Stockholm, Sweden- Researchers at the prestigious Swedish Institute of Modern Hyperdilutional Therapeutics have announced a breakthrough in the diagnosis and management of spontaneous human combustion (SHC), a condition long considered to be undetectable and incurable.
"SHC patients typically are only identified after a pile of greasy ash and singed hands and feet are discovered by a landlord or family member," lead researcher Scorch Magnusson explained. "But with our recent advances in screening for SHC, and prophylactic hyperdilutional therapy, people don't need to live in fear of erupting into flames anymore."
Until now the possibility of developing spontaneous human combustion, a condition which many experts believe originated in Africa when spontaneous simian combustion was transferred from non-human primates to humans while training chimpanzees to participate in early NASA suborbital flight missions, has deserved its terrifying reputation. Unlucky sufferers are often simply unwinding with a bottle of liquor and a cigarette after a long day. Adding to the mystery and suspense is the fact that there has never been a witnessed case, which has helped lead to a variety of unproven etiological hypotheses such as ball lightning or a new subatomic particle.
After more than a year of intensive research and testing, Magnusson and his colleagues developed a screening test for SHC. According to Magnusson, the test consists of a panel of fifty questions and takes family history, environmental exposures, diet and a number of other factors into account. But identifying who is at risk is only half the battle.
The team also formulated a cocktail of plant and animal parts with the intent of preventing SHC events in high risk patients. Mangusson, who was unwilling to reveal any of the ingredients, wasn't shy about touting their success and pointing out the obvious implications. "We are taking people, usually the elderly or infirm, who at any moment, though usually when smoking alone while sedated from the use of drugs or alcohol, might have literally melted to death and we are giving them their lives back. And as long as they continue the preventive treatment, we expect them to live long enough to die of something much less exciting...like cancer."