Science 2.0

Philippines Approves Golden Rice

Science 2.0 - Dec 19 2019 - 18:12
Lacking any corporate overlord with highly paid attorneys, environmental groups have been able to keep Golden Rice - genetically engineered to produce more beta carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, necessary for healthy living - from being approved in countries where malnourished kids are common.

No longer. Philippines has shucked off Western neo-colonialists and their White Savior rhetoric about protecting poor people from science and approved Golden Rice. 

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Charles Dickens Wrote A Christmas Letter To A Shipping Company That Ruined His Turkey

Science 2.0 - Dec 19 2019 - 13:12
This morning I took a shot on Twitter at Skybound Games, which is a presumably small company that wants to make a go of it in comics and custom collectible stuff, but are now on their third missed date for something I ordered and have also irked fans of another collectible product.

Good thing for them I am not Charles Dickens, The Man Who Invented Christmas, because if I were, people would be reading my letter 150 years from now. 

Dickens is, of course, the author of "A Christmas Carol", which not only rejuvenated his career after a few flops (and over the skepticism of his publisher, because it was a relatively minor religious holiday, and adding in ghosts was garish in their minds), it made Christmas the phenomenon it is now.

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Hallmark CSI: The Formula Works For Anything. I Made My Own And So Can You

Science 2.0 - Dec 19 2019 - 12:12
Two years ago we were helping my mother-in-law get settled into her new place and, with the manual labor done and my usefulness diminished, she and her daughters talked details and I sat in a chair. A Hallmark movie was on. I had never seen it before but I was convinced I had.

After about 10 minutes, when a seemingly avoidable misunderstanding occurred onscreen, I began taking notes on my phone and talking about the action. My family asked what I was doing and I declared that this was brilliant storytelling. This formula could work with anything, it was that rock solid.

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At 386 Million Years Old, New York Has The World's Oldest Forest

Science 2.0 - Dec 19 2019 - 00:12

Scientists have discovered remnants of the world's oldest fossil forest in of all places, a sandstone quarry in Cairo, New York.

It is believed the extensive network of trees is around 386 million years old and spread into Pennsylvania and beyond.

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Applications Open For March 2020 AAAS Adolescent Health Journalism Boot Camp

Science 2.0 - Dec 18 2019 - 14:12

SciLine, a journalism program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), is hosting a free boot camp for journalists at University of Maryland, Baltimore County from March 19 - 21, 2020.

"Covering the Evidence: Adolescent Health" is an all-expenses-paid boot camp designed to deepen journalists’ knowledge of adolescent health and behavior issues, while also building communication skills among scientists conducting related research and fostering trust and understanding between these two professional groups. In addition to joint activities with scientists, journalists will get up to speed on the science behind newsworthy issues facing today’s teens.

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Trump Administration Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking To Import Prescription Drugs From Canada

Science 2.0 - Dec 18 2019 - 11:12
The Trump administration has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would allow for the importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada. In addition, the Administration is announcing the availability of a new draft guidance for industry that describes procedures drug manufacturers can follow to facilitate importation of prescription drugs, including biological products, that are FDA-approved, manufactured abroad, authorized for sale in any foreign country, and originally intended for sale in that foreign country.

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Like Board Games? This Is The Surprising Best U.S. City For You

Science 2.0 - Dec 17 2019 - 12:12
Board games, where you play on an actual board, were once common in every household. Games have a long history, thousands of years, but board games took off in diversity in the 20th century, thanks to "Monopoly" and then others.

It's impossible to predict the future so they may never again reach the peak popularity they once had, or they may stage a resurgence as young people want to take a break from an increasingly digital society. They may even become bigger than ever. I never once played Texas Hold 'em as a young guy in Pennsylvania but in the 2000s it took off nationwide and has now become the most popular form of poker.(1) My kids have never played draw or stud but I showed them how to play Hold'em.

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Britain's The Guardian Has A Real Gullibility Problem When It Comes To Science

Science 2.0 - Dec 16 2019 - 18:12
The Guardian is a left-wing newspaper in the U.K. and so it's no surprise that they cop to a lot of the issues that left-wing people in the UK agree with - all modern biology leads to Frankenfoods, all energy except solar and wind are bad, vaccines causes autism (they seems to have finally reversed course on that one), and while I noted in Science Left Behind that kooky progressives believe in a lot more woo than the normal public - from psychics and ghosts to UFOs - I didn't think they thought chemicals were traveling back in time.

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Mitochondria Send Out Cellular Distress Signals When DNA Are Damaged, Like In Chemotherapy

Science 2.0 - Dec 16 2019 - 14:12
Mitochondria, the energy factories in most of our cells that convert the fat, carbohydrates, and protein we eat into a common energy currency used by our bodies, also set off molecular alarms when cells are exposed to stress or chemicals that can damage DNA, such as chemotherapy, according to a new study in Nature Metabolism.

This basic research could one day lead to applied science, like cancer treatments that prevent tumors from becoming resistant to chemotherapy.

