Best of PubMed #1

PubMed, the on-line portal for scientific literature, holds some real gems. Starting today I’ll highlight a few exceptional studies that I’ve found over the years. Visit to gain access to the full articles. Just cut-and-paste the PubMed ID number into the Search box.

Picks of the day:

1.  Lancet. 1998 Dec 19-26;352(9145):2010-1.

      Jealousy and mutilation: nose-biting as retribution for adultery

Okimura JT, Norton SA

PMID: 9872265


2.  J Emerg Med. 1990 May-Jun;8(3):305-7.

    Acute management of the zipper-entrapped penis.

Nolan JF, Stillwell TJ, Sands JP Jr

PMID: 2373840


A zipper-entrapped penis is a painful predicament that can be made worse by overzealous intervention. Described is a simple, basic approach to release, that is the least traumatic to both patient and provider.



3.  Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 1994 Winter;25(2):67-84.

   Encounter with reality: children’s reactions on discovering the Santa Claus myth.

Anderson CJ, Prentice NM

PMID: 7842832


Fifty-two children who no longer believed in Santa Claus were individually administered a structured interview on their reactions to discovering the truth. Their parents completed a questionnaire assessing their initial encouragement of the child to believe in Santa and rating their child’s reactions to discovering the truth as well as their own reactions to the child’s discovery. Parental encouragement for the child to believe was very strong. Children generally discovered the truth on their own at age seven. Children reported predominantly positive reactions on learning the truth. Parents, however, described themselves as predominantly sad in reaction to their child’s discovery.

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I am a science writer at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, author of fiction and popular science books, an artist, and a professional musician who performs on the viola da gamba and Medieval and Renaissance stringed instruments. I edit manuscripts of all types and teach the full range of scientific communication skills. I am doing theoretical work in this subject - see for example

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