Speaking of Keasling—a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology—an interesting look at the DIY culture behind biology and synthetic biology in particular.
Earl F. Cheit—former executive vice chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley and dean & professor emeritus of the Haas School of Business—passed away on August 2. Our condolences to his loved ones.
How business jargon proactively synergizes corporate infrastructure
When was the last time you were asked to elevate the executive vision to better synergize with the end-user's mission statement?
Working with those Trojans down south, Professor Geoffrey Nunberg, known for his linguistic skills, took a look at why you business types have an infamously beautiful way with words. They believe this kind of language improves the public perception of the speaker, inspiring confidence in leadership and the perception of power, as opposed to people who speak in the details.
Nunberg says business-speak really got going in the 1970s. "That was the moment when people started talking about corporate culture. That was when managers began to feel that workers could be motivated not just by their salaries and job security, but by a kind of language."
Language that made people feel like going to the office every day was important and epic, says Nunberg. "You gave people a special language to speak that suggested that the work experience was somehow different and grander than the experience of ordinary life. You had champions in the workplace. You make mission statements and you have a vision."
Furthermore, this was used as a weapon to further separate management from their underlings. Masters of this language used it to appear better than others, thus deserving of more cash monies. Business jargon has become a tool to separate management from their subordinates in both power and pay.
What are some of your business-speak horror stories? What is the worst or most nonsensical thing you've heard in a meeting?
Some like it hot
How heartbroken were you over the potential Sriracha outage a few months back? Berkeley studies show that, regardless of your palette's peppery preferences, a shortage of chili may have a profound impact on your heart and health.
The active compound of these peppers is capsaicin, which interacts with the cellular receptor TRPV1 to produce the sensation of heat. Exposure to capsaicin causes cells to decrease the effect of the mysteriously-named substance P, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pain, which is why analgesic pain-relief ointments burn so good. Additionally, capsaicin causes blood vessels to relax and dilate, so there's potential application in patients with high blood pressure.
But wait, there's more!
You old folks have a "higher incidence of pain," which led Professor Andrew Dillin to believe in a link between age and pain. While this may sound tenuous, silly, and like any other Spurious Correlation at first glance, Dillin actually found some truth behind that connection.
[Dillin and his] team found that mice genetically manipulated to lack TRPV1 lived on average about 14% longer than normal mice and, importantly, without apparent complications.
Blocking the pain receptor not only extends lifespan, it also gave the mice a more youthful metabolism, including an improved insulin response that allows them to deal better with high blood sugar. "Pharmacological manipulation of TRPV1 may improve metabolic health and longevity," Dillin says.
I guess it's time for us all to start gorging en masse on hot chilis (which, as the article explains, will hurt on the way in and the way out) for prolonged life and metabolic health. Just don't wash it down with a vitamin drink!
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