Q&A with Dr. Paul Clayton

Dr. Paul Clayton graduated summa cum laude in Medical Pharmacology from Edinburgh University, prior to obtaining his PhD. A former Chair of the Forum on Food & Health (UK), and Senior Scientific Advisor to the UK government’s Committee on the Safety of Medicines, he is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Food, Brain & Behaviour (Oxford).

You can find out more about Paul in his new blog at paulclayton.eu. The good thing is that it is open field, and he writes about anything that interests him. The bad things are the same as the good things.

Why I chose Paul? He has a dog and he loves fat.

 

ABOUT HUMANS

Q: Where is the essence of human existence?

A: Nature is all about competition and the struggle of the individual to survive; mixed with some cooperation, in situations where cooperation helps the group to survive. Humans have the luxury of an over-sized brain, so we can decide – if we want – to promote cooperation over competition. Both are necessary; the difficult thing is getting the right balance of the two. Learning is one of the most elements in the mix; learning what the world is, what we are, how we might be able to improve ourselves and others, and how we can best balance competition with cooperation. The cessation of learning is death.

Q: If you can choose one, what would be free “hack” to live healthier life?

A: Don’t smoke.

Q: What thing would you take to uninhabited and inhabited islands?

A: If uninhabited, a fishing rod and all the related tackle. If inhabited – a Glock 22.

 

ABOUT DOGS

Q: Dogs and humans. How would you describe their relationship?

A: Primeval. And is speaks to the cooperative aspect of nature, where mutual benefit overtakes simple competition. The fascinating Russian experiments where wolves were effectively tamed by selective breeding over a mere 3 generations show us that cooperation can be created (or hacked, if you prefer).

Q: How dogs affect humans?

A: There are healthy human/canine relationships, and pathological ones. In the best case a dog can put you in touch with simple truths that are easily corrupted and forgotten in human society, such as love, honesty and loyalty. In the worst cases, the relationship becomes as corrupt as any other relationship the dog owner might have; a sort of Gresham’s Law of the emotions.

Q: If you can choose one, what would be free “hack” for dog to live healthier?

A: Don’t smoke, especially if you are a beagle. And don’t eat processed foods.

 

P.S.

According toBroad Institute of MIT and Harvard, dogs are more than 87% genetically similar to humans. Genetic diversity and sharing of similar DNA, physiology, microscopic structure and molecular features between dogs and humans have presented researchers with a key opportunity. Dogs not only develop similar types of severe health problems as humans, but their illnesses respond to treatments in similar ways.

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