So I decided to read the tea leaves of my DNA. I reasoned that it was worth learning painful information if it might help me avert future illness.
Like others, I turned to genetic testing, but I wondered if I could trust the nascent field to give me reliable results. In recent years, a handful of studies have found substantial variations in the risks for common diseases predicted by direct-to-consumer companies.
I set out to test the tests: Could three of them agree on me?
The answers were eye-opening — and I received them just as one of the companies, 23andMe, received a stern warning from the Food and Drug Administration over concerns about the accuracy of its product. At a time when the future of such companies hangs in the balance, their ability to deliver standardized results remains dubious, with far-reaching implications for consumers.
via I Had My DNA Picture Taken, With Varying Results – NYTimes.com.
I actually think a more fascinating thing to do would be to submit the same DNA to one of them 3 times under different names, and see how repeatable they are. I bet that would even be interesting.
First, this is a really good piece of information, which I don’t want to be buried by the “wha.. wha.. WHA!” moment:
The truth is that when it comes to weight loss, what you drink may be even more important than what you eat. Americans now get nearly 25 percent of their calories from liquids. In 2009, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, finding that the quickest and most reliable way to lose weight is to cut down on liquid calorie consumption. And the best way to do that is to reduce or eliminate beverages that contain added sugar.
Basically, put down the soda, get yourself a glass of water instead.
And now the context for why that popped up in an article:
Now here’s something you wouldn’t expect. Coca-Cola is being sued by a non-profit public interest group, on the grounds that the company’s vitaminwater products make unwarranted health claims. No surprise there. But how do you think the company is defending itself?
In a staggering feat of twisted logic, lawyers for Coca-Cola are defending the lawsuit by asserting that “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.“
Really? For the record vitamin water has roughly the same amount of added sugars as a soda of the same size.
The Big Picture has another great photo essay on Earth Hour 2010, with some of the big cities that decided to turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday. Some of the images are amazing, as you can actually see the stars start to show up (like on the acropolis).
Light Pollution has taken the stars and the milky way away from a majority of Americans, as well as becoming a health hazard. Hopefully this creates some more awareness on the issue.