* Posts by Chemist

2108 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Ex-squeeze me? Baking soda? Boffins claim it safely sucks CO2 out of the air

Chemist
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Re: Is this the right way round?

Vic,

CO3(2-) + H20 +CO2 -> 2HCO3-

It's an easily reversible process and it's why carbonate rock dissolves in rainwater

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonate for info.

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"chemistry is not my strong suit "

I'm afraid it isn't !

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Re: Umm, so not baking soda then?

"the spokesman is a chemist, so probably doesn't do much baking. Or washing""

Well I am a chemist, I had a shower this evening and then baked bread ( wholemeal + brown Country Grain) but I do agree the standards have slipped

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You must have at least 8 inches for Windows 10 to go all the way

Chemist
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Re: I'm seeing nothing to persuade me to change back to windows

"I'm looking for in new hardware reviews (particularly for laptops) is whether, and how easily, Linux can be installed."

FYI I bought a 4-core i7, 8GB, 500GB HD, 1920*1080 screen (15inch) laptop about a year ago from PC Specialists WIndows-free and OpenSuse 13.1 installed without a problem. It's just Intel graphics but it will run 2 simultaneous 1080/50p videos using ~18% CPU so I've not found that a problem. Only complaint so far is the rather cheap case. Screen is gorgeous. All the hardware is recognised and works. Sleep works fine and I only shut it down when travelling a distance.

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Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

Chemist
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Re: "Hey, Camilla. What can I do for You?"

"And btw, Darktable is awesome."

Indeed it is

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The new Falcon Heavy: MOST POWERFUL ROCKET since the Apollo moonshots

Chemist
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Re: Not yet Saturn 5 level... yet.

"The Saturn V (or 5 if you prefer) first stage had 7,600,000 lb thrust..."

Which was more than a million times my (rather wimpy) motorbike at the time (sigh) Even my Velocette Thruxton was only 1/300000th a SatV

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'Linus Torvalds is UNFIT for the WORKPLACE!' And you've given the world what, exactly?

Chemist
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Re: How bad is Torvalds?

"regular people still prefer to spend money on Windows."

Regular people don't as a rule have much choice in the matter

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Chemist
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Re: How bad is Torvalds?

"What? The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation uses Linux?"

I think it's a fairly open secret in HHGG who Douglas thinks of as "The Sirius Cybernetic....."

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Microsoft Azure was most FAIL-FILLED cloud of 2014

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Re: Math fail

"Math fail "

I too thought that but an AC above has actually been downvoted for spotting the same thing. Downvoted for an arithmetically accurate statement - what next ?

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Hey, bacteria: Resistance is FUTILE – boffins grow new super-antibiotic

Chemist
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"While this new novel substance seems safe to mammallian cells, human tests are still some time off. "

I wish them all well and there seems to be a lot of scope in this new area BUT most candidate drugs fail in this part of the of development phases so it's not a given yet esp. if the class turns out to have any generic toxicity which can't be worked around.

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ALIEN EARTH: Red sun's habitable world spotted 470 light years away

Chemist
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Re: I am not a number

"What would be amusing is if the residents then get wind of this name calling, take offence, and launch an attack...."

The whole fleet will probably be swallowed by a small dog

- thanks Douglas

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Microsoft has made excellent software, you pack of fibbers

Chemist
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"I still have my Dragon32 from that era."

I also had one of those Vic - don't have it now but the 6809 FORTH thst I got for it still runs on a home-made 6809 system.

(When I assembled the UK101 it didn't work - a bit of probing with a xtal earpiece established that a cheap 7400 TTL chip was faulty - phew. ~£50 was a lot of money in those days)

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"M$ did make a decent "ROMable" OS back in the 80s"

Well I had (~1980) a UK101 built from a kit with a 6502 MS ROM Basic and it had a wretched bug in its garbage collector that made any kind of complex string manipulation useless.

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UFOs in the '50s skies? CIA admits: 'IT WAS US'

Chemist
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Re: Who else?

THHGG states that it is "Space Aliens" , especially near Heathrow, so who are we to argue

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Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

Chemist
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Re: A new browser?

