Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tree Man

A man growing into a tree... Or so it looks like. He has a rare illness called Epidermodysplasia verruciformis. It is a virus that causes growth of huge "moles" resulting in tree-like extensions.

Could this illness be where those myths about humans turning into trees are inspired from?.... ( like the ancient Greek myth of Daphne).
Although I guess human imagination could have made that up easily anyways.

You can see some videos about him:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Human without a body

Unbelievable but true... A human without a body...
They are two twins joined by the head. Only difference is the the second twin (called "parasitic" twin in the documentary) has no body.

Even though the "head-only" twin shares part of her brain with her sister she does seem to have a consciousness of her own with a distinct personality. She can smile and reacts to her environment (follows people and objects with her eyes). For obvious reasons (lack of throat and lungs) she can of course not speak.
The "head-only" twin was feeding her brain off her sisters blood directly (so her sister's body had to pump double the amount of blood to the heads). I wonder, would she feel hunger? Or would her sister feel hungry for her instead? (since she is the one who can actually eat and digest)

How is it even possible to have fused brains yet different personalities? (and does that say anything about people with multiple personality disorder?Or is that taking it a step too far?)

Fortunately/Unfortunately we wont know the answers.
To save the life of the twin with the body the mother and doctors decided to separate the two.

I would highly recommend the documentary to anyone: See part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Milk for calcium???....

You see them every day, advertisements about smiling families drinking "healthy milk" and "actor-doctors" advising women to drink lots of it in order to avoid osteoporosis. But how healthy and necessary milk actually is is questionable.

The very fact that we are the only animal that consumes milk beyond infancy should make us think. Furthermore, how is it possible that huge animals like elephants, which become as old as humans (70) and weigh much more (i.e. bones have a much "heavier" job), do not suffer from osteoporosis?

The answer lies in the green leaves they eat which are rich in calcium.

For us humans there are also plenty of green calcium-rich vegetables, (mostly green ones) like spinach, broccoli, soy beans , collards, bak choy, mustard greens, wasabi roots and many others.

Also, about 75% of world population seems to be lactose intolerant, meaning they can't really digest and eat diary products... Maybe another sign we don't really need it?

And what about those voices that say there are tons of carcinogen hormones, antibiotics and other dubious stuff in milk?.... You can of course ignore them, or read about them...

Conclusion: I would say, mind the milk. And if you want to continue drinking it in huge quantities, then at least go for skim milk (0% fat). This will keep you from growing fat PLUS you avoid all the hormones (estrogens) which reside in milks fat.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Do we need a brain? The 100gr human brain

Do you think that a person with a brain of just 100 grams (compared to the average "normal" brain of 1500 grams) could still function normally? Sounds impossible right?

Well, meet the impossible.
A normal young guy, studying mathematics and with an IQ of 126, was diagnosed with a serious form of hydrocephalus (a condition in which part of the head is filled with liquid instead of brain).
His head was 95% filled with liquid!!! Meaning that he actually had a brain of just 100 grams!!

How is this even possible? Is all we assume about the brain false? Where does our consciousness lie, where does our "thinking" really take place? Or does it mean that actually just 100 grams of brain would suffice?

The fact that such a condition is usually fatal, that people who have it often don't survive beyond childhood and that if they do they are severely handicapped makes it even more remarkable.

I am clueless!

You can read more details in this article or search the article published in Science magazine called "Is your brain really necessary?". I read about the above in "Eindeloos bewustzijn"(Endless consciousness) from cardiologist Pim van Lommel.