Woman drowns in wine barrel after becoming intoxicated by fumes


 (© Gennaro Leonardi)

A 25-year-old Spanish woman drowned after becoming intoxicated by fermentation gases and falling into a wine barrel, Metro reported.

Nerea Perez, a vineyard worker in northern Spain, reportedly had been stirring wine while it was fermenting— a lengthy process that allows the wine to come in extra contact with dead yeast grape bits.

The practice is believed to provide more body and depth to the wine.

Perez’s uncle Raul Perez, a well-known winemaker, reportedly discovered his niece floating face-down in the barrel after employees at the vineyard were unable to locate her.

According to one of Perez’s coworkers, Ginebra Peralta Colunga, said this is the first time that such a death has occurred at the vineyard.

According to Metro, accidents due to intoxication from wine gases are more common than many people realize.

Here’s why 35K walruses crowded onto one beach

Here's why 35K walruses crowded onto one beach

In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 27, 2014, and provided by NOAA, some 35,000 walruses gather on the shore near Point Lay, Alaska. (AP Photo/NOAA, Corey Accardo)

What a loss of sea ice looks like: an estimated 35,000 walruses, crowded on one stretch of Alaskan beach. Images taken on Saturday via plane as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual marine animal survey capture just that.

The enormous grouping of the mammals near the Inupiat Eskimo village of Point Lay, about 700 miles northwest of Anchorage, is the result of disappearing sea ice, explains a walrus expert with the US Geological Survey.

The area’s summer sea ice vanished by mid-September, leaving the walruses with nowhere in the Chukchi Sea to rest between their dives to the seafloor for food, Chadwick Jay tells the Alaska Dispatch News.

He says that six of the last eight years have seen this occur. The walruses met trouble on land: US Fish and Wildlife Service observers last week spotted an estimated 50 carcasses on the beach; they suspect the animals may have been killed in a stampede, which can be triggered by a polar bear, human hunter, or low-flying airplane.

A necropsy team will head to the area to investigate. And as far as food goes, biologists note that beach areas aren’t the best for feeding; the richest food sources are found offshore along the continental shelf.

The World Wildlife Fund had this to say to the AP: “The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action.” (The same phenomenon occurred on a smaller scale last year.)

Report: Woman claims she had third breast added, hopes to become a TV star

Woman says she had third breast added

You won’t believe this one.

According to Buzzfeed, a young woman from Tampa, Fla., has become the latest viral sensation by claiming she had plastic surgery to get a third breast. She even claims her strange look has landed her appearances on “Inside Edition” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

But so far at least that part of her story isn’t panning out.

The woman, who goes by the name Jasmine Tridevil, wrote on Facebook: “So I’m flying to New York to appear on The Inside Edition show this Monday! Then going to be on the news, Jimmy Kimmel show and Vice magazine! oh and a few radio shows!”

FOX411 talked to “Inside Edition,” and they told us they are not interviewing her. And she’s not on the schedule that gets sent out with “Kimmel'” guests either.

But Kimmel is famous for online pranks, including a viral video called “Worst twerk fail EVER,” purportedly of a hilarious twerking accident, that turned out to be staged by his show.

HEALTH: Purported third-breast add raises medical, ethical questions

In trying to further track down the story, we did find Tridevil’s real name and cell phone number, and we gave her a call, but so far have not received a reply to our voice mail message.

Which is a shame, because we have several questions to ask about her unique tale.

Tridevil said in a recent radio interview that she got the surgery “a few months ago” and had a very hard time finding a doctor who would agree to her request.

“They did have an issue with it and it was really hard finding somebody that would do it too because they are breaking the code of ethics to do it,” she said. “I called 50 or 60 doctors and no one would do it.”

She says when she eventually found a doctor who agreed to do her surgery, she had to sign a confidentiality agreement stating she wouldn’t reveal his identity. She said paid $20,000 for the purported surgery.

Tridevil also says she is currently filming her own reality show that she hopes will land on MTV.

Extraordinary brain: Woman’s missing cerebellum went unnoticed for 24 years


March 16, 2011: Hungarian scientist Tamas Freund holds a human brain at the Institute of Experimental Medicine of Hungarian Academy of Science in Budapest. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh)

Doctors in China were surprised to find that a young woman who had lived a normal life for more than two decades was actually missing an important part of her brain, according to a new report of her case.

The 24-year-old’s strange condition was discovered when she went to doctors because of a monthlong bout of nausea and vomiting. The patient told the doctors she had also experienced dizziness her entire life. She didn’t start walking until she was four and had never been able to walk steadily.

