Article Text

Download PDFPDF

  1. A Fo Ben
  1. Correspondence to Dr A Fo Ben; rhys-thomas{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Very smart phone

Implantable neurostimulation devices permit the evaluation of ultra-long-term electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring in community settings. How does this abnormal electrical activity correlate with social behaviour? A total of 35 714 hours of EEG recordings was paired with smartphone touchscreen interactions in eight people with epilepsy. Authors then used an artificial neural network model to identify links between social behaviour and the epileptiform discharges. The personalised model corresponded well (R: 0.2–0.6, median 0.4), which opens the door to using integrated social datasets to map to epilepsy well-being.

iScience. 2021; 24(6): 102538.

No time to diarrhoea

There are a multitude of threats that a double O agent must tackle, but in the COVID-19 era, how might he fare with contagious illnesses? The promiscuous James Bond (across all films, 1969–2021) has had 59 sexual partners, 2.4/film with a remarkably high mortality for his partners (27.1, 95% CI 16.4 to 40.3). Getting your hands dirty is an occupational hazard for a trained governmental assassin, but Bond is seen washing his hands twice. Only twice. Other hazards include unwashed fruit, malaria, dengue and chikungunya. Doctor? No.

Travel Med Infect Dis. 2021; 44: 102175.

COVID-19? Novid

Will we look back on the last 2 years of medical publishing as the era where everything, everything, everything was COVID-19 related? In this vein, A Fo Ben discovered the curious case of restless anal syndrome (a restless legs variant, who knew?). Single cases of rare disorders can always be of educational value, but sometimes a temporal link to COVID-19 seems at best opportunistic and most likely spurious.

BMC Infect Dis. 2021; 21(1): 993.

Wow, just wow

The National Institutes of Health’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative Cell Census Network was launched 4 years ago. The ambition was to identify and catalogue cell types in human, monkey and mouse brains. The first 17 (!) papers from this consortium were released in Nature on October. Treat yourself to this cornucopia and revel in everything from single-cell datasets to comparative analyses across species. This goldmine will be a critical resource for neuroscientists for generations to come.

Figure 1

Single-neurone morphology and projectional properties of thalamic neurones. Images courtesy of Hongkui Zeng (Allen Institute) from Nature 2021;598 (7879):174–181.

Nature. 2021; 598 (7879): 86–102.

Falling down

Aficionados of entertainment from Buster Keaton to ‘You’ve been framed’ know that few things are more amusing than a well-timed tumble. But can a study of childhood catastrophies learned on mother’s knee teach us much about head injury? This sparkling but very literal description of nursery rhymes in the Christmas BMJ includes 'Ring-a-ring o’ roses'. A Fo Ben adheres to the Great Plague theory as its origins. Confirming that everything, everything, everything is now COVID related, a letter in Private Eye (March 2020) noted that this ancient death-linked incantation was an ideal way to remember for how long to wash one’s hands. But please dry them carefully, for fear of going base over apex and becoming a protagonist in a future cautionary ditty.

BMJ. 2021; 375: e068256


  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Other content recommended for you