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Paying with your phone? It will soon be old fashion: It’s the age of the palm reader

Adapted from the Wall Street Journal

Amazon thinks paying with your palm may be the next cool thing. You won’t have to pull out your credit card nor your phone. Just scan your hand and you’re all set!

The image of the human hand encoded in DNA!

From the BBC

Researches chose the image of a human hand, representing the first form of human painting, to be the first DNA encoded image in a living form!
They inserted DNA sequences that represent the image into the genome of bacteria. Later, They decoded the sequences  into an image using a computer algorism with at least 90% accuracy.

The original DNA-coded image and the decoded image

Gloves Through History

Adapted from: Fashion Times

Gloves played a substantial role in the conduct of human affairs and social interactions beyond keeping one’s hands warm and protected since ancient societies. Early Egyptian Pyramids contained hand covers without fingers. The tomb of Tutankhamen had the remains of decorated gloves.

Falconry, from De Arte Venandi cum Avibus, (On The Art of Hunting with Birds) , 1240 AC

Leather gloves were popular in the 1100s. Sturdy leather gloves were worn by laborers, falconers, and knights, whereas fashion gloves were crafted of fine leathers such as doeskin and lamb. Scented gloves were developed in the 1500s. Chicken skin gloves were worn at night to keep hands soft and white. Fabric gloves crafted from silk, satin, velvet, cotton, and linen were stylish in the 1500s.


Gloves had a variety of symbolic uses. The delivery of a glove to a monarch at an inauguration ceremony symbolized recognition of the new authority. Nobles received a glove when knighted.  Bishop status was granted by the delivery of a glove as well.  On the same token, Knights conveyed defiance or launched a challenge by casting down their war-gloves (gauntlet).

Gloves were used as messages of good will between sovereigns and dignitaries. They were sent to wish a person well, to congratulate them, or to console them. Gloves were also used for binding a bargain or as a bribe.

Gloves were a token of love.  They served a knight as an everlasting reminder of his love, inducing him to courage, loyalty and constancy while away. It also served as a charm against evil during conflict.

Today, gloves are practical articles that warm and protect our hands. People continue the tradition of wearing gloves at funerals, weddings, state functions, formal events, and the opera,  as gloves maintain their symbolic value and fashion statements.

Giant Robotic Hand on Display in Pittsburgh


BioMechanical Hand at the Cwrnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh PA

BioMechanical Hand at the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh PA

The Carnegie Science Center‘s Roboworld  exhibit in Pittsburgh PA features a giant mechanical hand. You can move its individual parts using a computerized controller. If you are into Robots and / or Mechanical displays, this is the place to go to.



Haunted Arm Cast

My young patient had a happy surprise when she realized her cast was a glow-in-the-dark ‘ghost’ cast.

Harry Potter’s Brackium Emendo- healing broken bones in Witchcraft

Adapted from HarryPotterWikia

Harry Potter fans know very well that witchcraft can be dangerous.

Harry broke his ‘arm’ ( in reality, it was both-bone forearm fracture) during a Quidditch game and was ‘doctored’ by Professor Lockhart. The spell he used, Brackium Emendo, did not work as intended: instead of healing the bones, it made them disappear. Harry was then taken to the Hospital wing and treated with Skele-Gro, an awful tasting potion that grows missing bones.


I offer these few points to consider from an Orthopedic point of view:

This is a Sports injury! Should Quidditch players not wear protective ‘armor’?

Can this spell truly heal broken bones instantly?  No cast! No Surgery! No down time! I should go spend sometime at Hogwarts.

Oops. The spell did not work after all. On top, it had the unintended consequence of missing bones: a Complication.

The ‘Doctor’ did not explain the treatment ( the spell itself), its risks ( missing bones), other alternatives ( let it heal with a cast), and did not get consent for treatment. In fact, Potter did not want him to cast the spell! In our world, it is an easy law suit!

The ‘credentials’ of the ‘doctor’ were suspicious to start with. Was he Witchcraft-Certified? even better for the law suit.

Skele-Gro was used to reverse the complication. Where can I get one? Would it work on stubborn fractures ( nonunions) and missing bone fragments? Yet another reason to visit Hogwarts.



Paper Cuts Hurt so Much

Adapted from BBC

Paper, seemingly completely harmless, can be a weapon in disguise: paper cuts hurt way beyond expectations.

It’s all to do with nerve endings. There are a lot more pain receptors in your fingertips than almost anywhere else in your body, which explains the intense fiery quality of finger paper cuts that are worse that than deeper cuts on the arm or the thigh. They don’t slice that deep into your body, which is perhaps why it’s puzzling that they should hurt so much. But it’s exactly for this reason that paper cuts hurt bad. A deeper wound would result in bleeding. The blood would clot and a scab would develop protecting it from the environment. The shallow wound of a paper cut doesn’t get the same cover, leaving the injured nerve endings exposed and more irritated.

