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  1. The Triumvirate

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Valentine’s edition

Emperor Claudius II banned marriage because he believed married men would make for bad soldiers. Valentine broke these rules and arranged marriages in secret and was eventually thrown into jail. There, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, and when he was executed on 14 February he sent her a love letter signed ‘from your Valentine’. Although we do not know their marital status, only men with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) were enrolled into the study from Luke Rowsell and colleagues (see page 177), a trial investigating the effect of acute morphine on OSA. Administering 40 mg of controlled-release oral morphine did not increase sleep time with oxygen saturation below 90% (primary outcome), but a lower baseline CO2 ventilatory response was associated with a greater sleep time below 90%. In addition, like love, there was variation in response to the same stimulus, which in this study was related to the OPRM1 genotype.

Cupid’s arrow

As Ovid first described, Cupid has two kinds of arrow, one of gold that fills the victim with uncontrollable desire and one of lead that fills one with aversion and the desire to escape. It seems that Cupid’s golden arrow struck …

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