Author Archives: Sabrina Chan

How to have more and better sex

Impotence is caused by a variety of disorders, surgeries, traumas, and other health issues.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731873/) (Image from http://www.ladycarehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/low-sex-drive.jpg)

You’re on Pornhub. Or Xvideos. Or Redtube. (Hyperlinks not available)

Don’t lie.

On the perimeter of your screen, you see, “How to get her to want you!” or “How to get him to want you!”

Well, save the virus-infested click. You can increase libido by consuming natural aphrodisiacs, according to this 2015 article.

Null hypothesis (of each aphrodisiac tested): The aphrodisiac does not increase libido.

Alternative hypothesis (of each aphrodisiac tested): The aphrodisiac increases libido.

Ginseng (http://urbol.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Korean-Ginseng.jpg)

Using a keyword search, researchers searched terms related to aphrodisiacs on PubMed.gov. The researchers then chose reviews of aphrodisiacs that contained evidence within the articles. Afterwards, the aphrodisiacs were tested in limited studies. Some of the aphrodisiacs were not tested, while others such as ginseng were. Ginseng has been tested numerous times in double-blind studies. Ginkgo, ginseng, maca, and Tribulus were found to either enhance sexual performance or increase libido. The proposed mechanism for ginseng’s effectiveness is that, in women, ginseng smooths the muscles of the vagina.

There is more evidence in this other article that supports the existence of aphrodisiacs. To begin, there are many mechanisms of the male erection. One mechanism is that through cyclic adenosine monophosphate pathway, the corporal smooth muscle begins to relax. Protein kinase A and protein kinase G are then released. These proteins then activate and decrease various Ca2+ levels, which then hinders the smooth penis muscle’s contractions. Thus, blood flow is increased and the penis becomes erect.

Of the 17 herbal aphrodisiacs tested on albino rats (including chlorophytum borivilianum, turycoma longifolia, and turnera diffusa), only one was found to not be effective. Overall, the rats mounted faster and more often and ejaculated in a quicker manner than usually.

Although this topic needs far more experimentation, as evidenced by the varying procedures documented in Elizabeth West’s and Michael Krychman’s article, the gains of natural aphrodisiacs are definitely worth looking into. If libido can be increased with little to no side effects (especially compared to the long list of side effects in Viagra) and at a lower cost, then more data should be collected to ensure the safe use of natural aphrodisiacs.

Don’t write about your feelings after divorcing?

(http://securedretirements.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/divorce.jpg)

In America, of couples marrying for the first time, 41% end up divorcing. This alarming statistic becomes even more desolate when you think about the emotional aftermath of a divorce. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, divorced women experience a difficult time receiving social support, are more likely to experience economic struggles, and are more likely to experience mental illness. Divorced women are also likely to suffer from illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Given this information on the detrimental effects of divorce, one begins to wonder how to emotionally recover faster after a divorce.

Many websites suggest writing to emotionally recover after a divorce. However, according to a 2013 study, expressive writing can actually hinder emotional recovery following a divorce.

(http://www.biographywritingservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/writing-a-short-biography.jpg)

Null hypothesis: Divorced Couples would not experience emotional recovery after participating in EW (Expressive Writing).

Alternative hypothesis: Divorced Couples would experience emotional recovery after participating in EW.

Variable: EW, in which participants were asked to write their innermost feelings about the separations.

Control: Normal, narrative-based writing (TEW)

In this study, 109 participants separated from their partners were randomly chosen (Only 73 followed up 7.5 months after the study.) Participants had to individually listen to a recording telling them to speak about their former partners’ appearance for 30 seconds. The participants were then asked to speak for 4 minutes in a stream-of-consciousness about their separations. Lastly, the participants then had to expressively write both in the laboratory and at home.

Nine months later, the participants were asked to assess their emotions. It was found that those that participated in EW rather than the control writing were significantly worse off emotionally. The mechanism proposed is that EW encourages brooding, and thus causes the separated couples to feel worse off than before.

