Science 2.0

In Canada, 70 Percent Of Firearms Deaths Are Suicide

Science 2.0 - Oct 19 2020 - 10:10
In a Canada analysis, suicide was the most common cause of death from firearms at 68 percent, and older men in rural areas were impacted most.

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East Kootenay Geology

Science 2.0 - Oct 18 2020 - 19:10

The East Kootenay region on the south-eastern edge of British Columbia is a land of colossal mountains against a clear blue sky.

That is not strictly true, of course, as this area does see its fair share of rain and temperature extremes — but visiting in the summer every view is a postcard of mountainous terrain.

Rocks from deep within the Earth's crust underlie the entire East Kootenay region and are commonly exposed in the areas majestic mountain peaks, craggy rocky cliffs, glaciated river canyons, and in rock cuts along the highways.

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I Was Homeschooled Until College: Here’s What To Expect

Science 2.0 - Oct 16 2020 - 13:10

I was homeschooled for eight years, from age 11 through to college, before it was a novel way for tiger parents to show off their dynamic commitment to their children’s education. Now, if millions of parents and families are suddenly going to be homeschooling their kids for the coming weeks (and, let’s be honest, quite likely beyond), it’s worth trying to think about how to do this in a manner as smooth, healthy and wise as possible.

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Weekend Science: How Successful Golfers Stay Focused

Science 2.0 - Oct 16 2020 - 13:10

Sporting history is littered with tales of defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. Famously, the US golfer Doug Sanders was a three-foot putt away from winning the 1970 Open Championship in St Andrews. He missed. Not only did it lose him the championship, it cost him several sponsorship and endorsement deals too.

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Like Most Supplement Purchasers, Believers Think Cannabidiol Is Medicine Despite No Evidence

Science 2.0 - Oct 15 2020 - 17:10
Cannabidiol, a chemical found in marijuana plants, is enjoying a wave of financial success due to strange prescriptions for "medical" marijuana, which ended up overwhelmingly being obtained for recreation.

Yet belief in medicinal properties remain despite no evidence it does anything. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does say it might help for rare forms of childhood epilepsy, but that has led to charlatans selling it as part of the "wellness" scam.

Supplements are fine for people who are healthy anyway. Yet those who have been duped into being marijuana will help with acne, afib, or anxiety are putting their physical or mental health at risk.


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Did Climate Change Kill Off 5 Species Of Humans?

Science 2.0 - Oct 15 2020 - 13:10
Once upon a time, there were six different species of early humans.

That's not science fiction, and they all belonged to the genus Homo, but only we Homo sapiens have survived. What killed  H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and H. neanderthalensis? Nature exists to kill and birth so that seems a more likely culprit than conquest, and a new paper points the blame at one aspect of nature that dominated science media before the coronavirus pandemic - climate change.

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Dog Personality Traits Age Differently Just Like People

Science 2.0 - Oct 15 2020 - 06:10
Every dog owner knows that personality changes over time, but these changes occur unevenly during the dogs' life, and each trait follows a distinct age trajectory, according to a new study

Human personality is characterized by a peculiar dualism: it is both stable and malleable, depending on the point of reference. If we compare ourselves to our peers, it is stable as our personality rankings relative to others remain consistent over time. However, personality changes became obvious if we compare ourselves across time, as people become more conscientious, more emotionally stable, and more agreeable as they get older.

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We Don't Need Social Authoritarian Laws To Prevent Coronavirus Spread, We Need Empathy

Science 2.0 - Oct 14 2020 - 15:10
A new study finds that people are more motivated to use face masks and keep our distance not because experts or government bureaucrats say we should, but because we have empathy for vulnerable people.

In two surveys in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, participants were asked on a scale from 1 to 5 how concerned they are about those who are most vulnerable to SARS-CoV2, the 2019 form of coronavirus that erupted in Wuhan, China and spread worldwide. Subsequently, they were asked about the extent to which they themselves avoid social contact due to the coronavirus. The relationship was clear. The higher the degree of empathy, the greater the focus on reducing social contact. 

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Domesticated Wolves Suffer Separation Anxiety From Humans Similar To Dogs

Science 2.0 - Oct 14 2020 - 11:10
It's no secret how dogs came to evolve. A wolf trusted a human, a human fed a wolf, and this happened enough times that hostile animals were killed off and friendlier ones were not and those traits were passed down.

A new study finds it does not take generations. Tame socialized grey wolves form individualized social bonds with their human handlers. And they don't like being separated any more than dogs do.

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More Young Adults Are Abstaining From One Known Carcinogen - Alcohol

Science 2.0 - Oct 13 2020 - 19:10
There are calls to ban vaping because it has pleasant flavors and an addictive component and that combination may lead to disease but while there are zero deaths attributable to nicotine so far, there is an actual socially acceptable carcinogen that also uses flavors to increase use - alcohol.

Yet the future looks bleak if recent survey results hold true. They find that compared to just a generation ago, college students - and alcohol, like smoking, is most often a pediatric condition - are drinking less alcohol.

