2/21/21

Excerpts from Rhonda Patrick’s E Book, part 3

  • “Three months after a man received a bone marrow transplant to treat his acute myeloid leukemia, some tissue samples from his body contained two sets of DNA: his own, and that of the donor. Other tissues had only the recipient’s DNA. Remarkably, the changes in the man’s DNA persisted for several years, and now, some four years after the bone marrow transplant, the DNA in his semen is exclusively that of the donor.” (Meaning that if he has children, they technically won’t be his own)
  • “Current methods for measuring urinary BPA, which rely on indirect measures, may not accurately estimate human exposure. The authors of this study developed a technique that relied on direct measures of BPA and its metabolites in human urine. They found that the indirect assay grossly underestimated actual human levels of BPA exposure. In pregnant women, in particular, urinary BPA levels were 44 times higher than indirect measures reflected… Previous research suggests that the tolerable daily intake of BPA established by the FDA is as much as 20,000 times higher than the levels at which adverse effects have been observed.” 

Note: 

Final except: 

  • “Findings from a recent review and meta-analysis suggest that high concentrations of particulate matter in air pollution may increase the risk of developing depression…

    Between 2005 and 2015, rates of depression increased by more than 18 percent, and public health experts predict that by the year 2020, depression likely will rank second in the global burden of disease…

    …The authors of the review conducted a meta-analysis of 14 studies involving more than 680,000 participants living in North America, Europe, and Asia. They found that as concentrations of particulate matter increased, the risk of depression and suicide increased. Specifically, for every 10 microgram per cubic meter increase in particulate matter that was 2.5 microns or less in width, the risk of depression increased by 19 percent and the risk of suicide increased by 5 percent.”

    • I can’t help but wonder whether this might be because people who live in relatively polluted cities are probably more likely to be exposed to other factors that could lead to depression. That said, there are a good number of known ways in which air pollution can negatively affect the brain, and thereby theoretically induce depression. 
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Thoughts on Advice and Conflicting Proverbs 

A couple years ago, I read a quote by Julia Galef that has stuck with me to this day: 

  • “I think most recommendations are bad because they’re one-size-fits-all. “Take more risks.” “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” “Work harder.” The problem is that some people need to take more risks, while others need to take fewer risks. Some people need to ease up on themselves, while others are already too self-forgiving. Some people need to work harder, while others are already skating on the edge of burnout. And so on.”

The ever since then, I’ve seen innumerable examples of how true this is. And I’ve also developed the weird habit of collecting a list conflicting proverbs, to remind myself that the answer usually lies somewhere in the middle. 

Here are a few: 

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Don’t beat your head against a stone wall.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Out of sight, out of mind.

Strike while the iron is hot. 
Fools rush in. 

A word to the wise is sufficient.
Talk is cheap.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars. 
Don’t bite off more that you can chew.

Many hands make light work.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Clothes make the man.

 

Excerpts from my Journal 

Most people want to have rules that they can follow without thinking. Rules that eliminate uncertainty, and the challenge associated with needing to make a choice. 

As far as I can tell, a person’s success in life is largely a function of the degree to which they can resist the urge to distract themselves. 

The longer I live, the more I come to feel that there are subtle levels of reality that have an influence on the physical reality that we can perceive with our senses and measure with scientific instruments. 

 

Artist who’s work I’ve been enjoying: GurkhaNepal 

 

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