This study was well-executed with a large pool of participants, but would have been better if the separated couples had all reported back by the end of the study. In addition, a meta-analysis increases the reliability of this study and shows that the control writing was actually beneficial, especially compared to the EW. However, there is no mechanism for this.

So should divorced people consider writing to relieve emotional distress? Yes, if the writing is narrative-based, and no if the writing is expressive. As a child of divorced parents, I believe that writing, or anything that can help divorced people emotionally recover, should be utilized. If the pain of a divorce can be lessened, then the means of that should be strongly considered. So, in the end, the null hypothesis was taken one step further–divorced couples actually felt worse after expressively writing.

Should you clean up?

I.
Hate.
Mess.

(http://images.clipartpanda.com/mess-clipart-when-my-house-is-a-mess.jpg)

…which is ironic because my side of the dorm is a pigsty. I can’t focus when my environment is messy, which is why I go elsewhere when I have to complete homework.

However, one 2015 study tells me that maybe I should not clean my working environment. Apparently, a disordered environment might make people more goal-oriented.

Null hypothesis: A disorderly environment does not make people more goal-oriented.

Alternative hypothesis: A disorderly environment makes people more goal-oriented.

Mechanism: Disordered environments —> increase in goal-orientation

Independent Variable X:  Disordered environments

Dependent Variable Y: Goal orientation

Scientists performed several experiments to determine the effect that a disordered environment has on people.

(http://previews.123rf.com/images/iqoncept/iqoncept1410/iqoncept141000064/32326206-Shopper-Loyalty-Club-words-on-a-store-shopping-bag-as-a-promotional-rewards-program-for-customers-an-Stock-Photo.jpg)

Study 1: 43 randomly-selected volunteers shopping along the street with a mean age of 37.16 (40% male) participated in a preliminary field study. They were asked questions after reading that retailers use reward programs to incentivize consumerism. Participants were asked random questions that had nothing to do with the study and then told to evaluate themselves based on statements about their reward program preferences (if they would like a rewards program with specific details or unknown perameters) and their feelings towards disorder on a scale of 1-6, with 6 meaning they strongly agreed and 1 meaning they strongly disagreed.

The results indicated that goal-orientation and a disorderly environment were positively correlated.

This study could have used a larger pool of participants. Because it was a basic field study, the demographics of the volunteers (other than age and gender) were unknown. Other demographics could have affected the results of the study. Also, the questionnaire only contained one goal-oriented question. The study could have been better had the researchers asked more. Also, because the shoppers were asked to assess themselves, this study was very suggestive. A better study would be to measure brain waves or something measurable that would indicate anxiety associated with disorder.

Study 2

Study 2 involved 78 participants with a mean age of 35.45 and 44% male. The participants were given statements and asked to assess themselves. The statements measured need for order and their correlation with personal comfort. The participants were then asked to imagine they were customers and given two reward program scenarios:

  1. The first reward program had a specific end-date and a certain number of points were needed for specific prizes.
  2. It was unknown when second reward program would end and the same rewards listed in Reward Program 1 would require an unknown amount of points to redeem.
  3. The participants were then asked to choose one of the two reward programs. Unsurprisingly, the disordered environment and goal-oriented mindset were positively correlated.

At this point, it seems that views on disordered environments and a goal-oriented mindset are unrelated. This study seems to merely be correlated, and as repeated in class, correlation does not equal causation.

Study 3

(http://www.gforcekarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Calendar.jpg)

Study 3 addresses the strong correlation skepticism of studies 1 and 2 by also testing motivation. In this study, 95 randomly-chosen participants with a mean age
of 40.17 that were 29% male were randomly split into three groups: disorder, order, and neutral. (Disorder and order are variables, while neutral is the control.)  Each group had a varying group of disorder on the background of their questionairre websites. The participants were then given a reward program scenario in which they are halfway through the program and asked questions about how messy their rooms were and how motivated they were to finish the reward programs.

