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Does mental illness really exist?

We all know first hand that mental anguish exists and that at least a hug or an hour of someone listening to you offers relief. Beyond that, knowledge in the field is clouded by entrenched interest groups each preaching the solutions they find most profitable. Rigorously applying the scientific method is the only way forward.

Medicine’s big new battleground: does mental illness really exist? | Society | The Observer

The latest edition of DSM, the influential American dictionary of psychiatry, says that shyness in children, depression after bereavement, even internet addiction can be classified as mental disorders. It has provoked a professional backlash, with some questioning the alleged role of vested interests in diagnosis.

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Antibiotics for Chronic Back Pain

The hyperbole of the reporting sets off my skepticism alarms.

Antibiotics could cure 40% of chronic back pain patients

Up to 40% of patients with chronic back pain could be cured with a course of antibiotics rather than surgery, in a medical breakthrough that one spinal surgeon says is worthy of a Nobel prize.

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Richard Nikoley on Resistant Starch

Interesting hack.

Resistant Starch: 4-Letter Word? Nope. Goal: Create Mashed Potatoes A Diabetic Can Eat Every Day | Free The Animal

Here’s the reference: Prepare for the “Resistant Starch” Assimilation; Resistance is Futile. It started off slow, rather as I’d expected, because: STARCH! (Fingers raised across face in the sign of a cross.) But, comments began picking up and even though the post is quite a ways down in the scroll, it’s what’s getting the most play currently. And…

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Thinking hard makes you hungry

This rings true.

Thinking hard and its effect on appetite

This looks like an interesting study:

Thinking hard makes you hungry…..so you eat more.  Yet thinking hard doesn’t burn calories.  So if you are going to think hard then eat, well you better do something to burn the calories that you are going to add.

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Is life older than the Earth?

Math is fun.

Moore’s Law and the Origin of Life | MIT Technology Review

Sharov and Gordon say that the evidence by this measure is clear. “Linear regression of genetic complexity (on a log scale) extrapolated back to just one base pair suggests the time of the origin of life = 9.7 ± 2.5 billion years ago,” they say.

And since the Earth is only 4.5 billion years old, that raises a whole series of other questions. Not least of these is how and where did life begin.