A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

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Abdul Alhazred
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A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

Researchers examine the decline in average body temperature among healthy adults over the past two decades
Science Daily
Summary:
In the nearly two centuries since 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.0 degrees Celsius) was established as the standard 'normal' body temperature, it has been used as the measure by which fevers have been assessed. Over time, however, lower body temperatures have been widely reported in healthy adults -- for example, in recent studies in the UK and the US. Researchers have now found a similar decrease among the Tsimane, an indigenous population of forager-horticulturists in the Bolivian Amazon.

...
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Re: A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

Post by Hotarubi »

Abdul Alhazred wrote: Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:59 pm Researchers examine the decline in average body temperature among healthy adults over the past two decades
Science Daily
Summary:
In the nearly two centuries since 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.0 degrees Celsius) was established as the standard 'normal' body temperature, it has been used as the measure by which fevers have been assessed. Over time, however, lower body temperatures have been widely reported in healthy adults -- for example, in recent studies in the UK and the US. Researchers have now found a similar decrease among the Tsimane, an indigenous population of forager-horticulturists in the Bolivian Amazon.

...
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Re: A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

Post by gnome »

The original figure was not as precise anyway. As I understand it the 0.6 was an artifact of conversion of units of a figure less precise than tenths of a degree.
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

You got it backward historically, but only because Fahrenheit got it REALLY backward.

Fahrenheit's original plan was zero for coldest experimentally repeatable temperature in his lab and 100 for body temperature, but that made freezing and boiling messy numbers. 98.6 was what Fahrenheit measured on himself after adjusting the scale so that there was an easily divisible number of degrees between freezing and boiling.

One tenth was the precision, and with an even number of tenths it comes out a whole number in Celsius.

Also Celsius originally had 0 for boiling and 100 for freezing, but later decided it worked better the other way.
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Re: A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

Post by shemp »

It may be simply that we can measure body temperature more accurately today. Digital thermometers are more accurate than a piece of glass filled with mercury shoved in your mouth or butt.
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Re: A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

Post by Anaxagoras »

Abdul Alhazred wrote: Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:44 pm 98.6 was what Fahrenheit measured on himself
Are you saying that the "normal body temperature" came from a sample of one? :notsure:

As to the idea that body temperatures are getting lower, I'm not so sure. At normal times, my temperature is usually below 98.6. 97.5-98.0 is fairly typical. I believe the same is true for a majority of people and 98.6 is actually rather on the high side. I remember reading something in the past that suggested that the scientific basis for 98.6 was actually rather shaky and it was probably lower.

If it's true though, could it be that more sedentary lifestyles are the reason?
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Re: A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

Post by Anaxagoras »

shemp wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:18 am It may be simply that we can measure body temperature more accurately today. Digital thermometers are more accurate than a piece of glass filled with mercury shoved in your mouth or butt.
I'm not sure it's more accurate, but I think you get different results depending on whether you put it in your mouth, your butt or your armpit. The rectal temperature is higher than the oral temperature, which is higher than the armpit temperature. A good mercury thermometer is actually highly accurate, assuming it's made correctly.

Although when I was a kid and I wanted to skip school, I figured out a way to cheat, if my mother wasn't watching me take my temperature: just hold it against a light bulb for a little while. I was a naughty child.
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Re: A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

Anaxagoras wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:07 am Are you saying that the "normal body temperature" came from a sample of one? :notsure:
He was inventing the thermometer, not engaged in medical research. :)
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Re: A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

Post by Witness »

That's Darwin in action, our bodies adapting to all that blubber… :twisted:
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Re: A world wide drop in temperature. No not that one.

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Until she checked it rectally on you, or so she told me, et cetera.

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