Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 031

Yay…it’s Friday.
Time to challenge that cerebral cortex and put on those ‘mental’ dancing shoes as we trip the light fantastic of medical trivia, and lift the latch on the cage of the tiger of tease…the Funtabulously, Frivolous Friday Five…

Question 1

  • What illegal substance helps glaucoma sufferers see at night?

  • Cannabis.
  • Marijuana is a mixture of the dried flowering leaves and tops from the plant cannabis sativa, and it contains over 400 chemicals. A medical use of marijuana has been to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). [Reference]

Question 2

  • According to many, what was the ‘ring of roses‘ in the childhood nursery rhyme?

  • The rash of the bubonic plague
  • It first appeared in print in 1881; but it is reported that a version was already being sung to the current tune in the 1790s

  • Many have associated the poem with the Great Plague of London in 1665, or with earlier outbreaks of the Black Death in England…however interpretation of the rhyme before World War II make no mention of this.
  • Indeed, given the large variety of verses, the global distribution and poorly defined origin of the verse it is hard to say with any certainty that this is in fact descriptive of the rash of the bubonic plague [Reference]

The invariable sneezing and falling down in modern English versions have given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the Great Plague. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, posies of herbs were carried as protection and to ward off the smell of the disease. Sneezing or coughing was a final fatal symptom, and ‘all fall down’ was exactly what happened. The line Ashes, Ashes in alternative versions of the rhyme is claimed to refer variously to cremation of the bodies, the burning of victims’ houses, or blackening of their skin, and the theory has been adapted to be applied to other versions of the rhyme.  In its various forms, the interpretation has entered into popular culture and has been used elsewhere to make oblique reference to the plague…[Reference]

Question 3

  • In 1667, a human received one of the first blood transfusions. What was the source of the blood?

  • A Lamb.
  • The first recorded blood transfusion into vein or artery took place in France in 1667 and was unsuccessful.
  • A cupful of lamb’s blood was transfused into a man via a silver tube. The man survived two transfusions and then died
  • 1616: William Harvey discovered that blood has a flow inside the animal body.
  • 1665: Richard Lower succeeded in saving life of a dog by transfusing another “dog’s” blood in it.
  • 1667: The first recorded blood transfusion into vein or artery took place in France in 1667 and was unsuccessful. A cupful of lamb’s blood was transfused into a man via a silver tube. The man survived two transfusions and then died.
  • 1668: The Pope banned any kind of experiment on blood
  • 1818: Dr. James Blund was successful in saving a man’s life by direct transfusion from another man.
  • 1874: William Highmore first suggested Autologous transfusion.
  • 1875: Karl Landsteiner was first to notice that just any man’s blood cannot be transfused to another.
  • 1900-01: Karl Landsteiner’s experiment revealed A, B and O group in human blood. This opened the floodgate for the development of science of “Transfusion Medicine”. Rightly, Karl Landsteiner was awarded “Nobel Prize” for his grand discovery.
  • 1914: Dr. Hustin’s use of sodium citrate removed the problems of coagulation of blood.
  • 1914–18: Blood transfusion was used during the first world war, when blood was transported to the battlefront in modified, clean, sterilized milk bottles. [Reference]

Question 4

  • The first of which class of drug was extracted from the venom of the Brazillian Arrow-headed viper?

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Mauricio Oscar Rocha e Silva was the pharmacologist who discovered bradykinin, a peptide hormone that lowers blood pressure, in the venom of the Brazillian pit viper Bothrops jararaca
  • This discovery led to the development of ACE inhibitors by Sérgio Ferreira

…that was the beginning of the inhibition of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), and the beginning of my career – Sérgio Ferreira

Ferreira SH. A bradykinin-potentiation factor (BPF) present in the venom of Bothrops JararacaBr J Pharmacol. 1965;24:163–169.

Question 5

  • From what disease did J.F. Kennedy suffer?

  • Addison’s Disease
  • During the 1960 presidential campaign, rumours surfaced that candidate John F. Kennedy was suffering from Addison’s disease, an incurable, potentially fatal deterioration of the adrenal glands. If true, the information could have influenced the outcome of what ended up being a very tight election. But Kennedy denied it, and the press, as it would later do with other unsavoury talk about the Kennedy clan, let the matter rest. [Reference]

…and remember…

…at least you spent your time wisely today…

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