The disordered group was more motivated to finish the reward program than the ordered and neutral groups, the last two of which did not differ in motivation. This study’s evidence leans toward the alternative hypothesis.

Study 4

In the last study, 99 people (3 of which were later excluded) with a mean age of 19.5 and 60% male participated. The participants were randomly assigned to four task that determined whether or not a disordered environment was the cause of increased goal-orientation. For example, in one of the tasks, participants were made to listen to busy noises such as shopping mall traffic until told that they could remove the headphones. They were then told so solve an anagram that could not possibly be solved. They were then asked questions about their feelings toward order.

The results of these tasks suggest that the alternative hypothesis is correct.

There could be numerous confounding variables in this entire study. For example, the anxiety caused by a messy environment and having a goal-oriented mindset could simply be human nature. It is difficult to say from this study.

So, should you keep your room a mess? I wouldn’t say so. Especially because this 2014 study suggests that order might increase the healthiness of the choices you make and make you more generous.

Overall, I would just do what is best for myself. I know that I struggle to focus when my room is a mess, so even if I may be more goal-oriented and more inclined to finish my homework, I would most likely find myself struggling to actually finish my homework. I would probably be distracted and anxious from the disorder of my environment. As with anything, you should weigh the gains from the losses. Although I may gain goal-orientation, I would personally lose focus. Thus, doing things in a disordered environment will not be for me. Also, this study is just that: one study. You should remain skeptical until more studies replicate these results.

The effect sleep deprivation has on your memory

A typical college student. (http://www.theprepperjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/SleepDeprivation.jpg)

We’ve all done it. Staying up late at night to cram for a test or to finish last-minute homework is a common student occurrence (Perhaps you are even doing it now to finish your SC200 blog posts). To perform well academically, however, perhaps we should all seriously consider not procrastinating and sleeping more hours.

A typical college student’s to do list. (http://www.paulthecounsellor.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/why-do-people-procrastinate.jpg)

A 2014 study authored by Steven J. Frenda, Lawrence Patihis, and Elizabeth F. Loftus of the University of California and Holly C. Lewis and Kimberly M. Fenn of Michigan State University shows that sleep deprivation can increase the risk of false memories. 

To preface, Frenda et. al noted that memories are derived from multiple sources and do not play back like a recorded movie. Thus, false memories can be easily created. For example, 40% of Americans remember the details of the 9/11 terrorist attack incorrectly. In a 2015 follow-up study of 9/11, participants recounted the events after 1 year, 2 years, and 10 years. Despite the participants’ confidence in their abilities to remember what they experienced that day, the results of the study showed that they increasingly added flashbulb memories (affected by media outlets) to their stories. So, it must be emphasized that memories are not consistent.

The Experiment

In the 2014 sleep deprivation and false memory study, 198 undergraduate students with a mean age of 20.3 years were participants.

Null hypothesis: Sleep deprivation has no effect on memory.

Alternative hypothesis: Sleep deprivation has a negative affect on memory.

Before any of the study session was performed, the participants kept sleep diaries for a week.

A week later:

In the news portion of Experiment 1, the participants were asked to read a passage about the 9/11/2001 crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The participants then answered questions based on the passage. The passage also falsely stated that video footage of the crash was spread across the Internet and news. Video footage of the crash had, in fact, not been captured or shared. A polar question on the questionnaire asked whether or not the participants had seen a ground witness’ video footage of the crashing plane. Researchers also interviewed the participants to assess their memories of the recorded incident. The researchers then asked again whether or not the participants had seen footage of the plane crash.

In the misinformation portion of Experiment 1, 2 sets of 50 pictures each were presented at the speed of 35 seconds per photograph to each participant. The first set showed a man burglarizing a parked car, while the second set showed a woman getting her wallet stolen by a thief. About 40 minutes later, participants read a passage for each photo set explaining the pictures. Each passage contained 3 piece of information that contradicted what was shown in the pictures. Participants were not told there would be false information within the passages. About 20 minutes later, the participants then took a multiple choice assessment to test their memories about the pictures. The 3 multiple choices of each question were created so that one was true to the photographs, one was true to the passages, and one was neither true from the photographs or the passages.

