New Yorrick is Coming!

March 4th, 2015

So after having worked on this project for a year, I am ready to let you in on what it is exactly.

So here is the tl;dr version:

  • Anatomical models can be very expensive and even worse: innacurate
  • Real specimins (organs, bones, etc.) can be fragile and in some cases, perishable. Not to mention you can’t always have access to cadavers (if you do and do not work in a medical setting, the NYPD would very much like to speak with you).
  • So I thought: “Hey why don’t I 3D print anatomical models that are as accurate as the real thing but durable?” So that is exactly what I am doing.
  • Pictures and links to my research are on their way. Stay tuned!
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Marasmus

by Marcus Cimino

I bet you guys were “starving” for another post, huh? Well today, we’ll talk about a condition that affects people who are actually starving: marasmus.

So what is it? In a nutshell, it is a type of undernourishment where a person is not getting enough calories in general. This is not to be confused by kwashiorkor which is mainly a lack of protein.

How do you tell those two apart? Well you should focus on the stomach as a child with kwashiorkor has a distended stomach.

(Source: http://www.dr-evans.com/)
(Source: http://www.dr-evans.com/)

Another big difference is that marasmus starts before 1 year of age while kwashiorkor starts after 18 months.

In addition to the physical characteristics above, the person will be fretful, irritable and extremely hungry. The mortality rate in these patients is higher when experiencing an illness or injury. Yet, compared to kwashiorkor, the survival rate is higher.

So what does this have to do with south park? Well in season 1, the boys of south park encounter Marvin, an Ethiopian. They get to know Marvin and a very little about Ethiopia. See the link below for the happy ending!

http://southpark.cc.com/clips/150038/back-home

 

So in short: Marvin is starvin’ because he has marasmus. He appeared in Southpark before season 1 was complete and marasmus occurs most often before a person is 1 year old. He is extremely hungry and fretful. It’s probably best if he doesn’t get sick or injured.

Interesting note: The rate of marasmus is not that high in Ethiopia. It is actually highest in Mali and Angola.

Mercury Poisoning

by Marcus Cimino

Wow, well the “daily” part of daily dose post is difficult to satisfy. Now I know why Jon Stewart’s hair is so grey.

intro photo
Now he needs the flag to stay warm. (Sources: Left – vh1.com, Right – wikimedia.org)

I also heard from some friends that my last post needed less technical terms and more pictures. I agree. Additionally that’s a hard way to get readers when one starts out with that topic(like a bat out of hell).

So here’s something a little more simple(I think):

Mercury poisoning!

I really like tuna, alright? Do you have a problem with that? (Sources: http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/ for the hat and http://i.ytimg.com/ for Ari Gold)
I really like tuna, alright? Do you have a problem with that? (Sources: http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/ for the hat and http://i.ytimg.com/ for Ari Gold)

So What is it? When one consumes or is exposed to too much mercury.

What are the symptoms? It varies case by case as the mode of exposure(inhalation, skin contact consumption etc.) can determine which symptoms are more prominent. They are dysthesias(abnormal senses), headaches, emotional changes, insomnia, muscle atrophy/fasciculations(twitching), and tremors.

In fact, the Mad Hatter from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland is a reference to the high prevalence of mercury poisoning as it was used to make hats during the 1800’s and hat makers would be afflicted (maybe you have heard the term “mad as a hatter”?)

Yet despite all of the advances we have made in hat making technology, it can still occur. in December 2008, Jeremy Piven was hospitalized for mercury poisoning which was attributed to his consumption of sushi twice a day. It could explain why Ari Gold, the character Jeremy Piven plays on the sow “Entourage”,  had so many emotional outbursts and headaches.

 photo hqxMiFn_zpsa201a164.gif

Ok so how is it treated? Well besides cutting back on the sushi (tuna, swordfish, shark and mackerel), patients can also go under “chelation therapy”, which basically means the drug takes up the mercury and the new molecule formed as a result can be excreted from the body safely.

For more detailed info, I recommend checking out this.