Relying on caffeine is not always helpful

According to a new study, relying on caffeine to help you through your day can only get you so far.

Caffeine may help you stay awake to attend to a task, but it doesn't help to prevent procedural errors that can cause, for example, medical mistakes and car accidents.

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The study investigated the effect of caffeine on the completion of simple tasks as well as place-keeping tasks - tasks that need to be completed in a specific order without skipping or repeating steps.

The study looked at the effect of caffeine after a period of sleep deprivation.

  • They found sleep deprivation affected both types of tasks and that caffeine helped people achieve simple tasks.
  • But caffeine had little effect on the performance of place-keeping tasks.
  1. The nose is the most influenced DNA facial feature.
  2. Genetic influence is not uniform or predictable, as certain genetic factors interact with the genome in complex ways, known as epistasis.
  3. Certain facial features are linked with the probability of diseases like cancer.
  4. Genetic understanding of this kind, previously unheard of, will advance personalised treatments and help in forecasting upcoming physical and mental health issues.
How Genes Determine Our Facial Features

We often see similar facial appearances of family members in photo albums, observing how genes determine certain distinctive features in our bodies.

In-depth genetic knowledge and how our DNA is linked to facial appearance is a relatively new accomplishment by geneticists. 130 chromosomal regions which are associated with our facial shapes and features have been identified, in a comprehensive process involving scanning the DNA of 8000 participants.

  • The liver is the first organ to receive the nutrients that are being absorbed by the intestine;
  • The liver is also a gatekeeper because it senses the overall nourishment of the body and stores sugar, fat, and some vitamins;
  • An overabundance of food intake may cause the liver to get overwhelmed and affect its storage capability.
  • We tend to forget that the liver is a part of the organs that respond first against viruses and bacteria. Our livers are filled with cells that help in defending our immune system;
  • There are certain times where the liver aids other organs such as the brain when a person's blood sugar level drops. Since the brain relies on sugar as a source of energy, the liver reserve then releases the nutrients needed.
  • Alcohol cannot be directly excreted thus needing to be transformed in order to be eliminated;
  • The processing of alcohol involves the production of acetaldehyde which is a foreign, toxic molecule so it is quickly transformed into a non-toxic molecule;
  • The consumption of alcohol faster on a regular basis than what the liver can process may cause it to become inflamed which can lead to cirrhosis and permanently scar the liver.
  • The liver makes cholesterol, an important structure, despite its bad reputation;
  • It also makes blood plasma proteins.

One calorie (kcal) = 4.18 kJ

To convert from calories to kJ, multiply calories by 4.18.

For example, a medium-sized banana (118 grams) provides 105 calories (kcal). 105 x 4.18 = 439 kJ.

The term kilocalorie (kilo meaning 1,000) was created to refer to a large calorie. The term small calorie is only used in physics and chemistry research.

This means that with nutrition, the terms calories and kcal equal the same amount of energy (1 kilokalorie = 1 calorie in nutrition.)

Calories are a measure of energy

Calories are the amount of energy in foods and beverages, or the amount of energy you burn exercising.

Energy is measured in Kilocalories (kcal) and kilojoules (kJ). If you're counting calories or comparing the calorie contents of foods, this can cause confusion.

Calories can be small or large.

  • A large calorie estimates the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of water by 1°C (34°F).
  • A small calorie estimates the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram (0.035 ounces) of water by 1°C (34°F)

This means that 1 large calorie = 1,000 small calories, as 1 kg = 1,000 grams.

The PNS's primary role is to connect the CNS to the organs, limbs, and skin. The peripheral nervous system is divided into two parts:

  1. The somatic nervous system. It is responsible for carrying sensory and motor information to and from the CNS.
  2. The automatic nervous system. It is responsible for regulating involuntary body functions, such as heartbeat, digestion, breathing, and blood flow.
  1. The central nervous system (CNS). It includes the brain and spinal cord.
  2. The peripheral nervous system (PNS). It includes all the nerves that branch out from the brain and spinal cord and extends to other parts of the body, including muscles and organs.

The autonomic system controls aspects of the body that are usually not under voluntary control. The autonomic system is divided into two branches:

  1. Parasympathetic system: It helps maintain normal body functions and conserve physical resources. Once a threat is over, this system will slow the heart rate, slow the breathing, reduce blood flow to muscles, and constrict the pupils.
  2. Sympathetic system: This system prepares the body to expend energy to respond to environmental threats - the flight or fight response.

The somatic system is responsible for transmitting sensory information as well as voluntary movement. The system contains two major types of neurons:

  1. Motor neurons. They carry information from the brain and spinal cord to muscle fibers throughout the body. They allow us to take physical action.
  2. Sensory neurons. They allow us to take in sensory information and then carry the information from the nerves to the central nervous system.

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