For the third consecutive year, Apple tops the list of most innovative companies.
A Personal Drive to Know Everything About the Body
Larry Smarr is a little obsessed. When he got interested in saltwater fish, he ended up building a 120-gallon tank aquarium in his living room. And when he got interested in his health, he turned his body into one of the most-monitored reasonably healthy bodies on the planet.
"Think about your car -- very few of us actually understand in detail how the electrical subsystem works," he said Tuesday at The Atlantic Meets the Pacific forum, which looks at new technologies and ideas, and how they will change society as humans apply them. "I go into every subsystem and read how they are working."
Knowing enough means you can do preventative maintenance, said Smarr, the founding director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a UC San Diego-UC Irvine partnership.
"If I knew I had a very high chance of getting Alzheimer's or having a heart attack, I would think more about what I want to do, who I want to be with," he said. "I would spend more time with my granddaughter."
One possible downside to his research is that he extracts a great deal of information from a source many don't want to examine too closely.
"People don't respect their poop," Smarr said. "Forty percent of the dry weight of stool is bacteria. You have five pounds of bacteria in your gut. Stool is microbe rich, microbes being a driving force in our survival."
The good news for Smarr was that studying his body resulted in a weight loss of 25 pounds and a strength gain of 50 percent. The bad news is that it made his refrigerator unusual.
"Microbes rule," Smarr said. "There's so much information in your stool that you're ignoring. You're just flushing it down the toilet -- you're not freezing it?"
Smarr preaches the need for obesity as a national crisis to be addressed by personal responsibility and monitoring.
"I think our nation is in a very dire situation because of people not taking responsibility for their bodies ... and it's going to bankrupt our nation," he said. "(Obesity) is one of the biggest health crises in the history of the country."