Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 238

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 238

Question 1

What ‘club-shaped’ organism, the cause of a ‘leathery’ disease, killed about 4000 people in the former Soviet states between 1991 and 1996?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Diphtheria caused by the exotoxin of Corynebacterium diptheriae.

An epidemic swept through the former Soviet states due to a number of factors: decreased immunisation rates and the breakdown of public health; waning immunity in adults who were vaccinated as children; poor socioeconomic conditions; population movements; and the resurgence of more toxic strains. [Reference]

Korynee = club (refers to the organism’s shape), diptherite = greek for leather (refers to the greyish membrane that is usually present – classically in the pharynx).

Question 2

How did Le Fort develop his classification of facial fractures?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

René Le Fort (1869 – 1951) was a French surgeon employed a number of different wounding agents which included a wooden club, a kick, a metal shaft and projecting the head against the corner of a marble table to develop the Le Fort classification of facial fractures.

Contrary to popular belief there were no cannon balls, mine shafts or bricks used.

The breakdown of his detailed 35 experiments in 1900 are as follows:

  • Metal shaft versus face = 1
  • Kick to the face = 2
  • Head versus corner of marble table or dissection table = 4
  • Head in a vice and tightened = 5
  • Wooden club to the face = 23


Question 3

What is selfitis? 

Reveal the funtabulous answer

A genuine mental condition whereby people feel compelled to continually post pictures of themselves on social media.

Originally a hoax, the term was first coined in 2014 as a spoof news story. Following on from this, researchers at Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management in India discovered it to be a true phenomenon.

What is your level of selfitis?

  • Borderline – Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media.
  • Acute – Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each one on social media
  • Chronic – Uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day.

Question 4

Time is a healer (as they say), but is it faster during the day or night?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


According to an observation study on burns patients, those who sustained the injury during the day healed faster (17 days versus 28 days if it was sustained at night).

Their theory postulates, the cellular clock modulates the efficiency of actin-dependent processes such as cell migration and adhesion, which ultimately affect the efficacy of wound healing.

On a similar theme, another research team found less adverse affects when heart surgery was performed in the afternoon versus the morning (28 out of 298 vs 54 out of 298)

Question 5

A defensive mucus secreted by slugs has inspired what medical invention?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Glue that sticks on wet surfaces.

The university’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering turned to the “Dusky Arion” slug, which creates sticky mucus as a defence against predators.

The incredible stickiness comes from the trinity of the attraction between the positively charged glue and negatively charged cells in the body; covalent bonds between atoms in the cell surface and the glue, and the way the glue physically penetrates tissue surfaces.

A team in Harvard University have used it to glue a hole in a pigs heart successfully.

…and finally

Courtesy of Strata5 on twitter

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Dr Neil Long BMBS FACEM FRCEM FRCPC. Emergency Physician at Kelowna hospital, British Columbia. Loves the misery of alpine climbing and working in austere environments (namely tertiary trauma centres). Supporter of FOAMed, lifelong education and trying to find that elusive peak performance.

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