Science 2.0

Honeybees Have Increased 85% In The Last 60 Years

Science 2.0 - Sep 22 2021 - 12:09
A new analysis finds that if there ever was a "Beepocalypse", it hasn't been during this century.

A new analysis using data since 1961 found that the number of managed honey bee colonies has risen by 85% since 1961. Managed colonies are the only way to create reasonable estimates, that is how surveys of losses are done annually, but in the past activists trying to create a new fundraising target leveraged blips in averages to claim that a Colony Collapse Disorder was being caused by...farmers.

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MRNA Vaccines Won’t Replace All Current Ones - Here's Why

Science 2.0 - Sep 21 2021 - 11:09

The rapid development of effective mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 has led some observers to suggest that mRNA will push other types of vaccines out of the market completely in the near future. But is that desirable? Is it even possible?

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Six-muon Events Probe Proton Collsion Dynamics

Science 2.0 - Sep 21 2021 - 07:09
When you collide particles made up of quarks and gluons, such as the protons accelerated by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, you mostly expect particles made of quarks and gluons to emerge. That is because quarks and gluons most of the times interact by the strong interaction, which is itself mediated by the exchange of gluons; and the strong interaction knows nothing about all the other matter and interaction fields.
So how do you get energetic electrons, muons, photons, and weak bosons from a LHC collision? Well, the electroweak interaction which may produce these particles does play in, but its contribution is, er, weaker, by definition. 

Gimme all 'em leptons!

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Does Nicotine Prevent COVID Transmission? France Might Begin Clinical Trials

Science 2.0 - Sep 20 2021 - 10:09
As we are hopefully exiting the third coronavirus pandemic of the last 17 years, it is time to consider that it might become an annual event, like the flu. Since it mutates, there could also be an annual vaccine, but if flu is any indication half of people won't take it.

What if there are more passive ways of preventing transmission? 

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Toxic Campus Culture: A Call To End Orientation Week At Universities

Science 2.0 - Sep 19 2021 - 11:09

Fear and frustration hang over London, Ont., where many people are discussing four formal allegations of sexual violence reported to Western University and sharing unconfirmed rumours about wider sexual assaults. Members of the Western community say they feel unsafe, especially young women and other vulnerable groups.

In response to the situation, students organized a walkout rally on Sept. 17 to stand with survivors and demand change.

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Activist Reasons To Ban Pesticides Are Eerily Like Anti-Vax Claims

Science 2.0 - Sep 17 2021 - 16:09

Imagine I mention that a small group of people not only distrust science and technology despite thorough testing by government scientists, they don’t trust it because it was tested by the government.

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Do You Make Real Estate Decisions Based On The Emissions Of The Property?

Science 2.0 - Sep 16 2021 - 12:09
A consulting firm that charges you to tell you how to cut your emissions is now claiming that properties which don't spend a lot of money will plummet in value in the near future.

So if you own commercial property, you have been warned.

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Coconut Products Are A Huge Fad But Trees Are Slow To Grow - Science Will Fix That

Science 2.0 - Sep 15 2021 - 15:09
The coconut is the sixth most cultivated fruit on earth and thanks to fads around things like coconut oil and water, demand continues to rise.

Growing products that rich people want is great for developing nations but they face challenges. Trees grow slowly and natural plagues Lethal Yellowing Disease put existing ones at risk. The answer may be what made bananas the staple they are now: cloning.

"Coconut plants do not form side shoots. They put all their energy into one shoot that has to grow as fast and as tall as possible. This makes it very difficult to clone and store the plants," said Bart Panis of KU Leuven.


Image courtesy of Hannes Wilms at KU Leuven

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Like Western Civilization? Thank Dairy Farming

Science 2.0 - Sep 15 2021 - 12:09
Not a lot is truly known about the cultural world of early mankind but one thing is settled; when food insecurity dropped and it became more affordable, in terms of time or money, culture flourished and expansion began.

Domestication of animals and farming took humans out of foraging and secured our place as the dominant species. Becoming a farmer meant reliable food, then domestication of the ox took made it possible for a farmer to feed dozens, and the heavy plow and then later science boosted those to a point where in the developed world, we now only need 2 people to feed 98.

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How To Create A Life Insurance Scam: Blame Big Pharma Because You Hired A Hitman

Science 2.0 - Sep 15 2021 - 10:09
South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh tried to hire someone to shoot him to get $10 million in insurance for his son.

Now his attorney is falling back on the modern day version of 'insanity' or 'repressed memory' pleas - opiod addiction made him do it.

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Interna

Science 2.0 - Sep 15 2021 - 06:09
In the ancient past, when a good portion of blog followers were interested in the writers' lives more than in actual content, I used to write a lot more about private issues here. I don't do that so often any more mainly because I think the interest of readers has shifted - or better, the composition of readers has changed. But I am not less keen to discuss private issues today than I was ten years ago. Privacy is not among the priorities of a blogger true to him- or herself anyway, at least from my point of view.
So, what am I up to these days? I thought I could give you some update. Maybe in one of my future posts I will also summarize the various research activities I am engaged in as of late, but let's keep this out of today's post. 

