Harry Potter And The Well Of Medical Research

Los Angeles Times:

Who knew the world of Harry Potter was such a rich source of material for medical researchers?

For more than a decade, the phenomenally popular series has provided grist for studies on topics ranging from genetics to social cognition to autism.

PubMed, an online database of medical studies, lists 30 studies that invoke the young wizard “Harry Potter and the Recessive Allele,” “Harry Potter and the Structural Biologist’s (Key)stone,” even “Harry Potter Casts a Spell on Accident-Prone Children.”

That last study found that children’s emergency department visits decreased significantly when new Harry Potter books went on sale. Conversely, a 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the lengthy books actually caused an ailment dubbed “Hogwarts headache” among young readers who spent too much time reading them.

A few research topics are grounded entirely within J.K. Rowling’s fictional world. That’s the case with Connecticut’s own contribution to the expansive body of Potter-related medical research. The New England Center for Headache in Stamford, with the help of a Monroe high school student, published a study in 2007 examining the causes of Harry’s headaches in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain.

Read the whole story: Los Angeles Times

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