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7-Year-Old Girl Suffers from “Uncombable Hair Syndrome”

7-year-old Shilah Yin is one of only around 100 people in the world with a condition known as “uncombable hair syndrome”. Instead of downwards, her hair grows out from the scalp in multiple directions, and can’t be combed flat.

Shilah, from Melbourne, Australia, was born with normal hair, but her parents noticed a strawberry blond fuzz growing on her scalp when she was 3 months old. From then on, her hair started growing straight out and became even blonder. The girl noticed her unusual hair when she was about 4, after it started getting a lot of attention from other children and adults. It made her feel uneasy at first, but after her parents told her it was special, she embraced her unique look.

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Agoraphobic Artist Travels the World without Leaving Her House

Jacqui Kenny has always wanted to travel the world, meet new people and discover different cultures, but she suffers from agoraphobia – an anxiety disorder characterized by fear of public spaces, public transportation, open spaces and/or large crowds – so she rarely gets to leave her house. Luckily, modern technology allows her to live out her dream, sort of.

Jacqui was diagnosed with agoraphobia 8 years ago, but she has been dealing with extreme anxiety and panic attacks for over 20 years now. Last year was a particularly trying time, as a company  that she had co-founded for many years had just closed, and dealing with the stress of it, on top of her mental issues, was tough. She didn’t know what she was going to do with her life, and leaving the house to face the world was not an option. She needed something to keep her busy, and somehow, she discovered Google Street View.

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Insatiable 10-Year-Old Boy Weighs 90 Kg, Eats Anything He Gets His Hands On

At age 10, Caden Benjamin, from Mpumalanga, South Africa already tips the scales at a whopping 90 kg. He suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as Prader-Willi syndrome, which makes him feel hungry all the time.

Caden was always a hungry child, but his mother, Zola, realized that there was something unusual about his appetite at age 3, when he already weighed 40 kilograms. He took the boy to several doctors, but no one could explain why he was so hungry all the time and gaining so much weight. Finally, a doctor at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria ran some tests and diagnosed Caden with Prader-Willi syndrome, an incurable condition that affects about 20 000 people worldwide.

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Chinese Man Proves That Eating 54 Ice Creams in One Sitting Is Not a Good Idea

A 44-year-old man from Quzhou, China’s Zhejiang province, was recently hospitalized with severe kidney problems, after eating a whopping 54 ice creams in one sitting, and washing them down with ice water.

The man, surnamed Zheng, was at his home, on July 15, when he began to feel the effects of the heatwaves that have been sweeping China for the last few weeks. Tired and dehydrated after a hot day, Zheng went to his refrigerator and grabbed an ice cream to cool off. Problem was that that first ice-cream only made him crave another, and then another, so he kept eating them until he went through all the 54 frozen treats he had in his fridge. I’ve never head of anyone having that many ice-creams in their home, but apparently this guy did.

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New Cancer Drugs Turn Patients’ Gray Hair Dark Again

Cancer therapy is known to cause patients’ hair to fall off, but a few new cancer drugs apparently have a completely different side effect – they restore pigment in older people’s gray hair.

Spanish researchers testing three new cancer drugs – Keytruda, Opdivo and Tecentriq – for negative side-effects in cancer patients made a very surprising discovery. After using the drugs, 14 of the 52 patients involved in the study saw their gray hair go brown or black again. The findings were recently reported in a paper published in the JAMA medical journal.

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Doctors Remove Over 200 Stones from Woman’s Body in a Single Operation

Surgeons at Guanji Hospital, in Hezhou, China, recently spent six hours removing over 200 stones from a woman’s gallbladder and liver, some of them the size of small eggs.

The patient, a 45-year-old woman known only as Ms. Chen, had apparently been experiencing abdominal pain for over a decade. When she first went to a hospital about it, an examination revealed several stones in her gallbladder and liver as the cause. Doctors advised her to undergo surgery and have them removed, but she was too scared to go under the knife. She only recently went to Guanji Hospital, when the pain became “unbearable”.

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The Curious Case of a Boy Who Stops Breathing Every Time He Falls Asleep

Liam Derbyshire was born with a very rare congenital disease that causes him to stop breathing every time he falls asleep. Doctors told his parents that he wouldn’t live past six weeks, but the boy has defied the odds and will soon turn 18-years-old.

Liam suffers from a condition known as central hypoventilation, or “Ondine’s Curse”, after a nymph from French folk stories. Ondine fell in love with a man called Palemon, and at their wedding, he vowed to love her with his every breath. So when the nymph later discovered his infidelity, she cursed him: “You pledged faithfulness to me with your every waking breath and I accepted that pledge. So be it. For as long as you are awake, you shall breathe. But should you ever fall into sleep, that breath will desert you.” Totally normal stuff for a folk tale, but a similar curse actually exists in real life.

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Surgeons Find 27 Contact Lenses in “Forgetful” Woman’s Eye

Can’t find your contact lenses? They’re probably still in your eye sockets. Someone should have probably told this to a 67-year-old woman from the UK who has forgotten a whopping 27 contact lenses in her eye, over the last 35 years.

The bizarre discovery was made last November, when the unnamed patient came to the Solihull Hospital, near Birmingham, for cataracts surgery. Upon checking her eyes, ophthalmologists spotted a large mass on one of her eyes, which turned out to be 17 disposable contact lenses that had apparently been in the eye for so long that they had become stuck together. A more thorough investigation revealed another 10 contact lenses in that same eye. How someone could live with a whopping 27 contact lenses in her eye for years is still a mystery.

