Science 2.0

Scaremongering Suncreen: The Myths And Why They're Wrong

Science 2.0 - Jan 07 2020 - 05:01

Many people are reluctant to use sunscreen, even though it’s an important element in preventing the skin cancers that affect about two in three of us at some time in our lives.

The Cancer Council says myths about sunscreens contribute to this reluctance. Here are 4½ sunscreen myths and what the evidence really says. Confused about the ½? Well, it’s a myth most of the time, but sometimes it’s true.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

To Mitigate Fire Risk, California Should Bring Back Nearly Extinct Workers Called 'Loggers', Not Hire Goats

Science 2.0 - Jan 06 2020 - 19:01
A recent article in NPR applauds Anaheim for using goats to keep grasses mowed. While there is nothing really wrong with that as fire prevention, any more than it's wrong for Michael Pollan to cultivate his garden in Berkeley while preaching about organic food, it is very much the kind of gimmick only wealthy elites engage in, because it sounds "natural" - which also sounds like Michael Pollan. 

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Broadcast News At 100: How Radio Shaped The Modern World

Science 2.0 - Jan 06 2020 - 15:01

Eighty-one years ago, a broadcast of Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds supposedly caused mass hysteria in America, as listeners thought Martians had invaded New Jersey.

There are varying accounts of the controversial incident, and it remains a topic of fascination, even today.

Back when Welles’s fictional Martians attacked, broadcast radio was considered a state-of-the-art technology.

And since the first transatlantic radio signal was transmitted in 1901 by Guglielmo Marconi, radio has greatly innovated the way we communicate.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Border Cave In Lebombo Reveals Cooking Of Hypoxis Plants 170,000 Years Ago

Science 2.0 - Jan 06 2020 - 13:01
Though the development of agriculture 10,000 years ago is what made humans the apex predator, a new analysis reveals that the stage was set long before farming became science. 

Excavations at Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains, on the border of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, and Swaziland, show that someone was cooking starchy Hypoxis angustifolia rhizomes plants, such as the Yellow Star flower, 170,000 years ago. It also suggests they probably used wooden sticks to extract plants from the ground.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Don't Be Shocked Netflix Is Paying For a GOOP Show, They Have Hated Science For A Long Time

Science 2.0 - Jan 06 2020 - 12:01
For those of you shocked that Netflix would run a show by a merchant of woo like Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop company, don't be. Science media knows they've hated science forever.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Disaster Tourism Can Aid In Recovery

Science 2.0 - Jan 06 2020 - 12:01
If you intended to holiday at a place that underwent a disaster it might be a good idea to keep your plans, especially if you are civic-minded and are willing to help.

Such "volunteer tourism" can actually help communities recover from natural disasters, a new study finds.

Most people will do nothing of the kind, they will send "thoughts and prayers" on Twitter and go anywhere else, but if you are a volunteer tourist (willing to help) rather than a disaster tourist(you want to take selfies) it will bring practical benefits, along with intangible economic ones.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Formaldehyde Is Going To Be Reviewed By EPA Again And That's A Good Thing. Here's Why

Science 2.0 - Jan 06 2020 - 07:01

Formaldehyde is one of the most studied, and regulated, chemical substances in commerce today. For decades, this substance has been continuously studied to help ensure regulated safe exposure levels for formaldehyde are protective.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Is It Moral To Oppose The Use Of Pesticides?

Science 2.0 - Jan 06 2020 - 06:01

If you were to ask a group of medical professionals to name the most significant public health achievements of the past century, antibiotics and widespread vaccination against infectious diseases would almost certainly top the list.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

US Killed Soleimani Confirmed - Big Step In For Tat With Iran - Open War Unlikely - No WWIII

Science 2.0 - Jan 05 2020 - 02:01

Short summary: Soleimani is an Iranian leader, who is highly respected in Iran, and played a key role in the fight against ISIS. However, he was classified by the US as terrorist because of his position as leader of the Quds, a numerically small black ops type operations supplying weapons to shia militants and the mastermind of operations targeting US soldiers and civilians.

Here is my short tweet about it

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

The Pharaoh, The Suburb, And Mathematics.

Science 2.0 - Jan 04 2020 - 12:01
Not long ago, I was watching a documentary The Pharaoh in the Suburb on Channel 5 (UK terrestrial television) which told us that

The discovery of a gigantic statue in a suburb of Cairo shed light on an almost forgotten period of Egyptian history, and the accomplishments of one of the greatest pharaohs of all, Psamtik I, who reigned 664–610 BC.

