Nominative determinism is the jocular notion that surnames determine destiny, to wit:
the term was first used in the magazine New Scientist in 1994, after the magazine’s humorous Feedback column noted several studies carried out by researchers with remarkably fitting surnames. These included a book on polar explorations by Daniel Snowman and an article on urology by researchers named Splatt and Weedon. These and other examples led to light-hearted speculation that some sort of psychological effect was at work.
I suppose the Gold Coast campus of Griffith University in Queensland is just where you would expect to find researchers publishing on therapeutic gold:
The application of gold in medicine is traceable for several thousand years and Au(i) compounds have been used clinically to treat rheumatoid arthritis since the last century. Recently research into gold-based drugs for a range of human diseases has seen a renaissance. Old as well as new Au(i) and Au(iii) compounds have been used and designed with an aim of targeting cellular components that are implicated in the onset or progression of cancers, rheumatoid arthiritis, viral and parasitic diseases. In addition, new disease targets have been found for gold compounds that have given insight into the mechanism of action of these compounds, as well as in the molecular pathophysiology of human diseases. Here we discuss the rationale for the design and use of gold compounds that have specific and selective targets in cells to alleviate the symptoms of a range of human diseases. We summarise the most recent findings in this research and our own discoveries to show that gold compounds can be developed to become versatile and powerful drugs for diseases caused by dysfunction of selenol and thiol containing proteins.
I have blogged before about on the tendency to grandiosity of neuroscience, or rather (very often) how the science media portray neuroscience. This phobia of neurohype is not the same as a suspicion of neuroscience. The ingenuity of the methodology of studies like this is staggering. I don’t have access via my usual library sources to recent issues of NeuroReport so I’m afraid that I can’t assess the study directly (in so far as as I am at a certain stage of clinical practice, and the consequent distance from what personal study of relevance I have done)
Fetal rhythm-based language discrimination: a biomagnetometry study
Minai, Utakoa; Gustafson, Kathleenb; Fiorentino, Roberta; Jongman, Allarda; Sereno, Joana
Neuroreport: 5 July 2017 – Volume 28 – Issue 10 – p 561–564
Using fetal biomagnetometry, this study measured changes in fetal heart rate to assess discrimination of two rhythmically different languages (English and Japanese). Two-minute passages in English and Japanese were read by the same female bilingual speaker. Twenty-four mother–fetus pairs (mean gestational age=35.5 weeks) participated. Fetal magnetocardiography was recorded while the participants were presented first with passage 1, a passage in English, and then, following an 18 min interval, with passage 2, either a different passage in English (English–English condition: N=12) or in Japanese (English–Japanese condition: N=12). The fetal magnetocardiogram was reconstructed following independent components analysis decomposition. The mean interbeat intervals were calculated for a 30 s baseline interval directly preceding each passage and for the first 30 s of each passage. We then subtracted the mean interbeat interval of the 30 s baseline interval from that of the first 30 s interval, yielding an interbeat interval change value for each passage. A significant interaction between condition and passage indicated that the English–Japanese condition elicited a more robust interbeat interval change for passage 2 (novelty phase) than for passage 1 (familiarity phase), reflecting a faster heart rate during passage 2, whereas the English–English condition did not. This effect indicates
that fetuses are sensitive to the change in language from English to Japanese. These findings provide the first evidence for fetal language discrimination as assessed by fetal biomagnetometry and support the hypothesis that rhythm constitutes a prenatally available building block in language acquisition.