You weirdos asked for ’em and now we have ’em — glands! Brand-new gland-filled sticker packs are in the house and ready to go home with you. Fun, colorful and oversized, these endocrine-friendly stixs are perfect for decorating your stuff or reminding you exactly what on earth your pineal gland does (produces melatonin, that delightful sleep-inducing hormone). Whether you’re studying up on your endocrinology or just feeling hormonal, you need yourself some glands. In my head, all the glands were sort of undifferentiated blob-shaped sacks, but of course they all have their own wonderful special shapes unique to them. I’ll admit I was skeptical about how cute a testicle could be (he’s the blue one to the left), but I’ve warmed up to him.
Archive for August, 2008
For anyone who has ever wished they could trade in their broken pancreas for a new one, here’s some good news: Canadian scientists are getting closer to making replacement organs. The researchers encouraged stem cells to make the building blocks for what could turn into lungs, livers and pancreases, reported the journal Stem Cell. It will likely be decades before you’ll be able to order up a new set of lungs along with a pack of Marlboros at your local 7-11, but it’s still really cool science.
Just loaded up a bunch of new slightly damaged gutsy goods to the Steals + Deals section of our site, including a $9 plush heart that has a sort of blemish to his face. But he’s still gutsy. And lovable. He won’t last long around here at that price, so won’t you take him home? Gone! I’d also like to extend a special coupon to anyone insane enough to read this blog: plug in GUTS2008 at checkout and get 10% off your order. Good through the end of September. Photo from the Courtesy Coffee Shop in Blythe, CA.
Heart and kidney visited the esteemed Mayo Clinic a few days ago, on a special road trip. The I Heart Guts team (that would be my wonderful husband, our 9-month-old baby and me) hit the highway to investigate a rare affliction that’s troubling my man (more on that later), so we had some fun driving through the desert. While we were there, we checked out the gift shop to see if they needed any guts, but I think the answer has got to be no way, stocked as it was with purple boa-clad bears that, when a paw was pressed, sang Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to have Fun.” I won’t tell you about the singing chihuahua. On the bright side, the Mayo Scottsdale has a great medical library for patients, so if you’re in Phoenix, check it out! There’s tons of books, scientific journals, a giant glob of fake fat, a skeleton, and a really nice librarian. We wanted to stop by Red Hot Robot, an awesome vinyl toy shop in Phoenix, but we ran out of time. Pooper.
If you’re looking for a compelling and honest voice coming from the world of medicine, do yourself a favor and pick up a couple of books — Better and Complications, by Dr. Atul Gawande, a Boston surgeon, writer for the New Yorker and assistant professor at Harvard’s medical school (geez, what hasn’t the man done? Did I mention he wrote his first book, Complications, while still in med school? And it was a finalist for the National Book Award?). Anyway, both are filled with wonderful and fascinating ruminations on the science and art of medicine, including tales of tissue engineering (did you know that doc at Cedars-Sinai hospital grew some bioengineered livers, thereby buying time for those waiting for a liver transplant?) and the success of hand-washing in reducing hospital infections. It takes major guts for Gawande to admit to the many mistakes doctors and hospitals make, with hope that people will understand doctors are human beings after all, and that lawyers and litigation do not make better doctors — identifying mistakes and correcting them, however, does make better doctors. Great reads, if you are a medicine junkie like I am, I highly recommend both. Better than an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, even.
Boy, did I learn a lot about broken leg fetishes and catheter play today. Curious to know well I Heart Guts ranked on search engines under “medical toys,” I soon found myself learning all about vintage enema equipment, electric prostate stimulators and erotic mummification tools. My, my, my. So these are medical toys. My innocence has been lost. Needless to say, the guts don’t even make the first page on Google, not with this kind of competition.
What could be more appealing than having an idea pop — fully formed — into your brain while you sleep? According to a recent New Yorker article, this type of “eureka moment” may not be as uncommon as it sounds. “Another ideal moment for insights, according to the scientists, is the early morning, right after we wake up. The drowsy brain is unwound and disorganized, open to all sorts of unconventional ideas. The right hemisphere is also unusually active… We do some of our best thinking when we’re still half asleep…” Another great reason to hit that snooze button. Artwork by the amazing and talented Guilherme Marconi.
Cancer is no laughing matter, but we’d like to give props to City of Hope’s Underwear Affair campaign, which draws attention to the unpleasant and often-ignored diseases that develop beneath one’s drawers by getting people to drop them — or at least run around in their undies. We’re not talking STDs, but cancer of the prostate, colon, cervix, kidney, bladder, testicles, ovaries and uterus. Anyway, should you want see lots of skin while supporting research for these forms of cancer, go check out the 10k run tomorrow at the La Brea Tar Pits, 3pm.