Science 2.0

New Method May Help Developing Countries, By Reducing The Biennial Effect In Coffee

Science 2.0 - 11 hours 1 min ago

More than 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide, which means coffee beans used in all those lattes, espressos and mochas create a livelihood for millions of people worldwide.

Yet coffee plant production remains decidedly low-tech, and gimmick labels like "organic" and "fair trade" keep developing nations growing coffee stuck in the past. That has resulted in a "biennial effect" in yields, where years with high yields are often followed by years with low yields. The biennial effect makes it challenging for coffee breeders to compare yields from different varieties of coffee. Without accurate measures of yield, breeders cannot know which varieties of coffee would be most useful for farmers to grow.

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Bystander Effect Debunked - In 91% Of Real World Cases Someone Helps

Science 2.0 - 11 hours 27 min ago
Bystander apathy is a social psychological construct where it is believed that someone who sees a victim is less likely to offer help when other people are present. They say it is proportional to the number of bystanders because someone else would have helped.

It became a popular idea in pop culture, and therefore made its way into social psychology, after the 1964 case of Kitty Genovese, a 28-year-old woman who was raped and murdered in Queens, New York. 
A New York Times reporter claimed 38 people witnessed it and though that turned out to be a fabrication, social psychologists Bibb LatanĂ© and John Darley formalized it as a phenomenon and numerous other social psychologists claimed to replicate it. But the real world has debunked it. 

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Food Is Too Sweet, Finds Big Data Analysis Of 400,000 Reviews

Science 2.0 - Jun 25 2019 - 07:06
Throughout human history, humans have artificially selected food. The sweeter, the better. When agriculture came into being, such genetic engineering became commonplace. A banana we eat today has nothing in common with one of a few hundred years ago. At one time we couldn't consume corn at all.

That evolutionary legacy, we once didn't have confidence when our next meal might be, is still evident. Sweet foods sell well and science has made them affordable; so affordable we have the opposite of the starvation problem poor people faced in the past.

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Identity Gaps In LGBTQ Liberal Political Perspectives

Science 2.0 - Jun 25 2019 - 06:06
It was said there was a 'rainbow wave' of LGBTQ voters after the Trump presidency and a new survey analysis set out to find what makes them tick.  To do so, authors distilled results a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults collected by Survey Sampling International after the November 2018 polls.

They hoped to gain a deeper understanding of the political motivations of LGBTQ people and identify sexual, gender and queer identity gaps in liberalism. 

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Frozen Sperm In Outer Space

Science 2.0 - Jun 25 2019 - 06:06
Work presented today at European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting showed said that a lack of difference in a range of sperm characteristics observed in frozen sperm samples exposed to microgravity and those maintained in ground conditions.

That means male gametes may safely travel in space.

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Media Create Increases In Gun Sales

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 19:06
If revenue numbers are true, gun manufacturers don't like when Democrats are in the White House. During the Clinton and Obama administrations gun sales did quite well, because Democrats are perceived by Republicans as more inclined to ban things and people who may not have been motivated to buy guns did, because they worried about bans.

Yet it may not be Democrats causing an uptick in purchases, it could be media making the public think mass shootings will cause Democrats to ban them. 

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In Experiments, Hen Solarium Increases The Vitamin D Content Of Eggs

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 17:06
Vitamin D helps keep bones strong and some diseases at bay. During the summer months, people are able to get about 90 percent of their daily vitamin D requirements through exposure to sunlight, but that is not the case during a northeast winter. 

The remainder is often obtained through food. Milk, for example, if fortified with vitamin D because children drink it and that keeps them healthy. Chicken eggs also provide vitamin D and since the nutrition fad has swung away from linking eggs to heart attacks it may be possible to give those affordable protein sources a vitamin boost. 

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Racist Speech On Twitter Predicts Real-Life Hate Crimes

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 16:06
Cities with a higher incidence of racist tweets showed more actual hate crimes related to race, ethnicity, and national origin, according to an analysis of the location and linguistic features of 532 million tweets published between 2011 and 2016.

A machine learning model identified and analyze two types of tweets: those that are targeted (directly espousing discriminatory views) and those that are self-narrative (describing or commenting upon discriminatory remarks or acts) and then the team compared the prevalence of each type of discriminatory tweet to the number of actual hate crimes reported during that same time period in those same cities.

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To Halal Muslims On Vacation, Sharia Values Matter As Much As Destination

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 15:06
When choosing a halal holiday, Muslim travel destinations are based on more than the location and the hotel. They also factor in Islamic religious values, such as Iman (faith) which may mean halal food, segregated facilities for men and women, prayer facilities and avoiding haram - things forbidden or proscribed by Islamic law.

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2016 Election: How Facebook And Google Gamed Federal Election Commission Rules

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 14:06
Though the presence of Russian influence in social media during the 2016 election was hyped unrealistically (more damaging was their funding of activism against U.S. food and energy, designed to help them compete in Europe) the Federal Election Commission is perceived as being lax in digital advertising.

