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Comment Re:Sugar (Score 1) 926

So I went away and actually did the (literature) research on this. It turns out the answer is a little more complicated than fat suppresses appetite and sugar doesn't.

Basically, what little we understand of appetite control points to three hormones: leptin, insulin and ghrelin (great name). Oversimplifying massively, insulin tells you not to eat when your blood sugar is high and to be hungry when your blood sugar is low; leptin tells you not to eat if your stored fat is high and to be hungry when it is too low; and ghrelin tells you not to eat if your stomach is full and to be hungry if your stomach is empty.

However, to complicate things further, firstly these hormones interact with each other such that, for instance, if your stored fat is high, you will be less sensitive to low blood sugar or an empty stomach. However, you also adjust your long term sensitivity to these hormone levels to make the average level become the baseline, so if you're fat for a sustained period, your sensitivity to leptin will decrease and therefore low blood sugar levels or an empty stomach will revert to causing normal levels of hunger.

What this means is that sustained consumption of high levels of either fats or sugars will lead to increased hunger levels and therefore obesity. This sounds like a no brainer, but note that it is a cumulative effect, in that increased resistance to these appetite suppressing hormones makes it more likely that your body will fool you into overeating, which will make it more likely that your resistance will increase.

Finally, to link it all back to the article, the mechanisms controlling our sensitivity to these hormones is still poorly understood and known to be affected by such things as sleep patterns, stress and illness. It's therefore not too much of a stretch to say that environmental factors are causing a long term decrease in sensitivity. It would been nice to have a bit more of this detailed information in the article though and a little less 'it's something to do with leptin but we're not sure what'.

Comment Re:All fucking journos must fucking die (Score 2) 52

Seriously, did you RTFA where the researcher himself described the algorithm as being based on PageRank

“We first experimented with our own ideas on network algorithms until we realized that what we needed existed already with the PageRank algorithm, so why reinvent the wheel?” Winter recalled.
“Our PageRank-based algorithm singles out proteins in the cancer cells that seem to either promote or suppress disease progression,” Winter said.

How about the abstract of the research paper in question, which specifically mentions Google Page Rank

Are you sure it's the journalist who's the retard here?

Comment Oh no, don't make me admit it... (Score 3, Interesting) 708

You know (bear with me on this), one thing that really annoys me on the internet is when someone spends considerable time and effort putting together a humorous photoshop/blog post/top 10, and the next day I see it, completely uncredited in a national newspaper. Some journalist has stolen it...just because it's on the internet...and stuff on the internet is like, free, right?

Much as I hate to admit it, I think on this occasion Michael Lyton has a point (dammit, I don't like what he says but I have to defend his right to say it). In the real world, no one would seriously contemplate reprinting the contents of a book they borrowed from the library and passing it off as their own, and no one would seriously contemplate walking into their local record store and walking out with anything that caught their eye just because they 'wouldn't have bought it anyway if they'd had to pay full price'.

Thing is, I also buy into the argument that illegal copying actually promotes music sales. Hell, I copied enough albums from my friends when I was a kid to know that I still bought a lot of albums. But don't try to con me that what I wasn't doing wasn't stealing (i.e. taking without permission). It's stealing when a journalist tries to pass off my website as his own work, it's stealing when I copy an album that I never wanted to listen to but my friend says I might quite like, and it's stealing when I download the latest star trek movie because I can't be bothered to pay for it at the cinema and after all, it's bound to be shown on free television at some point anyway.

So let's reboot this discussion. All illegal downloading is theft. Full stop. The more interesting question, is it theft like stealing a pen from work, or is it theft like stealing a car. And if it's theft like stealing a pen, then why is so much more like stealing a car when somebody does it to me.

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