The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:55 am

How to Read a Scientific Paper (About That Researcher With a Nematode in His Mouth)

By Deborah Blum 10.14.13 12:31 PM

Too often we open a journal, scan the title of a scientific paper – for instance, “Gongylonema pulchrum in a Resident of Williamsburg, Virginia, Verified by Genetic Analysis” – and dismiss it. We think “Yeah, yeah, infection in a small Virginia town” – and turn the page.

Later we may regret that.

Later we may realize that if we’d actually read the paper– or at least read between the lines – we would have discovered a story worth our time. Perhaps the story of a biologist who pulled a nematode out of his cheek with a pair of forceps. Really good forceps, according to the paper: “#5 super fine tip, Roboz Surgical Instrument Co. Inc.” forceps.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The forceps come later in the story.

Let’s rewind to September 2012. It was about then- according to this recently published report (paywall) in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine – that an “otherwise healthy, 36-year-old man” felt a rough patch in his mouth, a scaly little area in his right cheek. It didn’t hurt. But then it didn’t stay there either. He started testing for it with his tongue. It traveled. It moved to the back of his mouth, then forward, coiled backwards again. In the language of science: “These rough patches would appear and disappear on a daily basis, giving the patient the indirect sense that there was an organism moving within the oral cavity.”

Or in the English language: “Yuck.”

In the interests of transparency, the science journalist confesses that “yuck” was her reaction. Not so for the scientist, apparently. As the paper also tells us, the patient was “coincidentally trained as an invertebrate biologist.” A little journalistic investigation finds that this is scientific code for “Jonathan D. Allen,” who is one of the coauthors of the paper.

Further investigation leads to a phone call with Prof. Allen. He works at the College of William and Mary’s biology department. He’s fascinated by crawly little lifeforms. “Yuck” never crossed his mind.

“Wow, this is really interesting,” thought Allen. And then 1) I hope it’s not fatal and 2) I hope it’s publishable. Although the journalist may have listed those in the wrong order. After all, Allen did email his colleagues with the subject line: “A paper in my mouth.”

In mid-December, as the paper tells us: “The patient was able to visualize the rough patch in the mucosa of his lower lip after migration of the worm towards the opening of the mouth.” In other words, in the midst of giving a final exam, Allen realized that the creature had journeyed to the front of his mouth. As soon as the exam was over, he rushed to the men’s room, pulled down his lip, and saw the coiling structure of a tiny worm-like creature just under the inner skin.

Was he thrilled? He took pictures (which you will find in the paper). He pulled down his lip to show his colleagues (those who would look). He took more pictures. He used the images to do internet research (yes, Google) and made a tentative identification of the creature in his mouth as a parasitic nematode best known for inhabiting the mouths of livestock.

And then he called his doctor. Who referred him to an oral surgeon. Who didn’t believe him.

Really.

Referring back to the paper: “Upon presenting the oral surgeon with photographic evidence (Figure 1A and B) and a detailed description and preliminary diagnosis of gongylonemiasis, the surgeon disputed the patient’s self-diagnosis, claiming this was simply normal discoloration of the skin.”

Referring back to my notes: “My jaw just dropped,” Allen said. But he couldn’t change the surgeon’s mind. “I said, ‘Look, I study these things for a living’. And he said, ‘Well, I look in people’s mouths every day.” The scientist and surgeon did not part on a happy note. “I paid my co-pay and left. It was totally depressing.”

And he stayed depressed – “I’d lost faith in the medical profession” – until he woke up about 3 a.m. the following morning. The spot had moved toward the front of his mouth again. He realized could remove the worm himself.

Of course, he needed help. No surgeon can work alone. He woke up his wife (Margaret Pizer, a communications specialist for Virginia Sea Grant) so that she could shine a flashlight in his mouth. With those #5 super fine tip Roboz Surgical Instrument forceps, he gently scraped the lining of his mouth until he was able to pull out the nematode. It came coiling out, a little less than an inch in length. It was not a happy parasite. “It was writhing.”

His surgical assistant wasn’t too thrilled either. “She said, ‘That’s really gross’.”

Referring to the paper: “The living and highly active parasite was transported to the patient’s research laboratory at the College of William and Mary.”

Referring to my notes: Still in his pajamas, Allen hurried to campus. He had the live parasite in a vial, floating in his spit. When he got to the lab, he took further measurements and then dropped it into a container with an ethanol solution to preserve it.

And referring one more time to the paper (the one you should have stopped and read): “The long transparent worm was readily identified as a nematode belonging to the genus Gongylonema.”

