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Old 08-04-2011   #1
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Lightbulb 6 Disgusting Ways Animals Can Improve your health

6 Disgusting Ways Animals Can Improve Your Health

By: Robert Evans June 14, 2009



By and large, nature is disgusting. It's chock full of bugs and hobos and other things that roll in feces. But amidst that slurry of nasty, science has been finding a number of medical breakthroughs. Nauseating, repulsive medical breakthroughs.

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#6. Hippo Sweat





Hippos are the guidos of the animal kingdom. They're huge, oily and they never sunburn. They're also known for being ridiculously territorial animals capable of gnawing a man to shreds with their vicious gums and Rubenesque, flapping jowls.


But, in studying these chubby, ill-tempered animals from a distance, one of the first things scientists noticed was their sweat. Rather than being clear like human sweat, hippo sweat is red and viscous. Noticing this was totally weird, researchers collected a bunch of hippo sweat probably by sacrificing a few grad students and running a swab across some hippo's back while it was distracted.


After a few hours of hard sciencing, they discovered that the sweat turned out to be a first-rate sunblock. It's filled with little microscopic structures that actually break up and scatter light molecules. It's also a first-rate antiseptic and an effective insect repellent. Kind of makes your sweat's ability to scare away women look pretty crappy by comparison, doesn't it?



Also this is how Hippo Trees are made.

Considering all the things it can do, hippo sweat is the obese, aquatic mammal life dream of any cosmetics company. As soon as scientists find a way to make it not smell like hippo B.O. and advertisers find a way to disguise the fact that it rolled off a once angry hippo's back, expect to see squeeze tubes of this stuff being sold around the globe.



(Tomorrow: #5. Maggots)


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Old 08-04-2011   #2
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#5.Maggots





Maggots have the worst P.R. department in the whole insect kingdom. They're famous for turning up in the most horrible situations, from the basket of ham you left to rot on the back porch to the corpses of L.A. Homicide victims. To make matters worse for the maggot, their whole purpose of life is to grow up into a fly, which would be sort of like Andy Dick metastasizing into Carlos Mencia.


As it turns out, maggotkind's crappy reputation isn't entirely deserved. They're basically nature's answer to antibacterial soap. Maggots eat dead flesh, and doctors long ago realized that the maggot's tendency to wolf down dead skin can help people with infected wounds from succumbing to gangrene, at the low cost of stomach turning revulsion.




With the advent of modern antibiotics, Maggot Therapy declined in use but doctors never took it off the table entirely and, thanks to an increase of ultra-badass anti-biotic resistant bacteria, it's been making a notable comeback.


That's right, our mortal medicines cannot harm these highly advanced mutant bacteria, but they're not shit when put up against the heroic maggot. While bacteria can evolve to become capable of fighting off medicines, they haven't quite figured out how to jump their last evolutionary hurdle and become uneatable.




While drug laws haven't relaxed quite enough to let you buy cartons of medical maggots for home use, any doctor in America can prescribe them as treatment. And if you want to get them under the table you can always just leave some sausage out in the sun for a few days and cultivate your own.




(Tomorrow: #4. Leeches)
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Old 08-04-2011   #3
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that looks very relaxing I would rather die a horrible death than to be treated like this
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Old 08-04-2011   #4
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Don't these things crawl up your bumhole?
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Old 08-05-2011   #5
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#4.Leeches





You probably know that back in the day, medical professionals used leeches to treat pretty much everything from fevers to leech allergies. This old Greek guy named Galen postulated that there were four humors in the body--blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile--and that an excess of one fluid over the others lead to the vast majority of ailments. If a patient presented with bloodshot eyes it wasn't from a late night grog bender, it was because they had too much blood and needed to be drained. All that extra blood can really mess a guy up.


As you can imagine, this was all about as scientific as anything taught in a Deep South biology classroom. But, thanks to the reverence future generations of doctors held Galen in, it remained a prominent medical treatment for centuries.




As doctors began to refine their craft with innovations like washing their hands and not spitting in open wounds, leech medicine fell out of favor. But sometimes we see that the crazy old-time bastards had it right.


Recent studies have shown that leech saliva is basically a damned miracle elixir. Their spit is lousy with anesthetic, antibiotics and beneficial enzymes and anticoagulants that could prevent heart attacks and strokes.



The problem is, of course, people aren't huge on the idea of their surgeon striding into the operating theater with a big-ole jar full of leeches and pond water. So the research now is about trying to get the leech benefits without the leeches, probably the most hilarious being the "mechanical leech." Yeah, that'll make people feel better.
"Ms. Jones, you're going to feel a little pinch. But don't worry, that's just the leech cyborg clamping down on your neck."




(Tomorrow: #3. Blister Beetle Poison)
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Old 08-06-2011   #6
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#3.Blister Beetle Poison





As you can imagine from the name, blister beetles are horrible little creatures that are real pains in the neck. Their main hobbies are slaughtering other insects, basket weaving and poisoning horses to death.


That's because they're full of a toxin called cantharidin, which is secreted by the male blister beetle and given to the female when they're mating, kind of like a really shitty fruit basket (which is to say any fruit basket). While not generally lethal to humans, their venom does cause extremely painful welts that look like you've slapped some honey on an open wound.




Despite that, through the years blister beetles, like leeches, have been used for a wide variety of completely worthless medical purposes. At varying times they've been used to cure gout, rheumatism and impotency. Spanish Fly is actually made from ground-up blister beetles. Unsurprisingly, the only result has been generations of people inadvertently poisoning themselves, all covered in wet, ugly welts.


Yet, also like leeches, modern scientists are finding out you can in fact use the poison cantharidin for all sorts of things. Today it can be found in real medicine curing warts, removing tattoos and punching cancer in the face, as scientists (in China, anyway) have discovered it inhibits the growth of a number of cancer cells.


(Tomorrow: #2. Shrimp Shells)
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Old 08-07-2011   #7
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#2.Shrimp Shells





Shrimp are an amazing species, blessed with the rare abilities to be delicious, ugly as a mule's behind and really easy to catch. Even the most inbred son of the bayou can outsmart a herd of shrimp, which is why you can eat them for cheap in New Mexico even though nothing that even vaguely resembles a shrimp actually lives within a few hundred miles.


The only problem with eating shrimp is that you can never eat all of the damn things. You can eat the guts, even that little poop chute they call a vein to keep it classy, but you can't really do anything but slurp the shells and let them pile up next to your recliner.




Or so you thought. Some scientists in the army have found an extremely cool way to use those nasty old shrimp corpses to stop people from dying. They've developed a revolutionary medical patch that stops even the worst arterial bleeding entirely within one to five minutes.


By zapping out some of the chains in the atoms making up shrimp shells, this patch is able to control even hemorrhagic bleeding with incredible success, putting mankind one step further in our insatiable quest to kick death in the shins forever or, failing that, make drunken knife throwing competitions a little less lethal.



And after the knife-throwing we can all have a snack. Everybody wins!

The HemCom company is even now selling them in bulk to the U.S. Government, who expects them to reduce all combat deaths by 20-30 percent and leave our armed forces stinking of low tide.


(Tomorrow: #1. Hookworms)
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