Innovations in Biotechnology and Medical Sciences

Anomaly over Normal Body Temperature

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : “Normal” body temperature

Mains level : NA

For several years now, doctors and researchers have known that 98.6°F is not really the gold-standard “normal” body temperature it was once considered to be.

The “normal” body temperature

  • In 1851, Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich pioneered the use of the clinical thermometer.
  • It was a rod a foot long, which he would stick under the armpits of patients at the hospital attached with Leipzig University, and then wait for 15 minutes for the temperature to register.
  • He took over a million measurements of 25,000 patients, and published his findings in a book in 1868, in which he concluded that the average human body temperature is 98.6°F.
  • Most modern scientists feel Wunderlich’s experiments were flawed, and his equipment inaccurate.
  • Another study concluded that the average human body temperature is closer to 98.2°F, and suggested that the 98.6°F benchmark be discarded.

The anomaly

  • Studies in the US and Europe have found average body temperatures declining over time.
  • In recent years, however, different studies have found the human body temperature averaging out differently, including at 97.7°, 97.9° and 98.2°F.
  • One of the largest such studies, published last year, found that body temperatures among Americans have been declining over the last two centuries.

Now try this PYQ based on health sciences

Q.Which of the following diseases can be transmitted from one person to another through tattooing?

  1. Chikungunya
  2. Hepatitis B
  3. HIV-AIDS

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) Only 1

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

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