Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 22 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:668

When researchers asked patients to compare a “virtual colonoscopy” (using computed tomography) with the real thing, they were surprised that most patients said neither test was particularly painful or embarrassing, despite bowel insufflation with gas for the “virtual” procedure. When pressed to make a choice, 58% of patients said they would go for the virtual option next time. Bowel preparation was most patients' least favourite bit (American Journal of Gastroenterology 2003;98:578-85).

Minerva buys organic vegetables for their flavour. She could also buy them for their flavonoids, according to food chemists from California. Their study of corn, strawberries, and marionberries found that organically grown fruit and vegetables contained more flavonoid antioxidants than regular varieties (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2003;51:1237-41). Flavonoid production, part of a plant's stress response, is suppressed by pesticides.

A bad case of the yips can ruin your golfing handicap. The involuntary flinching, jerking, or freezing usually happens just before an important putt, but experts can't decide whether it's psychological or some kind of dystonia. Most golfers think that yips are a physical problem, although about a fifth of respondents in one survey blamed …

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