November 18, 2009

A Scrapin' Addendum... An Important One

Two things that should have made it into the previous "digest" posting. Both somewhat sciencey. The latter probably more pressing than the former. The latter has also convinced me to stop eating bluefin tuna.

First, scientists from the Scripps Research Institute perform a cool animal model study -- that is, they did some experiments in rats -- and showed that their brains responded to a steady diet of junk food much the same way that heroin addicts' brains respond to heroin.

Pleasure centers in the brains of rats addicted to high-fat, high-calorie diets became less responsive as the binging wore on, making the rats consume more and more food. The results, presented October 20 at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting, may help explain the changes in the brain that lead people to overeat.

“This is the most complete evidence to date that suggests obesity and drug addiction have common neurobiological underpinnings,” says study coauthor Paul Johnson of the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla.


Are humans rats? No, but we're not that different.


Second is, to me at least, more disturbing because experts have been warning about this for some time. This sentence sort of says it all.


A recent analysis of the Mediterranean bluefin tuna population by the WWF shows that the breeding population of the species will disappear by 2012 if the fisheries continue with business as usual...

What I find most disturbing about this are the parallels with global warming. I don't claim to understand the science behind global warming. I do understand the basic concept and that the vast majority of scientists who study the subject agree that the earth is warming and that humans are a big reason for that.


And it seems to me that at some time there will be a tipping point, much like there is with tuna now, when the potentially catastrophic consequences of the collective unwillingness to act -- because of politics or greed -- will become clear. And at that point, much like with the bluefin tuna, there won't be much to do about it.

1 comment:

123 123 said...

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