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Sleep, fat, and the mysteries of leptin
Leptin is a hormone that helps to regulate weight. It usually works like a safety valve. The more fat tissue you have, the more leptin you produce, which tells your body to eat less and expend more energy. Of the whole obese population, though, only 5 percent have congenital abnormalities that cause low leptin production. Many obese people have very high leptin levels but have developed resistance to this hormone, so their bodies don’t hear the message it gives. . . . The adverse effects of high leptin levels on cardiovascular function remain, however, even when the body has developed resistance to
the fat-reducing effect.

Leptin resistance also correlates with obstructive sleep apnea, a
problem in which people stop breathing while they sleep. We had something of a clinical gestalt in our lab. Many people with sleep apnea came in saying they had put on significant weight in the preceding year . . . . It turns out that treating sleep apnea lowers leptin levels and seems to decrease body fat also. The bottom line is there’s a relation among sleep apnea, leptin, and visceral fat that needs to be better understood.

—Virend Somers, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, in his talk on "Obesity, Leptin, and Cardiovascular Disease," sponsored by the Vascular Biology Seminar Series on September 15, 2003


Scripted religions
Most religions are scripted. Even if it’s the Whole Earth Catalog, you have to have something to refer to.

—Martin E. Marty, Robert W. Woodruff Visiting Professor of Interdisciplinary Religious Studies, in a talk sponsored by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion, on September 8, 2003