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delv published in(发表于) 2013/7/30 18:31:08 Edit(编辑)
Big Ears: They Really Do Grow As We Age

Big Ears: They Really Do Grow As We Age (研究称耳朵会随着年龄增长而变大)

MP-turned-pundit Matthew Parris is fretting about a very big subject – his ears. In his column in the Times this week, he said that as he has got older his ears have got larger. "They started quite big and now it's becoming embarrassing," he complained. "Are there any pills you can take to shrink them? Never mind penis enlargement. I'm looking for ear reduction."


Parris may not realize it, but he was writing on the 20th anniversary of one of the first scientific studies of ear size. Anecdotally, it had always been felt that old blokes tended to have bigger ears than everyone else. In July 1993, James Heathcote, a GP in Bromley, and a group of his colleagues set out to test the observation. They measured the ears of a randomly selected group of 206 of their patients over the age of 30, and calculated that ears increased by an average of 0.22mm per year – a centimeter (or just under half an inch) over 50 years.

帕里斯可能不知道,他写这篇文章之时正是有关耳朵大小的最早一项科学研究的二十周年的日子。1993年7 月,伦敦布罗姆利区的一名非专科医生詹姆斯?希思科特和他的同事们开始观察耳朵大小。他们从自己的病人里随机挑选了206名30岁以上的病人,测量他们的耳朵,计算发现耳朵每年平均增长0.22毫米,50年就能长1厘米。

Heathcote's findings were backed up by Japanese data published in 1996 and by an Italian study in 1999. Several reasons have been adduced for the growth. Ears (and indeed noses) sag with age, thanks both to a loss of elasticity in the skin and to the effects of gravity. Earlobes droop, a phenomenon that can be accentuated by heavy earrings. More controversially, it has been suggested that because, unlike bone, cartilage continues to grow and ears are made of cartilage, that may also account for the phenomenon.



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