Science 2.0

Subscribe to Science 2.0 feed
Science 2.0® - Science for the next 2,000 years, Non-profit, non-partisan, independent.
Updated: 47 min 3 sec ago

Gemstone Classification With A Specific Gravity Scale

3 hours 46 min ago
The isolation that most of the civilized world is being subjected to, during the past few weeks, has produced a number of nasty effects, first and foremost on our economies, but it has also had a few positive ones. One of them is, at least in my case, an urge to use the extra time I have in my hands in a creative way.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Evolution Could Make Future Viruses Even Weirder: Some Have The Building Blocks For Their Own Metabolism

4 hours 39 min ago
Though they are called giant viruses they're still among the tiniest denizens of the microbiome. A few genes' worth of DNA or RNA folded into a shell so small you need an electron microscope to see it. They are more like a stripped-down husk of an organism. Giant viruses are ten times the size of their more compact cousins and with hundreds or even thousands of genes, so unlike the rest of the family that when first cataloged in 1992, researchers dismissed it as bacteria. 

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

COVID-19: Why UK Is Ignoring WHO Advice - Key Differences Between UK's Simulated Flu And Real World Data

5 hours 54 min ago

I am going to send this article to Allyson M Pollock, professor of public health and lead author of a recent paper in the British Medical Journal.

The paper is called Covid-19: why is the UK government ignoring WHO’s advice?.

The authors of this paper say that

The reasons why tracing was stopped, against WHO recommendations, have not been published.

The detailed reasons are not published but the paper that motivates the new policy has been published. I have written about this before but for the purposes of this article have followed up in more detail and I will focus this article on the paper itself.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

What Is Contact Tracing And Why Is It So Effective At Stopping COVID-19?

Apr 05 2020 - 16:04

I feel many people don't really understand clearly what contact tracing really is and why it is so effective for COVID-19. If they understood this better they might make wiser decisions. The WHO in every press briefing stress that this is the key to not just delaying the spread of COVID-19 but suppressing it and then stopping it - crushing it right down to no new cases a day.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Game Theory May Predict How To Reduce Panic Buying

Apr 05 2020 - 13:04

During difficult times, we hope that everyone will pull together, keep calm, and work as a unit to ensure that society continues to run smoothly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case – as is particularly evident right now.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

How Contact Tracing For COVID-19 Saves Lives

Apr 05 2020 - 08:04

Many governments, the UK included, do not seem to fully understand how important contact tracing is for stopping the outbreak. They focus their policy on physical distancing - which is the most obvious eye catching thing that filled the news about Wuhan. But contact tracing is the absolute key to stopping this virus.

The WHO stress this over and over.

Some countries have got this message. But many countries still focus on physical distancing and only isolating cases that are already tested and found to have Covid-19. Many academics also focus their theoretical work on physical distancing.

They also sometimes quarantine all the people that the person is in the same household with, or they close the school they went to, or their work place.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Free Trade Has Created Greater Food System Sustainability - Lack Of Farmers Puts Wealthy Countries At Risk

Apr 04 2020 - 09:04
The locally grown effort was always fine for people fortunate enough to be born into agriculturally rich areas but for everyone else it historically meant famine, poor diets, or high costs.

Modern agriculture and free markets changed all that. A new study finds that as the world has increased its standard of living - there are fewer people in poverty than ever in history and it continues to drop fast - it can lead to concern about food system sustainability. As people get wealthier, they move out of rural areas and into cities, but as we have seen during the SARS-CoV2 panic, when 2 percent of people provide all of the food there is less food system stability. Unless there is a large free trade market.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

UK's Isolation Period Of 7 Days For COVID-19 Is Too Short - WHO Advises Isolation To 14 Days After Symptoms Resolve

Apr 04 2020 - 09:04

In the UK those who think they have COVID-19, including confirmed cases, isolate at home for 7 days after onset of symptoms. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, was confirmed to have COVID-19 a week ago. He has just come out of isolation after 7 days. See: Matt Hancock leaves week-long isolation period under UK's 'outlier' rules

This is radically different from the WHO isolation period. According to the WHO he is still infectious and could contribute to the spread of the disease. He should only leave isolation this early if he has two negative PCR tests 24 hours apart.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Good Morning! Did You Sleep Poorly Because Of Your Genes?

Apr 04 2020 - 08:04
A new paper suggests 47 links between our genetic code and the quality, quantity and timing of our sleep.

The correlation was created using 85,670 participants of UK Biobank and 5,819 individuals from three other studies, who wore accelerometers (e.g. Fitbit) which recorded activity levels continuously. They wore the accelerometers continuously for seven days which provides more accuracy than people who write how well they slept diaries.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

UK's Antibody Certificates Would Not Prove You Are Safe From COVID-19 - And Herd Immunity Is Unproven For COVID-19

Apr 03 2020 - 14:04

Experts are weighing in on Matt Hancock’s proposal of “antibody certificates” in the UK, and saying that antibody tests will NOT prove that you are immune from the disease. We do not know. It is possible that those with antibodies can still be infected, and die of the disease.

