Nutrition, Google AI, Quarantine Health, Reality, Animations and SleepIssue #13 · May 31, 2020
Here’s this week’s Sunday MashUp. There’s something about nutrition, much about tech and a couple of things about hallucinations, animations and sleep.
I was blown away when I discovered a Dutch company that makes “healthy fast food”. They’re called Jimmy Joy and they make nutritionally complete shakes and bars. They use only natural ingredients (no extracts) to make meals that save time, money and effort. I’m just as impressed by their business model. They offer monthly subscriptions to deliver you their products every month. They're also committed to being carbon neutral. Of course, constantly drinking shakes instead of eating cooked meals is unsustainable. But for someone in a hurry, they seem to be a viable alternative. Plus, their meals are tasty. Read more about them here.
While researching Jimmy Joy I also came across a website called “Eat This Much”. You can determine your daily caloric expenditure based on your age, weight, height and level of activity. Then, you can choose what you want: lose, maintain or gain weight. Based on that, they propose a proper daily meal plan for you with recipes and grocery lists. The meals are sometimes a bit “alternative”, but I think it’s great what they’re trying to accomplish. If you’re interested you can use this link to get a total of 6 weeks of Premium subscription.
In 2019, Google AI used deep learning to help non-dermatologists diagnose skin diseases. According to their blog post, there’s a shortage of dermatologists, but 37% of people in the US have at least one skin complaint. At the time of writing, non-dermatologists used traditional resources to help with the diagnosis. That included textbooks, online resources and consultations. Google AI thus developed a “deep learning system” (DLS) to help doctors diagnose the most common skin conditions. They achieved accuracy across 26 different ones. Recently, Nature Medicine also published the findings of their study.
About a month ago Withings, a medical devices company, published data on people’s performance during quarantine. They collected data from 2 million users of their watches, scales, BP monitors and temperature monitors. Some of the findings were really surprising.
- Most people around the world gained only a small amount of weight. This is probably due to approximately the same level of activity and healthier home-cooked meals.
- Some clusters saw an increase in daily steps. Even more, the amounts of yoga practice, hiking, cycling and running have all increased.
- Most people are sleeping more and have less heart rate anomalies during sleep.
- Unsurprisingly though, there’s been a huge spike in temperature measurements.
Reality vs Hallucination
This is a brilliant (or delightfully disorienting) TED talk by a neuroscientist Anil Seth. He hypothesises that we’re hallucinating all the time - he refers to it as a controlled hallucination. Then, when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it reality. He goes on and also talks about how we perceive our body. The brain makes the best guess of what is apart of our body and what is not.
I came across a website from Drew Berry, an animator, that makes great biomedical animations. Some of them are visualisations of DNA, apoptosis, Golgi Apparatus, photosynthesis and so on.
Once again, Readwise did an amazing job resurfacing my Kindle highlights. Here’s one about sleep and immunity from “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker:
”Those participants who obtained seven to nine hours’ sleep in the week before getting the flu shot generated a powerful antibody reaction, reflecting a robust, healthy immune system. In contrast, those in the sleep-restricted group mustered a paltry response, producing less than 50 percent of the immune reaction their well-slept counterparts were able to mobilize.”
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