"even if the six Linux users worldwide installed it"

Odd then that Firefox & Chrome ( and a number of others ) all come in native Linux versions. They must know something you don't.

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Cambridge boffins and Boeing fly first hybrid airplane over British skies

Chemist
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"A small internal combustion engine, sized for the cruise regime, can be quite efficient,"

Indeed in most petrol/hybrid cars a modified Atkinson cycle engine is used that has a higher fuel efficiency than normal (Otto) engines at the expense of lower output for a given engine size. The battery then provides the extra power required for acceleration/hill climb. Regenerative braking is a bonus for urban use or descents.

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YEAR of the PENGUIN: A Linux mobile in 2015?

Chemist
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Re: Can you easily buy a Linux desktop/laptop from a major OEM yet?

"virtually nothing comes with it pre-installed"

I'd settle for being able to buy without Windows being installed. Building a new desktop and installing Linux from scratch is easy, but laptops have been a problem. Now there seems a few enlightened smaller suppliers who will provide some quite powerful systems. I'm writing this on one such (4-core i7/8GB/matte HD screen). Case is a bit cheap but the screen is beautiful. OpenSUSE installed and runs a treat.

And that's easily powerful enough to support me logged-in as 3 simultaneous users ( for security reasons) with several VirtualBox VMs running as well as all the browsers/editors/photo processors/video editors/players....etc.

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Linux 'GRINCH' vuln is AWFUL. Except, er, maybe it isn't

Chemist
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Re: Me thinks

"It does already - millions of TV Box sets, SOHO routers, embedded devices etc."

And, of course, a VAST army of servers Google/Amazon etc. Even Skype

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Boffins weigh in to perfect kilogram quest with LEGO kit

Chemist
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Re: Great for schools

" Plank wavelength of a cat...."

I was always taken with the requirement that to demonstrate any interference in a slit experiment you'd have to have an incoherent cat-beam. Suppose that's easy enough.

Also I guess that a sleeping cat has a zero-point energy that is actually zero

I think it's de Broglie wavelength BTW

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Skinny Ubuntu Linux 'Snapped' up by fat Microsoft cloud

Chemist
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Re: OS size

"Still waiting for the Amigatards to pipe up.."

Indeed you could but on my A1000 it was a 2-floppy process

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Linus Torvalds releases Linux 3.18 as 3.17 wobbles

Chemist
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Re: Linux future

"Dunno, but the thought of it is making me want to go learn how to drive a bus"

Perhaps when you grow up

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Shhhhh! It's a Swiss Sunday shutdown. Kill the lawnmower, punish the kids with CHEESE

Chemist
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"Raclette is melted-cheese-on-potatoes."

With pickled gurkins & silverskin onions

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Crack open more champagne, Satya, XP's snowballing to HELL

Chemist
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Re: And?

"And I'm not too sure about how well Mint 'works' on old XP hardware"

Well I've got an old IBM/Lenovo laptop from ~ 2006 with a Celeron M which was donated to me after a Windows XP update borked it and the owner couldn't be bothered to sort it. OpenSUSE installed fine on it and is now on 13.1. Wouldn't ask too much of it as it only has 1GB and a wimpy processor but it's fine for traveling.

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Chemist
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Re: Kdenlive is great, but it still crashes too often

The version I'm using reports 0.9.10, but Yast2 reports 0.9.10-16.2 64bit from Packman but I've been using older versions without any stability problems for years now - certainly before OpenSUSE 13.1. In the past there have been times when dragging a clip or rendering would crash so I took to saving ALL the time but not done that for years as I say.

I also had a problem with the program reporting that the rendering had failed but in fact the output was fine. Mind get_iplayer does that for me at the moment too.

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Re: @Chris W Haven't we been here before

"then get Windows and stop trying to pretend that linux is as good."

So in your less-than-humble opinion I should take my 6 Linux computers, install six copies of Windows 8.1 (snigger) and then install all the equivalent programs and for what ? They do all I want now ! I don't recognise your later comment that "They close their eyes to all the hoops they have to jump through to get things to work " Like all software there may be little tricks/snags or bugs but trivial and certainly no worst that comments made here about WIndows programs.

In any case why should you care, what does it matter to you ?

