Science and Technology links (July 16 2023)

  1. Most people think that they are more intelligent than average.
  2. Lack of vitamin C may damage the arteries. Make sure you have enough!
  3. A difficult problem in software is caching. Caching is the idea that you keep some values in fast memory. But how do you choose which values to keep? A standard technique is to evict from cache the least recently used value. Intuitively, you just get rid of the value you have not needed in a long time. However, that’s relatively expensive. Yang et al. find that a simpler technique (first-in first-out) can be just as good. You just enter values in queue and the last value to enter cache is the first one to be considered for evication. For best performance, they explain that you should reinsert values that have been evicted when it has been used at least once, and that you should have a probation period for the newly inserted values.
  4. Soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. Unlike other oils (e.g., coconut oil), soybean oils affect gene expression.
  5. Receiving a Nobel Prize might lower your intellectual productivity.
  6. We are currently in the holocene, which started at the end of the last glacial period (about 12,000 years ago). During the first half of the holocene, the Sahara was green, filled with grassland and tropical trees.
  7. Conspiracy theorizing is most prevalent in freer societies (including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).
  8. Cancer thrives on sugar. Thus tumors do not grow as much on a low-sugar diet. However, it does not follow that a ketogenic diet is helpful in fighting cancer because the lack of sugar may accelerate frailty and thus hasten death.
  9. Offsprings of parents with severe mental illnesses are more at risk for diabetes.
  10. Vitamin D supplements might reduce your risk of myocardial infarction.
  11. If you take away much of the genetic material of a cell, leaving it less fit, it can quickly gain back the fitness by natural selection.
  12. You can tell apart men and women by how they smell.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

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

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