Livin' on the MDedge

Gout’s Golden Globe, resistance is fecal, eucalyptus eulogy


Eucalyptus eulogy

(“Taps” quietly plays in the background ... ) In some sad news, Quincy the diabetic koala has passed on to that great eucalyptus tree in the sky. The furry type 1 diabetic lived in San Diego, where he was recently fitted with a cutting-edge continuous glucose monitor (CGM). This allowed Quincy more time for his favorite activities (chewing and sleeping) and less time spent with pesky skin pricks.

Quincy, a koala with diabetes at the San Diego Zoo, wearing a continuous glucose monitor. Courtesy San Diego Zoo

Quincy died of pneumonia, and it is unclear whether his death was diabetes related. All we know is that he will be missed greatly. He was beloved by those with diabetes everywhere, animal or otherwise. Quincy’s successful CGM procedure also gives endocrinologists hope that the technology could eventually be used for similarly fragile humans, like babies. R.I.P., Quincy; we loved you. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to his favorite charity, the Drop Bear Awareness Association.

What’s Latin for ‘poop’?

The study of the human microbiota has become incredibly important in recent years, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it entails experimenting on poop. Remarkably, no one’s come up with a proper technical name for this unsavory activity. However, thanks to a collaboration between a gastroenterologist and a classics professor at the University of North Carolina, that deficiency is no more. You’ve met the in vivo and in vitro study. Now, please welcome the “in vimo” study!

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Why in vimo? The term fecal or “in feco” might seem obvious. But the Latin root word never referred to poop, and if there’s one thing scientists can’t have, it’s improper Latin usage. The Romans, it turns out, had lots of words for poop. The root word of laetamen referred to fertility, richness, and happiness – a tempting prospect – but was mostly used to refer to farm animal dung. Merda mostly referred to smell or stench, and stercus shared the same root word as scatology, which refers to obscene literature. Fimus, which specifically refers to manure, was thus the most precise, and it was used by literary giants such as Livy, Virgil, and Tacitus. A clear winner, and the in vimo study flushed the rest of the competition away.

And just in case you think these researchers are no fun, the name they chose for the active enzymes collected from their in vimo samples? Poopernatants. Yes, even doctors enjoy a good poop joke.

The new Breakfast Club

Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Texas have collaborated to study something that most of us fear greatly: high school cliques. The researchers, who may or may not have peaked in high school, took a look at high school peer crowds and influences that form those tight-knit bonds that last all of 4 years.

A teen looks at her smartphone while leaning against a school locker. monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The study found that most of the classic cliques – the jocks, the popular crowd, the brains, the stoners, the loners – are still alive and well in today’s American school system. However, at least one new group has emerged in the last decade: the “anime/manga fans.” Researchers noted that although schools have become much more diverse, racial and ethnic stereotypes are alive and well. Thank God we only have to do high school once.


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