Science 2.0

Just The Tip: How Maristem Biotech Could Lead To Higher Food Yields

Science 2.0 - Dec 09 2019 - 16:12
Biotechnology is the future of plant optimization, because ecology and people demand more sustainable food development, and that means embracing progress.

A roadmap of the genes which drive plant architecture in maize will help, because plants grow throughout their entire life, controlled by a small structure at the tip of the plant’s shoots, known as the meristem.

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How Injuries Related To Cell Phone Use Changed Over 20 Years

Science 2.0 - Dec 09 2019 - 14:12
A cross-sectional study has found that head and neck injuries related to cell phone use increased steadily over a recent 20-year period.

But that may not be meaningful in a relative risk way. The sample was just over 2,500 cases from 1998 through 2017. Media will trumpet 300 percent since 2007 but that doesn't make injuries common. It just means that as phones changed from phones to messagers to full-on portable televisions and computers people are able to walk and be distracted more.

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Limitations Of Cross-Sectional Epidemiology Studies And What That Means For Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

Science 2.0 - Dec 09 2019 - 10:12

Although I’m a trained and credentialed epidemiologist, and an ardent supporter of the professional discipline as a foundational science that underlies legitimate public health efforts, several of my past blogs (Bond 2016 and Bond 2017) have remarked on the many limitations of observational epidemiology1 research for establishing disease causation.  

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Art And Science In Venice

Science 2.0 - Dec 08 2019 - 10:12
Last month the Museum of Natural History of Venice hosted, in the last room of the exhibit called "room of the cetaceans" (where a large skeleton of a whale hangs from the ceiling), an exhibit of artwork produced by high-school students from the Venice area. The event, which belongs to the "Art and Science across Italy" project, was the culminating point of a series of lectures on particle physics, on science in art, and related topics which involved the students and INFN personnel from the Padova section.

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North Korea’s “Christmas Gift” - Door Open For Talks - Maybe Alternative Is A Geostationary Satellite? No WWIII Risk Ever

Science 2.0 - Dec 06 2019 - 06:12

First whatever happens - Kim might do something dramatic maybe but his aim would be to get the talks back on track. It would not lead to war no matter what. Neither side has any benefit from a war. They are trading threats again, but they are empty bluffs.

The US can't invade North Korea because it would lead to impossible levels of casualties in South Korea.

Meanwhile, North Korea only wants to defend itself against invasion and doesn't want to attack anyone. There is absolutely no point in them shooting bombs at the US or South Korea or Japan or anyone. That would be a disaster for North Korea. Tests yes, actually attacking anyone, no way.

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Biofuels Are A Negative For The Climate And We Can Thank Environmentalists For That

Science 2.0 - Dec 06 2019 - 06:12
When Al Gore was Vice-President in 1994, he forced the U.S. EPA to mandate ethanol in gasoline by by breaking the Senate tie in favor of environmentalists who had been pushing ethanol as 'sustainable biofuel' for decades. His vote forced gasoline manufacturers to include it despite science concerns it would drive up food prices and increase pollution. While biofuels were and are a viable field of study, the concern was that dumping money into corporate subsidies was going to hold progress back.(1)

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Neanderthals Were Dumb, Camels Store Water In Their Humps, and 15 Other Science Facts No Longer True

Science 2.0 - Dec 06 2019 - 05:12
Science changes over time, that is no secret. We used to think we understood black holes, and that wasn't really true, and unless we use Dark Matter as a vague black box like aether, 100 years from now what we believe today in that regard will likely be regarded as quaint.

Even on more terrestrial topics, as our understanding gets greater the facts change. We once weren't sure what set off the dinosaur extinction, now that is known, but there are still lots of mysteries. And Darwin's evolution led to an Upright Man understanding of homo sapiens, where Neanderthals had underdeveloped brains and Cro-Magnon was us, the next step, but now science has shown that evolution is a lot more random and fickle than that, just like it should be. 

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Congratulations To Radiolab Host Robert Krulwich On His Retirement

Science 2.0 - Dec 05 2019 - 14:12
Robert Krulwich, "the man who simplifies without being simple", has announced he is retiring, at least from his recurring gig at RadioLab, where he has been for the last 15 years.

Not many people graduate from Columbia Law School and then immediately quit to cover the Watergate hearings as a journalist but Krulwich has lived his life the way he approaches science. At an obtuse angle, searching for a better way. 


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How A Social Media Lie Avoids Condemnation - Repeat Offending Early And Often

Science 2.0 - Dec 05 2019 - 06:12
Sometimes lies on social media get immediate condemnation and sometimes they are even spread by people who should know better - X is a fascist or even entire science websites are fascists.

How does that happen? Four experiments, with participants such as from Prolific Academic and Amazon Mechanical Turk, published in Psychological Science provide some insight. The quicker a lie can be made to "go viral" the less blowback due to being unethical it will receive. Seeing a fake-news claim times reduced how unethical participants thought it was and even to share that headline when they saw it again—even if it was clearly labeled as false and they disbelieved it.

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When Is A High Protein Diet Valuable?

Science 2.0 - Dec 05 2019 - 05:12
In December, people begin to think about the new year, and that means resolutions to lose weight. Exercising is a lot of work and feeling hungry much of the time is not desirable so many will instead opt for diet plans. One popular diet is the Atkin's Diet, where natural sugars are replaced with protein, while another is the Ketogenic Diet, where sugars are replaced with fatty foods. Both seek to put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, where elevated level of ketone bodies replace glucose.