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Chemist
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Re: Chemist Darktable

"yay for Darktable, I also like Entangle."

Yes, I use Entangle as well - really good. Darktable took a little getting use to but now I'd be reluctant to use anything else.

Hugin I also like for panoramas.

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Re: Darktable

"Kdenlive is great, but it still crashes too often."

Interesting, I had lots of problems a few years ago but it's been rock solid on the 3 computers I use it on (i7 laptop 8GB, old AMD dual-core 2GB, Intel dual core 2GB) Certainly since I bought my current video camera early 2012 which is 1080p/50 so generates huge clips and rendered files. It took a few months for kdenlive to support 1080p/50. I'm using kdenlive 0.9.10 on OpenSUSE 13.1. What I did find was that all the necessary helper programs needed to be from the same repository

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Chemist
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Darktable

For RAW photo development

Kdenlive for video

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Man asks internet for $1k for pebbles. INTERNET SAYS YES

Chemist
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Re: missing the point

"Yes, but by what process? Any chemists care to comment?"

Not my field but I'd venture several processes might be going on depending on the length of time mixed & temperature.

Hydrolysis of some of the esters - not too much I'd guess but it will introduce small amount of acids.

An effect on the palate/taste receptors. 40% alcohol is a pretty wild environment for living cells.

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

Chemist
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Re: It's a lot easier to just not eat it to begin with.

"I know serious athletes that average about that much. Normal people, not so much."

Serious athletes doing the equivalent of a 5 mile walk a day - forgive me if I find that ludicrous. The minimum recommendation for ALL people (in UK) is 2 miles brisk walk or equivalent 5 days a week. If you are desk/car bound then it should be a lot more including moving around every hour if possible even for just a few minutes.

"That's very much true. Moving yourself a mile will consume only about 100 calories. That's the energy of an Apple or 1/3rd of a candy bar. It's much easier to just avoid that candy bar. Cutting out the soda and the snacks is a far more easy and effective option."

It might work if you've a small amount to lose but the fact is that obesity is increasing and most people fail with just dieting - they yo-yo. The point isn't "I'll avoid eating that choc" - it's "I'm massively overweight - what am I going to do now ?"

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Chemist
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Re: What is human fat anyway?

"I don't think it's nice unsaturated stuff like goose fat, I reckon it's nasty saturated stuff like pork or beef fat...."

You don't need to think here's a measurement - it's quite a mix with lots of variation, but there's quite high levels for both saturated and unsaturated fat.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1205373/pdf/biochemj01003-0098.pdf

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Chemist
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Re: It's a lot easier to just not eat it to begin with.

"Unless you are a serious athlete, you aren't going to exercise enough to lose weight. "

That's not true. It's very hard because it needs commitment.

Consider this : most people gain weight slowly - say 5kg a year, that's ~40000 Cals, and that's just ~110 Cals/day Even a weight gain of ( a huge) 15 kg a year is still equivalent to just 350 calories a day and that's just 1 chocolate bar. Weight gain is pernicious, not sudden. When people do try to seriously do something about it they want instant results hence the fad diets etc. If they try by dieting, unless by serious starvation, to lose weight the weight loss will so slow as to be disheartening given the hunger hence the constant failures.

If you merely diet you have to reduce your intake to 'normal, and that takes time to establish as everyone is different, different outputs, basal rates, environments, biological variation and basic diets. Compounding this is the measurement problem. (Day-day variation in weight can be quite large, even ± 1kg is a range of 16000 Cals, almost entirely water retention/loss but tracking true weight change is made very difficult when you might only be losing 0.05kg/day.)

Once normal ( for you ) calorie intake is known you then have to decide how much to lose and also compensate as you say for the dropping of metabolic rate that accompanies semi-starvation. What that is for any individual ?. If it's say 200 Cals/day (which is a <10% drop in metabolic rate) then that has to be added to the amount you have to diet. If you want to lose 0.7 kg/week (say) that means reducing intake by 1000 Cals/day and that's when it becomes hard. Most people will feel very hungry, cold and depressed. Normal social life becomes hard and any backsliding a cause for guilt. Is it any wonder that most overweight people fail ?.

