Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Walkabout Wednesday: is your liver screaming, campus drinking, and independent monitoring of energy impacts on wildlife.

Your liver starts screaming long before you're diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, UNL is a leader in tackling on campus drinking, and we should have independent monitoring of energy impacts on wildlife.

My Health

Jason Fung posted a new video on the "Twin cycles hypothesis" for diabetes. It's long (54 minutes), so I'll summarize what I found exciting. Onset of T2 is a tipping point process, with a long slow increase in fasting glucose followed by a rapid spike usually leading to diagnosis. T2 is reversible, not a guaranteed progression for life. The standard treatment of T2 is like offering an alcoholic another drink to cure the shakes; it works, but only makes the underlying condition worse. And then there is "... the long silent scream of the liver ...", as increased insulin leads to fatty liver disease. I went back and looked. My liver started screaming back in 2007, and only stopped in 2011 when I cut the carbs.

Your Education

Following on from last week's article about drinking at UGA, Kevin Carey argues that "If students have time to get drunk, colleges aren't doing their job." Maybe a contributing factor, but try increasing the out of class workload and see what happens to your student evaluations.

Actually those two articles are part of an entire series on campus drinking, and UNL gets a mention! We are one of four campuses successfully tackling binge drinking. Close co-ordination with city officials and local businesses is the secret, apparently.

And, unsurprisingly, PhD's awarded are up and jobs are down. But the changes in jobs are pretty marginal, and apparently reflect more social sciences PhD's going on to postdoctoral study than in the past. 

Our Environment

I agree that wildlife impacts of renewable energy should be independently monitored ... as long as we enforce the same requirement on other energy projects! Although the article claims that
... the renewable energy industry has been treated with kid gloves by regulators compared to the oil and gas industry.
Really? I'm guessing that renewable energy companies are getting a lot of help from the current administration, but more of a pass than the oil and gas industry has had for decades? So data on the effects of fracking on groundwater are public information? Doesn't seem like it. Or this.

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