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Antibiotics Cause Man’s Body to Brew “Beer” in His Gut, Ruining His Life With “Drunkenness Disease”

“Police, doctors, nurses and even his family told him he wasn’t telling the truth, that he must be a closet-drinker.”

Elias Marat

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Antibiotics Cause Man’s Body to Brew “Beer”

(TMU) — When some men begin to reach their middle age, they commonly like to take up new hobbies—like home brewing, for example, which allows 40- and 50-somethings to unlock their creativity as they produce copious amounts of amateur craft-brew. Other men, who may suffer emotional and psychological damage, may simply reach for the bottle and drink their days away.

But for one 46-year-old man, his life became a living hell of constant drunkenness after he developed an extremely rare condition known as “auto-brewery syndrome,” which is more colloquially known as “drunkenness disease,” after completing a round of antibiotics, New Scientist reports.

The normally healthy U.S. resident had a clean medical and psychiatric history and wasn’t much of a drinker, mainly imbibing of alcohol during the rare social occasion. However, in 2011 he began to display all of the symptoms of a souse—including mental fogginess, depression, forgetfulness and aggressive behavior—to the point where he eventually had to give up his job.

The changes occurred right after he finished taking antibiotics for an injury to his thumb, doctors from Richmond University Medical Center wrote in the report published in BMJ Open Gastroenterology.

The changes were completely out of the norm for the man, who even tried antidepressants in 2014 on the suggestion of a psychiatrist, to no avail.

Things took a drastic turn for the worse when the man was arrested on allegations that he was driving under the influence. When police tried to administer a breathalyzer test, the man adamantly refused and was taken to a hospital. Hospital workers then found that his blood-alcohol level had reached a staggering 200 mg/dL—the level typical of someone who had just consumed 10 or more alcoholic beverages.

The man further insisted that he hadn’t drunk anything that morning, but the report noted:

“[H]ospital personnel and police refused to believe him when he repeatedly denied alcohol ingestion.”

Following the humiliating arrest, the man sought treatment. At a clinic in Ohio, doctors found that he had been infected with the common yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is used in winemaking, baking, and beer brewing. Whenever the man ate carbohydrates or a meal rich in starch, the yeast simply fermented along with the sugars, transforming it into ethanol.

The man was basically brewing a strong alcoholic beverage in his gut.

After a bit of treatment at the clinic, the man’s symptoms improved. A few weeks later, however, he suffered an auto-brewery symptom flare-up that hospitalized him after he fell, causing him to bleed inside his brain.

Again, the man had to face the humiliation of being suspected as another hapless drunkard. The researchers wrote:

“Here too, the medical staff refused to believe that he did not drink alcohol despite his persistent denials.”

The man eventually found his salvation when he linked up with physicians at the Richmond University Medical Center, where he was rigorously tested and given a range of treatments including an anti-fungal regime. However, he fell into a “severe ABS relapse” after eating pizza and drinking soda once.

According to the report, the man is now able to process carbohydrates after gradually reintroducing them back into his diet. The report notes that he “remains asymptomatic and has resumed his previous lifestyle, including eating a normal diet while still checking his breath alcohol levels sporadically.”

And as it turns out, the main culprit for his ABS may have been the antibiotic medication, cephalexin, which he used to treat himself and which, in turn, “resulted in a change in his gastrointestinal microbiome allowing fungal overgrowth.”

Dr. Fahad Malik, one of the report’s authors and a chief medical resident at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told New Scientist:

“For years, no one believed him.

The police, doctors, nurses and even his family told him he wasn’t telling the truth, that he must be a closet-drinker.”

This isn’t the first time someone has been reported to have the rare disease. In 2013, a 61-year-old man from Texas was found to be suffering from the same condition after he staggered into a hospital with a blood alcohol level of .37.

A similar case of ABS occurred this past September in China after doctors found an abundance of the microbe Klebsiella pneumoniae in a patient’s gut, which led the man to develop a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that “severely” damaged his liver.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Bizarre

Cop Gave Children Weapons During Exorcism and Told Them To Shoot Demons And Intruders

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A police officer from Florida was recently arrested after he was caught performing a strange exorcism on a child holding a taser, while another child was given a gun and instructed to shoot anyone who entered the home. 37-year-old Christopher Dougherty reportedly told the two children that there were demons in the house. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Dougherty was fired from the department on an unrelated matter on the same day of his arrest, but he had worked with the sheriff’s office since 2006.

Someone tripped an alarm at the house where the incident was occurring, which prompted police to arrive on the scene. Once they got there, they saw evidence of child abuse, and decided to enter the home. Upon entering they found a young girl wearing body armor and a Kevlar helmet, lying on the ground with a rifle in a shooting position. There was also a young boy in the house who had a taser. The boy is believed to be the subject of an exorcism. Dougherty was armed with a handgun when police arrived.

The children said that Dougherty was performing an exorcism on the young boy, and told the girl that there were demons in the house, and instructed her to shoot anyone that entered.

Dougherty was detained and taken to a hospital where he was held under the Baker Act, and then arrested after he was released from the hospital a few days later. On the same day as his arrest, he was fired from the sheriff’s office, but the agency insists that his termination was related to “an unsatisfactory performance finding in a separate matter,” and had nothing to do with the exorcism. 

In a statement to Fox News, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said that he was concerned about the officer’s mental health. 

