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UTI and “Eat, Pray, Love”

Eat, Pray, LoveI really didn’t expect to like Eat, Pray, Love. In fact, since its publication in 2006, I’d been avoiding it like the plague. “Typical new-agey, Oprah-y, girly-book,” I thought. Nothing in it to speak to me.

Then I saw the trailer for the movie, and I was hooked –- probably because I, like mostly everyone, love Julia Roberts. I immediately downloaded the book on my iPhone using the Kindle App and began to read.

First, let me say that Elizabeth Gilbert writes exceptionally well, and the book is actually a joy to read. I, of course, loved the Italy eating part. But more surprising to me, I wasn’t turned off by the whole yoga, Guru, find-yourself stuff. This is because Gilbert writes it all with a reporter’s curiosity and a skeptic’s eye, and frames it not as a belief system, but as a tool for self-discovery and peace. (Plus, I’m really good at skimming if I get bored.)

Too bad Gilbert’s curiosity and skepticism does not extend to the healthcare she receives while in Bali. She accepts the curative powers of a warm leaf placed on an oozing, infected cut without even wondering what leaf it might be or how it might have worked. Was it the heat (most likely) or something else (possibly)? I was dying to know.

She Xeroxes pages and pages of traditional medical treatments without sharing a single one with us in any meaningful way. While I’m pretty sure 99 percent of what was in there was bunk, there might be a few gems that would serve medical science. Unless Lizzie made a second copy, we’ll never know, will we?

But it was the UTI that really got to me. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at tbtam*

Your Hair May Be Tracing Where You’ve Traveled

Researchers at the University of Utah and IsoForensics, Inc. in Salt Lake City have demonstrated that water can potentially be used as a tracer to determine the travel habits of individuals.

Because of the natural geographic variability in the hydrogen and oxygen isotope content of water, proteins within hair should contain evidence of these ratios and therefore act as signatures as to where someone has traveled. The current study has shown that the geographic source of tap water, bottled water, beer, and soda can be distinguished simply by measuring the isotope ratio of the water within these drinks.

In our opinion if the technology pans out for real-world use, IsoForensics has a bright future with dictatorship governments, security and intelligence services, armed forces, and maybe even some legitimate forensic causes such as war-crime investigations or even anthropology studies.

Abstract in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: Links between Purchase Location and Stable Isotope Ratios of Bottled Water, Soda, and Beer in the United States

Image credit: David Hannah

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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