Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 106

Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF, introducing the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 106

Question 1

Which drug is derived from the saliva of the Gila Monster?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


The hormone exendin-4 occurs naturally in the saliva of the Gila monster, a large venomous lizard native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

Exenatide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 agonist (GLP-1 agonist) medication, belonging to the group of incretin mimetics, approved in April 2005 for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2

Question 2

Who first described the potential therapeutic use of botulinum toxin?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Justinus Kerner (1786-1862)

Dr Kerner, a noted German poet and physician provided an accurate description and theory for botulism. He recognised that the “sausage toxin” has potential clinical application in cases of “muscle hypercontractions, hyperhidrosis and hypersalivation.”

He started animal experiments and clinical experiments on himself, developed hypotheses on the pathophysiology of the toxin, suggested measures for prevention and treatment of botulism, and, finally, developed visions and ideas about future perspectives regarding the toxin, including its therapeutic use [Reference: The Lancet]

Question 3

A 30 year old chronic migraine sufferer stumbles into emergency following a mechanical fall and facial injury…his wounds ooze what can only be described as ‘dark green blood‘. What is the potential cause of this?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Sulfhaemoglobinaemia, arises from the (irreversible) incorporation of sulphur into haemoglobin (rendering it useless for oxygen transport).

First descibed in 2005 when a 42 year old man gave everyone a shock when he bled green blood during an operation. Cases are caused by taking large quantities of sulphur-containing medications. In this case the culprit was thought to be sumatriptan

Question 4

What is this, and where might you find one in the body?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Phrygian cap

An anatomical variation of the gallbladder can give it a folded tip appearance, resembling the cap. It was first described by Boyden EA in 1935. This the most common anatomical variation of the gallbladder. It is thought to have no significant clinical implications. [Reference]

  • Boyden EA. The phrygian cap in cholecystography: a congenital anomaly of the gallbladder. American journal of roentgenology and radium therapy 1935; 33: 589.
  • de Csepel J, Carroccio A, Pomp A. Soft-tissue images. “Phrygian cap” gallbladder. Can J Surg. 2003 Feb; 46(1): 50–51.

Question 5

Dick Ket (1902-1940) was a Dutch painter who is known for his self-portraits. What congenital condition is most commonly depicted?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Tetralogy of Fallot

Known to suffer from a heart defect, the clubbing, plethora and cyanosis noted in several of his paintings have led to the suggestion that he had the tetralogy of Fallot.

…and finally

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Medical Registrar fascinated by the quirky history of medicine and those crazy microbes.

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