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All Posts in Category: Funny facts!

Why do you laugh when tickled?

Have you ever wondered why do you laugh when tickled? And what is the mechanism behind this?
Well, I had and I want to share with you my findings.
You don’t spend a lot of time in any medical school learning about laughter. Almost at all. All you hear is that laugher is good for you, it’s “healthy” to have a good laugh, a hearty “belly” laugh, when you think you belly is going to explode…it is very soothing, alleviates pain (it is analgesic!), improves your mood, boosts your immune system and relieves stress. That’s all you can get in medical school. When it is studied in a more serious and scientific manner, it even has a Latin name, Gelotology (from the Greek gelos, meaning laughter) which is the study of laughter and its effects on the body. There is even a rare form of seizure, called gelastic seizure, often found in children, that causes one to laugh or giggle uncontrollably, with no apparent cause and no joyfulness in it, rather unpleasant and sardonic sounds.
Laughter is a complex process that requires the coordination of many muscles in the body. It is estimated that around 40-45 muscles take part in the laughing process, especially the facial muscles. We, humans, do have 53 facial muscles, but who’s counting?
Some researchers have tried to decipher the purpose of laughter and for me it is obvious that the reason for laughter has something to do with making human connections, a social signal of sorts that we are optimistic, we are enjoyable and fun for the potential mating partner. Who doesn’t want after all?
Studies have shown that people are thirty times more likely to laugh in social settings than when they are alone.
What about the connection between tickling and laughing?
It’s been studied by the evolutionary neuroscientists and biologists in Germany and they believe that this is an actual primal reflex. The physiological explanation of it goes like this: the part of the brain that tells us to laugh when we experience a light touch (the hypothalamus) is also the same part that tells us to expect a painful sensation (which is why you may accidentally lash out at someone who is trying to tickle you).
This is seen and interpreted by the brain as a defensive mechanism. We have evolved to send this signal out to show our submission to an aggressor, to dissipate a tense situation and prevent us from getting hurt. This also cast new light on why some people even start to laugh just with the threat of being tickled. Do you anyone like that? I do.
Our most ticklish parts are coincidentally our weakest spots, such as our neck, armpits or our stomach, and so the team at Tuebingen, Germany hypothesized that parents would have tickled their offspring to train them to react to danger and that the laughter of tickling is an acknowledgement of defeat.
So, why can’t we tickle ourselves? The scientists responded that, the cerebellum at the back of the brain tells you that you are about to self-tickle so the brain doesn’t waste any time and resources to interpret these signals, categorizing them as unimportant and irrelevant.
Are we the only mammals that laugh when tickled?
No, apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans) laugh just like us when tickled! And the rats too! But they giggle at 50 kHz, which is outside of human audio range.
Now do me a favor and laugh at this article and give you heart and diaphragm a good workout! And stop tickling yourself, I am telling you, it is not working, no matter what!

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Facts about Medicine

5 ways to increase life expectancy
1. Move more (spend more time outside).
2. Eat less.
3. Be married (to the right person!).
4. Have friends.
5. Own a dog.

5 ways to decrease life expectancy
1. Move less (spend more time watching television).
2. Eat more.
3. Be married (to the wrong person!).
4. Have enemies.
5. Own a wolf.

5 facts about animals in medicine
1. Animals permitted farming, and so civilization.
2. Animals, albeit without consent, add to the medical science through experimentation.
3. Animals provide therapeutic drugs, from the early days of insulin to novel drugs from the seabed.
4. Animals enhance people’s life expectancy: from eating fish to owning a dog
5. Animals enrich our lives

10 facts about medicine and literature
1. Greek classics described illness.
2. Hippocratic writings were the first to dispel magic.
3. Syphilis features liberally in Shakespeare, Dickens and Voltaire.
4. Vesalius’s On the Working of the Human Body (1543) revolutionized medicine.
5. Plague was the basis for Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year. His Robinson Crusoe was the first English novel.
6. The most famous literary doctor is perhaps Sir Arthur Doyle’s John H. Watson.
7. Doctors pop up where the story itself isn’t medical, as in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.
8. Samantha Harvey’s The Wilderness describes the mind’s descent into dementia, and its effects on those around the sufferer.
9. Oliver Sacks recounted many fascinating cases.
10. Novelists are often doctors or health professionals, such as Somerset Maugham, A.J.Cronin and Michael Crichton.

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Our heart

Our heart beats over 100,000 times a day.

The heart is a muscular organ in humans and other animals, which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system Blood provides the body with oxygen and nutrients, and also assists in the removal of metabolic wastes. The heart is located in the middle compartment of the mediastinum in the chest.

In humans, other mammals, and birds, the heart is divided into four chambers: upper left and right atria; and lower left and right ventricles. Commonly the right atrium and ventricle are referred together as the right heart and their left counterparts as the left heart. Fish in contrast have two chambers, an atrium and a ventricle, while reptiles have three chambers. In a healthy heart blood flows one way through the heart due to heart valves, which prevent backflow. The heart is enclosed in a protective sac, the pericardium, which also contains a small amount of fluid. The wall of the heart is made up of three layers: epicardium, myocardium, and endocardium.

The heart pumps blood through both circulatory systems. Blood low in oxygen from the systemic circulation enters the right atrium from the superior and inferior vena cavae and passes to the right ventricle. From here it is pumped into the pulmonary circulation, through the lungs where it receives oxygen and gives off carbon dioxide. Oxygenated blood then returns to the left atrium, passes through the left ventricle and is pumped out through the aorta to the systemic circulation−where the oxygen is used and metabolized to carbon dioxide. In addition the blood carries nutrients from the liver and gastrointestinal tract to various organs of the body, while transporting waste to the liver and kidneys. Normally with each heartbeat the right ventricle pumps the same amount of blood into the lungs as the left ventricle pumps to the body. Veins transport blood to the heart and carry deoxygenated blood – except for the pulmonary and portal veins. Arteries transport blood away from the heart, and apart from the pulmonary artery hold oxygenated blood. Their increased distance from the heart cause veins to have lower pressures than arteries. The heart contracts at a resting rate close to 72 beats per minute. Exercise temporarily increases the rate, but lowers resting heart rate in the long term, and is good for heart health.

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About human body – Sneeze

Sneezes regularly exceed 160 km/h & nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 274 km/h.

A sneeze, or sternutation, is a semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs through the nose and mouth, usually caused by foreign particles irritating the nasal mucosa. A sneeze expels air forcibly from the mouth and nose in an explosive, spasmodic involuntary action resulting chiefly from irritation of the nasal mucous membrane. Sneezing is possibly linked to sudden exposure to bright light, sudden change (fall) in temperature, breeze of cold air, a particularly full stomach, or viral infection, and can lead to the spread of disease.

The function of sneezing is to expel mucus containing foreign particles or irritants and cleanse the nasal cavity. During a sneeze, the soft palate and palatine uvula depress while the back of the tongue elevates to partially close the passage to the mouth so that air ejected from the lungs may be expelled through the nose. Because the closing of the mouth is partial, a considerable amount of this air is usually also expelled from the mouth. The force and extent of the expulsion of the air through the nose varies.

Sneezing cannot occur during sleep due to REM atonia – a bodily state wherein motor neurons are not stimulated and reflex signals are not relayed to the brain. Sufficient external stimulants, however, may cause a person to wake from their sleep for the purpose of sneezing, although any sneezing occurring afterwards would take place with a partially awake status at minimum

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