"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Body Issues 

Genetics determine a whole bunch of things about who we are and how we do what we do, and the more research we see, the more things seem to have a genetic influence. By looking at adults who have been blind since birth, and their parents, an Israeli team has found evidence that facial expressions - that is, what faces we make in response to certain events, like surprise or fear or sadness - seem to be inherited from parents. Not a big shock that this would be true, but kinda cool even so!

Genetics certainly seem to influence whether or not kids grow up to have allergies, but environmental factors are clearly key as well. A Taiwanese group claims that giving kefir to babies will help prevent allergies from developing - that the kefir lowered IgE (an allergic immune protein) in mice three fold. Very interesting, but I will beleive it when I see a real RCT published.

Not the human body, but the body of a paper I'll be writing soon, would be much improved by remembering this research on geographic data use in public health disparities. Very cool stuff, actually, and worth a read for all.

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