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Updated: 1 hour 11 min ago

Is Chris Portier The Andrew Wakefield Of Pesticides?

5 hours 3 min ago

Christopher Portier, Ph.D., recently gave a deposition in liability litigation hearings related to cases filed by environmental lawyers against Monsanto’s Roundup. If you are not aware, Dr. Portier is external special adviser to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working group that prepared the Group 2A classification (“Probably carcinogenic to humans”) for glyphosate, the key component of Roundup.

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Merging Neutron Stars: Why It's A Breakthrough, And Why You Should Stand Your Ground

9 hours 49 min ago
Like many others, I listened to yesterday's (10/16/17) press release at the NSF without a special prior insight in the physics of neutron star mergers, or in the details of the measurements we can extract from the many observations that the detected event made possible. My knowledge of astrophysics is quite incomplete and piecemeal, so in some respects I could be considered a "layman" listening to a science outreach seminar. Yet, of course, as a physicist I have a good basic understanding of the processes at the heart of the radiation emissions that took place two hundred million years ago in that faint, otherwise unconspicuous galaxy in Hydra.  -->

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BPA – Nothing New Under The Sun?

Oct 16 2017 - 15:10

It’s been shown that the primary route of human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) is through the diet.   One source of BPA in the diet is the protective coating inside many food and beverage cans, which helps to protect the safety and integrity of the food.  Epoxy resin-based coatings have been used for decades because they excel in this

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The Homeopathy Beliefs About Neonicotinoids And Honey

Oct 16 2017 - 14:10
If you read a headline declaring that scientists had discovered that up to 75 percent of human food samples was found to be contaminated with some scary-sounding substance, like arsenic? (1)

You'd be worried, and rightfully so. But if you then found many paragraphs into the story that the scientists admit that the scary substance is in such minuscule traces that they can't possible pose a risk to human health. In an era of "fake news", you'd feel like that's just what you got.
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WPA2 Flaw Means Almost Every Phone, PC and Router Is At Risk

Oct 16 2017 - 09:10
A vulnerability in the common WPA2 Wi-Fi security protocol means practically every device that connects to a router (which is just about all of them) can be exploited to reveal access to credit card information, passwords and more. The Key Reinstallation Attacks (Krack Attacks) allow anyone in physical proximity to gain access. A flavor of Linux and devices using Android 6.0 and up are especially vulnerable. 

Changing the password won't do any good, the devices themselves need to be updated, so if you are using old technology you may be out of luck. The groups with most to lose will be corporations so they are likely to be updating.


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Racism Beliefs Prove Why Polling Is Often Worthless

Oct 13 2017 - 00:10

Admittedly, I hold a rather dismal view of my fellow human beings. The average person just isn't all that bright or informed. Google "Jay Leno Jaywalking," "Lie Witness News," or "Florida Man," and you'll see what I mean.

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Racism Beliefs Prove Why Polling Is Often Worthless

Oct 13 2017 - 00:10

Admittedly, I hold a rather dismal view of my fellow human beings. The average person just isn't all that bright or informed. Google "Jay Leno Jaywalking," "Lie Witness News," or "Florida Man," and you'll see what I mean.

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No, Yellowstone Is Not Going To Erupt As A Supervolcano Soon. No, It Can’t Destroy Mankind!

Oct 13 2017 - 00:10

There are many stories about Yellowstone today by journalists saying it will erupt as a super volcano soon and that the effects will be devastating. No that is not what the study was about.

First, there is no sign of it erupting.

Then what about the study? The scientists looked at when it last erupted as a supervolcano hundreds of thousands of years ago.

It took two or three decades to go from normal to a supervolcano. Before, scientists thought this would take thousands of years

Nobody even knows if it will ever erupt again as a supervolcano. It may have finished doing that.

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Cause Of Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma In The Liver Identified

Oct 12 2017 - 16:10

Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, a form of liver cancer mainly found among children and young people, currently has surgery as the only treatment available. But even then less than 40 percent of patients will survive beyond five years.

It might help to discover what causes it.

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Moms Told They Must Sleep On Their Side In Late Pregnancy - But Evidence Is Lacking

Oct 12 2017 - 13:10

Expectant moms get a lot of advice from the Internet, friends, and even strangers. It's a lot of judgment, given that this miracle of birth has already happened 13 billion times without anyone telling mothers to eat purple vegetables or their child won't get into Stanford.

The digital age, where publication is cheap, coupled with epidemiology which can show almost anything, has led to a lot of confusion. But when the word "stillbirth" is invoked, as was recently down in The Journal of Physiology, pregnant women will panic. 

Yet they shouldn't. No babies were harmed in a study which nonetheless claims babies could be harmed if moms sleep on their backs. 