When the doctors scanned the woman’s brain, they found she had no cerebellum, a region of the brain thought to be crucial for walking and other movements. Instead, the scans showed a large hole filled with cerebrospinal fluid. [16 Oddest Medical Case Reports]

“CT and MRI scans revealed no remnants of any cerebellar tissues, verifying complete absence of the cerebellum,” the doctors wrote in the report, published Aug. 22 in the journal Brain.

The cerebellum, which means “little brain” in Latin, is responsible for coordination and fine movements, such as the movements of the mouth and tongue needed for producing speech. People with damage to this brain area typically experience debilitating motor difficulties. Yet contrary to the doctors’ expectations, the Chinese woman’s absence of the cerebellum resulted in only mild to moderate motor problems and slightly slurred pronunciation, according to the researchers. “This surprising phenomenon,” demonstrates the plasticity of the brain early in life, they wrote.

“It shows that the young brain tends to be much more flexible or adaptable to abnormalities,” said Dr. Raj Narayan, a professor of neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital in New York who wasn’t involved with the woman’s case. “When a person is either born with an abnormality or at a very young age loses a particular part of the brain, the rest of the brain tries to reconnect and to compensate for that loss or absence,” Narayan said.

This remarkable ability of the brain is thought to decline with age. “As we get older, the ability of the brain to tolerate damage is much more limited,” Narayan said. “So, for example, in a 60-year-old person, if I took the cerebellum out, they would be severely impaired.”

This is not the first case of a person found to be missing the cerebellum. In fact, there have been eight other similar cases reported, the researchers said. However, most cases involved infants or children who also showed severe mental impairment, epilepsy and large structural abnormalities in their brains, and most did not survive the condition.

It is possible that more people are affected by this rare condition but they don’t get diagnosed or reported, Narayan said. “In the future, it may become more recognized because of brain imaging,” he added.

MS patients’ symptom severity linked to gray matter myelin loss


The amount of myelin lost in the gray matter of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients’ brains may indicate a more debilitating form of the disease, according to a new study.

MS has long been considered an inflammatory disease of the brain’s white matter, where myelin — the fatty, protective sheath that surrounds nerve fibers — is most abundant. But the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study showed smaller amounts of myelin can also be found in gray matter, which is made up of mostly nerve cells and serves as the brain’s information processing center.

MS breaks down the myelin sheath in the brain and spinal cord in a process called demyelination, which can cause scarring and lesions and variety of debilitating neurological symptoms. While the amount of myelin in gray matter is small, it is very important to proper function because it protects the nerve fibers that connect different parts of the brain.

“The fact that MS patients lose myelin not only in white but also in gray matter has been proven by earlier post-mortem pathological studies,” Vasily L. Yarnykh, study author and associate professor in the department of radiology at University of Washington, said in a press release. “However, the clinical significance of the myelin loss, or demyelination, in gray matter has not been established because of the absence of appropriate imaging methods.”

For the study, Yarnykh and colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle looked at 30 MS patients, including 18 with the most common form of the disease — relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) — and 12 with a more advanced form of the disease called secondary progressive MS (SPMS). They also included 14 healthy control participants without MS.

Using a special MRI technique that provides information on the content of biological macromolecules — molecules present in tissues composed of a large number of atoms, such as proteins, lipids and carbohydrates — called macromolecular proton fraction (MPF) mapping, researchers constructed 3D images to get a closer look at healthy white matter, gray matter and lesions associated with the disease. They then compared their observations with clinical tests that indicated neurological dysfunction in MS patients.

Study authors found that MPF in both white and gray matter was significantly lower in patients with RRMS, compared with the healthy control group. SPMS patients had an even larger reduction in MPF in both normal-looking tissue and lesions when compared to RRMS patients with the greatest loss of gray-matter myelin. The results indicated that MS patients with the most debilitating symptoms were those who lost the most myelin from the gray matter of their brains.

“The major finding of the study is that the loss of myelin in gray matter caused by MS in its relative amount is comparable to or even larger than that in white matter,” Yarnykh said. “Furthermore, gray matter demyelination is much more advanced in patients with secondary-progressive MS, and it is very strongly related to patients’ disability. As such, we believe that information about gray matter myelin damage in MS is of primary clinical relevance.”

The researchers said their improved MRI technique could help provide better treatments aimed at protecting and restoring myelin in MS patients.

English-speaking man wakes up from coma speaking fluent in Mandarin Jenn Gidman

English-speaking man wakes up from coma ... fluent in Mandarin

Handwritten verses from the Book of Genesis in Mandarin, seen on display at a museum in Jerusalem, Monday, July 13, 2009.AP Photo/Dan Balilty

When Ben McMahon went into a coma after a car crash, he spoke English; when he woke up, he spoke only fluent Mandarin. Although the Australian man had taken Mandarin in high school, he was never fluent, and doctors are still trying to figure out exactly why he completely lost the ability to speak his native language—his English skills did eventually return—and suddenly became the “best non-native speaker” his Mandarin pals had ever heard, the Independent Journal Review reports.