Next, another assessment was given to determine whether they believed they learned the information asked in the question from the pictures, the passages, or whether they simply guessed. Thus, researchers could determine if the participants had noticed or remembered seeing conflicting information.

The participants were then divided into groups based on the amount of sleep they acquired over the past week. Thirty-three participants that had an average of 6.8 hours of sleep were in the restricted sleep group, while the 165 other participants were the control group.

The news portion of the experiment yielded mixed results. Based on the questionnaire, only 33% of the control group said they remembered seeing videos of the crash, while a whopping 54% of the sleep-deprived group remembered seeing footage of the crash. These results are significant. However when asked by the researcher directly, 21% of those in the restricted sleep group continued to say they had seen the video, while 20% of those in the control group also continued to say they had seen the video. This 1% difference is not significant.

The misinformation portion of the experiment showed that 38% of the restricted sleep group included misinformation in their responses. Meanwhile, only twenty-eight percent of the control group included misinformation in their responses. These results narrowly missed significant.

Overall, the false memory rate of the control group was at 13%, whereas the false memory rate of the sleep deprived group was at 18%. This is not significant.

This study was meaningful and well-executed because the demographics were random and not extreme in any way. The pool of participants were also of decent size, making the data more reliable. However, the researchers themselves noted that many studies have been done on this topic, and the results are generally mixed. I believe this could be a part of the file-drawer problem we discussed in class, where researchers are not publishing information that does not deliver “interesting” results. This study was not much different from previous studies in that the results are small and only slightly suggest that sleep deprivation affects false memories.

It would be nice if, in the coming years, a meta-analysis is created for this study. As of now, however, few studies have delved into this specific topic. Thus, there is no definitive concensus about whether or not the POV view is true.

If you need another incentive for getting more sleep, this related study of 171 women suggests that sleep increases sexual desire in women. Just another reason to get more sleep!

Personally, I know I forget copious amounts of information on exams if I am lacking sleep, even if (or especially if) I studied the entire night before. So what does this study mean? As a student, you should compare your gains to your losses. If sleeping more (and procrastinating less!) can potentially improve your studying accuracy and retention, then you should seriously consider doing so–especially if the loss is watching one less episode on Netflix!

A typical college student’s mantra. (http://s2.favim.com/orig/150331/episode-fangirl-netflix-obsessed-Favim.com-2610933.jpg)

Does the use of taboo words indicate that you lack vocabulary knowledge?

(http://izquotes.com/quotes-pictures/quote-the-foolish-and-wicked-practice-of-profane-cursing-and-swearing-is-a-vice-so-mean-and-low-that-george-washington-193718.jpg)

Two Hypotheses

Slurs and curse words are frowned upon in most cultures. The use of taboo words is generally unprofessional, and many believe that the use of obscene words indicates poverty-of-vocabulary (POV), the view that people can not think of  “better,” less-aggravated vocabulary words to use, so they substitute those words with slurs and other obscenities. However, this hypothesis was opposed by another. Timothy Jay of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts  and many others have stated their belief that slurs are legitimate for usage in the human vocabulary because they are versatile in language and follow the rules in linguistics. Jay also stated that taboo words are often used to convey strong emotions. In my opinion, this could explain the reason for belief of the poverty-of-vocabulary hypothesis. Many of those in heated arguments may seem less inclined to know non-taboo words, as they would be more emotional, and therefore less controlled. This is such a disputable topic that there are even websites encouraging people not to cuss and songs encouraging cursing.

Kristin L. Jay and Timothy B. Jay tested these hypotheses in a 2015 study to determine what the use of taboo words indicates.

