Livin' on the MDedge

Eye bees, reversed innards, and the DNA van


Bees? Really?

This might be one of the weirdest thing we’ve ever seen. It’s definitely the weirdest thing this Taiwanese woman has ever seen, considering it’s BEES in her EYE.

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One more time, for the people in the back: BEES. IN. HER. EYE.

The unfortunate 29-year-old, identified as He, reported to a hospital with sharp eye pain that she assumed was from dirt in her eyes after a vigorous afternoon of gardening near a grave site. Upon close inspection, the hospital’s head of ophthalmology noticed “something that looked like insect legs” floating in her eye and carefully pulled them out. (Pause to dry heave.)

The eyeball intruders turned out to be “sweat bees,” which nest in fallen trees and are attracted to human perspiration. The bees flew into He’s eye and started drinking from her tear duct, which was overproducing because of the immense pain she was in. Miraculously, He’s eyeball and sight are intact, and she’s expected to make a full recovery. The bees are fine, too.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, sweat bees live all over the world. We’re wearing goggles outside from now on.

Flip it and reverse it

Imagine you’re back in your med school days, happily dissecting another cadaver. You pop the body open and … every organ is in the wrong place??

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That’s what some students at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) experienced recently. They discovered their body donor had a condition called situs inversus with levocardia – meaning, her heart was in the right place (hah), but all her abdominal organs were transposed right to left. The deceased woman was Rose Marie Bentley, who had died at the ripe old age of 99 without ever knowing she had this condition.

What makes her remarkable is barely anyone with this condition lives to adulthood. Professor Cam Walker of OHSU estimates the odds are 1 in 50 million, and there are only two other known cases of older patients who lived with situs inversus. After taking a look at their mother’s medical records, Bentley’s children noted that the surgeon who removed her appendix recorded its strange location, but no one raised any alarm.

Ms. Bentley lived a full and happy life, despite her organs being a mirror image of virtually everyone else’s anatomy. Some people are just special.

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