their son. The couple have been vocal on Facebook about their case, which they characterize as a fight against the “vaccine agenda.”

According to posts on the couple’s Facebook page, the couple believes the government is trying to “compel” people to vaccinate children “through fear of criminal prosecution.”

“The situation that Collet and I find ourselves in, is that there is an organization that is attempting to offer our family up on the sacrificial altar of the vaccine industry,” one of the posts reads.

The couple has set up various fundraising pages for their cause, but some have been shut down.

On Monday, prosecutor Clayton Giles told jurors in the case that the couple had not intended to kill their son, but were clearly negligent in their care of him.

“I’m not saying they killed him, abused him, or ignored him — they loved him,” he said. “They didn’t take him to a doctor until it was too late — far too late.”




A Baby Died After His Parents Allegedly Tried To Cure His Meningitis With Syrup

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