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Malaysian Chiropractor “Fixes” Slipped Spinal Discs by Knocking Them with a Hammer

Suffering a slipped or herniated disc is no joke. It can be excruciatingly painful and, in severe cases, it requires spine surgery and months of recovery. But for one chiropractor in Malaysia, fixing a slipped disc is as easy as knocking it back into position with a hammer.

Md Rosdi Hasan has a very unconventional way of dealing with slipped discs and back pain in general. Instead of relying on MRIs or X-rays to diagnose his patients’ back problems, he just uses his fingers to check if all the bones and vertebrae are in the right place, and draws a diagram of all the discs directly on the back of his patients, with a black marker. Once he learns everything he needs to know, Hasan grabs a hammer and a piece of wood and starts knocking the discs back into place.

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23-Year-Old Man Stuck in the Body of a 13-Year-Old Boy Due to Rare Condition

A lot of people look younger than their age, but 23-year-old Tomislav Jurčec, from Zagreb, Croatia, is an extreme case. Due to a fault in his pituitary gland, which controls growth and ageing, he remains stuck in the body of a 13-year-old kid.

Tomislav admits that looking 10 years younger than his actual age does have disadvantages. like having to produce an ID when buying restricted goods like cigarettes and alcohol, but he always prefers to look at the glass half full. And he has plenty of reasons to do so. For starters, his youthful looks and diminutive stature have helped him land an acting gig on HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones, where he worked as Peter Dinklage’s stand-in and as the uncredited “Hero Corps Child”.

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Woman with Two Skin Tones, Two Immune Systems Is a Living, Breathing Medical Oddity

Taylor Muhl, a model and singer from California, often says that she is her own twin, and as strange as that sounds, she means it quite literally. The 33-year-old was diagnosed with genetic Chimerism, an extremely rare condition explained as “an organism composed of cells from different zygotes”.

As a child, Taylor was obsessed with twins, constantly asking her mother if she had a twin sibling, and playing twins with her girlfriends, but little did she know that she actually was her own twin. Doctors say that the model absorbed her fraternal twin while in the womb, and parts of its DNA now exist in her body, making her a Chimera, of which there are only 100 known cases in the whole world. But even as a human Chimera, Taylor’s case is a rare and fascinating one, because while most Chimeras only display the symptoms internally or have very small skin marks, Muhl’s stomach is split down the middle into two skin tones.

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Biotech Company Wants to Bring Brain-Dead People Back to Life

Bioquark, a biotechnolgy company from Philadelphia believes brain death is not as irreversible as most people think, and claims to have come up with a series of injections capable of “resetting” the brain, essentially bringing patients back to life.

Up until a few years ago, a person was declared dead when their heart stopped beating and they were no longer breathing. But then we came up with advanced medical technology capable of pumping oxygen into the body and keeping major organs in working condition. All but one, the brain. Today, most countries define death as the permanent loss of brain stem function. Once someone suffers complete and irreversible loss of brain function, they are officially declared dead. But one company wants to prove that brain death isn’t the end.

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Woman Who Broke Her Neck Sneezing, Five Years Ago, Does It Again While Laughing

One morning, in 2011, Monique Jeffrey, of Rose Bay, Australia, was at home, in her bed, checking her emails. She sneezed and her head suddenly jolted forward, collapsing the C1 and C2 vertebrae in her neck. She had broken her neck in what experts called a “freak accident”, but the chances of something like this happening twice to the same person were apparently “slim to none”. And yet, last month, Monique suffered the same ordeal, this time while laughing with some colleagues at work.

“I texted Sam (her husband) just saying ‘help!’ and he called me and I answered on speaker phone, because I couldn’t put the phone to my ear,” Monique recalls about the bizarre accident she suffered over five years ago. “He came home and called an ambulance. It was pretty scary and it was such a strange sensation. I was in so much pain after just one little sneeze.”

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Thai Hospital Provides Masks for Women Too Shy to Get a Potentially Life-Saving Pap Smear Test

The gynecology ward at the Nong Krot Hospital, in Thailand’s Kamphaeng Phet province, looked more like a masked ball hall a couple of days ago, as both patients and staff wore masks to conceal their faces. The initiative was meant to make women more comfortable about getting a pap smear test.

Named after its inventor, Greek doctor Giorgios Papanikolaou, the pap smear is a medical test that can detect abnormal cells that have the potential to cause cervical cancer. It involves collecting cells with a small brush from the cervix, a procedure that many Thai women apparently find so embarrassing that they would rather risk their lives to avoid. So to make it more comfortable for them, the Sa Kaew sub-district office and the Nong Krot Hospital came up with an unconventional solution – providing masks to both patients and staff.

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Rare Condition Allows Woman to Remember Everything She Has Ever Experienced

Can you imagine being able to remember every single experience of your life, every conversation you have ever had, every meal you’ve eaten, every word in your favorite book and even the feel of the clothes you wore on your very first birthday? That’s what Becky Sharrock’s life is like, and as amazing as that ability sounds, she says it can also be quite terrifying at times.

Three years ago, Rebecca Sharrock was reading a newspaper article which mentioned that it was impossible for people to remember details of their lives that had occurred during the first four years of their existence. “What absolute nonsense,” she thought to herself, because she could clearly remember her life all the way back to when she was just 12 days old. Her parents had carried her to the driver’s seat of their car and laid her down for a photo. She remembers looking around and wondering what the seat cover and steering wheel above her were. But it wasn’t nonsense, she was just one of only 80 known people suffering from a mysterious condition called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM).

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