 

Unprofessional. (https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-_E3wV_g9P3U/TXpW3nsMlSI/AAAAAAAABMk/IYpy0KdCqm4/s1600/you-sir-are-a-cunt.jpg)

STUDY 1

In the first study, fluency of prompt was tested. The POV hypothesis prediction was that taboo word fluency and non-taboo word fluency were negatively correlated.

The study consisted of 43 participants ages 18 to 22. To eliminate bias, the experimenters were not in the room. Instead, audio recordings were used to relay instructions and information. Lag time in between the participants’ word-generation was to be measured. First, each participant was given 1 minute per letter (F, A, and S) to list as many words as they could that began with the aforementioned letters in the quickest possible manner. Second, each participant was then asked to repeat the experiment, but to list animals instead (beginning with any letters). Third, each participant was asked to repeat the experiment a last time by listing curse or swear words (beginning with any letters).

The results indicated that, despite different lag times and amount of words generated per category, all measures of fluency were significantly positively correlated with one another. This challenged the POV view. 

Means and standard errors for generation by prompt and sex in Study 2 (written ...

A graph of Study 1 results. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S038800011400151X)

Study 2

In the second study, experimenters wanted to determine whether the results of Study 1 were due to actual vocabulary storage or whether or not the participants were simply uneasy with blurting out certain taboo words.

The study consisted of 49 participants ages 18 to 22. Unlike Study 1, Study 2 was a written format rather than spoken. The study was similar to the first study, but the participants were asked to write the words. The participants were also given 2 minutes for each category because writing takes more time than speaking. The written format eliminated the struggle of trying not to repeat a word. Participants were also expected to be more willing to write taboo words, since the process of using taboo words is usually a verbal practice.

The results of Study 2 indicated that the results of Study 1 were not due to the participants’ reluctance to verbalize taboo words. Study 2 also had similar results to Study 1, except that the FAS (letters) category of fluency was only positively correlated rather than significantly positively correlated. This study, like Study 1, also challenged the POV view.

Means and standard errors for generation by prompt and sex in Study 2 (written ...

A graph of Study 2 results. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S038800011400151X)

Study 3

In the third and final study, the experiment was meant to ensure the accuracy of the fluency results in Studies 1 and 2 while also exploring how certain personality traits correlate with taboo word usage.

The study consisted of 126 college students ages 18-38. In addition to utilizing the same procedures as those in Study 2, participants were also asked to self-evaluate “on 7-Likert scales to the questions: How religious are you? How often do you say swear words? Relative to people your age, how often do you swear? and How offended are you by others’ use of swear words? (John et al., 2008)” These questions assessed “openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (Jay K., Jay T.).”

The results of Study 3 support the results of of Study 1. All three categories of fluency measures measured significantly positively correlated. Just as in the previous 2 studies, the third indicates error in the POV view.

Means and standard errors for generation by prompt and sex in Study 3. ...

A graph of Study 3 results. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S038800011400151X)

Overall

The POV view was ultimately found to be incongruent with much of the language research that has been completed. Although one may expect that lulls in conversation might be interspaced with taboo words, filler words such as “um” and the like were found to be used instead. Thus, the only difference in the use of taboo words rather than non-taboo words is that taboo words stem from strong emotions. Moreover, the frequent use of taboo words may indicate more lexical knowledge, as taboo-word users tend to thoroughly understand how to utilize taboo words despite the words’ many subtle meanings.

The study was well-executed because they used a decently-sized population. The experiments minimized the chances of third variables by eliminating the researchers when asking test questions via recording. The demographics of the participants were also randomized.

—————————–

Relatedly, in a 2006 study, Matthias Mehl, Samuel Gosling, and James Pennebaker discovered that people who use swear words more frequently are generally more extroverted and less agreeable. I have personally found the extroversion to be true, based on what I have noticed about the people around me. To me, this makes sense because a more introverted person would probably be less inclined to use words that would draw more attention to them. I also agree that those that curse more often are often less agreeable. I have simply found this to be true in my day-to-day life.

