Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wow. Apparently, the fact that when I'm drifting off to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night with an irrepressible urge to move my legs is due to my broad complex-tramtrack-bric-a-brac-domain 9 gene. Says the New York Times in an article about the discovery of the connection between the broad-complex tramtrack-bric-a-brac-domain 9 gene and, er, restless legs syndrome:

The new findings may also make restless legs syndrome easier to define, resolving disputes about how prevalent it really is. The disorder is a “case study of how the media helps make people sick,” two researchers at Dartmouth Medical School, Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz, wrote recently in the journal PLoS Medicine. They argued that its prevalence had been exaggerated by pharmaceutical companies and uncritical newspaper articles, and that giving people diagnoses and powerful drugs were serious downsides of defining the elusive syndrome too broadly.

Discovery of the genetic basis of the disorder “puts restless legs syndrome on a firmer footing,” said Dr. Christopher Earley, a physician at Johns Hopkins University who treats the malady.

Don't you love Dr. Earley's little joke? The copyeditors at the Times are obviously slacking off on their job to be as stuffy as possible.

I wonder if I'll get more sympathy from the husband now. Doubtfully, since he's the one who really suffers.

The Swedish word for the day is ben. It is both the singular and plural form for leg.

- by Francis S.

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