But remember that weight went on slowly, without most people noticing, it's best removed that way. It does require long-term thinking. But if you've managed to establish a weight neutral diet then even walking 2 miles extra a day will lose you ~9 kg in a year. There are caveats to this, as you lose weight your exercise is less costly in Calorie terms so the loss/mile will gradually slow, you need to be careful about your 'normal' consumption drifting as one choc. bar will negate 2 whole days exercise. The gain is you probably won't feel as hungry as if you'd seriously reduced your calorie intake, you'll get fitter, you'll feel better about yourself, you'll go quite some way to reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes, and if you do this exercise outdoors you'll probably boost your Vit D levels.

Me, I did a lot more than 2 miles a day, I was lucky my job allowed me enough time to do this , running before breakfast, walking instead of lunch, and stomping around the hill in the evenings I did backslide and doing as much exercise in winter where I live was very difficult. But I lost 35kg and never regained it. I still average ~500 Cals/day exercise but my Calories intake has risen to match it.

Footnote : I gained ~25 kg over ~ 5 years when my only exercise was working all hours refurbishing a house that we bought. Lots of isometric exercise but not as much aerobic. Lots of eating of convenience food/beer. I f you remember that equates to just ~100 excess CAls/day

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"Argument from fallacy; if your intake was reasonable, you would not need to lose weight."

Of course not. The point is to return to a normal calorie consumption ( for you) that keeps your weight neutral - this isn't dieting it's just returning to normal. At this point you can diet, exercise or both .All will work, the exercise will be hard but you'll be fit and not suffer hunger, & retain/increase muscle.

If you chose diet then you'll be hungry and lose muscle and have lower basal metabolic rate

"Extra exercise accounts for such a small amount of your calorific expenditure" - depends how much you do - when I was losing 35kg I would usually do 800-1800 Cals a day. You can lose 1kg a week or more doing that. It's a lot day-in day-out but it worked (for me)

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"Exercise is fine for health, but it will do nothing for weight unless you also constrain intake."

If your intake is reasonable then exercise will reduce your weight, if your intake is enormous so will you be unless your an athlete in training.

"To burn off a pack of chocolate digestives you'd be jogging for 4 hours."

Scarcely a reasonable diet !

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"Err.....no. Fats are triglyceride esters of long chain fatty acids. Short chain fatty acids really don't count. You're not going to build up body fat through absorption of acetic / propionic/ valeric / lactic acids (or their salts or esters) - which are what are produced in the rumen."

Err.... yes

"http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/herbivores/rum_absorb.html"

The three major VFA absorbed from the rumen have somewhat distinctive metabolic fates:"

Acetic acid is utilized minimally in the liver, and is oxidized throughout most of the body to generate ATP. Another important use of acetate is as the major source of acetyl CoA for synthesis of lipids.

Proprionic acid is almost completely removed from portal blood by the liver. Within the liver, proprionate serves as a major substrate for gluconeogenesis, which is absolutely critical to the ruminant because almost no glucose reaches the small intestine for absorption.

Butyric acid, most of which comes out of the rumen as the ketone beta-hydroxybutyric acid, is oxidized in many tissues for energy production.

"Fats are triglyceride esters of long chain fatty acids"

Well oddly enough having been a chemist for 44 years I know that.

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatty_acid_synthesis"

Fatty acid synthesis is the creation of fatty acids from acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA precursors through action of enzymes......

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Re: A bomb calorimiter does not mimic digestion or metabolism

"Cholesterol in the diet is damned hard to adsorb" Not too hard it seems

"Absorption values ranged widely from 29.0% to 80.1%"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9925660

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Chemist
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Re: A bomb calorimiter does not mimic digestion or metabolism

"We do NOT store excess sugars as fat,"

That is simply not true. Glucose is stored as glycogen AND also converted to fat. This is most evident when excess is consumed. The body has a limited capacity for glycogen but as is all too evident an almost unlimited capacity for fat, whether eaten as such or produced from glucose.

There are countless refs. to this : here's one :

"Hepatic and whole-body fat synthesis in humans during carbohydrate overfeeding"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9174472

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"Simple - if eating fat was what made you fat, then sheep and cattle wouldn't be fat.......but they are."

