Author Archives: sittingoverhere

Third hand smoking – Can we ban this poison already?

I’m not going to write a post on why smoking is bad, it’s too obvious and if you don’t understand why then your probably never going to find this post anyway. I’m not even going to talk about second hand smoking, ie. blowing your death cloud at me on the street. Again it’s obvious why it’s bad and may even be worse than smoking the cigarette itself as second hand smokers don’t get the benefit of a filter. No, this post is about third hand smoking, a fun new way smokers can harm those around them long after they have butted out. Read more here…

Yeah. That looks healthy.

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Halitosis – Your mouth smells like your arse

Sometimes I’m going to write about rare cancers or blood diseases and sometimes I’m going to write about bad breath. That’s just the way I roll.

Halitosis literally means “condition of the breath” and has many causes and just as many home remedies. Original therapies (and by original I mean 1550 BC) like heavily herb infused wines didn’t remove the bad breath but like mints and other modern treatments they just attempted to cover the bad smell with something more pleasant.

Halitosis can be divided into two distinct problems, transient halitosis (morning breath) and chronic halitosis. While the difference between these conditions is the time frame of affliction both have the same root cause. Sulphur.

For more head to diseaseprone.fieldofscience.com

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Jumping Frenchman of Maine Syndrome

Well I’m back! I’m not going to pretend like you missed me but I hope your glad to see another post out of me. I did a bit of writing during my time off to build up a bit of a backlog so hopefully I can keep posting regularly for a while. Anyway, without any further ado…

Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Syndrome
Best. Disease. Name. Ever.

This disease was first observed in 1878 by the neurologist Dr. George Miller Beard, a guy I will definitely talk about again, in French-Canadians, lumberjacks and presumably some French-Canadian lumberjacks living in northern Maine. So that explains the “Frenchman” and “Maine” parts but lets look at what makes this a “Jumping Syndrome”.

This is the famous jumping Frenchman Patrick de Gayardon. He has nothing to do with this story. Left Right.

This syndrome is due to an exaggerated startle reflex resulting in uncontrolled jumps commonly but can also manifest as spasms throughout the body. The startle reflex is very important and forms part of the ‘fight or flight response’ normally…

For the remainder of this piece head to diseaseprone.fieldofscience.com

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2010 in review thanks to WordPress.com

WordPress.com sent us this summary of our year at WordPress. Some interesting stats for those that are interested 🙂

 

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 34,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 117 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 135 posts. There were 194 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 131mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 8th with 1,269 views. The most popular post that day was The Wednesday Post (7/4/10).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were stumbleupon.com, researchblogging.org, facebook.com, reddit.com, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for exploding head, biofilm, pneumococcus, ulcerative colitis, and disease of the week.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The Wednesday Post (7/4/10) April 2010
4 comments

2

Exploding Head Syndrome – No pun required June 2010
13 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

3

P. aeruginosa, Biofilms and Honey July 2010
23 comments and 2 Likes on WordPress.com

4

Crohn’s Disease – Your Body Hates Your Guts February 2010
3 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

5

The Pneumococcus: “Captain of the Men of Death” January 2010
3 comments

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(Merry) Christmas Disease

Hello there DiseaseOfTheWeek-ers! This is a small excerpt of a post that has been posted at my new home diseaseprone.fieldofscience.com. I wanted to wish you all a happy holiday period and I hope you enjoy this post.

So I was feeling a little lazy and thought I should find a disease related to Christmas, that way it’d be topical and I’d look like a genius. Well maybe not a genius, as all I did was type “Christmas” and “disease” into google and it returned “Christmas disease”. Don’t worry though, the disease itself is pretty cool!

Contrary to popular belief Christmas disease is not limited to just drunkenness

Unfortunately for me my attempt at topical blogging reveals that Christmas disease is not named after the holiday but instead after Mr Stephen Christmas, a British migrant  who immigrated to Canada, who was diagnosed at the age of 2 in 1949 with haemophilia. On a return visit to England in 1952 Stephen was again hospitalised and a sample of his blood was sent away to the Oxford Haemophilia Centre where it was determined by Rosemary Biggs and R.G. McFarlane that Mr. Christmas did not have a normal case of haemophilia, he had something that had never been described before.

For the rest of this post head over to Disease Prone

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The Wednesday Post – (8/12/10) Sad Face Edition

Hello again followers of DOTW. I bring mixed news.

Given that Thomas and I are approaching the end of our PhD’s we have decided to make a few changes to DOTW and the way it appears right now.

Don't be sad puppy!

First off, Thomas has told me that as he will be writing his thesis very soon he will reduce the time spent on the blog. Thomas can comment on this further but this is the responsible, sensible thing for him to be doing and good on him for being responsible and sensible.

I on the other hand have decided that while I write my thesis I want to try something new and forge my own path. I contacted the good people (actually it seems like just one person, Edward the magnificent) at Field of Science about starting a blog within their community and was allowed in! I will be moving to a new home at Disease Prone which will eventually be rolled properly into Field of Science. Right now it appears as a stand alone site but a few weeks from now it will sit alongside blogs like our friend Lab Rat’s and other great blogs like Skeptic Wonder and The Curious Wavefunction!

For the next few weeks I will continue to post sporadically here while Disease Prone is set up properly but even then I will continue to post here occasionally in the future and Thomas may even pop up over at my new digs with the occasional post.

So this is not goodbye as much as it is a note notifying you of my new mailing address. I will still put things on the Facebook page and still have a twitter for you to follow so you’ll definately still see me around. To make sure though you can always go and subscribe to Disease Prone to ensure you recieve every post.

Thanks again for all the support that I have received here at DOTW and I hope to see you again soon, here and here 🙂

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The bacteria in your belly Pt. 3 – Disrupting the balance

ResearchBlogging.orgIn the previous two posts we have established how the microbiome is established and then the pressures the host puts on it to maintain a balance between the required functions and the commensal bacteria providing them. In this post I want to look a little deeper at what happens if this balance is disturbed or never properly forms at all. Continue reading

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