Science and Technology links (December 11 2022)

  1. As we focus on some types of unfortunate discrimination (race, gender), we may become blind to other types of discrimination. For example, tend to discrimate against ugly people, short men, old people, and so on.
  2. Life may have emerged on Earth thanks to ‘aqueous microdroplets’.
  3. Naked mole rats are long-lived mammals. We believe that they experience negligible senescence, meaning that they do not lose fitness with age. One theory to explain they particular biology has to do with the fact that they live in a subterranean setting. Dammann et al. suggest that the fact that they are social creatures might also play a role.
  4. Low-carb diets may help obese individuals who face food addiction symptoms.
  5. Climate change may change how people name their children according to the journal Science.
  6. Offshore wind turbines endanger whales according to a Bloomberg report.
  7. Grip strength (who strongly you can hold on to something with your hands) is a good indication of your biological age.
  8. An mRNA technology might reprogram and rejuvenate your skin (according to a commercial press release).
  9. Many climate models predict that increased CO2 will impact clouds which would cause much of the predicted warming, since CO2 by itself is not very potent. New research published in Nature makes these models implausible. According to the authors, it makes it improbable that the climate is highly sensitive to CO2 levels.
  10. We have been told to avoid meat and dairy products (butter, cheese) because they contain saturated fats that might cause heart diseases. Teicholz (2022) reports that the rigorous evidence on saturated fats, which showed they do not cause heart disease, has long suppressed. The research seems clear: saturated fats have no effect on heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular mortality, or total mortality.
  11. As you grow older, your cells tend to get larger.
  12. Goklany (2020) estimates that over 60% of our food production is dependent on fossil-fuel technologies. Currently, 12% of the land (excluding Antartica) is devoted to agriculture (cropland). Without fossil fuel, this percentage would need to move to 33%. The process of cropland expansion would harm biodiversity, increase food prices, and increase food insecurity among the poor.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

4 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (December 11 2022)”

  1. About the article “A short history of saturated fat: the making and unmaking of a scientific consensus”. The author is a journalist, not a scholar. She is an advocate for this issue for a number of years, not a minimally unbiased researcher in the field. This isn’t a pier-reviewed study. So citing this as a review that makes clear that “the research seems clear: saturated fats have no effect on heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular mortality, or total mortality” is quite misleading.

  2. For reading on the zoo of chemicals called “fats”:

    “Know Your Fats : The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol”.

    This is not a light read.


    Short version – the term “fats” stands for an entire complex family of compounds with widely varying properties – not just “saturated” and “unsaturated”.

    There is also an underside here as artificially modified hydrogenated fats (or “trans” fats) are shear evil. Those artificial fats were highly profitable – cheap and shelf-stable even in warmer American states. Also those fats are sheer dietary evil. Now largely banned, there was a prolonged fight for profit over health.

    My simplified take is that you want any consumed fats to be liquid at body temperature, and easily emulsify with water. Anything else you likely do not want in your blood vessels. Easy to imagine those sticky solid fats plating out and clogging arteries.

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