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FDA Study Concludes The Supplement Kratom Is An Opioid

Feb 06 2018 - 19:02
Though unusually ethically suspect supplement merchants have been marketing kratom, an analgesic made from the leaves of a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms, significant safety concerns exist.

And it turns out kratom itself is an opioid, finds an FDA study. 
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Your Main Reference For Resonances Decaying To Boson Pairs

Feb 02 2018 - 04:02
Some shameless self-promotion is in order today, as my review titled "Hadron Collider Searches for Diboson Resonances", meant for publication on the prestigious journal "Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics", has been made available on the Cornell Arxiv.
My review covers quite extensively the topic, as it is not constrained in length as other reviews usually are. At 76 pages, and with 500 references, it aims to be the main reference on this type of physics for the next five years or so - at least, this is the stipulation with PPNP. Whether I managed to make it such, it is something to be judged by others.

The plan of the work is as follows:
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Gravitational Effects Explain Muon Magnetic Moment Anomaly Away!!

Feb 01 2018 - 10:02
The field of particle physics is populated with believers and skeptics. The believers will try to convince you that new physics is about to be discovered, or that is anyway at close reach. The skeptics will on the other hand look at the mass of confirmations of the current theory -the Standard Model- and claim that any speculation about the existence of discoverable new phenomena has no basis. -->

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Debunked: Earth’s Magnetic Poles To Swap And Make Parts Of Earth Uninhabitable - NOT

Jan 31 2018 - 19:01

This has been running in numerous sensationalist press stories and other outlets with less careful journalists. It’s all based on a story in Undark by a journalist promoting their new book. And it is full of nonsense, utter codswallop. Here is the original story:

This is written by a journalist who has written a good historical book - got a review in Nature, see below. But the science in this article is appalling. The author just isn’t a scientist and has misunderstood some of her material sadly.

There are many serious errors in the article.

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Citizen Science: Amateur Astronomer Finds Satellite NASA Lost For At Least 12 Years

Jan 31 2018 - 11:01
The Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) project was launched in 2000 to create the first comprehensive images of atmospheric plasma in our magnetosphere, a kind of cosmic demilitarized zone with plasmas of both solar and terrestrial origin. It was still functioning in 2002 when it completed its initial go but then failed to make contact again on a routine pass by the Earth in 2005. 

And NASA lost track of it. Like all NASA missions, they can never say failure so even though it only did one thing they declared it worth the $150 million. 
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Gary Hirshberg And Stonyfield Learn That Casual Sexism Is No Longer Okay

Jan 31 2018 - 10:01

Stonyfield Farm, an organic corporation started by Samuel Kaymen in 1983, really rocketed to prominence when its then president, Gary Hirshberg, discovered a way to increase his market share with not much marketing cost at all: where most companies marketed by saying all the benefits and improvements they have, Hirshberg began marketing what it did not have. And that missing thing was science.

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Stereotype Threat Reversal: When Female Chess Players Compete Against Men, They Excel

Jan 30 2018 - 16:01
Stereotype threat is a sociological invention which seeks to rationalized why some people don't perform as well as others. In biology, for example, if a group of women didn't fare well on tests sociologists argue that if there were not enough women in the classroom, women felt like they were representing women in biology and if they didn't do well, all women would look bad. And that pressure caused them to not do well.

Outside the social justice world, in the realm of data, there is one area where women are not being told by the social sciences they are too intimidated to compete: chess. There, it's game on. 
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If Mom Had An Abortion, Teens More Likely To Have One Also

Jan 29 2018 - 16:01

In the developed world, abortions are common despite ubiquitous condoms, birth control and even the "morning after pill" - about 6.7 million per year.

In Canada, the teen pregnancy rate is 28 per 1000, with more than 50 percent of those ending in abortion, so a study in Canadian Medical Association Journal decided to see what was different about teens who had an abortion versus teens that did not. 

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Dijet Resonances With A Photon, And The 150 GeV ATLAS Excess

Jan 29 2018 - 07:01
A search just posted on the Cornell arXiv by the ATLAS Collaboration caught my eye today, as it involves a signature which I have been interested on for quite a while. This is the final state of proton-proton collisions that includes an energetic photon and a recoiling dijet system, when the dijet system may be the result of the decay of a W or Z boson - or of a heavier partner of the Z, called Z'. 


The setting
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The Doomsday Clock Is More Accurately A ‘Symbolic Clock For Averting Disasters’

Jan 28 2018 - 17:01

We get a regular announcment by the bulletin of Atomic Scientists at this time of year every year. It doesn't mean anything is going to happen soon. Indeed their focus is on the long term, not the short term. For instance the Cuban missile crisis didn’t lead to a shift in the clock. It is nothing to do with any short term politics about Norht Korea or Iran. Nowadays they also include global warming as an issue and the worst effects of that will be towards the end of the century. So when it says “2 minutes” - those minutes are not an actual time period. It’s a metaphor, indeed hyperbole (exaggerated analogy for emotional effect). The Doomsday Clock is neither about Doomsday and nor is it a clock.

