June 16th, 2006

My real job

I am currently editing an article for an allergy journal on how long a person who has eaten a peanut butter sandwich should wait before kissing a person who is deathly allergic to peanuts, and whether brushing your teeth helps. It is, like, an actual scientific study measuring the peanut allergen Ara h 1 in saliva using a monoclonal-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Just wanted to share.

Okay, now they have an estimate of the amount of peanut allergen per milliliter of saliva. So they need an estimate of how much spit is swapped in a "passionate kiss." Multiply these terms and you will get the amount of allergen that the allergic person will be exposed to. I am wondering about these researchers and how they came up with the spit-swapping estimate. They have not detailed this in their Methods section. (*warning: novel idea forming...*)

This is not, repeat, NOT the most interesting scientific article I have edited. A few years ago I edited an article for a hematology journal in which the author included a looooooong Dr. Seuss-style poem characterizing all the genes he had talked about in the article. It was cute. Dr. Seuss-style poems are all too rare in hematology journals imho. Clearly this guy had tenure.

The plot thickens! Now I am editing the reference list for the allergy article. Apparently researchers like this topic. They are heating up the laboratory, yo:

"Oral allergy syndrome to apple after a lover’s kiss"

"Kiss-induced allergy to peanut"

"Food allergies and kissing"

"The kiss of death: a severe allergic reaction to a shellfish induced by a good-night kiss"

"The hazards of kissing when you are food allergic: a survey on the occurrence of kiss-induced allergic reactions among 1139 patients with self-reported food hypersensitivity"
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