Allen discovered that he was the 13th known human in the United States to be infected by the nematode. He’s still trying figure out how he acquired his companion – he speculates that the worm could have been in his wellwater or in something he ate, possibly in a box of raisins. Globally, there’s no clear pattern to such cases except that they are rare.  Scientists have identified some 50 or so cases of human infection; the first was reported in 1996 in Japan.

So Allen wanted to be sure that this was indeed the parasite that he’d extracted from his cheek. A colleague from Eastern Virginia Medical School, who specialized in genetic analysis came forward to help him make a more detailed identification. Aurora Esquela-Kerscher fell completely into the spirit of the research. No Gongylonema for her laboratory. She suggested they call the nematode “Buddy.” As in: Let’s use PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to amplify Buddy’s DNA, detail the exact genetic sequence, and verify his identification. Which is what they did; this was, in fact, the first paper to do genetic analysis of this over-friendly little nematode.

“It’s the only paper I’ve ever published in a medical journal,” Allen says. “It’s a fun story to tell and it grosses my students out. But also I’m at a college where we train a lot of pre-med students. We always debate what they need to know, how to give them the ability to think critically and to see things that are not normal.”

In other words, a good scientific paper will remind you that your definition of “normal” is way too narrow. Okay, now you can turn the page.




Image: Buddy, the nematode, suspended in ethanol solution, courtesy of Jonathan D. Allen, Department of Biology, College of William and Mary.
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/10/how-to-read-a-research-paper-about-that-scientist-with-a-nematode-in-his-mouth/

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RealGunner on Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:16 pm

The length of the article freaked me out tbh


but Nematode pls stay in USA

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by ES on Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:06 pm

The Japanese Spider Crab

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:15 am

Certain Species of Crocodiles can Climb Trees
By Staff Reporter
Feb 11, 2014 09:53 AM EST


Crocodiles aren't lazy creatures that bask in the sun all day long. According to a new study, some species of these reptiles can climb trees.

There are several stories about how people climb up trees to escape a hungry crocodile. However, researchers have found that certain species of crocodiles can move up the branches and reach as far as four meters high on a tree, despite lacking morphological features that support climbing behaviour. The study was conducted by researchers atthe University of Tennessee and colleagues.

"Climbing a steep hill or steep branch is mechanically similar, assuming the branch is wide enough to walk on," the authors wrote. "Still, the ability to climb vertically is a measure of crocodiles' spectacular agility on land."

Vladimir Dinets and colleagues observed the behaviour of crocodiles living on three continents- Australia, Africa and North America and even looked at previous studies on crocs to see if there were any reports of tree- climbing crocodilians.

It turns out that at least four species of crocodilians could climb trees. Also, smaller crocodiles are better climbers than larger ones.

Why crocodiles climb trees?

Dinets and colleagues believe that the tree-climbing behaviour is linked with thermoregulation and surveillance.

"The most frequent observations of tree-basking were in areas where there were few places to bask on the ground, implying that the individuals needed alternatives for regulating their body temperature," the authors wrote. "Likewise, their wary nature suggests that climbing leads to improved site surveillance of potential threats and prey."

The study is published in the journal Herpetology Notes.

Clever Crocodiles

Previous research on crocodilians- including crocodiles, caimans and alligators- found that they use tools such as twigs and branches to set a trap for birds. These reptiles hold a twig to attract a nesting bird. As soon as the bird gets too close, the reptile attacks it. What's even more interesting is that this behaviour isn't isolated to one species; alligators in the U.S. and marsh crocodiles in India use this twig trick to lure birds. They exclusively use the tool during a specific time of the year.
http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/5973/20140211/certain-species-crocodiles-climb-trees.htm

You can run, but you can no longer hide... in trees. If they're really that clever it's really only a matter of time before they figure out how to work door handles, too.

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RealGunner on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:11 pm

Thankfully we don't have Crocodiles in England cheers



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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:58 pm

Yet.

The tropical climate is proceeding north from it's equatorial position at a rate of something like 100 feet (or was it meters?) per day... so it's only a matter of time.

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by rwo power on Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:36 pm

@RealGunner wrote:Thankfully we don't have Crocodiles in England cheers

Well, there can always be people who love to keep such animals until they don't like them anymore and set them free outside or just walk them outside and have them escape XD

http://www.rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/dormagen/als-sammy-dormagen-in-atem-hielt-aid-1.190676

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:15 pm

Warning: This may be quite unsettling/upsetting for the squeamish.
Spoiler:

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:17 pm


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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:46 pm


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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by M99 on Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:48 pm

Umm what is that  Suspect 

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:01 pm

A wasp nest that's attached to a wooden carving of a human head.

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:09 am



Watch out for those snails, RG.

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by Gil on Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:01 am

Why on earth did I click this thread?

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Sun May 04, 2014 6:59 am




Ready for the World Cup this summer, RG?