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High Dose Of Favipiravir Counters SARS-CoV-2 In Hamsters

Science 2.0 - Oct 13 2020 - 13:10
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, the 2019 form of coronavirus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a rush of studies searching for a vaccine to prevent infection and testing existing drugs to see which one can reduce the amount of virus in infected people. 

Drug development usually starts on a computer, then moves to cells and then animals. Animals, of course, are not little people, despite what anti-science activists like to claim in their war on food and chemicals, so if a drug works in all the preceding steps it will go to human clinical trials where it must survive the real challenge.

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New Crystal Form Of Deltamethrin Insecticide Is Up To 12 Times More Effective

Science 2.0 - Oct 13 2020 - 12:10
Mosquitoes spread malaria but because wealthy nations wiped it out before declaring insecticides bad, it's easy to forget that insecticides are the only effective way to control the mosquitoes that spread a disease which still kills 400,000 each year in developing nations.

For poorer countries, there is good news. Scientists have created a new crystal form of the pyrethroid pesticide deltamethrin that is up to 12 times more effective against mosquitoes. Insecticides such as deltamethrin and DDT can prevent the spread of diseases carried by mosquitoes and are often sprayed indoors and on bed nets. Though DDT, for example, is banned in the United States for political reasons, our EPA writes the book on how to spray it indoors where malaria still exists. 

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Emmanuelle Charpentier Had To Leave France To Be Allowed To Do The Science For Her CRISPR-Cas9 Nobel

Science 2.0 - Oct 12 2020 - 14:10
With CRISPR-Cas9 finally getting its Nobel Prize pundits talk about who was excluded, like Feng Zhang and his research group at the Broad Institute, but only a few talk about entire countries left out. And left behind in the 21st century.

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The Nobel Prize For CRISPR-Cas9: Here's Who Got Left Out

Science 2.0 - Oct 08 2020 - 16:10

This year’s Nobel prize in chemistry was awarded for a genuine revolution in modern science. The Crispr-Cas9 gene-editing tool allows scientists to precisely alter DNA by cutting and pasting sections of it.

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Mask Significantly Reduce Spread Of COVID-19 - Are Laws Needed?

Science 2.0 - Oct 08 2020 - 13:10
A study using Ontario's 34 Public Health Units over the course of two months found that wearing a mask can have a significant impact on the spread of COVID-19.

No argument there, anyone would be worried if their surgeon showed up in the operating room without a mask on, but the economists go a little further and claim mask mandates are the reason. They statistically associate mandates with a 25 percent reduction in COVID-19 cases.

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Five Tips For Particle Physics PhD Students, Reloaded

Science 2.0 - Oct 08 2020 - 06:10
For some reason today I remembered that 11 years ago (wow time flies) I wrote a two-parts piece on advices for PhD students doing a thesis in experimental particle physics. As I checked it out, I found that I mostly share the views I had back then (TBH that's not necessarily a good thing - consistency requires you to be as ignorant as you were earlier on). Since I think that stuff I posted over 10 years ago are otherwise lost in oblivion and not picked up by generic google searches, I decided it is time to recycle that text - here it is below, unamended but collated into a single longish article. Enjoy!

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Eating Less Meat Won't Help Protect The Environment, Eating Less Will

Science 2.0 - Oct 07 2020 - 17:10
A new paper seeks to take some of the guesswork out of subjective "sustainable" diets. Activists like True Health Initiative try to claim that a meatless diet is better for human health and the environment, for example, but their corporate sponsorships lead to skepticism. Claims about the emissions impact of meat production are often exaggerated by 700 percent. Environmentalists have never visited a farm if they think all grazing land could be growing tomatoes.

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Genome-Wide Association Analysis May Mean More Accurate Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease

Science 2.0 - Oct 06 2020 - 16:10
Have you been told you have a greater risk of heart disease based on family history? What does that even mean?

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Trichoderma And Corn Rot: Organic Pesticides Damage Crops

Science 2.0 - Oct 05 2020 - 12:10
A small percentage of farmers engage in an alternative form of agriculture termed "organic" because they believe it is a more natural manufacturing process, since it was used in the past.

The scientific flaws in that logic are well known, but the higher profits and environmental effects are real. Though California has only a tiny amount of organic produce, it requires 300 percent more pesticides to grow the same food as it would if they used regular farming. Organic farmers believe the higher profits are worth the higher economic and environmental costs.

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Why Disk Galaxies Look Smooth

Science 2.0 - Oct 05 2020 - 09:10
Like with kids, when it comes to galaxies adolescent blemishes disappear over time.

Exponential disks, common in spiral galaxies, dwarf elliptical galaxies and some irregular galaxies, appear smooth and have an exponential fade. How did they get it way?

It's not possible to know but using inference, simulations help provide insight. 


Graohic showing how two sample star orbits are scattered from nearly circular orbits by the gravity of massive clumps within galaxies. Image: Illustration by Jian Wu/Iowa State University. Galaxy image from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

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