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Lots Claim On Surveys That They'll Change To Fight Climate Change - But Surveys Are Not Behavior

Science 2.0 - Sep 14 2021 - 14:09
Before COVID-19, it was a large number of Democrats and a tiny number of Republicans who distrusted vaccines, believing something like that they caused autism, or that FDA was in cahoots with Big Pharma, or some weird supplement was just as good as medicine.(1)

While on surveys they all claimed to believe in natural medicine and that communicable diseases were no big deal(2), when the pandemic hit, not only did they buy up all of the Clorox and Purell, celebrities and other wealthy coastal elites who denied vaccines for their kids were paying their way to the front of the line to get this one - and ironically demanding it for their children.

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Epidemiology Paper Correlates Vaping To Anorexia - And Then We Wonder Why Anyone Is Skeptical About COVID-19 Data

Science 2.0 - Sep 13 2021 - 18:09
In 2021, it is vital that the public trusts epidemiologists when it comes to disease transmission. The cultural obstacle is that epidemiology is such a large field, much of it populated by woo. Osteopaths hurt their own reputations by not demanding that hucksters like Joe Mercola have his license revoked, while epidemiologists who want to be trusted guides now need to recognize they have to overcome suspect claims about some new fad food linked to increasing longevity, trace chemicals linked to changes in hormones, and that particulate matter so small it takes an electron microscope to see it is linked to early deaths.

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California Hurt Themselves With Solar Power The Way Sri Lanka Did With Organic Food

Science 2.0 - Sep 10 2021 - 16:09
Just a few weeks ago, Sri Lanka underwent a meltdown. The price of food had skyrocketed and it was all because instead of believing scientists they believed Russia or Pesticide Action Network or whoever claims the organic process "is ready" to feed everyone and switched. 

After a whole lot of people who have never farmed made the decision, its collapse was sudden. They switched to organic in May and by August exports were down because yields plummeted. People hoarded food because they knew what was happening and then the government had to create police units to raid homes and steal it so it would not be sold on the black markets that exploded in volume.

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Perhaps Age Matters More Than Genetics In Risk Of Illness As We Get Older

Science 2.0 - Sep 10 2021 - 07:09

How powerful are the genes that make up our bodies? The Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research notes that as many as half of our traits may be inherited from our genes. Additionally, those double-helix DNA strands are responsible for all the proteins that are necessary for life.

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How Is The Anti-Vax Organic Consumers Association Still Getting Endorsed By Journalists?

Science 2.0 - Sep 08 2021 - 13:09
I can understand why New York Times journalists sometimes buy into the claims of Organic Consumers Association: They sound like a legitimate group because they have been quoted in the New York Times, they claim to be progressives, and they claim Food Is A Corporate Conspiracy, and you are only getting paid by the New York Times if you share those values, or are at least a nationally renowned token alternative to them.

But editors should know better by now.

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Organic Industry Activist Paul Thacker Gets A Restraining Order From A Teacher He Harassed

Science 2.0 - Sep 07 2021 - 17:09
Paul Thacker, once an up-and-coming journalist whose early zealotry became so worrisome even his former mentor disavowed him, has made key connections in his career due to sharing the right politics and the right anti-science positions.  Which is to say left.

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Activists Who Spent 40 Years Blocking Water Projects Now Say They're Unneeded Or They'd Have Been Built

Science 2.0 - Sep 07 2021 - 14:09
In the midst of wildfires that occur with more severity because environmentalists block responsible logging and tree management in California, environmentalists who have blocked water infrastructure now say we don't need the infrastructure voters passed into law...or it would already have been built.

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How Microbes Can Mine Rocks In Space (And How It Could Save Earth)

Science 2.0 - Sep 06 2021 - 22:09

Mining is a messy process. It takes a lot of effort to break open rocks to get the materials needed to keep our current technological level on earth. The march of technology has produced some massive leaps and bounds in communication and quality of life improvements. However, most of these are predicated on the availability of difficult-to-find elements.

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Differentiable Programming For Experimental Design

Science 2.0 - Sep 06 2021 - 05:09
Today I am giving the opening speech at a workshop with the same title of this post. The workshop takes place at the Center for Particle Physics and Phenomenology of Université catholique de Louvain, in Belgium, and it is in a mixed formula - we will have 33 in-person attendees and 72 more attending by videolink. 
The workshop is organized by the MODE collaboration, which I lead. It is a small group of physicists and computer scientists from 10 institutions in Europe and America, who have realized how today's deep learning technology allows us to raise the bar of our optimization tasks - we are now targeting the full optimization of the design of some of the most complex instruments ever built by humankind, particle detectors.

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