Tag: biochemistry

Circadian desynchrony and the blue light special

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/12/Circadian-Deosynchrony-and-the-Blue-Light-Special.mp3[/podcast] We’re coming up on the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere: at the latitude I live at, in Regina, Saskatchewan, that means that today the sun rose at 8:49 a.m. and will set at 4:54 p.m. We’ll lose a few more minutes yet before the winter solstice. That’s not a lot …

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Blame your brain for overeating

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/upLoads//2009/12/Why-We-Overeat.mp3[/podcast] Put on a few extra pounds over Christmas? Wonder why you feel compelled to eat half a box of chocolates half an hour after finishing your second plate of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy? Feel a little guilty? Well, new research offers clues to one of the most baffling aspects of the eternal …

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The chemistry of love

Men have always suspected it, but now there’s scientific evidence: chocolate makes females more interested in sex. OK, so maybe that’s oversimplifying. What the study announced just before Valentine’s Day (appropriately enough) really said was that a “messenger protein” called DARPP-32 makes female rodents more interested in sex. But even the study’s lead author, Dr. …

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“The Devil made me do it,” said comedian Flip Wilson in the ’70s. These days, though, it’s hormones that get the blame. Teenagers becoming uncontrollable as spring kicks into high gear? Hormones. Blowing up at your boss/spouse/children for no reason? Hormones. Overweight? Hormones. Underweight? Hormones. Feeling depressed? Euphoric? Romantic? Hormones, hormones, hormones. All of which …

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Glow, little glow-worm, shimmer, shimmer . . . Have you ever wondered why glow-worms shimmer? Probably not, especially if, like me, you wouldn’t know a glow-worm from a tapeworm and wouldn’t care to meet either one. But maybe you’ve seen fireflies dancing in the dark, or, on a more practical note, been thankful for the …

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Our 26-letter alphabet often seems like a model of efficiency. Look at how much information can be encoded and passed on with it. Look at what Shakespeare accomplished with it. I’m particularly fond of it because my ability to manipulate it is what pays for my food and lodging and other necessities like new CDs. …

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