CLOSE
Original image

What is an Adam's Apple?

Original image

Adam's apple photo via Shutterstock

Touch your fingers to the front of your throat and start humming. Feel around until you can feel vibration directly under your fingers. That’s your larynx, or voice box. It houses your vocal cords and is involved in breathing and vocalization.

Surrounding the larynx is the laryngeal prominence, better known as the Adam’s apple. The “apple” is simply protective cartilage. As your voice changes and your larynx grows during puberty, the cartilage enlarges and moves with it. Depending on the size of your larynx, the apple can seem barely there, or be very prominent.

Despite common misconception, women do have Adam’s apples, and both boys and girls have similarly sized apples when they’re young. Come puberty, though, boys’ vocal cords tend to become longer and thicker, and the larynx and laryngeal prominence both need to grow differently to accommodate them, so males’ apples will generally be more noticeable.

Adam Who?

There are two popular explanations for the laryngeal prominence’s nickname. The first is that it refers to the Biblical Adam. According to the book of Genesis, the first man ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which is popularly interpreted as an apple, and the laryngeal prominence got its name because it looks like a piece of fruit stuck in one’s throat.

The alternate explanation is that it’s a mistranslation of the Hebrew tappuah ha’adam. In modern and Biblical Hebrew, tappuah has had a few meanings, including “apple,” “citron,” “swelling” and several place and personal names. Ha’adam, which can mean “mankind” or refers to unidentified men, may have been misinterpreted as the name Adam to get “Adam’s apple” instead of “man’s apple” or “man’s swelling.”

Original image
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
What Is the Difference Between Generic and Name Brand Ibuprofen?
Original image
iStock

What is the difference between generic ibuprofen vs. name brands?

Yali Friedman:

I just published a paper that answers this question: Are Generic Drugs Less Safe than their Branded Equivalents?

Here’s the tl;dr version:

Generic drugs are versions of drugs made by companies other than the company which originally developed the drug.

To gain FDA approval, a generic drug must:

  • Contain the same active ingredients as the innovator drug (inactive ingredients may vary)
  • Be identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration
  • Have the same use indications
  • Be bioequivalent
  • Meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality
  • Be manufactured under the same strict standards of FDA's good manufacturing practice regulations required for innovator products

I hope you found this answer useful. Feel free to reach out at www.thinkbiotech.com. For more on generic drugs, you can see our resources and whitepapers at Pharmaceutical strategic guidance and whitepapers

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
Do Cats Fart?
Original image
iStock

Certain philosophical questions can invade even the most disciplined of minds. Do aliens exist? Can a soul ever be measured? Do cats fart?

While the latter may not have weighed heavily on some of history’s great brains, it’s certainly no less deserving of an answer. And in contrast to existential queries, there’s a pretty definitive response: Yes, they do. We just don’t really hear it.

According to veterinarians who have realized their job sometimes involves answering inane questions about animals passing gas, cats have all the biological hardware necessary for a fart: a gastrointestinal system and an anus. When excess air builds up as a result of gulping breaths or gut bacteria, a pungent cloud will be released from their rear ends. Smell a kitten’s butt sometime and you’ll walk away convinced that cats fart.

The discretion, or lack of audible farts, is probably due to the fact that cats don’t gulp their food like dogs do, leading to less air accumulating in their digestive tract.

So, yes, cats do fart. But they do it with the same grace and stealth they use to approach everything else. Think about that the next time you blame the dog.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios