FDA Approves Device That Employs Electrical Waves to Conquer Cravings
Electroceuticals -- electrical signals used to trick the brain into thinking the gut is full -- have been approved by the FDA to treat obesity.
For the first time, electroceuticals -- electrical signals used to trick the brain into thinking the gut is full -- have been approved by the FDA to treat obesity. Roger Highfield of Newsweek explains the science behind the devices manufactured by the US company EnteroMedics:
"If their initial promise holds good, this approach could be a gentle option next to stomach stapling, which carries a 0.5% risk of death, would have fewer side effects, such as frequent diarrhea, and be reversible too.
Their target is the vagus nerve, a bundle of neurons that provides a major highway taking signals back and forth from the brain to many of the major organs. The vagus does a plethora of jobs, including helping to control heart rate, breathing, secretion of stomach acids and appetite. It also feeds information back to the brain on how various body systems are operating.'
By blocking signals along the nerves that connect the brain and stomach, the device 'promotes earlier feelings of fullness, which can help people with obesity reduce the number of calories consumed.'"
Highfield notes that this is first new obesity treatment approved by the FDA in over a decade. Initial trials showed that patients exhibited about 25% excess weight loss after a year. Check out the full article below to learn more about the merging of science and psychology that seeks to help fight back the approaches of widespread obesity.
Read more at Newsweek
Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.
- Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
- In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Want to be smarter than you were yesterday? Learn to have better conversations using these 3 design principles.
- What is a great conversation? They are the ones that leave us feeling smarter or more curious, with a sense that we have discovered something, understood something about another person, or have been challenged.
- There are 3 design principles that lead to great conversations: humility, critical thinking, and sympathetic listening.
- Critical thinking is the celebrated cornerstone of liberalism, but next time you're in a challenging and rewarding conversation, try to engage sympathetic listening too. Understanding why another intelligent person holds ideas that are at odds with your own is often more enlightening than merely hunting for logic errors.
A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
The reason one diet does not suit all may be found in our guts.