Professor Quippy: Scoring Pizza & Bad Stomach Chemicals

Professor QuippyResearchers have discovered that you can blame your pudgy middle on bad chemicals.

According to researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, a hormone secreted by the stomach can cause junkie-like behavior when you see food.

Pizza? Score! Chicken wings? Groovy! Chocolate cake? Drop that man!

The guilty culprit is not your lack of willpower, it’s the hormone ghrelin, which is made in your stomach. As you get hungry, ghrelin levels rise and when you’ve eaten, they wane. In the study, volunteers were given a shot of ghrelin and then shown pictures of scrumptious, irresistible food. Their brains lit up just like a junkie’s.

Alain Dagher, a neurologist at McGill, says this is probably an evolutionary mechanism that encouraged our distant ancestors to bulk up on tasty calories whenever they had a chance (which probably wasn’t very often.) Fast forward a few thousand years, to the Era of Addictive Chicken, and this spells an obesity epidemic.

According to the New Scientist: “Several pharmaceutical companies already have their sights set on ghrelin, as drugs that block the hormone may quell hunger and fight obesity.”

The problem? If you turn off the hormone, it may affect other parts of your brain. Like, the segment of your cerebellum that makes you happy. The part that prevents you from falling into a deep, sponge-cake-like depression. And then killing yourself.

So, a danger of suicide, but at least you wouldn’t be fat anymore.

Humor-blogs.com is hopped up on laughter. Alltop too.

Professor Quippy: Blame the bust on testosterone

professor quippyForget the subprime mortgages crisis, every market disaster can be blamed on bad chemicals.

Bad man-chemicals to be specific. New research from the University of Cambridge shows that the economy is ravaged by the whim of the testosterone flowing through traders’ veins.

“The popular view is that experienced traders can control their emotions,” on of the lead researchers, John Coates says, “but in fact their endocrine systems are on fire.”

The scientists discovered that as traders made more money, their testosterone levels rose. So, lots of testosterone equals making lots of money, and it’s good for the economy, right?

Uh, unfortunately, as the honcho-hormones run rampant, this leads to overly aggressive (and bad) decisions. Thence the crash, and this causes elevated levels of cortisol, which causes “shrinkage of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, brain regions associated with decision making and factual memory,” the researchers say.

So this is the process:
a) testosterone leads to making money
b) making money generates more testosterone
c) too much testosterone causes bad decision making
d) this causes a crash, and then the brain shrinks, leading to
f) learned helplessness, fear, loathing, rivers of fire and a meltdown of the markets.

So I guess it’s time to let women on the trading floor, eh?

More on this story at the New Scientist. Some of this group are suspected of irrational exuberance.