McMahon isn’t the first person to suffer a brain injury or illness and come out of it with a foreign accent or speaking a different language.

Scientists often attribute this phenomenon to “bilingual aphasia”: Different languages are retained in different parts of the brain, so if one section is injured, a person’s brain could transition over to another stored language, Discoveryreports.

In cases where there’s swelling in the affected part of the brain, the “lost” language is typically recovered once the swelling subsides. Whatever the cause in his case, McMahon is certainly taking advantage of his newfound linguistic skills: He has led Mandarin tours and served as co-host on a Chinese TV show, and now he’s living and taking college courses in Shanghai.

A real-life ‘Iron Man’: 3-year-old boy fitted with 3D-printed prosthetic hand

A 3-year-old Maui boy with a birth defect is one step closer to being a real-life “Iron Man” thanks to a 3D-printed prosthetic , KHON 2 News reported.

Rayven Kahae, or “Bubba” as his family calls him, was born with amniotic band syndrome (ABS). The condition causes fiber-like bands to form in the amniotic sac that can wrap around parts of the baby’s body, reducing blood supply and restricting normal growth, according to the National Institutes of Health. The severity of ABS can vary from affecting one finger or toe to an entire arm or leg.

Bubba always knew he was different, but he thrived despite his disability, according to his grandmother, Rulan Waikiki.

“He knew from earlier on when he could notice that his sister had two hands and he didn’t — that he always said he doesn’t like that hand he wanted one like [his sister],” Waikiki said.

Commercially made prosthetics used to cost up to $40,000 – but that changed when 3D-printing technology became available for patients like Bubba.

Earlier this year, Waikiki happened upon a website for the nonprofit  group, E-Nable, which operates off donations and volunteers to provide 3D-printed prosthetics for patients at no cost.

Last week, Bubba was one of those patients. His family captured his excitement on camera when his 3D-printed prosthetic hand arrived in the mail.

“He wanted an ‘Iron Man hand,’” Waikiki said. “As soon as he put it on and was able to close the hand, his face just lit up,” Waikiki said.

Bubba, who will turn four in November, will be refitted for similar prosthetics as he grows.

Brazilian man born with ‘upside-down’ head defies odds to become public speaker


Barcroft Media

A Brazilian man born with several severe disabilities, including an upside-down head and limited use of his arms and legs, has beaten the odds to become an inspirational public speaker, the Daily Mirror reported.

As a newborn, doctors told Claudio Vieira de Oliveira’s mother to stop feeding him because he would not be able to survive, the report said.

“People started saying, ‘the baby is going to die’ because he could barely breathe when he was born,’” Maria Jose, Claudio’s mother told the Mirror.

Instead, the family made adjustments to their home so Claudio, now 37, could maneuver around without getting hurt.

“We never tried to fix him and always wanted him to do the normal things everyone else does,”- Maria Jose

Recently, doctors diagnosed him with congenital arthrogryposis — a condition where a person is born with contractures – or joints permanently fixed in a bent or straightened position. Claudio’s doctors believe he has multiple joint contractures in his legs and arms preventing them from extending properly. The condition is thought to be associated with decreased movement or limited space in utero, connective tissue disorders, or maternal illness, sometimes occurring as part of genetic syndrome, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.

Claudio began walking on his knees at age 8, and despite not being able to use a wheelchair because of his shape, begged his mother to attend school with other children, the Mirror reported.

“We never tried to fix him and always wanted him to do the normal things everyone else does,” Maria Jose told the Mirror.

Claudio uses a pen held in his mouth to type, and learned to use phones and a computer mouse that enabled him to succeed in school. He attended State University of Feira de Santana and is now also an accountant in addition to being a public speaker.

“Throughout my life I was able to adapt my body to the world. Right Now, I don’t see myself as being different. I am a normal person,” Claudio told the Mirror.

“Nowadays it’s much easier to deal with the public, I’m not afraid of it anymore and I can say that I am a professional, international public speaker and that I receive invitations from all over the world,” he added.

How the human brain gets its wrinkles


The human brain is relatively large and very wrinkled. Wrinkles increase the surface are for neurons.Elizabeth Atkinson, Washington University in St. Louis.

The reason our brains have that wrinkly, walnut shape may be that the rapid growth of the brain’s outer brain the gray matter is constrained by the white matter, a new study shows.