I was confused and now you've explained it I'm afraid it's not a true test of the hypothesis

The test really is to to find a animal where eating a high fat diet ( to excess - it always has to be more calories than needed) DOESN'T result in weight gain. I don't know of one - anyone else ?

By the way sheep/cattle diets do contain high levels of fats, or rather short chain fatty acids - the bacterial action in the rumen etc. produces them. In fact ruminants get a relatively small amount of carbohydrate after the bacterial digestion. Glucose needed for brain activity at least is produced from the fatty acids.

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"Cattle and sheep are our primary sources of animal fats. Both - if allowed - will gorge themselves and get fat."

Not sure what point you're trying to make. Carbohydrates are readily converted into fat in mammals and in ruminants complex carbohydrates can be converted to a variety of products by resident bacteria. Most foods can substitute for others at least in the short term, for example protein can be burnt for energy and also converted into glucose. Fats can be burnt for energy or converted to glucose via 'ketone bodies' although there are several problems with long-term use of diets based solely around this approach including osteoporosis, kidney stones, and possible Vit C deficiency.

Example : drink a pint of sugar solution. It'll be adsorbed very rapidly, and your blood glucose level will soar - unless you are a well-trained and exercised athlete the storage of the glucose will rapidly overwhelm your ability to store it as glycogen and as rapidly as possible much of it will be converted to fat If you eat complex carbohydrates that are absorbed more slowly the glycogen storage gets a chance to compete. But in the end it's much the same eat more carbohydrates or fat than you need and it will all end up as fat ( once your glycogen stores are full)

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LA schools math quiz: $500 Chromebooks or $700 iPads for students?

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Re: Raspberry Pi

"They do so in their apprenticeship, using their mentor's tools..."

In the absolute everything is made from a chicken or an egg !

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Beyond the genome: YOU'VE BEEN DECODED, again

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Re: more interesting possibilites here than mentioned in the article

"more interesting possibilites here than mentioned in the article "

Indeed there are even more than you mention. Proteins can dock to each other or a membrane. They can be reversibly modified to increase or decrease their activity. They can be targeted to particular compartments in cells, or exported. Cascades of enzymes can act as powerful amplifiers. They can very selectively allow cations such as K+, Na+ Ca2+ into/out of membranes - and LOTS of other effects.

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Chemist
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Re: Great article, questionable title though...

"Genes (or, better, clumps of molecules we call "genes") are inherent part of the living beings, these molecules do not "code" anything, not any more than, say, crankshaft "codes" anything in the internal combustion engine."

Bit pedantic. Genes code for proteins. You can't use a gene instead of a protein. You can make as many copies of the protein from the gene as time allows. Each 3 nucleotides on the gene (codons) determine the next amino acid to be added to the protein being synthesised. I don't know how you would describe a translation like this from codons to amino acids without calling it a code of some sort. There are even codons to terminate and initiate synthesis. The translation can be tabulated It's more like the punched card in a Jacquard loom. It defines and controls the process but it makes cloth. In a completely different process it also provides a template for copying itself.

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Re: Most treatments have no need for either genomic or proteomic diagnostics

" we are using supercomputers to make the decision a "yes/no" not a "choose from these 106 ". Every human in unique, why shouldn't the treatment be?"

I agree and it can be a very simple decision. For example a certain cancer may have 10% of a patient population with one gene variant and the remainder with another. If you can judge with an easy test, which is which, then you can potentially choose the most appropriate drug. I know an example where this is so.

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Re: Most treatments have no need for either genomic or proteomic diagnostics

"Or even alcoholism."

The propensity to alcoholism (or other addictions) or it's effects on the individual are very likely to be genetically determined.

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BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity

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Re: Put down the pie

It's quite different. I reduced my calorie intake until I was maintaining a steady (although very high) weight. Then I reduced my weight by exercise. It was very hard but at the end I was very fit and had increased muscle mass.