It is important to note that correlation does not equal causation–a fact that is incessantly repeated in class. However, in my opinion, the strong correlation suggested in all three of the studies should indicate at least one cliche thing: Do not judge a book by its cover. Perhaps the people cursing up a storm is the next Einstein (also, perhaps not).

 

The 5 Second Rule is a Sham

We all heard it as kids.

Just as Ring Around the Rosie and Jack and Jill nursery rhymes had secret dark pasts, it turns out the 5 second rule isn’t so innocent either (Wood 2015; Rutgers University 2016). The five second rule, for those who missed out on childhood, is a “rule” that dropped food is safely edible within five seconds of reaching a surface.

According to Rutgers University professor Donald Schaffner, the five second rule is a myth. He and his team experimented on various substrates of stainless steel, ceramic, wood, and carpet with foods, including bread, watermelon, gummy worms and buttered bread. By using different combinations of foods with surfaces, Schaffner could properly determine how different situations affect contamination rates of foods.

The team began by contaminating each surface with Enterobacter aerogenes, a bacteria closely related to Salmonella. Then, after the bacteria dried, they dropped the foods and allowed the surface to food contact to last for varying periods of time. By repeating the experiment 20 times for every combination, the experiment can be considered reliable.

What the researchers found was that even with contact times lasting under a second, bacteria still found its way to some of the food. This successfully debunks the myth of the five second rule. The wetter foods, such as watermelon, created a favorable environment for the bacteria. However, to give the five second rule some credit, they also found that dryer foods and food on carpet, especially with a shorter time window of bacterial contact, did reduce the transfer of bacteria. Still, this does not mean eating dry food from carpet is either healthy or safe.

These findings are important for any adult stuck in a childish mindset–especially if he or she is talking to actual children. Because while you may think you are spreading a fun, idiomatic phrase, you may really just be spreading contaminants to developing immune systems. So, be safe, and don’t eat food that has fallen.

Also…ew?

How to consume less sugar and salt??

It’s a hot summer day, and you’re eating fresh corn on the cob. Corn is a vegetable, and you’re trying to eat healthily. You think, Corn has fiber, so it’s good for you, right? Then, you have a brilliant idea: This corn would be so much more delicious if you slathered it in butter. That salty-sweet taste you’re craving defeats the purpose of eating healthily, but you’re overcome by sudden insatiable desire. So, you decide to douse your corn on the cob with the butter. And just like that, you’ve added unnecessary sodium to your diet.

But what if you could get that same salted taste without any of the extra fats?

Cari Romm recently published an article reporting that you can make foods taste stronger than they are, or differently, by adding different aromas. Using an olfactoscan, a machine with a thin tube that carries scents into a person’s nostril, researcher Thierry Thomas-Danguin had volunteers smell natural fruit juice scents. Through trial and error, he then added different aroma molecules. Based on the volunteers’ ratings on the sweetness of the scent, Thomas-Danguin then determined which scents smelled the sweetest. Often, the scent rating did not match the scent rating of the juice with no molecule additions. This shows the sheer amount of power smell has on taste.

In a related study, Thomas-Danguin also previously made flan smell like ham in order to determine whether ham scent would affect taste perception. Although both ham-scented flan with 40% less salt and control flan without ham scent were served, a number of participants thought both flans tasted the same. Just as with the most recent study with the fruit juice, this study also shows the immense effect scent has on taste.

The importance of these studies are in health. By introducing seemingly-odd scents to different foods, a consumer could potentially avoid putting additives such as butter in his or her food (And you could have prevented adding butter to your corn!). This could lower a person’s overall sodium or sugar intake, which could be extremely beneficial in most cases. According to the American Heart Association, you should only be consuming a maximum of 1,500 mg a day when it comes to sodium.

For reference, that’s about one and a half tubes of original Pringles.

Doing so correlates with lower blood pressure. By following that limit, you are also less likely to suffer from a stroke or heart disease. Similarly, you can also lower your risk of obesity by consuming less added sugars–and with obesity, type II diabetes and heart disease often also come (Gunnars n.d.).

