Medical breakthrough: Cure for obesity or license to overeat?

I was interested to see different takes on the 'net concerning a bit of recent medical research.  The research involves inhibiting expression of a gene called RCAN1, which seems to regulate body fat.  Long story short, research suggests that inhibiting this gene in mice allows them to remain "thin" in spite of eating a diet in excess of their normal requirements.

The question naturally arises: What does this mean for humans?

Robo grocery delivery?

I was intrigued to read a piece by Joe Dysart in the Communications of the ACM concerning food delivery by self-driving vehicles.  According to the article, there are a number of start-ups working on delivering food parcels to people's doors or curbs using driverless delivery vans.

Is almond milk fake milk?

Kate Yoder of Grist reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering the matter of plant milk.  More specifically, the US dairy industry is trying to get the agency to create regulation restricting the term "milk" to the product of lactation, e.g., cow's milk.  Such a rule would ban the application of "milk" to plant-based liquids, e.g., almond milk.

Is soymilk milk?

Candice Choi published an interesting article in STAT about a controversy regarding "fake milk".  Dairy producers in the USA are asking the Food and Drug Administration to crack down on products with names such as "soymilk", arguing that they are not really milk under FDA rules.

“Mammals produce milk, plants don’t,” said Jim Mulhern, president of the National Milk Producers Federation.

Chacun à son goût

Katherin Schwab has written an interesting piece on FastCompany about a new utensil called the Goûte.  It is basically a wand with a tear-drop shaped end.  Users dip the thick end into viscous foods like yogurt, swirl to get the food to stick, and then put it in their mouths to eat.

When is colored food good?

Increasingly, food companies seem to manipulate food coloration as a marketing ploy.  In 2000, Heinz marketed green ketchup as a way of attracting interest in a humdrum condiment.  This was followed by increasingly odd colors such as purple, pink, orange, teal and blue.

Although the campaign had a good run, Heinz reverted to the traditional red after a few years.

DNN: 7 July 2016

Perhaps the earliest suggestion that consumer drones were about to take off in a big way was the "tacocopter", the little drone brings people tacos from above.  The idea exploded onto the Web in 2012 with the product launch.

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