Let’s Talk Science: Fat People and Rats

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Light Apparently Has an Effect On Fat People – Health

In Australia some scientists looking for more ways to excuse fat people and further bolster the anti-fat shaming movement have come near a conclusion that light has an effect on BMI in preschool aged children.  However, interestingly enough, this study really stopped short of considering important elements like food and types of exercise.  It also does a poor job of separating types of light and can easily be interpreted either way.

More light makes my kids fat?  Less light makes my kids fat?  I guess as they do more studies they can figure out how to discern different kinds of light and include that inside their study.  However, looking at the abstract and the tables and whatnot, their message seems to be more to do with natural vs artificial light.  Their statement looks as if it points to the fact that the Sun makes kids thin and artificial light, late in the evening, makes kids fat due to the interruption of the circadian rhythm.  Artificial light from your big ass tablet is making your kids body think it’s still daylight, therefore, their little pea brains think they should be cutting flips instead of sleeping.

Regardless of the study’s flaws, I think if the folks doing this study can do a few things, it may be valuable research.  Tell us what kind of light the kids are receiving and the times of day.  Tell us what they are eating and how often they are exercising.  Tell us the gender and race of the students.  I am sure there are more factors that they could study, but these things would be a good start.

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Since We’ve Mentioned Sleep – Neuroscience

Apparently, neuroscientists have discovered the process the brain goes through to wake up and have hooked up their favorite cute critters to big scary machines and have successfully brought mice out of anesthesia by sending light signals to “specific neural circuit located between the brain’s hypothalamus and thalamus.”  Not only can they wake up the mice, they can even keep them awake longer (This part excites me because I hate sleep and I wish I only had to sleep for luxury).

This finding may have some positive effects on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and schizophrenia as those conditions have been linked to sleep problems.  This is good news for some folks I know, if the findings present some therapeutic methods for these kinds of conditions.  This could also be used to, perhaps, help out people who are in a coma.

Speaking of sleep problems!  The scientists also believe that through this study they can actually inhibit that particular function of the brain in order to lead to longer periods of that much needed REM-4 sleep, and we could all use that.  Or well, you can enjoy your sleep.  I will be hoping for a pill that makes me never need sleep again.

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The Realities of Becoming a Galactic Civilization – Astronomy

One day this rock is going to crumble.  We’re either going to blow each other up, a virus is going to wipe everything out, or a rock the size of Texas is going to smack into us.  Oh, or a volcano the size of Texas is going to explode.  Or the oceans will rise to heights that destroy civilization.  Or the oceans will dry up and destroy civilization.  Or the Sun will explode.  Oh shit, there are so many ways we could be wiped out it’s terrifying to think of how lucky we are to still be here.

There is only one way to ensure human civilization makes it.  We have the capabilities and the means to accomplish this, and no, burrowing into the earth’s surface with bunkers is not the answer.  We have to look to the stars.  We have to spread mankind into the galaxy.  However, we have a serious problem:  Our options are few and far between.  We live in a part of space that is spread out far with the nearest star to us is like 4.2 light years away.

If we look towards the center of our galaxy, however, stars are as close as .01 light years apart, which means if we can scale the distance of say, 25,000 light years, we could plant ourselves into a prime real estate area.  the Hercules Cluster is dense with stars and could be a cradle of civilization, which, if we could get there, we could find planets similar to Earth, hopefully uninhabited, but I am just going to say if we ever succeed at interstellar travel, we are going to learn real quick that we aren’t the only life forms in the universe.

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Poop Pills May Treat Obesity? – Medicine

Here is a scientific study I can get behind.  Of all the things people have tried in order to lose weight, using other people’s poop has got to be one of the neatest, if not nastiest ways.  How on Earth did this idea come to be, exactly?  Well…

Not too long ago a new medical treatment came running over the horizon that would help treat patients with stomach problems.  The idea was to take poop from healthy people and transplant that poop into the bowels of the patient.  It worked.  It worked one time, when a woman received poop from a relative who was healthy, but obese.  The transplant healed the woman, but she mysteriously gained weight even though her dieting and lifestyle did not change.  This made some folks curious and they pulled out everyone’s favorite test subjects:  lab rats.

They fattened up some rats and had some healthy rats and they started playing around with fecal transplants and noticed the poop from fat rats made rats fat and the buff mice would keep the rats lean.  This experiment is still early, but hopefully we will come to learn that fat people’s best chance to lose weight is by harvesting skinny people for their poop.

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Children: The Real Fountain of Youth? – Biology

Scientists have been doing research on two communities of Guatemalan women.  This research is to determine how having children affects the aging process.   In their studies they have found that women with the most children age slower based on DNA tests done in 2000 and then in 2013.

Scientists took saliva samples from the women and examined the length of the protective endings of the DNA strands called telomeres.  The longer the telomeres, the slower the aging.  The  test was repeated 13 years later and the results showed that women who had more children in that time aged slower than other women.

There are some things to consider in this study.  The mothers receive a lot of social support from their community and that means they suffer from less stress, which allows their bodies to focus on being healthy.  Not all societies are like this (cough…USA…cough) and that may mean having more kids could make your aging process faster.  Also, the primary female sex hormone is estrogen, and has a strong antioxidant effect on the body.  Estrogen gets jacked up during pregnancy.  So yeah.  Go have a bunch of babies and see what happens?  (Not really, don’t).

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Science 1-6Wow, that was a fun article and very exploratory.  These articles take a ton of articles as I tend to read a lot about each topic while trying to cram down information into quick reads.  If you like it, I would like to introduce you to another thing you may like.  It’s called Swag Bucks.  It’s a service that allows you to participate in activities to make small increments of money that add up.  If you click this link and register, you will be able to start making a little bit of change, and Just Chill Here will get a little bit of a bonus for referring you!  See you in a couple of days!

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