Because they gave exemptions to both Facebook and Google. A new paper shows how they were able to avoid disclosing who paid for advertisements related to the election.

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Not Just The West Coast Any More: Survey Now Says 45% Worry About The Safety Of Vaccines

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 14:06
No one admits to being swayed by celebrities, Facebook groups, or media coverage, but their impact is clear. Whereas 10 years ago vaccine denial was only prominent among wealthy elites on the west coast, a new The Harris Poll paid for by the American Osteopathic Association says that 45 percent of American adults admit something has caused them to doubt vaccine safety.

That is bringing us near European levels of science denial.

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Online Video Games - Soon With No Lag, By Modifying Game Elements In Real Time

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 14:06
"Lag" is a common term for the latency in human-computer interactions caused by various factors related to the environment and performance of the devices, networks, and data processing.

There is no question it impacts the user's performance, and that impacts long-term usability, as the success of "Anthem" versus games like "Fortnite" show.

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Math And Science Students Who Also Take Music Do Better On Tests - So Does Everyone Else

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 12:06
Math and science students do better who take music courses score significantly better on exams than their non-musical peers, and so do all students, according to a recent paper.

This is a hot topic in education. Some argue that vocational schools should make a comeback, and that students interested in math and science should focus on that rather than music, the way musicians practice rather than taking more science classes, but a look at 112,000 Canadian students shows it's not a two-way street. Some will do more art or music and not benefit from more STEM courses, perhaps because they already do fine. But STEM students benefit from arts.

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US Immigration Policy Damaging Mental Health Of Native-born Kids With Mexican Heritage, Says Survey

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 12:06

A new paper in JAMA Pediatrics correlates US immigration policy to adverse mental health outcomes in kids who are not immigrants at all - but their parents were.

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Muscle Relaxers Statistically Linked To Increased Risk Of Dementia

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 12:06
A statistical correlation showed nearly a 50 percent increased risk of dementia among patients aged 55 and over who had used strong anticholinergic medication to contract and relax muscles  daily for three years or more. 

Anticholinergic drugs work by blocking acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits messages in the nervous system and is prescribed to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bladder conditions, allergies, gastrointestinal disorders and symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Though they can have short-term side effects, including confusion and memory loss, there has been no scientific evidence that long-term use increases the risk of dementia.

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Framing: How Media Shape The News

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 09:06
If you have a large picture and you want people to focus on certain aspects of it, you frame it in such a way the eyes are drawn to it. 

It's no different in media. Though journalists try to be objective each news outlet has self-selection bias, determined by advertisers and subscribers. If you are going to be a journalist at Fox News or the New York Times, there will be a hidden values test you must pass, even if editors and hiring groups are not aware they do it. 

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Drugs, Suicide A 2X Risk Factor For Returning Soldiers With PTSD

Science 2.0 - Jun 24 2019 - 09:06
While no one knows that causes posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), because it is a blanket term for anything that can be deemed "trauma", one thing is clear: United States Veterans seeking treatment for PTSD as a population are at increased statistical risk of death compared with the general public. 

Veterans with PTSD are twice as likely to die from suicide, viral hepatitis due to drug use, and even accidents than the general population.

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Thirty Meter Telescope At Mauna Kea Goes Ahead - Manufactured Hype Dismissed

Science 2.0 - Jun 23 2019 - 11:06
Is it sacred land if it's two and a half miles in the air and only a few elites were allowed to visit on penalty of death for anyone else?

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No Personal Risk For Most From US Aborted Strike On Iran - NOT A Risk Of World War 3

Science 2.0 - Jun 22 2019 - 03:06

Another post to help people scared of the Iran - US situation. For most people the personal risk is zero. Short summary: Trump seems to have ordered a strike on selected Iranian facilities - and then backed down at the last minute after attempting a diplomatic phone call with Iran and talking to a couple of Iranian officials. He says he did it becaue he was told at the last minute that it would kill about 150 people in Iran which is not proportionate for shooting down an unarmed drone.

Such a strike would be a major thing for him to do and he is being widely criticized by the democrats. Others such as Germany’s Angela Merckel are taking a positive line, saying they welcome reports that he decided against it.

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Greenland's Summer Melt Starts Early In June - But Winter Snowfall Increases In Warming World - How Does This Affect Sea Level?

Science 2.0 - Jun 21 2019 - 10:06

Short summary: This is another climate change story hitting the news which is nothing to worry about. The early melt this summer is likely to mean a significant net loss but not unusual, similar to 2012 which also had an early melt. This is not a concern, it is just natural variability. It is balanced to some extent by snowfall in winter, which also was low this year. However, last year the amount of ice in Greenland actually increased due to large amounts of snowfall in the winter of 2017 - 8.

The long term trend continues at about 0.72 mm a year increase in sea level due to Greenland ice melting at present. This may increase later in the century. This is all expected and nothing to worry about, the IPCC projections still apply.

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