Your contention that exercise 'makes you hungrier' isn't borne out by research. Most people find that maintaining and adequate calorie intake prevents serious feeling of hunger and maintains a 'normal' metabolic rate. Serious dieting provokes a 'starvation' response which drops metabolic rate in an attempt to not starve

In my case I found exercise did suppress hunger. I've already said that losing weight this way is hard esp. if your environment/job limits the time you have available. But be aware just dieting means hunger and muscle loss.

I'm not sure what you are trying to say. I said this works for me and perhaps it will work for other people. In my case it enabled me to lose ~1/3 of my body weight AND keep it off (13 years now). I also know exactly what I have to do if I find I've gained a bit. 2kg increase - that means 16000 Cals of exercise - that's 20 trips to the top of the local hill or equivalents.

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Re: New study shows dietary fat doesn't cause problems

"I thought diabetes was always associated with carbs, not fat."

Type 2 diabetes is still rather a mystery. But certainly being overweight or obese, and lack of serious regular exercise are correlated with increased rates. It's got a generic component. (Of course you will always find someone who is obese, does no exercise, smokes 80 a day and lives to 90 but that is the tail of a distribution.)

What I've gathered (it's not really my area of expertise) : High blood glucose drives the production of insulin as a signaling hormone in an attempt to reduce the damaging effect of high levels. If, the mechanisms driven by insulin for some reasons fail to bring it down then a vicious circle of greater and great demands for insulin ensues. This can eventually destroy the insulin producing cells.

The mechanisms that reduce insulin include muscle/liver absorbing glucose and converting it to it's storage form glycogen. This is where the exercise comes in Exercise at first uses stored glucose leaving the exercised muscles/liver able to absorb more. If you don't exercise and esp. if your muscle mass is low the very mechanism that normally reduces blood glucose is blocked. If you have a lot of stored fat it can fueling metabolism again allowing blood glucose to increase over normal. This all is really a rate effect. Slow glucose release from the gut allows other (slower) mechanisms to absorb the glucose, for example, converting glucose to fat.

There are many mechanisms/enzymes/signaling pathways involved in this so it's no suprise that individuals and their genetics vary greatly. There are a number of refinements to all this, for example, exercise greatly increases the ability and extent of muscle to absorb glucose rapidly and also mobilise fat . Complex subject.

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Re: Put down the pie

"Are you saying you didn't change your diet at all? You ate the same but increased the amount of exercise you did? Of course, this is possible, but it's a stupid way to lose weight."

I've documented what i did here before but briefly :

I calorie counted as well as I could. I started on ~2000 Cals/day doing my normal level of exercise. Careful checking of my weight revealed that I was slowly gaining weight so I reduced to 1800 Cals/day and after a few weeks I was stable. The exercise was then ramped up - of course diet changes day-to-day, I estimated as well as I could and over the years refined the estimates of exercise. In winter it was hard as I live in a hilly rural area and it's pitch black, so mostly it was case of keeping reasonably stable. In summer I'd often do 1800 Cals/day running, hill walking & cycling.

It's not a stupid way to lose weight as dieting reduces metabolic rate, leaves you feeling hungry all the time AND, far more importantly makes you lose muscle as well as fat. It's controlled starvation. Keeping to a modest exercise rate ensures that muscle is retained and fat is burned ( along with carbohydrates of course) I even managed a few beers and a curry each week.

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Apple’s $700 BEEELLION market cap makes it more valuable than Switzerland

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Re: Apple may be worth more than Switzerland

From the Guardian :

"The museum chief’s remarks followed an agreement signed in Berlin on Monday between Germany and Switzerland which will see Bern taking on several hundred works from the collection – much of which works amassed during the Nazi era and included paintings and drawings by Marc Chagall, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.

But under the agreement, works whose owners have yet to be identified will be left in Germany until their provenance has been traced."

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Apples ( & Oranges )

GDP is related to a country's economic activity whereas market cap. is related to what people are prepared to pay for the shares - there's no easy way of judging that IMHO.

It's a little like comparing income to assets generally income will usually be a lot less than assets

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Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU

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Re: Genuine question

"Is that not strapping a wireless antenna to the side of your head or are bluetooth radio waves less damaging than those from the phone?"

Well the bluetooth headset is very much lower power than the phone esp. when the phone is transmitting in a poor signal area or inside a vehicle.

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