Interesting Facts about Human Body

1.) Eyes: You Blink about 20000 times a day.

2.) Hair: Hair grows about .5 mm (.02 in) a day.

3.) Mouth: You will produce 37,800 l of saliva in your life.

4.) Cells: There are 50 trillion cells in your body and 3 billion of themdie every minute.

5.) Nerves: Your body has about 13000000000000 nerve calls, transmitting message at speed of 290 km/hr.

6.) Brain power: You lose 100000 brain cells every day! The main thing is that you have 100 billion altogether. If surface area of your brain could be ironed out it wouldmeasure 2090

7.) Heartbeats: Your heart pumps 13640 L of blood around your body in a day. An average heartbeat rate per minutes of our body is 70 beats and this will adds more than 100000 beats a day.

8.) Urine : You will pass 400 to 2000 ml of urine every day, depending on your age, your size and outside conditions, especially temperature.

9.) Chemicals: There is enough carbon in your body to fill 900 pencils, enough Fat to make 75 candles, enough phosphorous to make 220 match heads and enough iron to make a 7.5 cm nail.

10.) Can you overdose on vitamins? Overdosing on some vitamins can have serious side effects. Vitamin A: Doses of more than 3752 mg can lead to liver damage,hair losses and headaches. Vitamin B6: Doses of more than 400mg can cause numbness in the mouth. Vitamin C: Stomach ache can be caused due to high doses of Vitamin C. Vitamin D: Daily doses of 600 mg can interfere with the functioningof muscles. Niacin: Doses of upto 2000 mg are prescribe to help lower cholesterol but this could cause jaundice and liver damage.

11.) Tea Or Coffee? The two main constituents of tea are“caffeine and tannin”. A tea bag contains about 40 mg of caffeine and brewed tea about 30mg. Tea also contains useful fluorides, volatile oils and Vitamin B. “Caffeine” is the main constituent of coffee. A cup of brewed coffee contains about 80 mg of caffeine and instant coffee about 60 mg. Medical studies show that heavy caffeine use (more than 500 mg/day) may cause harmful physiological effects. A cup of tea or coffee (without sugar and milk)contains about 16KJ of energy.

12.) Fingers: Our fingers are so sensitive that they can detect a vibration with a movement of 0.02 cm. Our “finger nails” grow at the rate of about 0.05 mm in a week and hair about 3 mm in a week.


New insight into brain cancer

A joint study by researchers at the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), National University of Singapore (NUS), and Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS), A*STAR, has uncovered the role of a new tumour suppressor – known as parkin – in brain cancer that promises to shed insights into why certain brain tumours are more aggressive than others.

This multi-institutional collaborative work, led by Associate Professor Lim Kah Leong at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Department of Physiology, and Dr Carol Tang, Research Scientist at NNI together with Associate Professor Ang Beng Ti, Consultant at the Department of Neurosurgery at NNI and Senior Principal Investigator at SICS, was published recently in the May 15 issue of Cancer Research, a leading international cancer journal.

Forming the majority of adult malignant brain tumours, gliomas affect a significant number of individuals globally, including here in Singapore.

The NNI sees about 50 new cases of malignant glioma each year and continues to manage its existing glioma caseload by means of a  multi-disciplinary neuro-oncology clinic.

The prognosis for the majority of these tumours remains grim, particularly for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive form of brain tumour.

The late Senator Edward Kennedy was reportedly afflicted with this malignant form of glioma. Senator Kennedy died 15 months after his diagnosis. For reasons yet unclear, others readily succumbed to the disease within a much shorter time.

Interestingly, the study showed that the level of parkin expression in glioma cells can determine the survival outcome and disease progression of patients, i.e. those who have high parkin expression in their cancer cells tend to survive longer with lower tumor grades than their parkin-deficient counterparts.

“With this understanding, instead of generalising malignant brain cancer patients, we can now differentiate their tumours based on their molecular characteristics” commented A/Prof Lim and Dr Tang. Agreeing, A/Prof Ang added, “This is significant as the stratification would allow us to formulate the most appropriate treatment for each patient.”

Importantly, the investigators also found that the restoration of parkin expression in   parkin-deficient cells can slow down their proliferation rate and decrease their tumour size significantly. They are currently testing drugs that can mimic parkin’s protective function against the aggression of brain tumours.

The study is funded by research grants from the Khoo Teck Puat Foundation and Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, A*STAR.

Other key authors of the study are Mr Yeo Wee Sing, a graduate student at NUS Department of Physiology and Ms Felicia Ng, a bioinformatician previously at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, A*STAR.