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May 09, 2008

Cow's milk may increase the risk of diabetes

Cow's milk may increase the risk of diabetes - health - 09 May 2008 - New Scientist

Does drinking infant formula made of cow's milk increase the risk of developing type 1 diabetes?

In 1993, a Finnish study found that consuming dairy products early on correlated with diabetes risk. One explanation is that beta-lactoglobulin, a protein in cow's, but not human, milk prompts babies to make antibodies that also attack glycodelin, a protein vital for training the immune system. The mistuned immune system then mistakenly destroys insulin-producing pancreatic cells, leading to type 1 diabetes.

“The mistuned immune system mistakenly destroys insulin-producing cells”

Now Marcia Goldfarb of the company Anatek-EP in Portland, Maine, has found that five children with type 1 diabetes, who were fed cow's-milk formula, all have antibodies to beta-lactoglobulin

April 30, 2008

OH MY CHRIST JESUS WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Colossal squid's big eye revealed...

April 16, 2008

Fake plastic estrogen hurts babies

LAT | Chemical in plastic may harm human growthA controversial,...

April 13, 2008

Would you eat tube steak?

Scientists Flesh Out Plans to Grow (and Sell) Test Tube Meat

Meat grown in a vat or test tube -- would you personally buy it and eat it?

In five to 10 years, supermarkets might have some new products in the meat counter: packs of vat-grown meat that are cheaper to produce than livestock and have less impact on the environment.

According to a new economic analysis (.pdf) presented at this week's In Vitro Meat Symposium in �s, Norway, meat grown in giant tanks known as bioreactors would cost between $5,200-$5,500 a ton (3,300 to 3,500 euros), which the analysis claims is cost competitive with European beef prices.

With a rising global middle class projected by the UN to double meat consumption (.pdf) by 2050, and livestock already responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gases, the symposium is drawing a variety of scientists, environmentalists and food industry experts.

April 03, 2008

Study: Playing hotter avatars makes people more confident in real life

Our Imaginary, Hotter Selves | Newsweek Voices - Sharon Begley | Newsweek.com

In one Stanford study, volunteers were assigned avatars who ranged from attractive to plain. It is one of life's inequities that the world sees attractive people as possessing a long list of desirable traits, including honesty, generosity and kindness. Perhaps as a result, people judged attractive are more self-confident than ugly ducklings, and so tend to be extroverted. Using a virtual-reality headset, the volunteers—actually, their avatars—walked across a room to interact with another avatar. Those with attractive avatars got within three feet of the stranger; those with homely ones kept almost six feet away. How much "personal space" one needs is inversely proportional to self-confidence, which having an attractive avatar increases. When the stranger asked the players to "tell me a little about yourself," good-looking avatars revealed more: feeling attractive increases self-esteem and therefore friendliness.

The Proteus effect spilled into the real world. After their virtual-reality session, players were shown photos from an online dating site and asked to pick those who "would be interested in you." Players who had been assigned attractive avatars picked more-attractive candidates than did players (of equal pulchritude in real life) who had been represented as homely avatars. Male players were also asked to enter personal information for an online dating site. In this situation men routinely inflate their height by an average of one inch. But those who had had an attractive avatar told the truth.

Study finds that online jerks are ruining gaming for everyone else

Design: Online Idiots Affecting The Entire Industry?

...the online behavior of our customers is dramatically reducing our sales, and continues to stunt the growth of our industry. Non-gamers simply don't love games enough to put up with the crap they get online. The reason they would consider playing online is to have fun with other people — and right now, playing games online with strangers rarely delivers that for anyone outside the hardcore demographic.

This accurately reflects my experiences. After being called "faggot" or "nigger" roughly one million times while playing Halo 2, I'm done. I wash my hands of it. And I'm starting to feel the same about internet comment threads (our own being mercifully free of assholes, somehow). I have stopped reading the comments on all Gawker sites (especially Consumerist, which has epic douchebaggery) and will never look at YouTube comments ever again. I'm starting to think that the answer is moderators. People who delete the evil comments, monitor Xbox Live, what have you.

Last week, in the Almanack, we ran a rant discussing this very problem.

What do you think about it? What are the solutions?