The statue was discovered in March 2017, and here he is after being excavated:


read more

Categories: Science 2.0

On Christmas Day, A 23-Year-Old Woman Got A New Liver After Herbal Supplements Ruined Hers

Science 2.0 - Jan 03 2020 - 12:01
In 2019, 23-year-old Emily Goss was a like a lot of people. She believed in supplements because they are a $35 billion industry exempt from FDA oversight since 1994, when President Clinton signed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act for his constituents, because, let's face it, they believe in alternatives to medicine and science a lot more than that other political party.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

AGC 203001: A Whole Galaxy Ringed By Hydrogen Gas

Science 2.0 - Jan 02 2020 - 12:01
A ring of hydrogen gas with a diameter of 380,000 light-years- 4 times that of our Milky Way - has been discovered shrouding the galaxy named AGC 203001, 260 million light-years away from us.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

BlueNalu: Lab-Grown Slaughter-Free Yellowtail

Science 2.0 - Jan 01 2020 - 06:01
San Diego foodtech startup BlueNalu recently did a demonstration of their yellowtail, made entirely from cells in a lab, prepared in lots of ways, from tacos to bisque, San Diego Union-Tribune noted

The head of the company rightly notes they are not "lab made" any more than Oreos or Heinz ketchup was. Everything not picked from a plant began with experimentation and in the 20th century that meant in a lab. Their process is no different than the cell cultures used for Greek yogurt.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Rich People, Stop Giving Your Kids HGH To Make Them Taller

Science 2.0 - Dec 31 2019 - 17:12
Wealthy elites used to just want to have alternatives to vaccines and conventional food and natural gas. Some took it even farther and got their kids diagnosed with autism to avoid lines to Disney World but those were outliers.

More worrisome is the new fad for rich people; HGH treatments to make their kids taller. 

As Ross Pomeroy notes for Real Clear Science, kids with growth hormone deficiency have been getting HGH since 1985 and since 2003, children with "Idiopathic Short Stature" (ISS) -no clear cause - have gotten it too.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Not Jimmy Hoffa: Buffalo Cave Torso Identified Using Forensic Genealogy

Science 2.0 - Dec 31 2019 - 16:12
The Civil Defense Caves in Dubois, Idaho, utilized as potential fallout shelters during the Cold War, are actually ancient lava tubes. Since they are easily accessible caves they have become popular family treks. In August of 1979, one such trek had a family hunting for arrowheads who instead found a headless male torso wrapped in burlap. The only clue was a dark red sweater.

A decade later, a youngster exploring the same cave found two arms and two legs, also wrapped in burlap. Naturally, the search began for a head but no luck.

The "Buffalo Cave Torso" went to the FBI and then the Smithsonian without resolution, but the Othram forensic genomics company, Idaho State University, and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office say they have solved it. 

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Another Day, Another Statistical Claim About Pesticides And 'Risk' Of Death

Science 2.0 - Dec 31 2019 - 14:12
To future scholars, the 2020s may be the decade that the public discovered epidemiologists don't understand the difference between a hazard, absolute risk, and relative risk. And that skepticism in the next decade will have resulted from too many shoddy claims and spurious correlations in this one.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

High BMI Linked To Both Increased Cancer And Improved Cancer Survival

Science 2.0 - Dec 30 2019 - 15:12
A high body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight relative to height, has been linked to cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, and that has led to guidelines based on low BMI, despite it being a population-level statistical correlation with little individual clinical relevance.  A large weightlifter may not be unhealthy while a thin person with a terrible diet is no role model.

A new study in JAMA Oncology increases confusion about what BMI does and does not tell us because it finds a statistical correlation between high BMI and cancer outcomes.  In clinical trials of atezolizumab, a common immunotherapy treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), there was improved responsiveness to the drug in those with a high BMI.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

China Throws He Jiankui, Who Used CRISPR On Embryos In 2018, Into Jail - But How Do Chinese Really Feel About It?

Science 2.0 - Dec 30 2019 - 14:12
He Jiankui, who used CRISPR technology on embryos that led to two births last year, and colleagues Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou have been given prison sentences and fines in the kind of trial that communist dictatorships are known for. Clearly if they had pleaded anything but non guilty the verdict would have been the same but the sentences far worse.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

American Heart Association Walks Back Its Claims On Cholesterol And Heart Disease

Science 2.0 - Dec 30 2019 - 12:12
Numerous human studies of dietary cholesterol target recommendations and cardiovascular disease have found no association, but the American Heart Association had been stuck in the past, when lots of confounders related to heart health allowed dietary cholesterol to be targeted using questionable statistical methodologies.

Though some studies associate intakes of cholesterol that exceed current average levels with elevated total or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, it could be spurious correlation.
By having a modest diet - American Heart Association is now promoting specifics like the Mediterranean and DASH diets - the same reduction in cholesterol happens anyway. 

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

For Roman Emperors, Surviving The First Year Was Hardest

Science 2.0 - Dec 30 2019 - 11:12
As a new Roman emperor, your risk of death was high, but it declined as time went on, according to a new analysis. And over 70 rulers, the progression was predictable. 

Historical records show that of 69 rulers of the unified Roman Empire, 43 (62 percent) suffered violent deaths - assassination, suicide or combat. Historical accounts typically examine each death as a single, random event alongside individual contributing factors such as allegiances and wealth. The military got a bonus from a new Emperor so there were periods when turnover was linked to the financial effect, for example.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0