medicine

Want to work at Kurashiki Central Hospital? Better learn to fold a tiny paper crane!

Becoming a doctor isn’t easy. We doubt there’s anyone who would disagree with that, and we get the feeling that everyone likes it that way. You probably prefer your medical professionals be overqualified to underqualified — delivering babies is a bit more complicated than delivering pizzas, right?

So, it’s only natural that doctors have to take a buttload of tests (that’s a metric buttload, of course), both practical and written. But one hospital in Japan that’s looking to hire some doctors from upcoming graduating classes has gotten creative with their practical tests. One step even includes folding a five-millimeter (0.19685-inche) origami crane.

At least Ant-Man will know who to call when he needs a tiny glider…

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Things you won’t believe Chinese tourists are buying in Japan: drugstore edition

Often when you visit another country, one thing on everyone’s to-do list is a little shopping. It’s always interesting to see what products a foreign country offers that you can’t find back home. It’s also weird and fun to see the products you are familiar with presented in a different way.

One of the main reasons Chinese tourists visit Japan is to shop. It’s not uncommon to see a Chinese visitor enter a store and drop the equivalent of hundreds of U.S. dollars – usually in cash – on seemingly everyday products like clothes or electronics, but in some cases store shelves are picked completely clean.

But what’s on these tourists’ shopping lists? Here are 11 “godly” pharmacy products that Chinese visitors simply have to buy when they visit Japan.

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Natto allergy is caused by jellyfish stings, says surprising Japanese study

Surfers could be at greater risk of developing an allergy to natto, a Japanese study has found. And the unlikely culprit is thought to be jellyfish stings.

Natto, the sticky fermented soy beans that are as as polarising as Marmite, is a traditional and common Japanese food. Allergy to natto is rare, but research from Yokohama City University Hospital suggests it could be more prevalent in people who spend a lot of time in the water and have been repeatedly stung by jellyfish.

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What do you eat when you catch a cold? We asked 11 of our Japanese reporters

The answer to the question “What do you eat when you catch a cold?” is probably different depending on where you live in the world. For me, nursing a cold conjures up images of sitting in bed wrapped in blankets and sipping chicken noodle soup.

But we were curious to know which foods and other remedies are commonly consumed in Japan when someone gets sick, so we asked 11 of our colleagues over at the Japanese edition of RocketNews24 and our sister site Pouch to share what they eat when the sniffles start creeping up on them. Think you can guess how they answered? Some of their responses might surprise you!

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Just a load of crap? Villagers in China claim drink made with manure is effective against cancer

Villagers in a rural Chinese village have stumbled upon a drink which they believe to be effective against cancer, with dozens of households now partaking in the special brew on a twice-daily basis.

We’re sure that anyone would be prepared to make time in their daily routine for a warm drink every morning and night if it potentially meant staying fit and healthy well into retirement, but we doubt many would be so keen once they heard that said drink was little more than cow dung and sheep’s droppings mixed with warm water.

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Fluffy kitty arm cushion provides the utmost relaxation for patients

Remember Tama, that adorable calico kitty who in 2007 was promoted to the rank of Station Master at in Wakayama Prefecture’s Kishi Station? Thanks to her, it seems like more and more felines are now taking a leaf out of her book and wanting to climb their way up the (corporate) ladder.

But it’s a harsh world out there, and cats just entering the workforce don’t exactly have endless opportunities. So what’s a new feline graduate just out of school to do? Well, it would seem that kitty recruits do seem to have good prospects in one area of specialization–as long as they don’t mind working as arm cushions at traditional Chinese medicinal clinics, that is!

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Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady

We get that the whole point of cosmetic surgery is often to dramatically change one’s appearance, beyond what’s possible through ordinary means. Likewise, if someone’s had a sex change operation, we don’t really expect the before and after pics to show a strong resemblance.

Even still, those procedures don’t automatically change your skin tone or cut your body fat percentage in half, which is why the Internet is taking notice of this slim transgender woman from Thailand who used to be a pudgy boy.

