The role of histamine in our bodies is complex, to say the least. The endeavor to understand how genetics and nutrition influence this widely-used molecule may prove fruitful in addressing issues such as Histamine Intolerance, Mast-Cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and a myriad of other conditions.

Source: Optimus Medica

Histamine’s broad role in our bodies makes it relevant to nearly every major system. As such, dysregulated histamine can impact nearly every major system. Be it from a downregulated HNMT gene, excess histamine consumption, or gut dysbiosis — resulting sometimes in histamine intolerance (HIT) — can wreak absolute havoc on a body.

Both dietary and genetic considerations dictate the dynamics of histamine in our bodies. Research shows those with certain genetic variations are more susceptible to histamine dysregulation. Further complexity arises from the influence of certain foods and supplements on histamine.


What do OTC medications for upset stomach, heartburn, insomnia, and itchy skin all have in common? They are antihistamines, and understanding a bit more about them can help better navigate the aisles of your local drugstore during your next visit.

Source: Optimus Medica

Antihistamines are among the most valued over-the-counter (OTC) medications to the United States healthcare system. These non-prescription medications address health conditions characterized by respiratory issues, skin issues, and many more (9).

These OTC medications work by targeting histamine receptors throughout the body. By binding to these sites, antihistamines can effectively reduce the influence of histamine molecules which are known to produce symptoms of allergic response such as indigestion, dry or itchy eyes, runny nose, and itchy skin.


Histamine plays a pivotal role in the response to allergens in the human body. …

Researchers find evidence that early childhood exposure to common air pollutants has long-lasting negative impacts on immune system and cardiovascular health.

These effects were noted by observing changes in immune cell activity, expression of immunological genes, and blood pressure measurements. These findings highlight a growing concern over the negative impact of air pollution on health and help to describe with more exact detail the true nature of air pollution’s impact on the developing immune system.

Source: Optimus Medica

Negative Impact Over Short & Long-Term Exposures

The study, led by Stanford-based researcher Mary Prunikci (1), describes the negative impact of exposure to common air pollutants such as wildfire smoke, car exhaust, and ground-level ozone.

The research team monitored immunological changes in school-aged children over the course of a year to estimate how…

Getting the date in Python is a simple task. However, getting the weekday name (in plain-English) isn’t as straightforward. Fortunately, there are a few simple approaches for returning user-friendly date names.

Drawing of a calendar
Drawing of a calendar
Photo from Overcoded.

Getting the Date and Weekday

Before we take a look at getting the weekday name, let’s consider how Python’s datetime class gets a date and subsequently determines the day of the week for said date. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it pays to know where you’re starting.

This code illustrates how far the datetime class will get you before you have to start getting creative. Before we move on, there are two things worth noting:

Check out the official datetime.weekday documentation for more info. Now…

What makes a programming language popular? Is it available libraries, maturity — syntactic sugar? While such qualitative answers may not be easy to answer, usage data from GitHub can provide more concrete insight.

most popular programming languages rankings illustration
most popular programming languages rankings illustration
Image from OverCoded

Each year, GitHub publishes The State of the Octoverse (SOTO) — a comprehensive analysis of user data. This annual report looks at things like geographics, gender, usage data, and tons more. When it comes to gathering usage data for programming languages — what better source than GitHub?

Most Popular Programming Languages

Amidst the SOTO report is a listing of the most popular programming languages — determined by total repository accumulation — measured over the past 6 years (2014-). While there are hundreds of languages out there, these are the top 10 most popular programming languages:

10. Ruby/Objective-C (tie)

Python’s set is a powerful collections data type that offers several performance benefits over list objects in certain cases

Image by OverCoded

Python is one of the world’s most popular programming languages for good reason — it provides powerful built-in data types to handle common problems. The set datatype can be used for performant collections where uniqueness is required. Python sets are more performant than listswhen it comes to lookups but slightly less performant when iterating over elements.

Quick Introduction to Python’s Set Datatype

Python sets provide several methods by which elements can be added, removed, or retrieved. The most straightforward(ish) method is the set.add() method. The official Python documentation describes sets in the following way (R):

“A set is an unordered collection with no duplicate elements. Basic…

Using Python to download files from the internet is super easy and possible using only standard library functions

Python download file illustration by Overcoded
Python download file illustration by Overcoded
Photo from OverCoded.

Other libraries, most notably the Python Requests library, can provide a clearer API for those more concerned with higher-level operations. This article outlines three ways to download a file using Python with a short discussion of each.

1. urllib.request.urlretrieve

Python’s urllib library offers a range of functions designed to handle common URL-related tasks. This includes parsing, requesting, and — you guessed it — downloading files. Let’s consider a basic example of downloading the robots.txt file from

Note: urllib’s urlretrieve is considered “legacy” from Python 2 and, in the words of the Python documentation, “might become deprecated at some point in…

What happens when a computer program runs? What happens when a developer compiles a program? These are questions fundamental to the process of Computer translation and are essential in understanding how computers ingest human-friendly languages and turn them into machine code.

computer translation image
computer translation image
Image by Overcoded

Modern translation pipelines often make use of distributed systems like cloud-based solutions, dynamic link libraries, and virtualization. Advances in translation strategies are nothing short of inspiring. At their heart, however, these pipelines encompass several fundamental steps having been taken by Computer Scientists for decades.

Machine Translation Steps

The Internet is a messy place connected by presumably unreliable infrastructure — but we make it work! How can an unreliable network provide a reliable communications platform? Reliable Data Transfer Protocols help make it happen and understanding their core functions is essential to understanding computer networks.

Image from Overcoded

Reliable data transfer protocols (RDT, RDP) are algorithmic measures to provide assurances of the reliable transfer of data across a network that may be subject to data loss and/or corruption. RDT involves sender-side and receiver-side sequences and variables to validate, acknowledge, and retransmit data when necessary.

The goal of RDT protocols is to provide network and link layer service such that application and transport layer services can make guarantees about data delivery.


Reliable Data Transfer Protocols must address the two primary concerns of data loss and data corruption. …

Network protocol layering is a system of service hierarchy used in networked computer communication. Each layer offers a set of guaranteed services to the layer above such that higher-level abstractions can be built while making assumptions about lower-level transport services.

These services allow ensuring a certain level of operability such that higher-layered protocols can take the lower-level features for granted. Another benefit is that developers of layer-specific applications can focus on their primary goals rather than wrestling with the functionality of other layers.

Image by Overcoded


For example, in TCP/IP communication, the transport layer offers a Reliable Data Protocol (RDP) service. This allows developers to focus on the logic of networked applications rather than the delivery of generated data.

For example, web browsers can use HTTP protocol — an application layer protocol — to ensure communication between clients and hosts are facilitated without…

Zack West

A self-confessed health nut, student of Computer Science, SEO nut, and 3D artist. Can be found marveling at Mother Nature’s genius when away from the computer.

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