Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (LNS) is a rare genetic disorder that generally affects males, whose symptoms result from an enzyme deficiency that leads to increased levels of uric acid in the body. The buildup of this toxic waste product causes severe mental and physical problems, including impaired renal function, gout, cerebral palsy, and cognitive impairment. Suffers also often exhibit compulsive self-mutilating behaviors, such as lip and finger biting. Why is LNS rarely seen in women?
Back in the day
Fought over a period of 10 days in 1969, the Battle of Hamburger Hill was the last major US ground assault of the Vietnam War. Attacks on the heavily fortified hill were primarily carried out by infantry using small arms fire, with fighting akin to WWI trench warfare. The site was of little strategic value, and the high number of casualties that resulted from capturing it sparked controversy and led to dramatic changes in US strategy. How did the hill get its name?
Born on a day like today
Ranking among the great masters of the novel, Balzac was a 19th-century French novelist and playwright regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and short stories collectively titled La Comédie humaine—The Human Comedy—which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815. Balzac's work habits are legendary. How long was he said to write during a single stretch?