Sock sniffer suffers from fungal infection in lungs

A man only identified as Peng, 37, from Zhangzhou, China, was admitted to the hospital with chest pains and coughing bouts. He eventually confessed to being a dirty sock sniffer. He reportedly jonesed for the stink of his own hosiery and the daily practice led to a fungal infection in his lungs. From Science Alert:

...While it's difficult to prove his strange habit was the definite source of his chest infection, doctors concluded it was the most reasonable explanation – exacerbated by a lack of sleep that may have compromised his immunity.

"The infection could also be attributed to the patient's lack of rest at home as he had [been] looking after his child, leading to a weaker immune system," one of his doctors, Mai Zhuanying from Zhangzhou's 909 Hospital, explained to Pear Video.

Once the infection was diagnosed, Peng was hospitalised and treated for the condition. Fortunately, the sock-sniffer is expected to make a full recovery.

Asked by Live Science to comment on the case, Vanderbilt University infectious disease expert William Schaffner says the news report seems "dubious" but certainly not impossible. In any case, he says, it "reinforces the notion that one ought to launder ones socks frequently rather than trying to make a daily assessment as to whether you want to put them on again for the seventeeth time." Read the rest

Watch a rare "Corpse Flower" bloom while far away from the smell of death

Amorphophallus titanum is known as the "Corpse Flower" because it smells like rotten flesh. The infamous stink attracts flies and beetles that helps it get pollinated. Native to Sumatra, the plant rarely flowers and can take as long as a decade to bloom if it does. The New York Botanical Garden has cultivated a fine Corpse Flower and you can livestream it blooming any time now. Watch the video stream above but don't blink or you may miss it. If only Smell-O-Vision had caught on...

From the NYBG:

Each day of careful tending and feeding has led up to this moment: a brief yet glorious window in which the enormous plant (up to eight feet high) will unfurl, displaying the striking red interior and uncanny scent to which it owes its name. This is the first time that a blooming titan-arum has been put on display at the Garden since 1939, and this unique plant is unpredictable—it may be in flower for only one or two days.

The Corpse Flower (NYBG)

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