Researchers have grown a partially functioning rat limb in a lab.
Researchers have grown a partially functioning rat limb in a lab.
Aaron E. Carroll on coffee’s benefits:
When I set out to look at the research on coffee and health, I thought I’d see it being associated with some good outcomes and some bad ones, mirroring the contradictory reports you can often find in the news media. This didn’t turn out to be the case.
Just last year, a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies looking at long-term consumption of coffee and the risk of cardiovascular disease was published. The researchers found 36 studies involving more than 1,270,000 participants. The combined data showed that those who consumed a moderate amount of coffee, about three to five cups a day, were at the lowest risk for problems. Those who consumed five or more cups a day had no higher risk than those who consumed none.
I wasn’t going to stop drinking coffee anyway.
Bryan fires a missile on the vaccine bullshit sweeping our dumb country:
Not too long ago, measles was declared eradicated in the United States. It was a public health victory of huge import. And now, that victory is threatened.
It all began less than twenty years ago with the publication of a now discredited study linking vaccinations with autism. The facts are clear. There is no link between vaccinations and autism. But, as has been said countless times before, yet continues to be forgotten, facts do not matter when they conflict with belief.
A small number of people believe, deep down, in places inaccessible to evidence, that some vaccines cause autism. Therefore, these people have chosen not to immunize their children against one of the most virulent diseases mankind has ever seen, weakening herd immunity and leading to the outbreak now taking place in the southwestern United States.
We’re all just monkeys with smartphones.
Study Confirms All Suspicions: Fitness Trackers Aren’t Magic Bullets
They quote The Journal of the American Medical Association:
Although wearable devices have the potential to facilitate health behavior change, this change might not be driven by these devices alone. Instead, the successful use and potential health benefits related to these devices depend more on the design of the engagement strategies than on the features of their technology. Ultimately, it is the engagement strategies–the combinations of individual encouragement, social competition and collaboration, and effective feedback loops–that connect with human behavior.
No fucking shit?
Let me get this straight: little electronic wristbands can’t magically get you in shape?
Next thing you’re going to tell me is Siri isn’t a real person.
Or that I have to make a concerted effort to achieve important things in my life.
Australia’s landmark cigarette legislation banning logos and putting dire health warnings and graphic images of sick or dying smokers on packs seems to be working, data shows, even as tobacco companies argue business is better than ever.
Michelle Innis, NYTimes.com
Designer Susana Soares has developed an astounding new tool that allows your average honeybee to detect early traces of cancer and other diseases by simply smelling your breath.
This technology relies on the honey bee’s acute sense of smell. The insects get trained to associate sugar water with a specific disease odor. When a subject breathes into the device, if the bees smell the odor they fly towards the glass feeding chamber indicating traces of the sickness. A bee can be trained to do this in just 10 minutes!
The Scanadu Scout promises to allow you to keep tabs on your (or someone else’s) health. A small, hockey-puck-shaped device, it works through bodily contact. Hold it to your forehead and it displays, via a smartphone, your temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and plenty more.
The Scanadu Scout
Over at The Verge, Paul Miller on fitness trackers and the data they capture:
At CES this year, a horde of companies brought devices that track every metric of fitness: steps, runs, weight, heartbeats, skin temperature, air quality, and even how fast you eat. Much of the choice seems to come down to ergonomics (wristband or beltclip?), and color (pink or blue or gray?), but there’s another important distinction that needs attention: does the data this device tracks belong to me, or to the maker?
Miller brings up some great points in this post.
I haven’t thought about this since I started using my Nike FuelBand this past Sunday, but it’s true, there’s no reason I shouldn’t have access to my fitness data so I can back it up or export it to another service. Sure, Nike can keep their proprietary ‘Fuel’ score. But steps? Calories? Those are universal measurements. They’re my measurements.
We’re already seeing Twitter opening up access to users’ tweet archives. I think it’s only a matter of time before fitness trackers do the same.
I smell a Kickstarter opportunity.
The first step is setting up your Nike+ account, letting the system know your age, height, weight and sex. You wear the FuelBand around your wrist and it tracks your movements throughout the day via accelerometer sensors not unlike like the ones detecting orientation in iPhones and iPads. Your body stats, combined with your movements, translate to a Nike ‘Fuel’ score along with calories burned and steps taken.
Every year, we resolve to hit the gym more often and get fit. And by the end of January, many of us have missed workouts or given up altogether.
According to Yifan Zhang, a 2010 graduate of Harvard College, part of the problem is that customers see gym membership fees as money spent, or “a sunk cost, especially if you pay at the beginning of the year.” That prompted the idea for Gym-Pact in Boston, which she created with Harvard classmate Geoff Oberhofer.
Gym-Pact offers what Zhang calls motivational fees — customers agree to pay more if they miss their scheduled workouts, literally buying into a financial penalty if they don’t stick to their fitness plans. The concept arose from Zhang’s behavioral economics class at Harvard, where professor Sendhil Mullainathan taught that people are more motivated by immediate consequences than by future possibilities.
Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle:
In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle states by precise inequalities that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot simultaneously be known to arbitrary precision. That is, the more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. In other words, the more you know the position of a particle, the less you know about its velocity, and the more you know about the velocity of a particle, the less you know about its instantaneous position.
This principle is like a woman, I don’t understand much of it, but it intrigues me.
From the Telegraph:
They set up a controlled experiment in Punjab earlier this year comparing the behavior and productivity of bees in two hives – one fitted with two mobile telephones which were powered on for two fifteen minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed.
After three months the researchers recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phone, a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey.
The stimulatory effects of caffeine may be nothing more than an illusion, according to new research that shows there is no real benefit to be gained from the habitual morning cup of coffee.
I’ve noticed when I’m out of my normal workday routine, like on a vacation, I get headaches from what seems to be coffee withdrawals. Then I find myself a cup of coffee and boom – headache is gone.
For me, the conclusion after February was clear. I missed out on a few things that annoyed me intensely. Most of the things I missed out on were videos on websites like TED and the New York Times. I had some catching up to do after February. With the help of ClicktoFlash and Youtube and Vimeo’s HTML5 players I was able to watch most of the video content out there, but there is still a lot that you can’t watch without that little plugin. I also ‘missed out’ on a truckload of so-called ‘rich advertisements’, which I absolutely adored.