Having said that, nobody has ever proven that this is the case, but it is a reasonable hypothesis. Don’t you agree?

Broken Shoulder- 3 million years ago

Adapted from The Smithonian

Lucy, the famous 3 million years old hominin, has been a mistery for the last few years: how did she die? A group of orthopedic surgeons were asked to review recently obtained 3D CT scans of her skeletal remains and recognized something we are all too familiar with: fracture patterns of the shoulder and other bones that we see with high energy injuries in humans. Those were fractures that happened just before and led to her and not bone breakdown that happens to bone fossils.

Wrist x-rays can predict a Child’s age

Adapted from Radiopaedia.org

Can you guess the bone age of this wrist x-ray?

Did you know that your kid’s wrist x-ray roughly matches his/her age?

The small bones of the wrist are called the carpal bones. They start out with no calcium at birth, and do not show on x-ray. They start building up calcium during the first three months of age in a process called Ossification. This occurs in a predictable manner and the bones ‘start appearing’ on x-ray in this order:

  • One bone:                 1-3 months
  • Two bones:               2-4 months
  • Three bones:            2-3 years
  • Four bones:              2-4 years
  • Five-seven bones:   4-6 years
  • Eight bones:             8-12 years

Next time you get an x-ray of your child’s wrist, count the ‘little round’ bones to find out the ‘bone age’.

Time to ossification, similar to height and weight of a growing child, can be highly variable and bone age X-rays are not obtained for  healthy children. A discrepancy between bone age and actual age is not a reason to worry unless there are concerns about the child’s growth.


What it’s like to be a Hand Model

From the Big Great Story

Ever wondered who and how some people end up as  hand models?

This short video takes you behind the scenes and shares the experiences of three professional hand models.


On Fingerprints and What They Stand for

adapted from Wikipedia

Fingerprints are the detailed, unique, difficult to alter, impressions left by the friction ridges of fingers. Fingerprints are deposited on smooth surfaces by the natural secretions of sweat of the finger tips. Fingerprints are useful to confirm identity. They may be employed by police or other authorities to identify individuals who are incapacitated, deceased, or unable to identify themselves, such as young children or lost their memories. The ability to recover fingerprints and compare them, led to Fingerprint analysis, which has been in use since the early 20th century and has led to many crimes being solved. Today, many criminals wear gloves to avoid being caught. In 2015, fingerprint analysis was reported to be able to determine find the person’s gender.

Fingerprints have been found on ancient Babylonian artifacts, on the walls of Egyptian tombs, Greek, and Chinese pottery, as well as on bricks and tiles from ancient Babylon and Rome. Fingerprints were used as signatures in ancient Babylon,2000 BCE, and are still used in countries where some people do not know how to write and sign their names. who  in the second millennium BCE.

Fingerprints can also be a subject, or tools, of art. More than 320 students and staff at King Street Intermediate School in Danbury, Connecticut, fingerprinted themselves for fingerprint art installation for The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Artist Sandy Garnett has a whole fingerprint-themed art project.

One last point: patients with a  very rare medical condition, adermatoglyphia, have no fingerprints. The have completely smooth fingertips, palms, toes and soles, but no other related medical problems.

An Arrow in the Humerus Uncovers a Colossal Bronze Age Battle

Adapted from Science magazine

In 1996, an amateur archaeologist found a humerus bone north of Berlin. A flint arrowhead was embedded into the one end of the bone, ( funny it is nicknamed the surgical neck) prompting archaeologists to dig more. They found 130 people and five horses so far, and the bones were dated to about 1250 B.C.E., Europe’s Bronze Age. It is estimated that as much as  4000 warriors took part in the fighting- a large number for the bronze age which reflects significant advances in social organization to supports armies of this scale. “It could be the first evidence of a turning point in social organization and warfare in Europe,” one author said.


On Broken Elbows and the Difference between Dictating and Writing

From NPR

Following an injury to her elbow resulting in a broken bone, writer Julia Reed learned about the difference between her speaking voice and her writing voice. “You’d be amazed at what you need two arms and hands for, including, as it happens, my job, ” she said. She sought help from several dictation apps. It won’t be a problem. She the apps as ‘highly temperamental … and …. steadfastly refused to understand almost everything [she] had to say.’ The author also realized that one cannot ‘talk’ a story. When we talk, we do not edit ourselves, and writing (or typing) things down gives us at least a second chance to fix what needs fixed and remove what does not belong there.

