Music for Abdominal Worms

My neighbor, let’s call him Jake, knocked on my door yesterday evening while I was making dinner. “Can I use your wifi?”

I hesitated, because I don’t really want to give the password to my internet to someone I don’t know. Then Jake explained why. “I just killed a deer, and it had a whole bunch of worms in it, and it’s freaking me out.” He wanted to google the worms. But since I did not appear enthusiastic about the wifi idea, he said not to worry about it.

But I was curious, so I googled worms commonly found in deer. What Jake probably was looking at is a very common type of abdominal parasite in deer that poses no harm to humans. I could not find any type of deer worm that poses a threat to people, so I think Jake will be fine.

While investigating the worm situation, I was listening to the Quartetto Stradiveri (plus one viola) play Mozart’s string quintets. I’m only through disc one (it’s a set of three) but I’m enjoying it a lot so far.

Too bad the so-called Mozart effect isn’t real, you know? If you had a tapeworm or something, and you listened to a lot of Mozart, you could have a really smart tapeworm.

Or really smart microbes.  According to an article in The Guardian there is a sewage treatment plant in Germany that plays Mozart because the head of operations there, Anton Stucki, believes it breaks down the sewage more quickly:

“We think the secret is in the vibrations of the music, which penetrate everything – including the water, the sewage and the cells. It creates a certain resonance that stimulates the microbes and helps them to work better. We’re still in the test phase, but I’ve already noticed that the sewage breakdown is more efficient,” he said.

16 thoughts on “Music for Abdominal Worms

  1. I wonder if there is anything in the literature on the effect of music on chemotherapy. It would give me an excuse to rename our ST-CPOE system Oncology Patient Error Reduction Application with some suitable acronym.

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      1. Like this one?

        Adjuvant Mozart Therapy for Women with Early-stage, Invasive Breast Cancer

        This is a clinical practice guideline on adjuvant Mozart therapy for adult women with early stage invasive breast cancer. Comparisons are made using different Mozart regimens and doses. The primary outcomes of interest are overall survival, progression free survival and adverse effects.

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        1. I wonder what they turned up?

          (Part of me wonders what would happen if someone decided to test for, say, a Puccini effect. “It was the most puzzling thing. We played Puccini to our entire sample of cancer patients, and eleven out of seventeen of them up and died of consumption.”)

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  2. Sorry, it was such an interesting question to ponder over breakfast (bleagh!) that I had to Ask a Public Health Official, so:

    Q: In your professional opinion, what kind of music would be favored by intestinal parasites?

    A: Debussy.

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      1. I did wonder if this was thought to be true across all species, but she didn’t have time to elaborate more than to say that flukes might show a slight statistical preference for Massenet.

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  3. I remember reading a year or two ago about a study showing that surgeons made less errors when listening to Mozart and operating at the same time. I don’t know if they experimented with Puccini or Debussy as well…

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