What Causes Bags Under The Eyes?

Bags Under eyes

Let us count the ways, in descending order of frequency:

Heredity: That’s right. It wasn’t that night on the town that makes you look like a raccoon in the morning.  It’s all your parents and grandparents’ fault.  Some people are born with excess fatty tissue and liquid around the eyes.

Fluid retention: The eyelids are the thinnest and softest skin in the entire body, four times as thin as “average” skin.  Fluid tends to pool in thin portions of the skin.
What causes fluid retention? Among the culprits are drugs, kidney or liver problems, salt intake, and very commonly, allergies.  Cosmetics drum up more business for dermatologist and allergists than just about anything else.  Allergic reactions to mascara and eyeliner are the usual culprits.

Aging.  The skin of the face, particularly around the eyes, loosens with age.  Age is more likeliness to cause bags than mere sleepiness or fatigue.

Too many smiles and frowns.  These expressions not only can build crow’s feet but bags.  We can safely disregard this answer to explain Bob Newhart’s bags, however.

Another less fascinating explanation for many sightings of bags under the eyes are noted by Dr. Tom Meek, of the American Academy of Dermatology, in the New York Times: “The circles are probably caused by shadows cast from overhead lighting…”

Submitted by Stephen T. Kelly of New York, New York

From: When Do Fish Sleep? by David Feldman

What is an “Exon?”

dna science

A portion of a DNA sequence that contains properly coded genetic instructions.  The term is used to contrast this part of a DNA sequence, of genes, with intervening sequences of nonsense DNA called introns.

What Is A Food Coma?


We are sitting at iTrulli, a top New York City Italian restaurant, and I have already unbuttoned my pants as I try to gather strength for dessert. I glance to my left and my sister-in-law has eaten herself to sleep. Her head is slumped on my wife’s shoulder and drool is about to begin trickling from her mouth. After taking several pictures to add this event to family lore, I was again asked about the cause of the dreaded food coma.
There are many possibilities as to what causes the classic “food coma.” Many people report drowsiness after eating the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Turkey is blamed for this soporific effect, specifically the amount of L-tryptophan contained in turkey. L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid and is a precursor of serotonin. Both serotonin and L-tryptophan have a calming, sedative effect in the human body.
dinnerL-tryptophan is naturally found in turkey protein but is actually present in many plants and animals, including chicken and cows. The average serving of turkey (about 100 grams of 3.5 ounces) contains a similar amount of L-tryptophan as found in an average serving of chicken and ground beef.
Two other factors that contribute to the desire to sleep at the dinner table are meal composition and increased blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that a solid-food meal resulted in faster fatigue onset than a liquid diet. The solid-food meal also causes a variety of stances to jump into action that ultimately leads to increased blood flow to the abdomen. This increase in blood flow and an increase in the metabolic rate for digestion can contribute to the “coma.”
Now, I can tell the end of the family story. A good double espresso can sometimes be enough of a pick-me-up to get through desert. But, in an attempt to resuscitate her comatose sister, my wife took her to the bathroom to splash water on her face and press her belly against the cold bathroom tiles. Unfortunately, time is the only true cure for the food coma.

From: Why do Men Have Nipples? by: Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg, M.D.

What Do Hopitals Do With Circumcised Foreskin?


Foreskins removed during hospital circumcisions are sometimes sold to biotech labs, since young skin is ideal for researching skin for burn vitamins, insulin manufacture, and also making skin creams for ladies.  One infant foreskin can be grown into literally thousands of square feet of new tissue.  No wise-guy comments necessary.
Cost? Prices vary according to cell quality.  A product called Dermagraft-TC goes for about $3,000 a square foot. One baby’s loss typically contains enough generic material to develop 250,000 square feet of new skin.  Do the math.  You’ll see the potential of the foreskin futures market.  (Do parents get royalties?)
Seekers of research foreskin can contact companies such as Advanced Tissue Sciences (ATS), Organogenesis, BioSurface Technology, Genzyme, and Ortec International.

From: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Everything by the editors of Discovery Magazine & Dean Christopher

What are dimples? And why do only some people have them?


Dimples are a generic name for indentations of the skin.  Dimples are produced when muscle fibers are attached.  To the deep surface of the skin, such as in the cheek or chin, or where the skin is attached to bones by fibrous bands, such as the elbow, shoulder, and back.

Dimples are most likely to appear where the skin is most tightly attached to the underlying bone.  Anatomist Dr. William Jollie, of the Medical College of Virginia, indicates that “dimples probably are due to some developmental fault in the connective tissue that binds skin to bone.”

So all this time we’ve envied those dimples but didn’t realize that they are exhibiting an anatomical flaw! And the tendency toward dimples seems to be hereditary.  You have your father to blame, Michael Douglas.

From: When do fish sleep? by: David Feldman

Sugar in Burger King French Fries

French Fries

There may be no ice cream in fast-food “shakes,” but there is sugar on French fries. In an interview, Burger King president Donald Smith said that his chain’s fries are sprayed with a sugar solution shortly before being packaged and shipped to individual outlets. The sugar carmelizes in the cooking fat, producing the golden color customers expect. Without it, the fries would be nearly the same color outside as inside; pasty white. Smith believes that McDonald’s also sugar-coats its fries.

From: Big Secrets by: William Poundstone

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What is Plasma?

The TruthA clear, almost colorless fluid consisting of blood from which the red and white blood cells have been removed.  Plasma contains platelets and cells called lymphocytes.  The portion of plasma that diffuses out of blood vessels into open spaces of the body is called lymph.  Lymph is reabsorbed by a system of lymph vessels and carried back to two points just behind the collarbones where the fluid is emptied back into the blood stream.

From How The World Works by Boyce Rensberger

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