Monday, September 12, 2011

Assorted Links and Random Comments

  • A study finds that cognitive impairment correlates strongly with mortality. It makes sense that general body damage leads to both cognitive impairment and higher mortality level. So makes sense measuring changes in cognitive function to evaluate impacts in health.
  • "In two experiments, participants who took placebo pills that they believed were dietary supplements, compared with participants who were told the pills were a placebo, exhibited the licensing effect across multiple forms of health-related behavior", via Deric Bownds' Mindblog
  • An amazing talk about differences between human and chimp DNA and what makes us human, by Dr. Katherine Pollard.
  • In a post on Seth's blog, I hypothesised an explanation to his findings that flax seed oil (ALA) affects brain function more than fish oil (EPA/DHA). My idea is that "maybe flaxseed oil is more effective than fish oil to improve cognitive function, not because of ALA conversion to EPA and DHA, but mainly because ALA and EPA conversion uses fatty acids elongase, thus reducing fatty acids elongase available, needed to LA conversion into arachidonic acid, wich could increase inflammation." He thinks that it makes sense, but he can't judge how plausible it is.
  • Great documentaries about evolution here.
  • Cute parasites in this blog. My favorite parasites are the ones that manipulate the host's behaviour to favor itself. Nature is so beautiful in its capacity to produce that wonderful relationship between species!

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