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Humans Have A “Natural” Lifespan Of 38 Years

Science 2.0 - Dec 15 2019 - 06:12

Humans have a “natural” lifespan of around 38 years, according to a new method we have developed for estimating the lifespans of different species by analyzing their DNA.

Extrapolating from genetic studies of species with known lifespans, we found that the extinct woolly mammoth probably lived around 60 years and bowhead whales can expect to enjoy more than two and a half centuries of life.

Our research, in Scientific Reports, looked at how DNA changes as an animal ages – and found that it varies from species to species and is related to how long the animal is likely to live.

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Cancel Culture: Two Arguments To Help Decide

Science 2.0 - Dec 14 2019 - 06:12

While definitions vary, to “cancel” in today’s lingo means to remove people and cultural products from consumption and popular conversation. This is done in light of actions that make them unworthy of praise or critique.

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A Happy 150th Birthday To Mendeleev’s Periodic Table Of The Elements, Courtesy Of NYU

Science 2.0 - Dec 13 2019 - 07:12

In March of 1869,  the chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev made a presentation to the Russian Chemical Society and outlined patterns in elements that led him to postulate his periodic table of the existing 63 elements. Since a new one was being discovered about once per year, he also made sure to leave room for additions and even hypothesized a few more.

Chemistry was the future, understanding elements was key, he and others believed, and they turned out to be right. If you are reading this article on a cell phone, notes New York University, you're holding at least 30 different naturally-occurring elements, including lithium. 

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Grinch Science: Mistletoe Is A Tree-Plundering Parasite

Science 2.0 - Dec 12 2019 - 16:12

Christmas and mistletoe: have you ever simply asked yourself … why? I have studied plant parasites like mistletoe for almost ten years, and I’m here to tell you that the answer is absolutely fascinating.

In Norse mythology, Baldur (younger brother to magic-hammer-wielding Thor), was the subject of a premonition from his mother Frigg, who could see the future: he would be killed. Frigg tackled this head on, extracting an oath from every object on Earth, to avoid harming her son. This was agreeable to all … except mistletoe, which was overlooked.

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Sometimes It Is Lupus - And Here Is What Cancer Scientists Just Discovered

Science 2.0 - Dec 12 2019 - 11:12
Blocking a key regulator of the immune system helps unleash the body's natural defenses against several forms of cancer, a discovery which opened up a new era of cancer immunotherapy. 

Now researchers have flipped this script and found that, when impaired, a molecularly similar regulator can cause the damaging immune system attacks on skin and organs that are the hallmark of the autoimmune disease lupus. Though still just in the exploratory stage, mice are not little people so this does not translate to humans, the work suggests a way to restore function of this inhibitor which could one day provide new therapy to treat the disease.

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Jamming 'Health' Food Stores Into So-Called Food Deserts Doesn't Change Buying Habits

Science 2.0 - Dec 11 2019 - 13:12
A joke in nutrition circles is that while you once needed to be rich to be fat, now you need to be rich to be thin. Scientific progress has given us cheap food, anyone can afford to eat well, and after an existence of worrying about food availability it takes generations for culture to change to not eating as much as we can. Rich people, though, have gym memberships.

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Holidays Are Prime Time For Elder Abuse And Scams. Here's How To Prevent It

Science 2.0 - Dec 11 2019 - 06:12

The holiday season brings up memories and emotions for people of all ages, but elders are often overlooked. This time of year also can provide an opportunity to become more alert to signs of elder abuse, aware of how to help and available to begin sincere conversations with older adults about their perceptions of abuse and the remedies they recommend.

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Lyme Disease Claim Lines On Medical Forms Up 117% Since 2007

Science 2.0 - Dec 10 2019 - 11:12
Since 2007, claim lines with diagnoses of Lyme disease increased nationally 117 percent, according to a new white paper.

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Astrological Bloodletting - Medieval Physicians Used Star Alignments For Phlebotomy Insight

Science 2.0 - Dec 10 2019 - 06:12

Medieval doctors had to acquire a range of skills including an ability to read Latin texts, a working knowledge of the bodily “humours” and an understanding of the rudiments of blood circulation. Their diagnostic techniques were largely limited to examining a patient’s urine: they could match the colour of the urine to that on a chart, such as one now in the Bodleian Library, which offers an alarming spectrum of hues. After diagnosis, one of the most important treatments was bloodletting, for which physicians used detailed astrological charts.

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The Fake News Source Is ... You

Science 2.0 - Dec 09 2019 - 18:12
A new study found that people given accurate statistics on a controversial issue misremembered those numbers to fit commonly held beliefs.

That means the source of fake news is often not malevolent organizations manipulating social media, it is people convinced they are correct

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The Origin And Evolution Of The Homunculus

Science 2.0 - Dec 09 2019 - 17:12
How did the most famous concept devised in neurobiology--the homunculus of neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield - originate?

Some answers derive from assessing Penfield's archives at the Osler Library of McGill University, as well as the only known copy from which the beginnings of the homunculus may be traced--Edwin Boldrey's 1936 McGill master's degree thesis supervised by Penfield.

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