Tag

general knowledge

Brain and Nervous System
July 11, 2018

What is Alice in Wonderland syndrome?

In the book and movie, Alice in Wonderland, the world doesn’t quite look or feel as it should: she tumbles down a hole, steps through a tiny door, and meets a giant caterpillar. As unimaginable as it sounds, this experience can be real for some. Strange, right? Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AIWS) is a rare condition where you experience distorted perception and disorientation. Common experiences with this condition may include feeling smaller or larger than you actually are. You may also feel like the room, or objects in the room seem to move around, or that they are closer or…
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General knowledge
June 11, 2018

What causes hiccups?

You're in the middle of telling your friends how your weekend was, when “hic!” your body jerks and your throat quickly contracts. Oh man! You have the hiccups again. Why does this happen, and how do you make it stop? Hiccups are involuntary contractions from your diaphragm, the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen. The diaphragm plays an important role in breathing. When you hiccup, your vocal cords are blocked after each contraction which causes you to make the “hic” sound. Hiccups are usually harmless, but in some cases, they may be linked to a serious condition. Why…
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General knowledge
May 11, 2018

Are artificial organs the future?

Imagine you walk into a waiting-room in hospital. You approach the reception, fill out a form, and hand it back to the receptionist. She punches your details into the machine, and prints out a ticket, saying: “Please take a seat. You are number 2500 in the queue.” This is effectively what is happening for people awaiting organ transplant. Currently in South Africa, there are at least 2500 people on the waiting list. According to information by the LoveLife Organisation, not even one percent of our population is registered as organ donors, which means  if you are on a transplant waiting…
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General knowledge
May 11, 2018

How mosquitoes choose their victims

You can’t sleep because you’ve been scratching and itching from mosquito bites, again! Why do they swarm to slurp your blood every night, but they seem to avoid your roommate? Why these little vampires need blood Pesky mosquitos are commonly known as bloodsuckers, but only female mosquitos are the culprits. Mosquitos generally feed on the nectar of flowers, but female mosquitos need blood to breed and lay fertile eggs. The secret ingredient they’re looking for is protein which is necessary to develop their eggs. The blood is also used to feed young mosquitos. Different species of mosquito’s feed on human…
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General knowledge
March 7, 2018

These people can see sounds and taste words

Imagine seeing swirls of colours when you listen to music and tasting different flavours when you see shapes or objects. It might sound impossible, but this is a reality for a synesthetic person. Synesthesia is a neurological condition that causes your brain to process information in such a way that you’d experience senses like tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing simultaneously. It may sound like hallucination, but the sensations that synesthetes experience are consistent. For example, a person with synesthesia may associate the musical note “F” with a shade of red, number three with the colour pink and the word “truck”…
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Brain and Nervous System
March 7, 2018

Can a brain injury make you a genius?

The superhero comic books may have been onto something: as strange as it might seem, a devastating experience like a brain injury could unlock an unexpected potential within your brain. Imagine waking up after a brain injury and being able to play the piano like Beethoven in his prime. Where previously you’d never even had a lesson! This is called acquired savant syndrome, an extraordinary phenomenon that happens to some people after a traumatic brain incident. Unleashing your genius The word savant literally means: “a person of profound learning or wisdom.” Although we aren’t sure how acquired savant syndrome happens,…
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Skin
July 3, 2016

What do your nails say about you?

No, we’re not talking about the latest manicure trends – your nails (without any cutex) actually give us many clues about your health-status. Just by looking at them, a well trained eye can pick up potential problems! Before you panic when you see this list, it’s important to note that we don’t only use the nails to diagnose, but your nails can give doctors a good sense of what to expect. (more…)
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Healthy Lifestyle
April 19, 2016

Music: Fine-tune your health

Forget the crash diets – music can make you healthy! Classic, rock, jazz…whatever your taste in music may be, it doesn’t matter – you listen to it because you enjoy it, but did you know it can also give you a better quality of life? (more…)
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General knowledge
November 7, 2015

4 More weird medical facts

We may think we know ourselves better than everyone else, but that doesn’t always mean we know or understand our bodies. Are you ready to find out some more weird facts about your body? You are taller in the morning! Your height is one of those things that just doesn’t change after you’ve hit a certain age. No cream, exercise or medicine can make you taller. Surgery is possible, but it’s painful, expensive and comes with complications. There is one time that you are taller though, and it’s right after you climb out of bed. When you sleep, the little…
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