“While this deputy was terminated for a pattern of unsatisfactory performance, these are very serious criminal allegations. As law enforcement officers, we are held to the highest standards of conduct whether on duty or off duty. But we are also concerned about the deputy’s mental health,” Mina said.

It is still not entirely clear what Dougherty’s relationship was with the two children that were in his care.

The 2014 horror film “Deliver Us From Evil” is based on the true-life story of New York City Police Sgt Ralph Sarchie, who was an exorcist in his spare time. Sarchie described himself as a “demonologist” and claimed to have taken part in at least 20 exorcisms, but says that he investigated over 50 paranormal cases. “I’m a demonologist, and I’m going head to head with the devil,” Sarchie once said in an interview.

In 2001, Sarchie co-wrote the book Beware the Night about his experiences as a part-time demon hunter in New York. His book would eventually inspire the horror movie that came later.

Of course, Sarchie’s “demon hunting” activities seem to be a bit more safe and legitimate than whatever was happening inside the home of Christopher Dougherty.

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Bizarre

Study: 1,000 Potential Alien Star Systems Could Be Watching Us From Afar

Justin MacLachlan

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Motivated by the “Pale Blue Dot” NASA photo researchers are asking the question, could other planets be looking at us just like we’re looking at them? A study of Earth’s “solar neighborhood” has found that over 1,000 different systems have the perfect angle to view Earth.

The infamous “Pale Blue Dot” photograph was suggested by astronomer Carl Sagan who implored that the Voyager 1 space probe take a picture of Earth from nearly four billion miles away. The new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, seeks to find out how many different exo-planet systems with alien life could be watching us. Ironically, the research comes from the Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute.

The studies co-author Lisa Kaltenegger stated their list focuses on main-sequence stars similar to our own sun. These solar systems may contain exoplanets, Earth-like worlds sitting in the habitable zone for life. All of the prospective systems are within 300 million light-years of Earth, close enough to see our world’s chemical traces according to the researchers.

“Let’s reverse the viewpoint to that of other stars and ask from which vantage point other observers could find Earth as a transiting planet,” Kaltenegger, the director of Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute said in a press release.

“If observers were out there searching, they would be able to see signs of a biosphere in the atmosphere of our Pale Blue Dot… and we can even see some of the brightest of these stars in our night sky without binoculars or telescopes.”

What makes this listing of 1,004 star systems novel and significant is they all sit in Earth’s elliptic orbit or the plane of the planets orbit around our Sun. Exoplanets traveling along this same path would be able to see the Earth according to the researchers.

To foreign observers, Earth would be a transiting planet that passes in front of its sun as the observer looks at distant stars. Theoretically, these exoplanets would be able to see Earth crossing the Sun, which sounds like a marvelous sight.

“Only a very small fraction of planets will just happen to be randomly aligned with our line of sight so we can see them transit,” co-author Joshua Pepper of Lehigh University says. “But all of the thousand stars we identified in our paper in the solar neighborhood could see our Earth transit the sun, calling their attention.”

“If we’re looking for intelligent life in the universe, that could find us and might want to get in touch,” Kaltenegger adds. “We’ve just created the star map of where we should look first.”

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Animals

Scientists Say Species Throughout Earth’s History Keep Inexplicably Evolving Into Crabs

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A paper from 2017 recently resurfaced online and has gone semi-viral because of its weird, and, according to some scientists, somewhat disturbing/amazing conclusion: that life on Earth seems to naturally evolve toward crab-like species.

Originally published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, the paper is titled “One hundred years of carcinization – the evolution of the crab-like habitus in Anomura.” It found a new life in mid-October on Boing Boing under the title “Animals have evolved into a crab-like-shape at least 5 separate times” and has since been the subject of articles on Popular Mechanics and several other websites.

So what are popular science writers – and their readers – so worked up about? The original paper discusses the curious and highly improbable sequence of instances involving convergent and parallel evolution of animals into crab-like species. These instances of carcinization – the scientific term for when a crustacean evolves from a non-crab-like form into a crab-like one – has happened at least five different times in completely different historical contexts.

In the paper, the researchers write:

“The fact that a crab-like habitus did not evolve solely in ‘true’ crabs but also several times independently in the Anomura makes this process ideal for evolutionary research.”

Parallel evolution is certainly no stranger to Earth’s history. For example, marsupials are commonly referred to in this context. Convergent evolution, which refers to species from independent epochs of time developing analogous morphological structures, is also well established by Darwinian principles. Species on separate evolutionary tracks of both habitat and time can end up arriving at the same traits and structures. However, the number of times it happens with the crab-like shape and features seems to baffle more than a few scientists.

Additionally, the researchers point out, the similarities are not just relegated to superficial appearances in shells and claws: the five evolutionary journeys toward carcinization include shared functional traits in neurological processes and circulatory systems.

“Curiously, not only did the crab-like habitus evolve independently from the ‘true’ crabs (Brachyura), it also evolved three times independently within anomurans. […] Although enormous morphological disparity is observed in the internal anatomy of the crab-like taxa, reflecting the fact that the evolution of the crab-like habitus was indeed convergent, various corresponding dependences are found across the different lineages between the external characters of a crab-like habitus/morphotype and inner structures. In other words, as a result of carcinization certain structural coherences led to the specific internal anatomical patterns found in crab-like forms.”

So, what does it all mean? Is life on Earth somehow predisposed to crabs? Does this mean that when we meet aliens someday they will be giant intelligent crabs? Or could there be some strategic evolutionary advantage in the crab-like habitus and internal structures?

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