Science 2.0

Did You Get Fat From The Air You Breathe Or The Pizza You Inhale?

Science 2.0 - Apr 27 2020 - 13:04
You may have heard of the Freshman 15; the weight gain some college students experience their first year, when they have unlimited dining at the university cafeteria. Coronavirus may leave behind a new pandemic when people emerge from their homes and discover their work clothes are tighter.

The developed world was already undergoing an obesity crisis thanks to affordable food. Agricultural science, which used to struggle with environmental doomsday narratives that farmers were too incompetent, now have to defend against New York Times and Guardian editorials claiming farming is too successful. Because for the first time in the history of the world, the poorest people can afford to get fat.

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If Nature And Biodiversity Were Enough, Amazonians Wouldn't Routinely Starve

Science 2.0 - Apr 27 2020 - 11:04
If we want to get a snapshot about what the ancient ways really meant for food, we need look no further than the Amazon, where despite living in the most biodiverse place on Earth, people go hungry.

The reason is simple; they don't harness nature, they exist at the whim of it. 

Ribeirinhos live alongside rivers in Brazil's Amazonian floodplain forests but struggle to catch enough fish to eat and can go hungry. The reason is nature. The Purus River undergoes one of the largest annual variations in water levels on the planet. When it floods, large areas of forest become submerged. River fish populations disperse making them much harder to catch. They can't feed themselves even with a sparse rural population

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Chiffron Is The Best Material For Homemade Masks

Science 2.0 - Apr 24 2020 - 18:04
If you can afford a combination of cotton with natural silk or chiffon, those provide the best protection from coronavirus if you are not one of those people hoarding N95 masks.

But, really, unless you are a healthcare worker, the kind of covering makes little difference. Even if you do spend the money for silk, you are unlikely to have a homemade mask fit well enough it is superior to a bandana. And if you are someone who touches your face often, they are all less effective. Your eyes are not covered. Critics are not wrong for wondering if homemade masks are more than placebo, since aerosols can easily slip through gaps in many cloth fibers.

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Test Trace Isolate Petition To UK Government: Take Immediate Action To Find And Isolate COVID-19 Cases And Recent Contacts

Science 2.0 - Apr 24 2020 - 14:04

This is a petition to the UK government. You have to be a UK citizen to sign it. The petition says:

The World Health Organization has recommended that countries test every suspected case of COVID19, and isolate and treat every confirmed case. It also recommends that they trace every contact and isolate those for 14 days. We call on the UK government to do all these things.

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Who Discovered The Top Quark Anyway?

Science 2.0 - Apr 24 2020 - 11:04
You may be wondering, upon reading the above title of this post, what I am after today: the top quark has been around for 25 years now, and there is no long-standing controversy on who discovered it -almost. Well, I will come to that in due time, but to explain quickly what I mean for those of you in a hurry, I am referring to how the top discovery is cited in the very important Wikipedia pages about that subatomic particle, as well as those of the relevant experiments that claimed its observation in 1995.

Quarks

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Filtered Coffee Does Not Increase Lifespan Now Any More Than It Did Four Months Ago

Science 2.0 - Apr 23 2020 - 13:04
Filtered coffee has been linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes by an epidemiology group ... Before you get too excited about this "filtered" coffee preventing diabetes, we need to remember what they are measuring - numbers, not coffee. This is not a science finding, it is an "exploratory" result. Drinking coffee, filtered in paper or Turkish in a pan, is not going to prevent diabetes any more than a juice cleanse prevents whatever that stuff is claiming to prevent.

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Coronavirus Is Not New, It's Been Evolving Along With Bats For Millions Of Years

Science 2.0 - Apr 23 2020 - 11:04
Though coronavirus is known to much of the world by now, it is often used synonymously with COVID-19 by journalists. In scientific reality, there are a vast number of types of different coronaviruses, potentially as many as the thousands of bat species, but most of them can't be transferred to humans and pose no known threat.

SARS-CoV-2 is just one flavor but coronaviruses have been evolving for likely as long as bats have. 

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During COVID-19, The Death Rate After Going On A Ventilator Is The Same As For Other Issues

Science 2.0 - Apr 23 2020 - 11:04
COVID-19 has brought high levels of attention to coronavirus, which few outside the microbiology community had heard of even after two pandemics in 17 years, SARS and MERS.

Terms like ventilators, respirators, and N95 masks were also less commonly thrown about. While it's difficult to trust corporate journalism doomsday narratives one thing is sure; coronavirus has already killed more many people in three months as flu does in its average six-month season. COVID-19 hasn't reached 2018 flu season levels yet but it likely will.(1)

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A Tribute To Teresa Rodrigo

Science 2.0 - Apr 23 2020 - 07:04
I was very saddened the other day upon learning from a colleague that Teresa Rodrigo Anoro passed away. Teresa was a professor at IFCA, University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain, where she held the position since 1995. At the IFCA she led a strong team of experimental particle physicists who collaborate to the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC. Her premature loss leaves a very large void at her institution in particular, as well as in the development of Spanish particle physics in general, where she had a big role.

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The Biology Of Depression - Similarities In Suicide And Other Brains

Science 2.0 - Apr 22 2020 - 13:04
There is no question depression can have physical effects but it is unclear how much of depression is caused by biology and how much is psychology. 

A new study finds there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts, fatty sections of a cell membrane, compared with non-depressed individuals. Tubulin is part of a protein complex that provides structure to cells. This complex also is involved in binding a specific protein called Gs alpha, or Gsa, which is a signaling molecule that conveys the action of neurotransmitters like serotonin.

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Hipposideridae: Four New Species Of Bats Revealed, Cousins Of The Horseshoe Bats Behind SARS-CoV-2

Science 2.0 - Apr 22 2020 - 12:04
COVID-19 resulted from a coronavirus that originated in a horseshoe bat in China but with at least two dozen species of horseshoe bats in China (no one knows how many there really are), no one can determine which species  was involved.

Bats carry diseases, but unlike the useless disease vectors known as Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, bats have ecological value also; they can pollinate crops and eat disease-carrying mosquitoes.

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