Life/Form's $186 circumcision trainers "include the foreskin, glans penis, frenulum, meatus, and coronal groove" and are "made with our soft, lifelike material, which is pliable, delicate, and realistic to the touch."
More seriously, Life/Form sells a pretty amazing range of anatomical models for training and education, including a 1lb lump of fat (also sold by the ounce and the five-weight); artificial blood by the quart; gangrenous, ulcerated feet; lifelike bedsores; obese, geriatric head/torso mixes; jars of artificial earwax, and much, much more.
Infant Circumcision Trainer, White
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Kirstie Clements, a former Vogue editor, has written an horrific column for the Guardian detailing the physical privation experienced by the size-zero models used by couture designers. She tells of models who were so weak from starvation that they literally couldn't stand for an entire photo-shoot, so that some of final photos had to be contrived with the models lying down. She writes about a model's roommate who was mostly on her own, because her "flatmate is a 'fit model', so she's in hospital on a drip a lot of the time." That is, her roommate, a reference model for designers, was so starved that she was frequently hospitalized.
Read the rest
The Kite Patch is the subject of a very successful Indiegogo fundraiser, and holds the promise of a lasting peace between mosquitoes and humans. It bears a compound designed by UC Riverside entomologist Anandasankar Ray that confuses mosquitoes' ability to track and follow concentration gradients of CO2, which is how they locate humans. However, the product couldn't be marketed in the USA without further testing, hence the crowdfunding campaign, which will send thousands of patches to Uganda, where they will be used as part of a wider trial in fighting malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. The actual nature of the compound is confusing: the Wired article describes it as both "toxic" and "nontoxic" and the crowdfunding FAQ calls it "nontoxic."
Read the rest
New York Times China correspondent Edward Wong describes his life in heavily polluted Beijing
, where he no longer feels safe running outside and, in order to bike around town, dons a black air filter face mask that makes him "look like an Asian Darth Vader". — Maggie
Dr. Stacy Makhnevich was a NYC dentist (billing herself as the "Classical Singer Dentist of New York") who made use of a bizarre form provided by a company called "Medical Justice." Her patients were expected to sign this form, through which they assigned copyright in all their reviews of the dental practice and the doctor to the doctor herself, enabling her to use copyright notices to censor any criticism of her that appeared online. Robert Lee was an unhappy patient who posted a one-star Yelp review in 2010, and subsequently ended up embroiled in litigation against Makhnevich -- a lawsuit that would have likely settled the question of the legality of Medical Justice's adhesion contracts.
But Medical Justice left Makhnevich to fight the claim on her own, and she has subsequently disappeared. It seems she is no longer practicing dentistry, and her lawyers can't locate her and have asked to shut down the case.
Read the rest
Bacteria are becoming resistant to one of the last classes of antibiotics available
to treat them, writes Maryn McKenna at Nature. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are a family of lung, blood, and bladder infections that can turn horribly deadly. Meanwhile, at Scientific American, Charles Q. Choi writes about other scientists looking for ways to turn bacteria against one another, unleashing predatory microbes
that can destroy drug-resistant bacteria. — Maggie
Wales is in the grip of a measles epidemic
, thanks to the anti-vaccine scare more than a decade ago. Once the critical mass of herd immunity dropped below a certain threshold, in came the old, deadly -- and utterly preventable -- disease.
The Anti-Vaccine Body Count
site reminds us that since celebrities like Jenny McCarthy took the cause of scaring parents into avoiding life-saving vaccines, thousands of preventable illnesses and deaths have struck. Since 2007 alone, more than 110,000 preventable illnesses and 1,170 deaths have occurred. In that same timeframe, the number of autism diagnoses linked through scientific evidence and review to vaccination is zero
. (via Making Light
Maggie Koerth-Baker interviews OB/GYN Dr. Jen Gunter, who has personal experience of treating patients forced to seek out distant or questionable abortion providers, and the complications they suffer as a result.
Read the rest
Human papillomavirus is a well-known and widely researched threat to womens’ health. But men are at risk too, writes Maggie Koerth-Baker,—and the scientific outlook is much more uncertain.
Read the rest
Tracy Miller, New York Daily News:
"Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, can cause health problems in anyone, not just pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems
, researchers warn in a newly published paper." — Rob
Marie Myung-Ok-Lee in the New York Times:
"I delivered my first donation, in Tupperware, and Gene took it into the privacy of his bathroom. I stayed, just in case I was needed, and after about half an hour, he came out and told me, with a look of wonder, that he was feeling better already. Already? We checked with Dr. Shepard, who told us that, indeed, one can feel the effects that quickly.
Members of the decadent nouveau riche of Shenzhen in South China have provoked online outrage by taking up breast-milk consumption as a high-status health treatment. According to sources quoted in the Times of India, agencies recruit wet nurses from among recent mothers and pay them $2,000-$4,000 to allow rich people to nurse from their breasts, or to pump milk for later consumption.
"This adds to China's problem of treating women as consumer goods and the moral degradation of China's rich," wrote Cao Baoyin, a writer and regular commentator in Chinese media, on his blog.
Breast milk drinking by rich adults provokes outrage in China [Saibal Dasgupta/Times of India]
When eight-year-old Grady Hoffman went into the hospital for a bone-marrow transplant and a two month recovery, he stayed in touch with his family by means of a telepresence robot
that rolled around the house, feeding him video and audio from home and his siblings, and letting him talk to them.
Simon sez, "I'm a 19 year old Computer Science student and increasingly got neck ache from sitting at my computer. I read blog posts on the benefits of standing desks so tried a plank rested on CD drives. My neck felt great but my desk was ugly. So I set about designing the perfect standing desk, combining beauty, functionality, and ergonomics. The result -- which I'm funding on Kickstarter -- is a stunning standing desk precisely laser cut from birch plywood, crystal clear acrylic and soft natural cork with reused glass bottles for legs.
Cork is used to make the entire front edge a soft comfortable palm rest. There is a drawer lined with cork to protect small gadgets. A keyboard shelf slides peripherals away from dust. Backstops with cable slots stop pens or wires dropping behind the desk. The transparent surfaces make finding items in the drawer fast and feeding wires through the cable management hole easy. Finally, reusing bottles for legs means you can select the perfect size to make the desk an ergonomic height for you."
The desks are lovely, but Simon doesn't list any manufacturing experience in his bio. The usual kickstarter caveats apply: even if this is funded, you may never get anything for your money. Simple risers are £50; the desk is £300 and up.
SG Designed Laser Cut Standing Desks