Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Fast Food Restaurant Want You Additcted

When you need a snack, you aren't too far apart from drug addicts.

From New Scientist:

When volunteers received a dose of a natural hunger-inducing hormone called ghrelin, their brains responded to pictures of food in the same way that addicted people's brains do to cigarettes or drugs, says Alain Dagher, a neurologist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who led the study.

This mechanism probably helped humans to load up on life-saving calories when food was scarce – a likely scenario during much of evolutionary history. But with well-stocked supermarkets and a fast-food outlet on every corner, such brain signals can make food addicts of us all.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Science censored at EPA

Scientists at the US Environmental Protection Agency are complaining about political manipulation affecting their work. A lobby group dug up just how widespread the censorship is.

From New Scientist:

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a lobby group based in Washington DC, surveyed 1583 EPA scientists and found that many feel unable to speak openly for fear of retaliation from senior officials appointed by the Bush administration.

Over half said they were not allowed to talk freely with the media, while a quarter said they would not be allowed to publish results that contradicted the agency's official line. Researchers were often pressured not to publicly discuss issues linked to climate change, such as the coastal erosion caused by rising sea levels. The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.

But the survey does note some small victories for free speech. When one researcher was barred from talking about climate change at a conference, the meeting's organisers told the EPA that they would hold a 20-minute silence in place of the missing talk. The agency reversed its decision.

About Me

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I'm Troy Doney. I'm on the internet. I'm the writer of the blog "Off the Reservation" at New West. I also write a blog at Reznet. My personal blog is Man Bites Dog. I post my pictures at Flickr and I write short sentences at Twitter.