Many a time, you do not realize the value of what you have until you can’t have it anymore ( or, in this case, cast it)…

Hand, X-Rays and, wait… Smuggling!

Adapted from NRP

I have heard many odd stories about medicine, but this one is different…

The Soviet Union state censorship was real strict in the 1950s, and foreign music records were difficult if not impossible to obtain in Russia. Some russians figured out a way to smuggle those records, by cutting grooves into used vinyl X-rays. This was recently discovered, and now there is a book written about it titled X Ray Audio.



What Happens when Knuckles Crack?

Adapted from: MDLinx and UC Davis

Recent research at UC Davis Health System looked into two questions about knuckle cracking: What causes the “crack” sound, and does it damage the hand? Ultrasound evaluations showed that the knuckle–cracking sound occurs when gas bubbles form in joints very quickly — faster than the blink of an eye. The study also suggests that the “crack” is caused by bubble forming, rather than bubble bursting.

Examinations by hand specialists found no problems in the joints of knuckle crackers, a finding that contradicts a previous study that suggested that knuckle cracking may cause joint swelling and weaken grip.

Author’s note: I personally used to crack my knuckles. My 8-years-old don does that now. I keep telling him not to do it, but- I guess- I do not have a good reason anymore…

Doctors and Santa Claus may be Equally Reliable

Source: Doctors are as Reliable as Santa Claus (or Vice Versa)

A team of researchers decided wanted to find out what people thought of doctors how that compared to … Santa.

The researchers showed a film in which a narrator dressed as either Santa Claus or a doctor and told an identical story.

The results:

1- Santa Claus was perceived to be friendlier.

2- Both were equally reliable….


3D-printed prosthetic hand throws first pitch

From Sports Illustrated

Five-year-old girl, born with a hand birth defect, threw the first pitch for Baltimore Orioles using her 3D-printed prosthetic hand. The hand was designed and printed at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Follow the link to watch the pitch!

Your Chef is: a Pair of Robot Hands!

Adapted from NPR

Tim Anderson, a freelance chef who won the BBC’s MasterChef competition in 2011, donned a special pair of gloves and started cooking. Those were motion sensor gloves, and his moves were being recorded and coded- and the data was fed into the all new Robot Chef!

Anderson taught the robot how to prepare stir fry, sushi, steak, pasta as well as crab bisque. The plan is to teach the robot about 2000 dishes before releasing it to the public.

But don’t give away all your cookbooks just yet. The robot chef costs about $15,000.

Why Knuckles Crack

Adapted from National Public Radio.

Scientists think they may have solved an old question about the cracking of knuckles: Why does it do that?

The crack apparently comes from a bubble forming in the fluid within the joint when the bones separate. It’s like a tiny air bag inflating. This theory about knuckle-cracking was first proposed in 1947 but challenged in the 1970s.

One guy, who is really good at cracking his knuckles volunteered to put his hand inside a special MRI scanner, and made a movie of the inside of his knuckles as they pulled on the end of each finger to make it crack. What they saw was clear: The cracking sound comes when a bubble forms between the bones of the knuckle joint — not when it collapses.

The discovery challenges the common misconception that knuckle-cracking causes arthritis.

An apple a day does not keep the doctor away

Adapted from Becker’s Hospital Review.

The proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” dates back to the 1860s. (The Washington Post).

A recent study published in the April Fool’s issue of JAMA  found no significant difference regarding doctor’s visit between daily apple eaters compared to others.

Apple eaters were slightly more successful in avoiding prescription medications, suggesting the proverb should say, “An apple a day keeps the pharmacist away.”

Candy cast with a bow…

Just for Fun and the Holiday spirit.


Just Added- “The Curse of the MacCrimmons”

Are you interested in Legends and Myths?

If so, check this out.

Guess who paid me a visit today?

Mika, a 6-weeks old kitten…


Women Getting Plastic Surgery On Hands For Engagement Selfies

There is a new trend going around in which women are getting plastic surgery on their hands in order to have better engagement pictures. This is getting popular with some older women who want to have younger looking hands to complement that diamond engagement ring.

Filler materials are used to either camouflage visible tendons or veins.

via CBS Connecticut

Zombie Hand Pancake for Breakfast

Sunday mornings are always pancake mornings. And I do accept special requests.  We have had snowman, gingerbreadman, and and bunny rabbit for breakfast before. So, this Sunday morning, as usual, my 3 year-old woke up and was ready for his pankace.
What are we going to have for breakfast? Well, my older son, 6, was fighting zombies yesterday. You figured out the rest…


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