How Your Food Choices Are Influenced by Outside Factors

Following a healthy diet can be hard. From deciding when and what to eat to how much food you actually put on your plate, the average person makes over 200 food-related decisions each day, most of which are automatic. These automatic choices – dubbed “mindless eating” by some experts – happen when we eat and drink without consciously considering what kind of or how much food to consume. We’ll keep eating from a bowl of chips past the point of fullness simply because they’re in front of us.

Source: Hungry? Food choices are often influenced by forces out of your control

One thing something we need to stress on is that the companies that makes junk food and fast food, their main concern is to market their products and less care about your health being.

At the end of the day, they need to make a profit and sales and so they spent a huge amount of money on marketing and advertisement. It is very hard for an average person who cannot resists the junk/fast food when they are cheaper, readily available and the ads are attractive.

I see it is our own individual responsibility to make sure that what I am putting in my mouth is not junk.

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What Is the Molecular Clock, Exactly?

In the 150 years since Charles Darwin recognised the kinship of all life, scientists have worked to fulfil his dream of a complete Tree of Life. Today, the methods used to trace the evolutionary branches back through time would exceed Darwin’s expectations. Scientists across a range of biological disciplines use a technique called the molecular clock, where the past is deciphered by reading the stories written in the genes of living organisms.

Source: What Is the Molecular Clock, Exactly?

This is how we’ve come to estimate that Y-Chromosomal Adam Lived ~208,300 Years Ago…

Are Limited Lifespans An Evolutionary Adaptation?

Since the time of Darwin, evolutionary biologists have wondered why the lifespans of different species vary so significantly. A new model now suggests that the life expectancy of any given species is a function of evolutionary pressures — a conclusion that hints at the potential for powerful anti-aging interventions in humans.

Source: Are Limited Lifespans An Evolutionary Adaptation?

I always take issue with lengthening the human lifespan.  The inevitable competition for resources, considering that population growth is [currently] logarithmic.  Resources includes jobs – locally, we have seniors competing with teens for jobs because the seniors don’t have enough accumulated via  investments or a pension.  Then there’s the question: will long life be a matter of quantity vs quality?  At some point I will have to surrender my drivers license (assuming cars aren’t self-driving), but being unable to look after myself is not what I consider “living”.

The article does not mention:

  • telomeres, which are generally regarded as an indication of mortality
  • species lifespan in the wild vs captivity

Typical American Diet Can Damage Immune System

…Many reports have observed that heavier patients appear more likely to come down with infections during a hospital stay, acquire weaker protection from vaccinations and, as with River, suffer more complications from the flu.

Weight alone may not be the entire explanation. A tantalizing line of evidence suggests that unhealthful foods — fatty, salty, sugary, processed foods — may disrupt the body’s defenses in a way that promotes inflammation, infection, autoimmune diseases and even illnesses like cancer.

Source: Typical American diet can damage immune system

I think it was QI (highly recommended) where I heard about the study into hereditary genetics, how what grandparents ate was believed to affect grandchildren.

Science Has Finally Discovered Why Men Exist

Since in many species, sperm is males’ only contribution to reproduction, biologists have long puzzled about why evolutionary selection, known for its ruthless efficiency, allows them to exist.

Now British scientists have an explanation: Males are required for a process known as “sexual selection” which helps species to ward off disease and avoid extinction.

Source: Why do men exist? Scientific study offers an explanation

This research seems more like evolutionary biology than psychology, since the focus is entirely on the genetic benefits of sexual selection rather than how said selection explains much about our behavior.

Also jars. Those damn jam jars can be just too hard to opens. And then I’d be sad without jam.

Everything You Need to Know About CRISPR, the New Tool that Edits DNA

CRISPR, a new genome editing tool, could transform the field of biology—and a recent study on genetically-engineered human embryos has converted this promise into media hype. But scientists have been tinkering with genomes for decades. Why is CRISPR suddenly such a big deal?

Source: Everything You Need to Know About CRISPR, the New Tool that Edits DNA

Everybody calls it CRISPR, but it’s Cas9 that does all the work. Ain’t fair.

Yes, There’s A Masculine Side To Estrogen

Male aggression is commonly pinned on testosterone, and estrogen is credited with imparting females with maternal instinct – but the true story of the sex hormones, and their roles in male and female behavior, is a lot more subtle. Here’s why estrogen is an important hormone for males and females alike.

…Using model organisms, biologists have learned some surprising things about the relationship between testosterone, estrogen, and sexually dimorphic behaviors, and wholly debunked the facile notion that testosterone drives male behavior, while estrogen drives female behavior.

Source: Yes, There’s A Masculine Side To Estrogen

Baldness is not a sign of virility, aggression or libido. All it means is that the hair follicles in the scalp are more sensitive to testosterone. It says nothing about overall testosterone levels or how that hormone is being used elsewhere in the body.