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Signs your HGH injections might be fake

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From Paul Byrd and Rick Ankiel to the upcoming Mitchell Report, accusations of HGH are flying around baseball. But Human Growth Hormone use is also on the rise outside of sports; plenty of people looking to get bigger are injecting themselves. So, let's say you want to bulk up, get taller, increase your focus or just feel younger. You've bought some HGH on the Internet or from a pharmacy (hint: stay away from BALCO). But, could it be fake? Here are some signs your HGH might be phony.

Your joints don't hurt

With all those new hormones being injected, you can't expect your body to just sit idly by. Among the side effects of HGH are joint pain, fluid retention and nerve pinching. There can also be unusual bone growth, potentially in the face. It's been linked to cancer, both in mice and humans, but a definitive tie hasn't been established.

You're not using a needle

Lots of sites, like this one, say they have HGH in oral or nasal form, either through a spray, tongue drop or pill. Trouble is, they're all bogus. There's no evidence that HGH can be received through any receptor not in the bloodstream. Not only that, the fragile molecules will break apart if diluted in a spray or pill. Some testify that using the spray makes them elated and more energetic, but that's something else talking, not the HGH.

It was approved by the FDA and you don't have Turner syndrome

byrd.jpgAny distributor can just say they've got FDA-approved HGH. But it's only true under a few conditions: you're a child with a growth defect, you have Turner syndrome, you have adult short bowel syndrome, you have a pituitary tumor or your muscles are deteriorating from AIDS. For a while, the FDA had only authorized HGH use for children, but in recent years they've expanded the allowances for adults with other conditions. Any other use of HGH is illegal, which is why all those sports stars are acting like kids trying to get out of high school gym and scrambling for a doctor's note (Paul Byrd, for example, is using a pituitary tumor as his excuse).

It's not putting you in debt

For HGH injections to work, you need to inject two or three times a day. Individual injections can cost as high as $25 each, which means just a week of injections can cost an arm and a leg (but don't worry, the rest of you will grow strong enough to make up for the missing limbs). The full bill can run around $2,000 a month. HGH scams will promise the same results for a much lower cost "“ some advertise as low as $35 a month.

You didn't get it out of Sylvester Stallone's suitcase

stallone.jpgOkay, this one isn't all that helpful. Odds are you didn't go rummaging through Sly's bag for your growth hormone. But if you had, you wouldn't have been disappointed, at least earlier this year. The "Rocky" star was caught importing 48 vials of HGH into Australia that month and pleaded guilty to the charges in May. He was first caught with the hormone during a routine airport check. Then three days later, customs officials caught him throwing four vials of growth testosterone from his hotel room when they came for a search. He apologized for being "ignorant to [the] official rules" and setting a bad example for the public, a fear ABC News was more than happy to explore. Sly's not the only celebrity who's been caught with HGH; there were traces of the hormone detected in Anna Nicole Smith's body during her autopsy.

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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Gregory H. Revera, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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Space
Study Suggests There's Water Beneath the Moon's Surface
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Gregory H. Revera, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Astronauts may not need to go far to find water outside Earth. As CNN reports, Brown University scientists Ralph E. Milliken and Shuai Li suspect there are significant amounts of water churning within the Moon’s interior.

Their findings, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, lean on the discovery of glass beads encased in the Moon’s volcanic rock deposits. As recently as 100 million years ago, the Earth’s moon was a hotbed of volcanic activity. Evidence of that volatile time can still be found in the ancient ash and volcanic rock that’s scattered across the surface.

Using satellite imagery, the researchers identified tiny water droplets preserved inside glass beads that formed in the volcanic deposits. While water makes up a small fraction of each bead, its presence suggests there’s significantly more of it making up the Moon’s mantle.

Milliken and Li aren't the first scientists to notice water in lunar rocks. In 2008, volcanic materials collected from the Moon during the Apollo missions of 1971 and 1972 were revealed to contain the same water-flecked glass beads that the Brown scientists made the basis of their recent study. They took their research further by analyzing images captured across the face of the Moon and quickly saw the Apollo rocks represented a larger trend. "The distribution of these water-rich deposits is the key thing," Milliken said in a press statement. "They're spread across the surface, which tells us that the water found in the Apollo samples isn't a one-off. Lunar pyroclastics seem to be universally water-rich, which suggests the same may be true of the mantle."

The study challenges what we know about the Moon's formation, which scientists think occurred when a planet-sized object slammed into the Earth 4.5 billion years ago. "The growing evidence for water inside the Moon suggests that water did somehow survive, or that it was brought in shortly after the impact by asteroids or comets before the Moon had completely solidified," Li said. "The exact origin of water in the lunar interior is still a big question."

The findings also hold exciting possibilities for the future of space travel. NASA scientists have already considered turning the Moon into a water station for astronauts on their way to Mars. If water on the celestial body is really as abundant as the evidence may suggest, figuring out how to access that resource will definitely be on NASA's agenda.

[h/t CNN]

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