Dive into the marvelous world of amazing creatures

At university, I was most impressed by one professor for molecular genetics, who not only was extremely knowledgeable in his field of study but also suffered from the worst case of dandruff I’ve ever encountered. The shoulders of his black jacket were covered with powdery skin residue, to such an extent that his scientific credence was somewhat overtoned by student jest. I have moved on since, and this dermally challenged professor dropped from sight. But science has progressed so that now we know that dandruff is caused by yeast: and in fact, these Malassezia species cause many skin diseases in humans. M. globosa and M. restricta seem to be the worst culprits when it comes to dandruff. Read more in Wikipedia… and better use a shampoo that effectively combats these yeasts.

Readers will know that I enjoy Wikipedia and that I thumb through the articles almost on a daily basis. However, and slightly disappointing, if it comes to bagpipes, Wikipedia only tells half the story. Little mention about the long-term hazardous effects of blowing the bagpipe on the health of the musician. Bagpipe lung can be added to the list of alternative monikers for hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which is already known as “bird fancier’s lung”, “farmer’s lung” and  “hot tub lung,” after the wide range of activities to which it has previously been linked. Instruments can become infested with mold and this is related to potentially fatal lung disease. Next time you see (or hear) a bagpipe playing, or even think of giving the old bag a squeeze yourself – better think twice.

Finally to one of my favorite creatures! My youngest son told me a weird story that humans eat dozens of spiders each night… a tale that I found slightly disturbing and mostly unbelievable. I advise you to do a quick internet search for Demodex and look at the images and read the corresponding articles. These creatures dwell in the hair follicles of human eyebrows, come out at night to roam our faces, and live off the oil on our skin. Next time you look your loved one in the face, try not to think of this intriguing organism… and better not bring it up in pleasant conversation. I did, it kinda ruined the evening.

Originally posted 2017-12-30 21:06:18.

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