Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cupping Trend Hits Elite Chemistry Scene

PHILADELPHIA (CJ News Service)  Audience members were shocked on at the ACS National Meeting when Professor Chad Mirkin of Northwestern University removed his suit jacket, revealing purple marks on his wrists resulting from cupping. "It steadies my laser pointer hand," he explained to the National Meeting attendees as he prepared to give the opening Fred Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Lecture.

The cupping trend has been popular with celebrities and Olympic athletes, so it is unsurprising that elite chemists have turned the the technique to perfect their laboratory and communication skills. A few years ago, Professor Phil Baran of the Scripps Research Institute posted a photo on Instagram showing his biceps covered with 8 clear cups and a postdoc using a heat gun to warm another cup prior to placing it on the skin.

Rumors suggest that graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have been using cupping to improve circulation to the head before oral examinations, and some have claimed cupping increases the steadiness of their hands for TLC spotting.

“We know that science says it isn’t detrimental,” Dr. Mehmet Mercola said. “We know that science says it does in some cases help out, like taking virgin coconut oil to prevent heart disease or drinking lemon juice to increase your body's alkalinity. So we’re at least going to expose young chemists to it years out so they can get into a routine. The pain is worth it - kind of like graduate school.”

(written with a co-author)
(with vague apologies to this overly credulous NYT article)

7 comments:

  1. Chemistry version of SniffPetrol. Love it.

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  2. How does lemon juice increase the body's alkalinity I want to know

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    Replies
    1. It's an oblique reference to this: http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2015/03/24/alkaline_lemons_not_a_misprint

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  3. " A few years ago, Professor Phil Baran of the Scripps Research Institute posted a photo on Instagram showing his biceps covered with 8 clear cups and a postdoc using a heat gun to warm another cup prior to placing it on the skin."

    I actually believed that for a moment. He is known to have a penchant for supplements, a practice that has dubious scientific backing. But anything involving his biceps sounds believable.

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  4. Some athletes and chemists misheard the advice as "Go cup yourself!".

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  5. Wow. "Elite" chemist? What is that? Someone with less yearly income than a nurse practitioner?

    Get off the Koolaid for a while dude.

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