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Hatsune Miku will protect your eyes from the dangers of staring at her for too long

Just when you thought they couldn’t possibly come out with any more Hatsune Miku merch…someone finds a way to get the teal-haired songstress’ face on yet another new product!

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Study shows broccoli sprouts may regrow hair, and not just on Chia Heads

Whoever coined the phrase “Vanity, thy name is woman,” clearly was not a balding man. From implants to Rogaine, men (and some women) with thinning hair are willing to pay a lot of money to keep their cranium covered. A recent study suggest they might be better off making a trip to the greengrocer to return their locks to lusciousness.

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Roppongi’s Russian doctor treats the rich and poor of Japan’s international community

As Japan’s densest foreign enclave, Tokyo’s Roppongi neighborhood is a study in contrasts. On the one hand, the district is home to some of the country’s finest dining and most luxurious hotels, which attract the well-heeled and powerful from around the globe. At the same time, Roppongi’s backstreets are teeming with run-down bars and strip clubs, several of dubious legality in both their business licenses and working practices.

But while it’s common knowledge that Roppongi is the place to go for either a pricey bottle of Dom Perignon or a budget-friendly lap dance, you might be surprised to find that you can also receive consummate, compassionate medical care at the clinic of Dr. Evgeni Aksenoff, who’s been treating Tokyo’s international residents and guests for over 50 years.

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15-year-old genius revolutionizes cancer detection with 3-cent test

So what was your biggest achievement when you were 15? I was pretty proud of getting my learner’s permit. I also made a couple nice tackles on the football field, and came this close to finally winning a round against my friend Eugene in Street Fighter II. All in all, not a bad year.

Of course, these accomplishments don’t seem like much compared to those of Jack Andraka, a high school student from Maryland who just made the biggest breakthrough in pancreatic cancer detection methods in more than half a century. This is simply too cool not to share.

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Japanese netizens explore the root of cola’s enticing taste

While companies around the world have made all sorts of different versions of cola, the distinctive taste remains unchanged. So where exactly does the tart, sweet taste of your favorite soda come from? Thanks to a recent visit to a cola producer, a writer on Daily Portal Z found out more about the soft drink and shared his discovery with Japanese netizens, who were somewhat surprised at cola’s humble (and druggy) beginnings, but were left wondering about Coke’s secret recipe.

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Feel better fast: Eight home remedies from the little old ladies of Japan

The only thing worse than catching a cold is feeling like you’re about to catch a cold. That achiness you can feel in your bones, followed by dread, worry and the thought, “I’m too busy to get sick now!” It’s enough to make you sick on the spot.

But fear not, the grandmothers of Japan have a plethora of home remedies that’ll get you feeling better in no time. Some may be little more than old wives’ tales, but when you’re feeling under the weather, why not drink hot onion water or smear ginger on your forehead. It actually might be good for what ails you.

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Incidences of thyroid cancer on the rise among Fukushima children

According to Kolnet, an online media source focused on the Tohoku region of Japan, the number of under-18s in Fukushima Prefecture diagnosed with thyroid cancer has increased to 12, while the number of possible cases has reached 15.

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Redefining Life and Death at the Forefront of Modern Medicine

The question of what happens after we die has troubled humankind for millennia, with the main problem being that anyone who knows the answer is, well, no longer with us. However,  the “after-death” experiences of people who have technically died and then been brought back to life via resuscitation may hold at least some part of the puzzle. Read More

Male to Female in 14 Months! Series of Photos Document Transgender Girl’s Amazing Transformation

Not everyone is born into their ideal body—that’s why people get cosmetic surgery, right?

But imagine if you were born into a body of the opposite gender, or transgender. If you thought being born with a flat chest or a crooked nose was bad, try dealing with a whole collection of unneeded parts, not to mention the stress of everyone telling you you’re a gender that you know you’re not.

Luckily, just as regular people can get plastic surgery, transgender people can physically change their bodies to match their gender by taking hormones in a process known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Wonder how much the human body can change just by rebalancing some chemicals? A series of photographs documenting the physical transformation of a transgender female (chick born into a dude’s body) as she goes through HRT has been dropping jaws across the internet.

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