Science 2.0

Relax, 2002 NT7 Will Not Hit Earth On 1st February - It Is Already Millions Of Kilometers Away And Flying Further Away Every Day

Science 2.0 - Jan 30 2019 - 23:01

I am getting many panicked PM’s and posts about this harmless asteroid. And can you blame people when they see this sort of thing in Google News if they search for “2002 NT7”? (See screenshot below).

Science 2.0 posts often go to the top of the search results briefly so I hope to reach a few scared people this way.

This asteroid is nothing to worry about, it flew past on the 13th January and is currently moving up North out of the plane of the ecliptic and away from us. This shows where it is right now as of 30th January 2019:

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We're Not As Far Apart As Media Accounts Make It Seem

Science 2.0 - Jan 30 2019 - 15:01
If you read media accounts, Republicans deny global warming and evolution while Democrats deny vaccines and GMOs. Republicans hate immigrants and Democrats hate unborn babies.

Yet such simple 'us' and 'them' narratives aren't true, even if it makes for compelling framing, according to a new paper

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Rembrandt's Plumbonacrite: A Very Rare Lead Mineral Has Been Found In His Unique Paint Recipe

Science 2.0 - Jan 30 2019 - 13:01
Rembrandt van Rijn was a master of light and shadow and a characteristic plasticity generated by a technique called impasto.

A new study shows he was also something of a chemist. An analysis of impasto layers in some of Rembrandt's paintings show they contain a very rare lead mineral called plumbonacrite, which means Rembrandt used a unique paint recipe. Plumbonacrite is extremely rare in historic paint layers. The only other notable occurrence was linked to degradation of the red lead (minimum) pigment in a Van Gogh painting.

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The First Photonic Quantum Computer Is About To Come To Market - You Read That Right

Science 2.0 - Jan 30 2019 - 12:01
If you've read anything about computers for the last 25 years, you've read the hype about quantum computing and how it is going to be better and faster and with less heat and replace conduction-based chips and it will generally be awesome. And then nothing happens outside a lot of arXiv papers and some physics magic published in journals. Quantum computing has basically gotten the best marketing free pass ever, because it is always five years away and no one seems to get cynical.

Now it's only two years away. 

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AIP and ASA Science Communication Award Nominations Now Open

Science 2.0 - Jan 30 2019 - 12:01
The American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) are accepting submissions for their respective 2019 science communication awards.

 The AIP Science Communication Awards were established in 1968 to recognize some of the best examples of science writing in the previous year. Currently there are four awards for the best science writing in :

1) books;
2) magazine, newspaper or online articles
3) children's books and other works intended for children
4) broadcast and online productions.

Works should be intended for a general audience and will be judged on their ability to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of physics and related fields.

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The Genetic Reason You May Be A Morning Or Night Person

Science 2.0 - Jan 30 2019 - 06:01

Do you prefer to rise early with the lark or stay up late with the owl? Your preference turns out to be partly decided by your genes. Our genetic study of nearly 700,000 people has revealed new insights about the genetics of chronotype – our preference to rise early or sleep late – and how it influences our mental and physical health.

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Defining Microbiome Deviancy Down: Now Even Nanoparticles Impact Your Gut?

Science 2.0 - Jan 29 2019 - 12:01
Though our guts contain a trillion bacteria in various compositions, it's become popular to claim any detectable change is a bad thing. Unless it is to sell yogurt, where no detectable change is regarded as a probiotic good thing.

Now even at the nano- level. A new study claims ultra-small particles adhere to intestinal microorganisms, thereby affecting their life cycle as well as cross talk with the host. Nanoparticles’ binding inhibits the infection with Helicobacter pylori, a pathogen implicated in gastric cancer and the authors hope this could the development of potential 'probiotic' nanoparticles for food. Homeopaths are cheering.

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If You Are Going To Communicate Science, Be Yoda Instead Of Spock

Science 2.0 - Jan 29 2019 - 11:01
Nothing killed science culture more than Spock from the 1960s television show "Star Trek." He was wildly popular because he was so logical and reasoned. Emotions did not enter into his decisions. Scientists flocked to that mystique and so a whole generation of scholars sought to be dispassionate and data-driven in their interactions with the public.

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Terrible At Sports? Low Vitamin D Is To Blame. Or Not. Turns Out It's All Hype

Science 2.0 - Jan 29 2019 - 05:01
In 2015, I predicted that someone was going to end up in the hospital due to overdoses on supplements.

But don't you always say they are useless placebos? a friend asked.

No, they are not all placebos, but products sold as supplements that do something are either actual drugs, like kratom, and thus should be regulated as drugs, they are useless placebos adulterated with actual drugs, like many Internet erectile dysfunction and diet pills, or they are useless in normal doses but toxic at high levels. 

Like Vitamin D.

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You Don't Have Stomach Flu

Science 2.0 - Jan 28 2019 - 16:01
Like " I had insomnia last night" and "I am so OCD", medical terms often become colloquial. So it is with people who say they had a "stomach flu."

