Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Your Happiness Is Like a Rocking Chair

Definitely worth reading.  Should get Jim Davies’ book.

Your Happiness Is Like a Rocking Chair

Jim Davies | Mar 23, 2016 | Nautilus

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March 27, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, genes, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

How “probiotic epidemics” help wildlife—and us—survive

Pretty amazing how much we are dependent on a bunch of “low life”s.

When Evolution Is Infectious

How “probiotic epidemics” help wildlife—and us—survive

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff | October 1, 2015 | Nautilus Continue reading

October 2, 2015 Posted by | environment, evolution, genes, health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Misery Index

Low social status seems to activate genes associated with inflammation and the production of various immune-related cells and chemical signalling factors — sounds like low-level chronic stress to me.  It affects the responsiveness of the body to the glucocorticoids (stress) hormones.  Just from a blood test, scientists were able to predict the social status within 80% accuracy. Especially noteworthy is the discovery that all this stems from epigenetics.  From the print edition of The Economist, Apr 14th 2012:

Social status and health:Misery index

Low social status is bad for your health. Biologists are starting to understand why

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April 21, 2012 Posted by | behaviour, genes, health | , , , , | Leave a comment

How much of the ability to lead is genetic?

How much of the ability to lead is genetic? Nature vs nurture as applied to management is discussed. From The Economist, September 25, 2010:

The biology of business

Homo administrans

Biologists have brought rigour to psychology, sociology and even economics. Now they are turning their attention to the softest science of all: management

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March 12, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, brain, business, genes | , , , | Leave a comment

Do genes influence how we vote?

Do genes influence how we vote? Professor Peter Loewen thinks it may.  From the University of Toronto magazine, winter 2010:

Genes and Politics

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February 24, 2011 Posted by | genes, politics | , | Leave a comment

Being lonely is bad for your health

According to research, being lonely changes gene expression to reduce viral infection defenses and to increase bacterial defenses (inflammation). From The Economist, Feb 24th 2011:

The reason loneliness could be bad for your health

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February 24, 2011 Posted by | genes, health | , , , | Leave a comment

Born into Debt: Gene Linked to Credit-Card Balances

“…The effect is almost as big as financial literacy…”

From Scientific American Mind –  August 12, 2010:

Born into Debt: Gene Linked to Credit-Card Balances

A recent study was the first to show that a particular gene affects financial behavior outside the lab

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August 20, 2010 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, genes | , , , | Leave a comment

Nature or nurture?

Which is stronger, nature or nurture? According to the article below, both your genes and your environment  interact for your whole life.  From Time magazine, June 2, 2003:

What Makes You Who You Are

By Matt Ridley

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September 30, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, genes | , | 1 Comment