Friday, October 29, 2010

Loma Linda Clinic Supply Skit

Glad to see the great LLUSD skit/video competition still producing winners!  The first half is a parody of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" with a great re-write of T.I.'s "Whatever you like" at the end.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

EARTOOTHACHE! Man has Tooth Removed from Ear 33 Years Later!

We've discussed some pretty bizarre things here, including a tooth intentionally lodged into an eye and various organs removed via the mouth. Well, today's story comes to us from England and involves a Stephen Hirst, a former miner (those guys are so popular right now!) who had an earache for 33 years.  Or was it a toothache? For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to call it an eartoothache.  It's like the manbearpig of orofacial pain.

The pain began around age 14.  He suffered from frequent infections, and would literally bang his head into the wall because it hurt so much.  Over the years he's had countless doctor visits but nobody was ever able to spot the tooth.  Until just recently, when a nurse cleaned his ear out with a suction tube, inserted a microscope, and simply removed the tooth with some tweezers.  Rather than totally freaking out, the calm nurse simply stood there and looked at it in disbelief.

The biggest question is, of course, HOW did his tooth get lodged in his ear canal?  Mr. Hirst recalls an accident in his youth that involved him falling between two desks at school and smashing the back of his ear against a desk.  How that would cause a primary tooth to end up in the ear is anyone's guess, but my theory is that it somehow became lodged in the opening of the Eustachian tube, causing a series of recurring episodes of inflammation which somehow moved the tooth along until it came to rest just behind the eardrum.

For the full story and pictures, visit the Daily Mail.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Teeth: the Historians of the Body

Thanks to Shakira, we all know that "hips don't lie".  While we each have our own experiences regarding the deceptiveness of hips, today's post proves to us that teeth don't lie.  In fact, the teeth are key players in piecing together some of history's mysteries. 

In 2005, archeologists discovered the "Boy with the Amber Necklace" buried within 3 miles of Stonehenge.  They estimate him to be about 14 years old at the time of his death, and surmise that he was an important individual based on his rare jewelry.

 Recently scientists were able to pinpoint where this boy came from - thanks to his teeth! explains the process as follows:
As tooth enamel forms in the first few years of childhood, it stores a chemical record of the environment in which the individual lives. Two of the chemical elements found in the enamel (oxygen and strontium) exist in different forms, or isotopes.
The levels of the isotopes found in enamel are informative to scientists analyzing them.
Most oxygen in teeth and bone comes from drinking water -- which is derived from rain or snow. In warmer climates, drinking water contains higher levels of heavy oxygen (O-18), compared to light oxygen (O-16) found in cold climates. So comparing the oxygen isotope ratio in teeth with that of drinking water from different regions can provide information about the climate in which a person grew up.
Strontium -- found in most rocks in small amounts -- also varies according to local geology. The isotope ratio of strontium in a person’s teeth can provide information on the geological area from which an individual lived as a child.
By combining the analysis of both elements in the teeth, archaeologists can point out particular regions where a person may have been raised.
 This has helped shed some light on the importance of Stonehenge.  It turns out that the Boy with the Amber Necklace came from the area of the Mediterranean Sea. Another Stonehenge corpse, known as the "Ansbury Archer" underwent the same testing, and his teeth revealed him to be from the Alpine Hills of Germany.


Also of interest is this article from the Guardian.