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Why Aren't More Of You A Lefty?

Jan 27 2018 - 07:01

In graduate school, I earned beer money by modeling for life drawing classes in various art departments. (Don’t judge, grad school doesn’t pay well and beer isn’t free.) In the long hours standing around, I would survey the room and count how many of the aspiring artists were left-handed. Later in my career, I did the same thing — counting lefties, not standing around naked — in the biology classes I taught.

Funny thing, in any given class, around 10 per cent of the students were lefties. It turns out this is true for all human populations, not only middle-America university classes. Globally, about 90 per cent of people are righties. But why?

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The Real Risks Of A 'Natural' Dog Diet

Jan 26 2018 - 06:01

Just as many people are trying to eat less processed food to improve their health, some dog owners are turning away from conventional pet food. Instead they’re trying to get back to what they see as a more traditional “butcher’s dog” diet of raw meat, albeit with pre-prepared products that can be served easily and frozen for convenience.

A recent study has raised concerns about the health risks of these raw meat based diet products as possible sources of some bacterial and parasitic diseases. But just how big a problem is this, and who is really at risk?

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Plenitude Principle As Necessary For Fundamental Physics And Much More

Jan 25 2018 - 23:01

The Plenitude Principle says “all possible exists”. According to hype, the Plenitude Principle is the result of quantum mechanics and particular Many Worlds Interpretations (MWI) of quantum physics. However, the Plenitude Principle is self-evident and likely many thousand years old. Pierre Fermat suggested considering ‘parallel worlds’ to Blaise Pascal in 1654 [Devlin 2008]. Such scientific Many Worlds/Minds (MW/M) descriptions facilitated the development of probability theory and were essential in the development of statistical mechanics in the nineteenth century, for example in the work of Boltzmann [Cohen 1997] and Ehrenfest [1912].

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This 'super Blue Blood Moon' Lunar Eclipse Is Just Light From Sunsets And Sunrises Shining On Distant Rock Of The Moon

Jan 25 2018 - 15:01

I’m cointinuing to get scared PMs and posts to our Doomsday Debunked group about the lunar eclipse on 31st January. There is nothing at all to worry about. You’ve had lunar eclipses like this many times in your life and never noticed. Now it appears in Facebook Trending with comments - and many people, children and adults, get all scared of it.

So first, Facebook Trending is not a reliable news source. It is just a rag bag of whatever is going viral at the moment. They have some automatic filtering that is supposed to get rid of the worst nonsense - but there is no human oversight. It has often served up fake news in the past.

See this article in the Washington Post from last year

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If Biased Algorithms Are Everywhere, Does That Mean They Are Ineffective?

Jan 23 2018 - 06:01
In 2018, you can guess the politics of many people by which newspapers they read, and you could also do that 100 years ago. Certainly some people, like me, read both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times but if someone defaults to MSNBC or Fox News, you can estimate their voting record with high levels of accuracy. -->

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RIP To Science 2.0 Journalist Greg Critser

Jan 22 2018 - 11:01
Science 2.0 community, it is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of long-time science journalist Greg Critser, the earliest science journalist to sign up on this site, in 2007.
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Why Is Illegal Immigration - And Everything Else - Once Again More Important Than Science?

Jan 20 2018 - 13:01
Yesterday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate which, along with the House of Representatives, form the two chambers of Congress, which are one of the three branches of government,(1) refused to fund a "continuing resolution" to essentially keep funding government as is while a long-term budget is negotiated. 

Once again, there are a few claims that this will mean catastrophe for science funding, but many are now saying shutting down government is necessary and even courageous. Yet this exact same event occurred two, four, five, seven and even 22 years ago and it was framed as reckless and dangerous and a disaster for science.

What is different? Those other times a Democrat was President and Republicans were balking.
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How Plants Sense The World

Jan 20 2018 - 12:01

Plants somehow respond to environmental cues and dangers, especially virulent pathogens, despite a lack of eyes or ears.

How is that possible? It's thanks to hundreds of membrane proteins that can sense microbes or other stresses, but only a small portion of these sensing proteins have been studied through classical genetics, and knowledge on how these sensors function by forming complexes with one another is scarce.

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New Didactic Challenge: Turn The Roulette Table On The Casino

Jan 20 2018 - 09:01
SOCK-PUPPET: All your talk about betting strategies is irrelevant to the casino. The casino takes the money from those who just lost and gives it to those who won, from black to red or red to black. On average, every 37 times the ball hits the zero and the casino takes all the money on the table.

 

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Accelerating Dark Matter Searches With Machine Learning

Jan 18 2018 - 13:01
I am currently spending the week in Leiden (Netherlands), attending to a very interesting workshop that brought together computer scientists, astronomers, astrophysicists, and particle physicists to discuss how to apply the most cutting-edge tools in machine learning to improve our chances of discovering dark matter, the unknown non-luminous substance that vastly overweights luminous matter in the Universe. -->

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