Livin' on the MDedge

The Vampire Study, pathogenic puppies, and carbonated cannabis


What the duck?

Turns out it’s flu shot season for our feathered friends, too. After the bird flu pandemics that began in 2013, Chinese health officials worked hard to vaccinate their chickens and quell the spread of the disease. However, the ducks have outsmarted them: Two new genetic variations of the H7N9 and H7N2 flu subtypes have been found in unvaccinated ducks. / Niels Timmer

China consumes about 3 billion ducks per year, so officials are working rapidly to eliminate the virus. At press time, there was no word on whether the virus had affected any beloved rubber duckies, but we advise you to use caution when approaching bath time.


Cannabis is the world’s favorite illicit drug. And Coca-Cola makes the world’s favorite cola. Now there’s news of potential nuptials uniting these two global giants. BNN Bloomberg reports that Coke is talking tie-up with Canada’s Aurora Cannabis in a union that could give birth to cannabis-infused “wellness beverages.” / J-rod J

The fizzy federation would feature products containing cannabidiol, or CBD. Unlike its wilder psychoactive sibling tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the more sober-minded CBD is a nonpsychoactive cannabis compound credited with antidepressant, anxiolytic, and anti-inflammatory powers.

And what of Coca-Cola’s mortal cola enemy, Pepsi? Will the Choice of a New Generation let the Real Thing Bogart all the possible market opportunities? Sure, you could soon have a CBD Coke and a smile. But smiles are free. Frito-Lay’s parent, PepsiCo, could offer consumers a doubly profitable, Jeff Spicoli–approved pairing: carbonated cannabinoids and Cheetos.

I vant to suck MY blood

It’s not Halloween quite yet, but get into the spirit with the recently published and aptly named “Vampire Study.” Performed in Zürich, a team of researchers from the division of gastroenterology at Triemli Hospital convinced participants to ingest their own blood, all in the name of science. / Julia Freeman-Woolpert

Some lucky vamps drank their blood, while others ingested it via nasogastric tube. This isn’t “Saw 17,” though; there was a method to this madness. Researchers were investigating whether the ingestion of blood (as in gastrointestinal bleeding) can result in an increase in fecal calprotectin. Safe to say, though, the ingestion of blood is rarely a good sign – unless your name happens to be Nosferatu.

And they call it Campylobacter love

As any fan of Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip can tell you, happiness is a warm puppy. Know what else warm puppies are? Carriers of Campylobacter jejuni. / Boris Benko

Every year in the United States, Campylobacter causes an estimated 1.3 million diarrheal illnesses. A recent multistate investigation revealed that 118 people in 18 states across the nation – including 29 employees of an unnamed national pet store chain based in Ohio – got the puppy-borne bug between early 2016 and early 2018.

And the not-so-cuddly infections were resistant to all the antibiotics commonly used to quell Campylobacter. Why? Turns out, of the 149 puppies investigated by health officials, 55% of them got the drugs prophylactically – an approach that may have fueled the resistance. Stung by the canine controversy, the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm has assured Charlie Brown that it never slipped metronidazole into Snoopy’s water bowl.