Coffee, Genes and All The Rest

We end another week with a selection of our editors’ favourite stories and reading recommendations.

As another week passes, we call upon our editors to enlighten us with some of their favourite stories that made the press. Whether it’s something educational that is of interest, or something more alternative, you can count on the Finance Magnates editorial team to fill you in on something you may not already know.

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Sylwester Majewski begins by telling us about an article he read explaining why some of us just can’t tolerate our coffee…

Coffee Break

Who doesn’t start their day at the office with cup of coffee? If you think this is silly question, it’s not – I don’t, really!

Sylwester Majewski Chief Analyst
Sylwester Majewski
Chief Analyst

Ever since I can remember, coffee was not good for me. One cup of ‘black fluid’ and I was alert for most of the day. Even the smallest amount of coffee had an impact on me – it makes me irritated and impulsive, something traders want to avoid at all costs.

Funnily enough, my own mother can drink up to 4 cups of coffee per day and go to sleep just like nothing happened!

I have recently found a cause for this in an article which explains it all. As it happens, there are people with a “caffeine gene”. Scientists from Scotland have identified a gene that may play a role in how the body breaks down caffeine.

A study published in Scientific Reports journal suggests that in people with a certain variation of a gene called PDSS2, caffeine is broken down in the body more slowly and stays there for longer.

“The results of our study add to existing research suggesting that our drive to drink coffee may be embedded in our genes,” said Nicola Pirastu, a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

Now that’s a relief. There are people out there who just like me, do not drink coffee!

Dogs Really Understand When you Speak to Them

This week I suggest you read “Dogs Understand Human Words and Intonation” by Michelle Hampson at AAAS. Animal lovers often encounter ridicule from people when they talk to their pets. Understanding language was long considered a human advantage over all other life forms and suggesting other species can understand us was not accepted by science. Now

Avi Mizrahi Finance Magnates
Avi Mizrahi
Editor

however, we have evidence our best friends at least do understand language.

Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze the dogs’ brain activity as they listened to human speech. The results show that dogs process vocabulary, recognizing distinct word same as us – by using the left hemisphere of the brain.

It was also found that dogs process intonation separately from vocabulary, in auditory regions in the right hemisphere of the brain – again, the same as us.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that dogs are commonly referred to as man’s best friend.

Guns A’ Blazin

Ever thought about how detectives are doing their detective work when a firearm is involved? An article in Gentleman’s Quarterly explores the realm of the firearms register in the United States, or to put it better, the lack thereof. Astonishingly, to this day the U.S. does not hold a computerized record of guns which have been sold in the country.

Victor Golovtchenko Senior Editor
Victor Golovtchenko
Senior Editor

While some parts of the article state that the current status quo is due to the strong gun lobby in the country, we should take into account the second amendment to the constitution which warrants the rights of U.S. citizens to bear arms.

One of the main goals of the second amendment is to warrant that the U.S. government doesn’t get overzealous with power – hence if it holds a register where it has all the guns that are sold to the populous, their weapons can easily be tracked and confiscated.

As is usually the case, privacy comes with a price and police departments across the country have to go through multiple procedures in order to get to the gun-owner of a weapon they discovered at a crime scene.

The current status quo of the gun laws in the U.S. is under question once more, with the last time that substantial action was taken being in the aftermath of the J.F. Kennedy assassination.

That ends another week of stories that our editors are reading. Feel free to share your views in the comment section and any recommendations of your own. We look forward to hearing your opinions!

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