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by Lord Awesome on Thu May 08, 2014 12:16 am



RG's favortite song. I can confirm.  Razz 

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Thu May 15, 2014 12:23 am


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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by Andrew on Fri May 16, 2014 5:58 pm


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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:23 am

NSFW:

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:59 am

A Girl Left Her Contacts In For 6 Months And Amoebas Ate Her Eyeballs
July 14, 2014 | by Stephen Luntz



It sounds like a classic urban myth, the sort of thing that would be shared wildly until counteracted by Snopes. However, Taiwanese undergraduate Lian Kao really has been blinded as a result of not changing her contact lenses.

The space between contact lenses and the eye is well suited to allowing microorganisms that don't like oxygen to breed, and worse still, feed on the cornea. Acanthamoeba represents the main threat, and in Kao's case six months of not removing her lenses gave it ample time to become established.

Acanthamoeba does not feed directly on human tissue. Instead it eats bacteria. Bacterial infections became established on Kao's cornea, so the amoeba had plenty to eat to get a colony started. Then it burrowed into Kao's eyes to get at the bacteria living further in.

Acanthamoebic keratitis, as the condition is called, can occur from not disinfecting contact lenses. Lens cleaners have been recalled after potentially exposing wearers to Acanthamoeba infections through failure to disinfect properly.

While lenses that haven't been cleaned pose a risk, not taking them out at all is a far greater danger. Kao reportedly didn't remove her lenses for six months, not only sleeping in them but swimming as well. Since swimming pools often contain Acanthamoeba this greatly heightened her risk.

Dr Wu Jian-Liang, director of opthalmology at Wan Fang Hospital said, “A shortage of oxygen can destroy the surface of the epithelial tissue, creating tiny wounds into which the bacteria can easily infect, spreading to the rest of the eye and providing a perfect breeding ground.”

Corneal transplants can sometimes repair the damage, but success is mixed mainly because it can be hard to get rid of the infection once it takes hold.

Acanthamoebic keratitis causes pain, eye redness and blurred vision, but surprisingly, the pain often does not become intense enough to cause people to seek help until the damage is already done. Washing hands prior to changing lenses is also an important line of defense.

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/girl-left-her-contacts-6-months-and-amoebas-ate-her-eyeballs

Potentially NSFW:


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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by iftikhar on Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:16 pm

@RealGunner wrote:Thankfully we don't have Crocodiles in England cheers


Luckily I haven't managed to learn to upload photo or video yet Twisted Evil . Imagine living in house with centipedes (some FOUR inches long), cockroaches and caterpillars eco smile . Do mongoose or cats freak you too hmm .

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RealGunner on Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:17 pm

nah only insects. Specially the ones that fly

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by El Gunner on Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:24 pm

I regret coming here.

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by iftikhar on Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:29 am

@El Gunner wrote:I regret coming here.
Sad

RO :bow:

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by RedOranje on Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:13 pm


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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

Post by futbol on Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:39 pm

P. fera and P. nigriventer are widely considered the most venomous species of spider.[2][3] Its venom contains a potent neurotoxin, known as PhTx3, which acts as a broad-spectrum calcium channel blocker that inhibits glutamate release, calcium uptake and also glutamate uptake in neural synapses. At deadly concentrations, this neurotoxin causes loss of muscle control and breathing problems, resulting in paralysis and eventual asphyxiation. In addition, the venom causes intense pain and inflammation following a bite due to an excitatory effect the venom has on the serotonin 5-HT4 receptors of sensory nerves. This sensory nerve stimulation causes a release of neuropeptides such as substance P which triggers inflammation and pain.[11]

Aside from causing intense pain, the venom of the spider can also cause priapism in humans. Erections resulting from the bite are uncomfortable, can last for many hours and can lead to impotence. A component of the venom (Tx2-6) is being studied for use in erectile dysfunction treatments.[12][13][14]

The amount of P. nigriventer venom necessary to kill a 20 g mouse has been shown to be only 6 μg intravenously and 134 μg subcutaneously as compared to 110 μg and 200 μg respectively for Latrodectus mactans (Southern black widow). This ranks Phoneutria venom among the most deadly spider venoms to mice. The Brazilian wandering spider's prey also includes crickets, katydids, mantids, and other larger animals, including tree frogs and lizards.



Yes, a spider that gives you your last ever errection. The Brazilian wandering spider aka banana spider. Sometimes they hide in Bananas which get exported to super markets in Europe: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1052712/Worlds-deadliest-spider-discovered-Britain-inside-box-Tesco-bananas.html

It's scientific name is Phoneutria nigriventer - the first element is Greek for 'murderess' - but it is also known as the banana spider because of its habit of stowing away in shipments of the fruit.

banana

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Re: The "Let's Freak RG Out" Thread

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