Medical craft madness

Medical craft madness: We admire people who devote hours of effort to quirky endeavors. One of our favorite creations along these lines is a knitted digestive system lovingly crafted by by Matie Trewe, a biology graduate who lives in Eugene, Ore. Tongue, esophagus, gall bladder: it's all there in its anatomically-correct glory.

Why a GI tract?

"I like to make strange things," Trewe says on her website. "I'm busy working on a second version, this one with a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass."

We can't wait!

Trewe has soulmates out there. We like the knitted DNA helix of Kimberly Chapman. "Ever since showing it off, all of my geeky friends online want one," she writes of her Baby's First DNA Model. "My OB/GYN and his nurse want one. Everyone seems to want one."

And we're especially partial to the delicate, knitted lace doilies of Laura Splan--each one in the shape of a virus. HIV, hepadnavirus, SARS virus, flu virus, herpesvirus--take your pick. (We like herpesvirus best.)

We didn't see any knitting instructions for the herpesvirus doily, but if you want to try knitting a gastrointestinal tract yourself, here's the link to Trewe's pattern. If DNA's more your thing, check out Kimberly's instructions. Just make sure you do the strands coiling rightward, not incorrectly leftward as she did the first time around.

If you've come across any medical- or health-themed craft items to rival these, let us know, at

--Rosie Mestel

From the "duh" files: Husbands who help around the house have (brace yourselves) happier wives. If this is a surprise, best check out the online issue of the American Journal of Public Health. In it, researchers recount a study in which they found women were more likely to be distressed and uncomfortable with their spouses when those spouses turned a blind eye to the cooking, dishwashing and other household chores. The research, conducted in the Middle East, confirms previous studies conducted in the West. It's unclear how far researchers will go to find some exception to this link.

--Tami Dennis