Livin' on the MDedge

Legos for lunch, saliva-sterilized pacifiers, and a healthy personality


Legos for lunch

As any parent, teacher, or teenage babysitter knows, children try to eat everything. Six intrepid researchers from Australia and the United Kingdom decided to put their lives – or, at least, their intestines – on the line by swallowing Lego pieces to determine “typical transit times” for the commonly ingested toy. The things people do in the name of science.

Assorted Legos building blocks. Terry Rudd/MDedge News

The study participants first measured their bowel habits by the Stool Hardness and Transit (SHAT) score, and then measured the Found and Retrieved Time (FART) score once the Lego was ... expelled. The researchers found that the average FART score was 1.71 days.

At this point, all involved stopped to have a hearty laugh and a round of high-fives. Parents can rest assured that their little progeny who swallow Legos are safe. Everything is awesome.

Don’t wash that pacifier!

If you want to clean your child’s pacifier, you should consider passing on the sink and pop it into your own mouth instead. That’s the story from research presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Pacifier DaniloAndjus/gettyimages

In a survey of 128 mothers over an 18-month period, 41% of those whose child was currently using a pacifier reported cleaning by sterilization, and 72% reported hand washing their child’s pacifier. (We will henceforth refer to these mothers as “normal people.”) Just over 10% of mothers reported cleaning through parental pacifier sucking.

Before you cringe too much, the children of these mothers had significantly lower IgE levels than the children of normal people, indicating they were at a lower risk of developing allergies or asthma.

The study authors hypothesized that exposure to adult saliva may transfer healthy microorganisms to their children, and they advocated for further study into the subject. We suggest getting the pediatricians from the Lego study involved – they’ll eat anything for science.

One camel latte, please

An unlikely partnership between a Saudi entrepreneur and Amish farmers might lead to a brand-new dairy market in the United States. Walid Abdul-Wahub is on a mission to put camel milk on the shelves of every grocery store in America.

camel © Rhombur/Thinkstock

Middle Eastern residents have been drinking camel milk for centuries, so it’s only a matter of time until some hipster coffee shop co-opts it and starts selling camel milk lattes for $9. On the plus side, camel milk has a different protein than cow milk, making it more similar to human milk than bovine milk. This could be a godsend for people with milk allergies and need alternatives to that god-awful almond milk. One camel milkshake, coming right up.

How healthy is your personality?

It’s a question bipedal hominins have pondered since our days scrounging for snacks in the Olduvai Gorge: Is my personality why no one wants to hunt and gather with me?


Homo sapiens researchers from the University of California, Davis, and elsewhere believe they have the answer. In fact, it is your personality that leaves you scavenging for baobab alone.

What’s a healthy personality? The Scientia sapiens split personality into five factors: agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience. They then surveyed scientists and college students to construct the consensus Dream Date – er, healthy personality: low levels of neuroticism, sprinkled with lots of agreeable straightforwardness, openness to feelings, positive emotions, and warmth. It wouldn’t hurt to ease up on the Old Spice, either.

Next Article: