Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. That means you will not see your comment when you post it. It will instead show up within 48 hours, along with my response if one is appropriate.

All comments are welcome and will be posted, even if they are negative. You just can't promote other sites or products in them.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at

Otherwise, this blog and my Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse are now legacy sites, meaning that I am not updating them any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

My old website can be found at

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or or or a whole lot of other places that Smashwords is suppose to distribute the book to. Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

LI Celebrity Alert: Steven Pinker

It feels great to write about a celebrity who is also a scientist. There are so few of those around.

But Steven Pinker is pretty close to a bona fide celebrity. He's written five books for a general audience, The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate (2002), and The Stuff of Thought (2007). And he has the best scientist hair since Einstein.

He was a guest on The Colbert Report this week to talk about how he had his full genome read and all the genetic traits and tendencies that revealed. One of them was that he was lactose intolerant.

Watch the whole interview by clicking here.

A bit of searching found that he wrote about this in a very long essay in the New York Times Magazine. There he calls the appearance of the gene for lactose intolerance a "wrong prediction" since he tolerates ice cream just fine. And he also has the gene for a high risk of baldness.

That's the good news for those of you who get nervous thinking about what's hidden inside your own personal genome. You are not your genes. They guide but they don't rule.

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