The benefits of Thomas-Danguin’s study are clear, and hopefully, his experiments continue to show valuable results as he continues his work.

Starchy: A Sixth Taste?

We were all taught the four basic tastes as children: when we eat chips, we taste salt; when we sip kool-aid, we taste sweet; when we suck on a Warhead, we taste sour; when we drink black coffee, we taste bitter. Then, umami (not to be confused with unagi), the savory sense often used to describe meat, was relatively recently added to this list–and we thought we were done (Hamzelou 2016).

No, Ross; I said UMAMI.

But, alas, according to Jessica Hamzelou’s article, scientist Juyun Lim believes that there is a sixth flavor called “starchy.” Starchy refers to foods that are full of carbohydrates, which are made up of linked sugar molecules that form a chain. When we consume foods abundant in starch, the running hypothesis has been that our saliva’s enzymes help us taste the sugars within the starch by dissolving the sugar molecules.

Lim, in disagreement with this common mechanism, ran an experiment to determine if starch is its on flavor. In this experiment, she had volunteer test subjects consume liquid mixtures, some of which contained starch. Regardless of the carbohydrate chains’ lengths, whether they were short or long, the test subjects were able to recognize which solutions contained starch. To determine whether they were simply tasting the sugar molecules, as so many food scientists believe is the case, Lim’s team then administered a sweet receptor-blocking mixture. Even with this compound preventing the tongue from recognizing sweet tastes, the test subjects could still distinguish the starchy flavored mixtures versus the non-starchy flavored mixtures.

However, despite all of this experimentation, starchy can not yet fully be acknowledged as a primary taste. Receptors for the starchy taste must first be identified on the tongue, which Lim and her team are now working on doing.

Our primary taste receptors.

So why is this useful? Well, carbohydrates (complex carbs, rather than simple carbs) provide us with energy that releases slowly. This keeps our energy levels high for longer periods of time (Hamzelou 2016). So, in my opinion, being able to recognize which foods contain carbohydrates is important because carb-filled foods keep us satisfied and healthy.

As a self-proclaimed carb addict, this new development is beyond intriguing. Although I’ve never really wondered how/why complex carbohydrates taste so amazing to me, it’s interesting to know that my tongue may have its own receptors for the carbs. I hope that in the months to come, there are new developments and starchy is officially added to our list of primary tastes. (However, I am unscientifically inclined to believe that my entire tongue is filled with starch receptors.)

My breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, and midnight meals.

Ugh, Science

Hello, Friends!

My name is Sabrina Chan, and I am planning on majoring in economics with a minor in Chinese. I was the typical “nerd” in high school. I did my work, I got straight A’s, and I took all AP and honors. Of these honors courses, I tolerated a year of biology, a year of physics, and three years of chemistry…but I strongly dislike science. So why am I taking this course?

Well, I was scrolling through my general requirements at orientation, viciously ignoring anything that resembled what I struggled through in my year of biology, year of physics, or three years of chemistry.  In doing so, I came across Science 200, a class specifically directed towards non-science majors! So, if I am going to be honest, I am taking this class because I have to. It is the lesser of many evils, since I am required to choose a science course.

I am not planning on becoming a science major because it does not interest me. In fact, the thought of taking any more science courses fills me with dread. I do not know if this is my own doing or the way I have been taught science through the years, but I do know this: Science classes make me anxious. Thus, following a STEM field would be an all-around bad idea, and I would probably become a college drop-out living in a van down by the river.

Anyway, contradicting all that I have said so far, I do sometimes find interest in science articles, especially when they tie into politics. I especially love the way so many people defy science in an effort to diverge and completely eliminate blame. This was a while ago, but our government has now decided that global warming does not exist! And if it does, humans did not cause it. You can read about that more HERE.

With that said, I leave you with this provoking thought:
Is a steady supply of government cheese such a bad idea?

-Sabrina Chan