Home' News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin February 2015 Contents 44 FEBRUARY 2015
Few readers would admit to being addicted
to morphine, but according to the US
National Geographic magazine of June
2014, casein is a protein concentrated
during cheese-making, and digestion breaks
it down, making morphine-like chemicals
called, unsurprisingly, caseo-morphines. As
a result, cow's milk may contain traces of
morphine. It is surmised that these 'natural'
drugs calm the calves, and also 'hook' the
calf on milk. The article suggests that is
the reason why some of us are 'addicted'
to cheese. It's a nice thought, but it is not
necessarily true simply because it was in the
National Geographic magazine.
2014 NOBEL PRIZES
The Nobel Peace Prize this year was
awarded, jointly, to Pakistani child
education activist Malala Yousafzai and
Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.
It would be a hard-hearted reader who did
not enthusiastically approve of both these
awards. Malala, the youngest awardee
ever, was shot in her head (and eventually
recovered) because a zealot thought
females should not be educated.
The Physics Prize went to three Japanese
researchers who developed the blue light-
emitting diode, a massive contribution
to efficient lighting. The Physiology and
Medicine Prize was awarded to Professors
John O'Keefe and May-Britt and Edvard
Moser for explaining how the human
brain's positioning system works.
The award is a handsome gold medal and
brings at auctions, more than a million US
dollars. Awardees often donate any prize
money to a suitable charity, but few ever
sell their medals, which weigh about 175
grams and are from 2.4 to 5.2 mm thick.
The latest medals are 18 carat gold, plated
with 24 carat gold, each worth at least
$10,000 for its gold content alone.
ANU astrophysicist Brian Schmidt won a
Nobel Prize for co-discovering dark energy,
and said: "your life changes overnight...
they call you up...in the middle of cooking
dinner...by the way, you've won the Nobel
Prize". He continued: "my grandma, who
lives in Fargo, North Dakota, wanted to
see it...the visit was uneventful, until I tried
to leave Fargo with it...and went through
the X-ray machine. They said "what's in
the box?" I said: "a large gold medal"(as
one does). They asked "what's it made
of?" I said "gold". They asked "who gave
it to you?" I said "the King of Sweden."
They asked "why did he give it to you?"
I said "because I helped discover how
the expansion rate of the universe was
At this point, they were beginning to lose
their sense of humour. I explained that it
was a Nobel Prize, but their main question
was "Why were you in Fargo!"
OUR YOUNGEST DENTAL GRADUATE
The University of Sydney Faculty of
Dentistry Final Year (4) class of 1954
recently held a reunion. After 60 years,
almost half of the original 75 graduates
have died, but we managed to assemble
30+, nearly all of them sentient and
mobile. The question was asked: "How
many were unable to be registered as
dentists because they were too young?"
Because the dentistry course was then four
years, there were seven of us, and we had
to work in the United Dental Hospital until
we turned the magic age of 21 and could
legally be on the dental register.
All seven of these youngsters were there
for the reunion, only one of them, William
(Bill) Roth was not yet 80 years old. We
all surmised that Bill was possibly the
youngest Australian dentistry student to
graduate yet be ineligible for registration.
But Bill advised us that he is not the
youngest student ever to graduate in
Australia. Well-informed readers will
know that such young graduates are no
longer possible because current Australian
education systems ensure that dentistry
graduates will be at least 21 years old.
But Sydney has a dentistry student who
was even younger than Bill. He is Bernard
Lilienthal, an outstanding scholar who
graduated in dentistry at age 19, because
during the World War II years the BDS
course was shortened to three years (with
long summer terms). Bernard then went
on the gain a BSc (Syd), a D Phil (Oxon),
a PhD (Syd) and a DDSc (Syd). He may be
the most highly qualified dentist Australia
has produced. Google his name if you
want to know how he has contributed to
our dental knowledge.
AN ALISTAIR COOKE SELECTION
JOGGING: This is an activity which many
believe ensures a healthy body, and by
extension, a possibly healthy mind. Alistair
Cooke wrote, for many decades, the much
lauded column: 'Letter from America',
and kept doing so even when he was well
into his nineties. He noted, in one of his
many books, that a Mark Godding wrote
a letter to the Editor: "Sir, Regarding the
current enthusiasm for jogging to extend
one's life, may I point out that if one
jogged for ten miles per day, then having
lived to the ripe old age of eighty, one
would have jogged for approximately nine
years...Is it worth it?" Godding wrote to
Alistair, thanking him for the exposure, and
revealed that he was a teenager.
OBSESSIONS: We all have them. Alistair
Cooke wrote in America, that he received
a letter from a reader who said: "when
my retirement came in my sixty-fifth year,
it made it possible for me to pursue my
hobby: to catch the 'Sound of Music'
wherever it is being shown. Sometimes I
sit through all three performances. So far,
I have seen it seventy-five times and I hope
the end is not yet". The hills all around
must really sing to her.
NEW YORK CITY CAB DRIVERS: Cooke
took a daily cab ride from his Central Park
apartment to his downtown office. On
one occasion the cab driver was a recent
migrant from Russia, and unlike the usual
cabbie, he was not rude, argumentative or
sullen. In very broken English he explained
that he was delighted to be an American
citizen, even though he missed his Russian
family and friends. He said it was a big
decision to migrate, but the reason he did
was a weekly BBC Short Wave program
he listened to unfailingly for years called
'Letter from America', which eventually
convinced him that living there would
be much better. Cooke paid the fare and
thanked the cabbie for his companionship,
but did not reveal that he was the source
of the weekly broadcasts.
These have been around for centuries, but
your Asservator disapproves of them. They
do not, in his opinion, add to the beauty
of the person, and the only thing they
have going for them is to unequivocally
identify a dead body. But now we have
very thin electronic circuitry which can
be mounted on the skin with all the
flexibility and stretchiness of a tattoo.
This will eventually give us a revolution
in health care monitoring, e.g., on the
forehead for encephalography for adults
and monitoring of neonatals. On a wound
to monitor inflammation, infection and
healing. On the body to collect body
motion data in, e.g., Parkinson's disease;
and skin physiological sensors to monitor
diagnostic data and control administration
of drugs. Surgically on the heart surface to
oversee cardiac activity and possibly work
as a pacemaker or defibrillator.
But we hope these will not be applied at
a parlour in the lower end of town with
a Harley Davidson motorcycle parked
ADVANCED DENTAL TECHNOLOGY
Like most members, your Expounder reads
the ADA mails arriving in the letterbox.
The routine items are accompanied by
an increasing quantity of advertising
from manufacturers and distributors
of new items of dental materials and
equipment, plus a never-ending list of
courses which the ambitious young dentist
is urged to attend. This augurs well for
an improvement in the delivery of dental
health advice and care, but it seems to
your Quidnunc to be a never-ending
Having been in the profession for now
sixty years, he has seen a procession of
new devices and techniques come, and
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