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Just Correlation: Don't Fall Prey To NIEHS Weak Association When It Comes To Hair Dye Products

Science 2.0 - Dec 04 2019 - 18:12
A new paper warns us all that hair dye and other products have been linked to cancer - minority women impacted most.

There is one huge reason not to take it seriously, if you accept chemistry, biology, or toxicology: The senior author is from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which for the last decade has competed with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Ramazinni Institute (Picchiatello) for how best to erode confidence in science and health among the public, by using statistics to undermine scientists.

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Court In France Bans Two Products With Sulfoxaflor After Environmental Lawsuits

Science 2.0 - Dec 04 2019 - 18:12
Though deemed safe by French science bodies, sales of the Transform and Closer brands were suspended by a French court at the request of environmental groups in 2017 anyway. Now they have made the ban official, siding with claims that sulfoxaflor may be able to harm bees.

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Job Opening: NASA Director of the Earth Science Division

Science 2.0 - Dec 04 2019 - 14:12
NASA is seeking a new Senior Executive to provide guidance and strategy for missions that study terrestrial issues. The position is Director of the Earth Science Division (ESD), Science Mission Directorate (SMD), reporting to the Associate Administrator (AA).

The director leads a division of approximately 75 people, including scientists, engineers, and administrative professionals who help plan and manage NASA's Earth Science Program and is responsible for the implementation of ESD's annual budget of approximately $1.9 billion.

Duties include presenting the ESD program to NASA senior management, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other Executive Office stakeholders, and Congress.

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Citizen Scientists Should Be Included As Authors On Journal Papers

Science 2.0 - Dec 04 2019 - 11:12
Though the largest telescopes are controlled by governments, a large part of the time new discoveries are made by amateur astronomers. "Amateur" is a negative word now but at the turn of the 20th century it wasn't. Sherlock Holmes was an amateur detective because he did not have to do it as a job, he was not a blue collar laborer the way the police force was regarded in the 1800s, he was more educated in detective work by not having that occupation and that is why he was better.

While you won't see a lot of fruit fly studies done by amateurs, in other fields citizen science provides a lot of data, and a new paper argues they should be treated as co-authors in journal articles.

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Your 'Epstein Didn't Kill Himself' Friend - Conspiracy Believers Are Often Not Crackpots About Everything

Science 2.0 - Dec 04 2019 - 05:12
"Epstein didn't kill himself" is a conspiracy meme that has been everywhere lately. If you are not familiar with the name Jeffrey Epstein, he was a billionaire and convicted sex offender - but as a billionaire he was connected to almost everyone in politics and culture, so when he was found dead in his jail cell, denied bail on a new charge, there began concerns someone had him killed to keep him silent.

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FDA Warns About Hepatitis A Outbreak From Blackberries At Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets

Science 2.0 - Dec 03 2019 - 13:12
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses potentially linked to blackberries from the grocery store Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

As of today, CDC reports 16 illnesses, with the most recent illness onset date on November 15, 2019.

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5 Common Questions About Why SciComm Writes

Science 2.0 - Dec 03 2019 - 05:12
I got an email from a young person at a university stating they were working on a research paper, and while many in the science and scicomm community are jaded about such requests - we are doing someone's homework for them, it is said - I always answer. It's a nonprofit, answering is the job.

The questions were rather specific to GMOs so I stuck to that, but of course I write about a lot more than agriculture while the rest of Science 2.0 writes about virtually every area of science.

The 5 questions I answered below and I added some more thoughts for this article:

1. Why did you create Science 2.0?
2. Why did you choose to write about GMOs?
3. What impact do you think the anti-GMO activist have on the scientific community?

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In Flies, NAD+ Supplements Slow Werner Syndrome Early Aging Syndrome

Science 2.0 - Dec 02 2019 - 18:12
Patients with Werner Syndrome show early signs of aging, including grey hair and wrinkled skin. They live on average about 45 years. It affects around 1 in 200,000 people in the U.S. but in Japan it is 1 in 40,000. 

Why the difference?  That is a mystery, like much of the disease. Since the underlying mechanisms are unknown there is no real treatment or cure, but a new study found that in banana flies and C. elegans worms with the equivalent of the syndrome that the dietary supplement nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) prolonged life and reduced age-related diseases like cancer.

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ASMR - It Isn't As Weird As You Might Think, Unless It Is

Science 2.0 - Dec 02 2019 - 14:12
We are setting up a live streaming/video channel to do things like reviews of books, interviews, and then eventually we will do staff meetings as well.(1)

But while it was once limited to something like Facebook live, with Restream we can go out to YouTube Live, Mixer, and Twitch, all at once.(2) 

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Arctic Albedo Has No Global Effect - Junk Science Reason In Extinction Rebellion Handbook For Climate Spiralling Out Of Control

Science 2.0 - Nov 29 2019 - 17:11

You’ll often hear about the “Ice albedo effect” as a supposed tipping point that the IPCC is ignoring. The idea is that as the Arctic ice melts, it absorbs more heat from the sun, and so warms the planet. What they ignore is that as the planet warms there are also more clouds, especially in tropical regions. You need to look at the planet as a whole, and it is actually a cooling rather than a warming effect, helping to offset some of the global warming.

The philospher Rupert Read, frequently the spokesperson for the Extinction Rebellion makes this as one of his two main points when he argues tht the climate will change much more rapidly than the IPCC’s study found in its review of the climate change literature.

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