Researchers found that the particular pattern of the ridges and crevices of thebrain’s convoluted surface, which are called gyri and sulci, depends on two simple geometric parameters: the gray matter’s growth rate and its thickness. The development of the brain’s wrinkles can be mimicked in a lab using a double-layer gel, according to the study published today (Aug. 18) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers noted that along with these physical constraints, genes also have a role in determining the brain’s shape, because they regulate how neurons proliferate and migrate to their destinations. [10 Things You Didn’t Know About theBrain]

All mammalian species have similar layering in the brain’s outer layer the cortex but only larger mammals have a cortex that is folded. For example, a rat brain has a smooth surface, whereas a considerably larger brain such as a human’s, has tens of gyri and sulci. A folded brain surface has a greater surface area which means a greater power for processing information, but it’s not entirely clear what factors determine the iconic shape of gyri and sulci in the human brain.

Knowing how the brain develops into its folded shape could help scientists better explain what happens in people with congenital conditions such as polymicrogyria (a condition characterized by an excessive number of folds), pachygyria (a condition with unusually thick folds) and lissencephalia (a smooth brain condition, without folds).

Historically, there have been three broad ideas about how gyri and sulci develop. One idea is that some areas of the cortex simply grow more and rise above other areas, creating the gyri. Another idea is that groups of highly interconnected neurons in the cortex are mechanically pulled close to each other by the threadlike axons that make up the white matter. However, evidence suggests that neither of these two ideas is correct.

The third idea is that the gray matter grows more than the white matter, leading to a “buckling” that gives the cortex its shape, the researchers said.

But earlier attempts to model this buckling were not successful, the researchers said. In previous studies, researchers assumed that the gray matter is a thin, stiff layer growing atop of a thick, soft base of white matter, but this assumption yielded wrinkles that aren’t like the ones in real human brains.

In the new study, the researchers assumed that the gray and white matter have similar stiffness, but different growth rates. Using mathematical simulations, they showed that depending on the size of the brain, their model results in different shapes of brain surfaces. For example, for a small brain with a diameter of less than half an inch, the brain surface is predicted to be smooth. Intermediate-size brains are predicted to have some sulci that are found within the gray matter, and larger brains become highly folded, with sulci penetrating the white matter.

The scientists also replicated the brain’s folding phenomenon using double-layer swelling gel material, and showed that only when the both layers have a similar softness level do the resulting folds look similar to the human brain’s gyri and sulci.

The researchers noted that while their model works for fundamental gyri and sulci, it cannot explain more complex features of the brain for example, the deep groove that separates the two hemispheres and other large sulci that define the brain’s major lobes.

15 million pages of historic medical books to go online


The British Army’s “Manual for the Medical Staff Corps” (1893) shows how a rifle could easily be made into a splint.Wellcome Trust

Some 15 million yellowed pages of text and images from arcane 19th-century medical books are about to go digital.

Nine British universities and research institutions are sending their collections of important texts from the history of medicine and science to the London-based Wellcome Library so that their rare books and pamphlets can be made freely available online.

The digitized collection, dubbed the U.K. Medical Heritage Library, will live on the Internet Archive, which already houses digital copies of hundreds of books in the Wellcome Library that were printed between 1800 and 1900. [See Images from 19th Century Medical Texts]

Digital books

Over the next two years, a team from the Internet Archive will scan texts on medicine, consumer health, sport and fitness, and even outdated medical practices like phrenology, a pseudoscience based on the idea that a person’s character was reflected in the shape of his or her skull. Texts on food and nutrition will include about 1,400 cookbooks from the University of Leeds, according to the Wellcome Trust, which announced plans for the project in partnership with the digital tech charity Jisc last month.

“By working closely with the partner institutions to build the U.K. Medical Heritage Library, we are converting books into searchable data so that users can explore every aspect of 19th-century medicine and develop new insights into this period of unprecedented medical discovery,” Peter Findlay, the digital portfolio manager of Jisc,said in a statement.

Other institutions that are lending their books for the project include University College London, the University of Glasgow, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, King’s College London, the University of Bristol, the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Cookbooks and stolen corpses

Curious readers and researchers can already peruse thousands of pages of 19th-century texts from the Wellcome Library online. Holly Story, the Wellcome Collection’s assistant media officer, told Live Science that two of her favorites were an 1860 edition of “Gray’s Anatomy” and the British War Office’s “Manual for the Medical Staff Corps,” published in 1893.

There is also a copy of “A Poetical Cook-Book,” an American text by Maria J. Moss, which features poems alongside recipes for haggis, pickled tongues, and something called “calf’s head surprised.” The collection includes a fascinating 1824 appeal by Scottish ophthalmologist William Mackenzieto the public and legislators about the necessity of making dead bodies available to anatomy students. And if one needs to be reminded of the deadly demand for cadavers at the time, there is also a book detailing the sensational proceedings of the 1828 murder trial of William Burke and his mistress, Helen McDougal, who were accused of killing several people and selling their bodies to a surgeon who needed corpses for his anatomy lectures.