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Trump: “Must It Be Today Jesus? Three Years Left Of My Presidency!” David Meade’s Bonkers Prophesies For October

Oct 11 2017 - 20:10

This will seem utterly bonkers to most of you. But while reading this please bear in mind that very young children, many as young as 14 and younger, have been driven to the edge of suicide by these prophesies. More on this later but I want to open out by showing to them how bonkers his ideas are. The rest of you may find amusement in it too. But it has a very serious side to it. Remember this chap is making people suicidal with his prophesies, and he is heavily promoted by the Daily Express. What can we do about it? It's a major societal problem.

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Trevor Hastie Lectures In Padova

Oct 11 2017 - 13:10
Trevor Hastie, the Stanford University guru on Statistical Learning (he coined the term together with his colleagues Tibshirani and Friedman) is in Padova this week, where he is giving a short course on his pet topic and a seminar. I am happy to report this as this was partly made possible by the European Union-funded network of which I am the project coordinator, AMVA4NewPhysics. But most of the merit is of Prof. Giovanna Menardi, PI of the Padova node of the network, who organized it... And of course I am happy because I am learning from his insightful lectures!

(Above, prof. Menardi introduces the lectures).
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What Do CT, MA, NY And California Share In Common? Voting And Anti-Vaccine Beliefs

Oct 06 2017 - 15:10
When corporate media revealed during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election campaign that Donald Trump had expressed anti-vaccine sentiments, Democrats in "blue states breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, journalists could claim anti-vaccine sentiment was bipartisan.
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Vitamin D Linked To Fewer Asthma Attacks - If You Take Asthma Medication

Oct 05 2017 - 08:10
Alternative medicine frauds like Dr. Allan Spreen of the ironically named Institute of Health Sciences (they claim their supplement can cure cancer in 6 weeks) may be rejoicing about a new study showing Vitamin D can protect against asthma attacks but the attacks were only reduced when people took standard asthma medication. 

Asthma affects more than 300 million people worldwide and is estimated to shorten lifespan for up to 400,000 people annually. Asthma deaths are primarily due to viral upper respiratory infections which cause asthma attacks. 
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Strength Training Is Safe And Benefits Older Women With Low Bone Mass

Oct 04 2017 - 09:10
Exercise of all kinds is known to be beneficial to bone health but there is reluctance to use high intensity programs in older women with low bone mass because of concerns about increased risk of fracture or other injury. 

Yet high intensity doesn't need to be prolonged, according to a new study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research which found that even 30 minutes twice a week of high intensity resistance and impact training improved functional performance and bone density, structure, and strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mass (T-score < –1.0), without adverse effects.
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Stephen Paddock: May His Name Be Obliterated

Oct 03 2017 - 18:10
With 89 guns for every 100 people, the U.S. by far has the most number of guns per capita. In total, there are about 310 million weapons in the United States.

While that sounds alarming, the number of guns isn't necessarily the problem. Indeed, according to CNN, several European countries have a high prevalence of gun ownership, as well. Switzerland (46 guns per 100 people), Finland (45 per 100), and Sweden (32 per 100) are all packing pretty serious heat.

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The Physics Of Boson Pairs

Oct 01 2017 - 05:10
At 10:00 AM this morning, my smartphone alerted me that in two months I will have to deliver a thorough review on the physics of boson pairs - a 50 page thing which does not yet even exist in the world of ideas. So I have better start planning carefully my time in the next 60 days, to find at least two clean weeks where I may cram in the required concentration. That will be the hard part!
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Organic Food Leads To Surge In Manure Methane Emissions

Sep 29 2017 - 10:09
The realization that livestock like cows are ruminants - and produce a lot of methane while chewing - was a real boon to vegetarian activists because they got to say curbing meat would mean less global warming.

Methane has 23X the warming power of the more popular CO2 in climate change estimates but it drastically shorter in duration. Still, that is enough. When natural gas caused American CO2 emissions from energy to plummet back to early 1990s levels, solar and wind lobbyists and their environmental allies claimed that methane, which they had endorses as an alternative to coal for decades, was suddenly a crisis.
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Gravitational Wave GW170814 Hits Earth

Sep 28 2017 - 18:09

Three detectors tracking gravitational waves emitted by a merger of two black holes have brought science a little closer to locating a gravitational wave's birthplace in space. 

Gravitational waves are ripples in space and time created when two massive, compact objects such as black holes merge. The new detections were made on August 14, 2017 by two gravitational-wave detectors in the United States - Hanford and Livingston at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), operated by Caltech and MIT - and by the Virgo Gravitational-Wave Observatory in Italy. This marks the fourth detection of a binary black-hole system.

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Bumble Bee Studies Show How Science Can Be Massaged

Sep 27 2017 - 17:09

Two recent studies on the health of bumblebees and links to neonicotinoids were published simultaneously last month in sister publications of the prestigious science journal empire Nature.

Both examined closely similar scientific questions, with somewhat different experimental methodologies. They had one big difference: The study that found that neonics caused no serious issues was ignored by the media while the one suggesting a bee-apocalypse was widely played up as “definitive.’

Let’s unpack what these studies actually showed, and reflect on why the studies have been reported on so differently.

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