Within each human being, there is an entire universe that is made up of cells, nerves and complex biological procedures. While they display highly advanced engineering, they are also very weird. The body can maintain a collection of abilities that are rare and helpful. Here are some rare and unique discoveries from the world of medicine.
Why don’t we faint?
There is a huge drop in blood pressure whenever humans stand up. This drop is so severe that we should simply faint every time that we stand up. However, something in the body prevents this from happening. This is a pair of proteins known as PIEZO1 and PIEZO2. They trigger a baroreceptor reflex to increase heart rate and compensate for lost blood pressure when we stand up from a chair.
People can actually recognize up to 5,000 faces
Facial recognition has always been an interesting topic. In 2018, researchers decided to find out how many faces humans could actually recognize. The experiment was performed in two universities and involved a group of students aged 18 to 61. They were asked to list down all the people they could remember in 1 hour. Using special statistical mathematics, the researchers concluded that humans can recall up to 5,000 people!
A 52-year-old Italian man burst into a hospital emergency room crying blood! He explained that the blood had started pouring out of his eyes two hours earlier. It was painless but deeply disturbing. Turns out the was suffering from hemolacria. After surgery to remove some eyelid tumors and application of eye drops, the man-made a full recovery!
Deformities of the Pleistocene era
66 fossils from the Pleistocene era arrived at the desk of Erik Trinkaus in 2018. The fossils were between 2.6 million to 11,700 years old. They were the bones of young adults from Eurasia and the Middle East. Astonishingly, the bones also showed that these humans had suffered from major abnormalities. Examples of these include bowed legs and deformed jaws as well. The anthropologist concluded that these deformities were caused by hydrocephaly, blood disorders and inbreeding. Interestingly, he also made the hypothesis that deformed people were highly likely to be buried differently from others. This could be evidence of culture among the Pleistocene people!
Your nerves can remember the food
The gut does a whole lot more than process food. It is connected to the brain through the vagus nerve. It is the longest nerve in the body and helps you to identify when you’ve had enough. It also helps the brain to remember where food is stored! After experiments involving rats, researchers found that this nerve works to help them pinpoint where food was stored. Whenever you remember where a tub of ice-cream is located in your fridge, it’s the vagus nerve working!
The left brain that worked
A little boy called U.D. arrived in hospital experiencing multiple unmanageable seizures. After much effort, the doctors simply couldn’t find the cause. They decided to remove a big part of U.D.’s right hemisphere. They severed the section which controls sound and vision too. The solution worked. Despite losing a third of his left brain, U.D. is free from seizures, can read and is showing normal child development!
A new language with no words at all
Beatboxers can mimic the sounds of instruments using their vocal cords, jaws and oral parts. Scientists have always been intrigued by beatboxing. Thus, they decided to perform a study. A group of beatboxers varying in age and expertise were inserted into an MRI machine. They were asked to make music and the scientists watched in awe! Shockingly, the beatboxers used the vocal cords and oral tissues in a way that was totally unrelated to speech. They made brand new, unique movements and sounds. This affirmed that beatboxers can make sounds that are outside all known phonetics and languages.
Indonesia is full of beautiful sceneries and rich culture. The Bajau people have lived on boats in this country for more than 1,000 years. They spend most of their time hunting for food and coral underwater. During these activities, they are deprived of oxygen for long periods of time. Scientists wondered if these people had evolved enough to compensate for their long dives. After performing a study, they found that the spleens of Bajau people are 50% bigger than normal. Hence, they can store oxygen-rich blood to nourish the muscle tissues during long dives!
Cancer’s silver bullet
A huge breakthrough has been made in terms of killing cancer. Scientists have finally discovered a kill code that could eliminate cancer. Interestingly, this code has always been contained in human cells. After a study in 2017, researchers discovered that specific Ribonucleic acids (RNAs) could effectively kill cancer cells, including malignant ones. In 2018, it was found that these acids contain a genetic code which is absolutely toxic to cancerous cells. This code also eliminates the genes that encourage the growth of cancer! Researchers are now working on a powerful medication that could trigger this in cancer patients.
The world of medicine is full of new developments and startling discoveries. Some of the more interesting ones are described above. They reveal that medical science still has many surprises up its sleeve!