There are stomach virusus, but what many people commonly call “stomach flu” isn’t flu at all. "Flu" is short for influenza, and that is respiratory so it involves lungs, not the stomach. What people call a stomach flu is instead viral gastroenteritis. It could be rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus or something else, and could have been through tainted food.

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America Leads The World In Controlling Energy Consumption And Emissions - We Should Be Exporting That, Not Solar Dogma

Science 2.0 - Jan 28 2019 - 11:01
As the world's most powerful economy, we read a lot about how America needs to do more to use cleaner energy, and less of it. 

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Genetically Modified Chicken Can Lay Eggs That Help Create Drugs For Cancer

Science 2.0 - Jan 28 2019 - 10:01
Chicken eggs are already used for growing viruses that are used as vaccines, such as the flu jab but science is going one better; chickens that are genetically modified to produce human proteins in their eggs as part of the egg white.

A new study found the drugs work at least as well as the same proteins produced using existing methods and high quantities of the proteins can be recovered from each egg using a simple purification system and there are no adverse effects on the chickens themselves, which lay eggs as normal.

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Gene Editing May Soon Be Able To Remove Gluten Genes, Making Wheat Safe For Celiac Patients

Science 2.0 - Jan 25 2019 - 13:01
One to two percent of people have celiac disease, and the first thing they will tell you is that it is not a fad diet, no matter how many books of Dr. Oz segments tout gluten-free. To celiac patients, it is like poison and the replacements for gluten often contain extra sugar, extra fat, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and xanthan gum.

Science may soon be able to help. Gluten is a mixture of glutenin and gliadin proteins, which build a network that gives wheat bread itsproperties and quality. Most gliadins and part of the glutenins contain immunogenic epitopes, which are the actual trigger of the immune reaction.

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A Flawed Science Journalism Article Provides Good Education On How We Can Do Better

Science 2.0 - Jan 25 2019 - 08:01
Anti-science activists are having a field day on social media, happy that a rather poorly designed study can let them claim that human sperm is being damaged by modern pesticides, even though the study found nothing of the kind. 

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Yawn: The Doomsday Clock Created By Anti-Nuclear Activists Is Still Close To Midnight

Science 2.0 - Jan 24 2019 - 12:01
The Doomsday Clock, a public relations stunt created by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (1) remains stuck at two minutes until midnight. Just like it was in 1953, the height of the Cold War, when school kids did drills about hiding under desks and everyone built bomb shelters.

Today their worry is still nuclear bombs, they assure us, but also global warming and President Trump, and that is why they have solemnly announced that the Doomsday Clock is still at 2 until midnight, with midnight being the End Of The World.

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Diseases In Sneezes: Just How Well Do They Transmit?

Science 2.0 - Jan 23 2019 - 15:01
When a sneeze happens, around 100,000 contagious germs for things like the common cold, influenza and tuberculosis move through the air at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. 

It sounds scary, but there are numerous environmental factors that impact the actual transmission of disease, and a new study sought to determine those right down to the level of a single aerosol particle and a single bacterium. 

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Keck Futures Initiative Communication Awards Nominations Now Open - Excellence in Communicating Science, Medicine and Engineering

Science 2.0 - Jan 23 2019 - 15:01

The Keck Futures Initiative will award four $20,000 prizes in 2019 to individuals or teams (up to four individuals associated with the creation of the work being nominated) who have developed creative, or

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Of Microbes And Milk Allergies

Science 2.0 - Jan 23 2019 - 10:01

In the past 30 years, food allergies have become increasingly common in the United States. Changes to human genetics can’t explain the sudden rise. That is because it takes many generations for changes to spread that widely within a population. Perhaps the explanation lies in changes to our environment, particularly our internal environment. 

Shifting lifestyle practices over the last half-century – increasing antibiotic and antimicrobial use, surface sterilization, air filtration and changes to diet – have changed our internal environment and wiped out important bacteria with beneficial health effects.

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Why We Fail At New Year’s Resolutions, And What To Do About It

Science 2.0 - Jan 23 2019 - 08:01

The new year has only just begun, yet by Valentine’s Day some 80 percent of us will have already given up on those well-intentioned commitments – at least according to University of Minnesota researcher Marti Hope Gonzales. Why is that?

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Marie Kondo With A Catch: The KonMari Method Of Tidying May Make You Feel Worse

Science 2.0 - Jan 22 2019 - 16:01

Have your friends recently begun obsessively folding their t-shirts, or explaining how they have got rid of a book that no longer “brings them joy”? If so, they’ve probably been caught up in the new craze from lifestyle guru and “tidying consultant” Marie Kondo.

Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and her new Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, describe the “KonMari” method. This is a series of simple ways of reorganizing your home to get rid of clutter and mess. According to the author, following her method will not only lead to a cleaner, more organized household, but also to a more positive and happy lifestyle overall.

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