We get a chance to speak with a lot of medical experts. Many of the things they say make us think, laugh, or do a double-take. (What did he just say?!) Here's our list of the top seven things doctors and researchers said to us in 2011:
"If a hot toddy makes you feel better, go for it."
— Dr. Alan Weiss, internal medicine physician at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Weiss made the comment as he explained that, while a "hot toddy" cocktail won't cure the flu as folklore might suggest, the alcohol content and steam from the drink might relieve some symptoms of the illness.
"People are afraid to step on the scale, but they do have to put their pants on every day."
— Dr. Michael Jenson, endocrinologist from Mayo Clinic. Weiss was explaining that waist size may be a good way for the average person to monitor his or her health.
"Mother Nature is a pretty good bioterrorist."
— Jonathan Tucker, chemical and biological weapons expert at the Monterey Institute of International Studies' Center for Nonproliferation Studies, in Washington, D.C. Tucker was referring to the fact that microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses don't need the help of a human bioterrorist to cause a global pandemic. They can evolve into more deadly strains on their own.
"In the food safety world, we say: 'Don't eat poop.' But if you're going to, make sure it's cooked."
— Douglas Powell, a professor of food safety at Kansas State University, when we interviewed him about unverified claims that Japanese researchers had turned human excrement into edible meat.
"This is the one transplant that can have a 300 percent mortality rate."
— Dr. Andreas Tzakis, professor and director of the transplant program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Tzakis was noting how much will be at stake in an operation in which a mother donates her uterus to her daughter, referring to the lives of the mother, the daughter, and the baby who could later inhabit the womb.
"I don’t think your gums are related to your penis in any reasonable way."
— Dr. Andrew Kramer, surgeon and erectile dysfunction expert at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Kramer was expressing his doubts about a causal link behind the findings of a study showing an association between periodontitis, an inflammation or infection of the gums, and erectile dysfunction.
"I don’t care if what we do makes a profit; I care whether we get somebody out of a wheelchair."
— Mark Noble, director of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine. Noble made the comment when discussing the decision of the biotechnology company Geron to cancel its government-approved trial designed to test an embryonic stem cell therapy in people. Nobel said the decision may indicate the perilous nature of medical research funded by corporations.