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Comment Re:Gut flora and artificial sweeteners (Score 1) 5

This is probably the most recent, well-cited article on the topic. The authors looked at the effects of saccharin in mice, and were able to determine that there was a significant elevation in blood-glucose level for the mice that were fed saccharin instead of actual glucose over the course of nine weeks. This suggests a mechanism for previous findings that suggest artificial sweeteners cause insulin insensitivity, weight gain, type II diabetes, et cetera. The difference between the two diets went away when both groups were raised with antibiotics, strongly suggesting the underlying cause was gut microbiota. They also found evidence that the saccharin diet led to changes in gut microbiome composition:

In agreement with the experiments with antibiotics, next generation sequencing of the microbiome indicated that mice drinking saccharin had distinct compositions from controls. This distinct microbiome was characterized by enrichment of taxa belonging to the Bacteroides genus or the Clostridiales order, with under-representation of Lactobacilli and other members of the Clostridiales. Several of the bacterial taxa that changed following saccharin consumption were previously associated with type 2 diabetes in humans.

Keep in mind that everyone has different gut flora, so in general these impacts will vary from person to person, which is why the effect is inconsistent, as with obesity and type II diabetes in general. I can't say for certain that these results would directly transfer into humans, but since the bacteria are the same, it's unreasonable to assume they wouldn't. Less clear is whether this effect transfers to other sweeteners; the paper includes a table showing a number of studies pertaining to a diversity of chemicals, some of which found an effect, and some of which didn't.

Non-professionally, my advice would be to avoid artificial sweeteners, and ideally all liquid candy. Some people find that drinking normal, sugary soda produces a state of lethargy, and I'm pretty sure this is a result of the long-term exposure to sucralose. It's sort of a trap!

Comment Re:Which type of graft is best? (Score 1) 5

That's fairly straightforward; as this summary article explains, a synthetic allograph (or xenograph; the terms overlap) that maintains bone mineral density is ideal, as it means no harvesting from elsewhere on your body (eek), no risk of rejection, and good bone density. I'd say start a conversation with your dentist about hydrogel-hydroxyapatite composites and mention you're concerned about sustaining bone density long-term.

Comment Re: Any sufficiently advanced technology... (Score 1) 166

We used Oraquick as part of a study of high-risk individuals, and would confirm positive results. It's also a fairly economic way to do quarterly screenings for people who are in high risk categories. Of course, an individual with the means, would opt for a full screening if they were worried about exposure from a particular event.

It's used in developed nations primarily in the same way it's used in developing nations - for people who do not necessarily have the resources for and access to medical care. Inexpensive and better than nothing.

Comment Re:Any sufficiently advanced technology... (Score 1) 166

In general, people in Africa probably have a lot more understanding of HIV/AIDS and the testing procedures than people in the West do. For example:

You say that HIV testing requires drawing blood and testing at a lab. Nope - HIV testing can now be done with saliva, in a cheap ($40) device, and give you results in about 15 minutes. A person in a country with a high rate of infection would very likely be at least somewhat familiar with such a thing considering that those tests are vastly cheaper than the old blood tests. Moreover, as far back as 2015, there was a smartphone dongle that came out that can test for HIV.

Given that we have gone from tests that required a doctor visit, could take days for results, and required blood to tests that can be done anywhere, require a little spit, and 15 minutes to get results, it absolutely wouldn't surprise me that someone would think that advances made it so that perhaps sweat from a fingertip could be analyzed to give a diagnosis. Given that we have gone from gigantic, hideously expensive satellite phones that didn't do anything but allow you to (barely) make and receive calls, to tiny, dirt cheap, and ridiculously capable smart phones, it absolutely wouldn't surprise me that someone might think that a phone could now be capable of performing that analysis.

And finally, she probably knows many, many, many people who have HIV or have died from AIDS. In many countries in Africa, HIV/AIDS is a common, everyday thing that many people deal with, either as having it or having people close to them who have it. To say someone is stupid because they allow a prank app that's just shy of feasible and that preys on an omnipresent threat - that's not just ignorant, but cruel.

Comment Whole lotta wrong in that. (Score 1) 315

The golden path should be:
1) User reports a problem to the service desk.
2) Service desk looks into the problem and either addresses it if it's user error or punts it to QA/testing.
3) QA/testing investigates and documents as much as possible about the bug - replication steps, affected screens, whatever. They would do this both in production and a staging environment to see if it's an environmental issue.
4) Developer takes the bug and figures out the issue, creates a fix, which is then sent back to QA/testing.
5) QA/testing tests the fix in a staging environment and signs off on it.
6) Fix gets deployed to pre-prod staging, QA tests it.
7) Fix gets deployed to production, QA tests it.

I get that in smaller shops devs tend to just push stuff out (I worked in a few of those) but that's really not a great way to do things.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Biology Help Desk: Volume 3^3 5

As requested by the world's greatest masked mystery person, Anonymous Coward, it may or may not be time for yet another biology help desk thread, after a surprisingly long hiatus of about four years. Feel free to contribute both questions and answers.

Comment Re: In Other News (Score 1) 478

It was a quaint archaism over a century ago. British English used it in the 18th century, and it arrived in India alongside the British. Many quirks of Indian English have similarly ancient roots, although some are innovations and most are the product of people learning the language (e.g. Hindi speakers conflate "softly" and "slowly" as Sanskrit had only one word for both.)

Comment And the amazing consequences... (Score 5, Funny) 606

Two words: Wikipedia vandalism.

According to Wikipedia, the Whopper is a bugger consisting of a flame-grilled patty made with 100% medium-sized child with no preservatives or fillers, topped with sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cyanide, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise, served on a sesame seed bun.

Comment Re: oh no (Score 5, Funny) 423

All. Almost all. Slashdot is the unpleasant-smelling uncle at the Thanksgiving dinner table who was laid off during the dot-com bubble, decided to retire early, and spends the rest of his days complaining about how new-fangled touch-screen smartphones don't support vi keybindings the way God and Ken Thompson intended, how systemd would never have happened under a Libertarian president, and that global warming is a feminist conspiracy.

The rest of us come here because it's mildly more entertaining than going to an actual zoo.

Comment Re:Basic liberals propaganda (Score 5, Informative) 281

but rather a long list of things the cops shouldn't be allowed to use in court.

Like
    - bad arson science (see the Willingham case)
    - unsupported bite-mark evidence (see the Krone case)
    - stating that fingerprints are absolutely unique (see the Mayfield case).

What's wrong with requiring techniques used to court to be supported by evidence that they work?

Comment Re:The best one... (Score 1) 141

Have you considered that maybe your brain and eyes are damaged or inferior? I put it in that way because you seem to have anger at people who don't get motion sickness from VR and went out of your way to preemptively belittle and insult.

I've had a dozen or so people over to play with my Rift ad Sony VR systems, and only one person indicated discomfort, and that was at the teleport mechanic in a couple of games.

Mostly I find games are substantially more immersive, and the only issue I have is when I run into a real-life obstacle that isn't visible in VR. I have scraped knuckles from smacking into a (very real) wall when trying to pick something up in VR.

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