Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Two Ends of Medical Research

Medical researchers are studying brain farts and real farts to discover ways to make people healthy. I should have been a doctor because of my familiarity with MNEs (medically necessary emissions).

povrek8wkkBiochemistry was not my field of study and may not even have existed when I attended college. But it could have been a natural area of interest. I’ve always excelled at farting.

Only now I discover that farting could have been a career path instead of just a momentary pleasure or a slight moment of public embarrassment.

My flatulence epiphany occurred after reading a coincidental pair of stories about medical research at both ends of the human anatomy.

Ted Stanley, who turned collectibles into a fortune, agreed to donate $650 million to the Broad Institute, a biomedical research center, which is conducting research into the genetic DNA of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

Stanley’s son developed bipolar disorder while attending college, reaching its nadir when Joanthan Stanley wandered the streets of New York City for three days until he stripped in a deli and climbed into a crate. He was carted off in a straightjacket, but he was lucky because doctors diagnosed him correctly and gave him lithium, which worked.

The elder Stanley sees the Broad Institute research as a way to give clues to pharmaceutical companies on how to develop drugs that save lives and help “non-functioning” brains work. “I would really like to purchase a happy ending for other people,” Stanley told the New York Times.

That’s not exactly research on brain farts, you say. Maybe not, but it’s close enough for blogging, which is its own form of brain farting.

Especially when you consider study results from researchers at Exeter University suggesting the smell of flatulence has health benefits that could play a role in staving off cancer, strokes, heart attacks – and dementia.

According to the Exeter research, bacteria in people’s guts produce hydrogen sulfide, which most of us have come to recognize by its non-technical name, smelly gas. A lot of smelly gas can make you make you sick, faint or get up and leave the room in disgust.

However, in controlled amounts, smelly gas can preserve mitochondria that influence blood vessel cells and regulate inflammation. It’s not exactly that your farts don’t stink; it’s that the odor is stinking good for you.

As always, medical findings can be contorted into wishful thinking, hypotheses later proven false and feckless blog posts like this one. These findings were published in the Medicinal Chemistry journal. I’ve never subscribed, but maybe I should.

The greater fear from this research is that people, especially men, will feel liberated by social restraints and fart with medical impunity in public. Even more daring dudes will take to self-medicating with farts. We’ve seen what happens with that using other wonder drugs.

It is enough for now to have wider public acceptance that farting is a natural process that reflects our health and protects our health. If a little indiscretion occurs at a party or while speaking at a podium, there should be no snickering, just nodding that it is all in the name of good health, if at the expense of good air.

I also should advertise that I’m available when real human fart testing begins. Apparently, I’ve been training all my life.

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