Wedgie-associated nerve damage in a 50-year old man [medical report]

Wedgies have been the staple of school-yard bullies and pranksters for years. While reportedly possible to die of asphyxiation from application of an atomic wedgie, there has not been a medical report about the possible dangers of the act. Getting a firm grip on the problem, this case report pulls up the underpinnings of damage caused […]

The birth of the Big Bang Theory

This study is, quite plainly, the birth of the Big Bang Theory: “Nitroglycerin to Facilitate Fetal Extraction During Cesearean Delivery,” M. David, H. Halle, W. Lichtenegger, P. Sinha, and T. Zimmerman, Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 91, no. 1, January 1998, pp. 119-24. (Thanks to Richard Leavitt for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are, […]

Forensic Comparison: Sex With Animals vs Human-Butt-Fisting

The traditional method of literary analysis known as “Compare and Contrast” gets a workout in this newly published medical study: “Similar mechanisms of traumatic rectal injuries in patients who had anal sex with animals to those who were butt-fisted by human sexual partner,” Damian Jacob Sendler, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol. 51, 2017, […]

It’s just an incidentaloma

What’s an incidentaloma? “Incidentaloma” is a medical term. These two papers are among the many that try to explain: “Benign anatomical mistakes: Incidentaloma,” Mirilas, Petros; Skandalakis, J E., The American Surgeon, 68.11 (Nov 2002): 1026-8. “Screening using whole-body magnetic resonance imaging scanning: who wants an incidentaloma?” Rustam Al-Shahi Salman,William N Whiteley, Charles Warlow, J Med Screen, 2007;14:2–4 (Thanks […]

Coffee and Cancer: A Bad News Burp for Modern Science Journalism

A newly published study is bad news for news organizations — it’s a burp in the stream of guaranteed-attention-getting medical reports that suggest coffee-drinking might cause cancer. The study is: “Coffee and Cancer Risk: A Summary Overview,” Gianfranco Alicandro [pictured here], Alessandra Tavani, and Carlo La Vecchia, European Journal of Cancer Prevention, epub March 2017. The authors, at the University of […]

Textilomas, Gossypibomas, Gauzomas, or Muslinomas are Not Tumors

Woven fabrics occasionally turn up inside human bodies, where they can be mistaken for tumors. This study looks for and at some of them, and gives them colorful names: “Textiloma (Gossypiboma) Mimicking Recurrent Intracranial Tumor,” Teresa Ribalta, Ian E. McCutcheon, Antonio G. Neto, Deepali Gupta, A. J. Kumar, David A. Biddle, Lauren A. Langford, Janet […]

Egg in Your Eye (podcast 101)

Can the public focus on the medical dangers of egg-throwing at Halloween? A research study explores that very question, and we explore that study, in this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams discusses a published egg-in-your-eye study. Psychologist Jean Berko Gleason lends her voice, and her scientific expertise, and her opinions —with dramatic readings from a research study you […]