Such certificates would give a false sense of security. Especially for the general public, they could also encourage risky behaviour such as people deliberately trying to get COVID-19 in order to pass the test and get back to work - a fraction of those people deliberately trying to get COVID19 would need ventilators or would die.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

No More Chemophobia: Millions Cheer As Hydrogen Peroxide Machine Makes N95 Masks Reusable 20 Times

Apr 03 2020 - 12:04
Environmental Working Group recently rolled out its annual Dirty Dozen list of foods that ... wait, did they?

This year, no one seems to know or care if a group of lawyers paid an intern to go through USDA pesticide data and did simple arithmetic to declare how 'toxic' fruit was unless the pesticides on it were made by their clients.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

New Moms, Postpartum Depression, And Social Isolation

Apr 03 2020 - 06:04

Up to one in five women will develop postpartum depression, a condition that can adversely affect the thoughts, emotions and functioning of mothers, as well as the mental health of their partners and children.

Adjusting to parenthood after delivery is challenging under normal circumstances, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic. Concerns about exposure to COVID-19, combined with physical distancing recommendations, can worsen depression and decrease access to the resources, such as health care and social supports, that women typically use to build resilience and promote recovery.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

In The UK And Depressed About COVID-19? This May Help

Apr 02 2020 - 18:04

This is a conversation I had recently via text with someone who suffers from depression about the situation about COVID-19 in the UK. I hope my answers will help others with depression face this situation.

The main message is, don't give up - we can and will deal with this - pressurize our government to act and protect yourself and others by making sure you don't get it yourself.

On a personal level, this is how to protect yourself, and also the people around you who might get it from you - you can break those chains of transmission at least and prevent it spreading through you into your community.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Why We Don't Need To Have A Second Wave Of COVID-19 Or Multiple Waves

Apr 02 2020 - 16:04

The idea that COVID-19 can’t be stopped and has to go in waves is based on the idea that it transmits like flu.

But this disease is not flu.

It can be stopped; it can be contained.

 

The main reason that's possible is because.

  1. it is not airborne [except for certain medical procedures like intubation]
  2. though there are people without symptoms, there don't seem to be many asymptomatic cases - and asymptomatic cases don't infect others much.

The spread of this virus is driven by people that typically either have symptoms or are presymptomatic - they develop symptoms later.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

The Strategic National Stockpile Was Not Designed For An Extreme Event

Apr 02 2020 - 14:04

As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, Americans have been hearing a lot about an obscure but vast federal trove of emergency supplies, the Strategic National Stockpile.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

How Robert F. Kennedy Jr. And American Activists Are Spinning Coronavirus For Their Agenda

Apr 02 2020 - 12:04
The organic movement and the anti-vaccine movement often go hand-in-hand in the United States - there is a reason Organic Consumers Association will proudly host talks by noted anti-vaccine zealot Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. - and while I predict the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is the beginning of the end for 21st century chemophobia (chemicals that work are flying off shelves while "green" cleaning products gather dust, even here in California), and the anti-vaccine movement (this is the world without one vaccine, imagine if we had none), and the organic food movement (if you can't find food at your grocery store, go to Whole Foods, they will have plenty of overpriced stuff no one wants when they are worried) - those groups will not go down without a fight.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Pets Help Senior Citizens With Social Isolation And Fitness

Apr 02 2020 - 11:04
During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the 2019 form of the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China and has caused the COVID-19 disease worldwide, there has been concern about protecting those with preexisting conditions, which will be many seniors. Though the risk is negligible in young people, since coronavirus is in the same family as the common cold anyone can carry it without being symptomatic and that means extra precaution is being taken regarding the elderly.

Yet social isolation can be harmful as well. If you've ever watched the television show "Alone", you know even the ablest survivalist can crack under actual isolation in the wilderness. And families may regard it as too risky to visit right now.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

Natural History Museum of Utah: Research Quest Live Is Hosting Free Daily Classes For Kids

Apr 01 2020 - 17:04
The Natural History Museum of Utah recently launched Research Quest Live and is offering virtual tours and free access to daily online science classes taught by museum educators.

Each weekday the museum will host live classes at 9:30 a.m. MDT for kids in 4th through 7th grade.

Monday, March 30: What dinosaur did these bones come from? Part 1

Special Guest: NHMU Paleo Lab Manger, Tylor Birthisel joins at 10:30

Tuesday, March 31: What dinosaur did these bones come from? Part 2

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

What Brain Images Of The Three-Million-Year Old Lucy Species Just Revealed

Apr 01 2020 - 16:04
Brain volume changes during evolution have shown how modern human brains diverged from the brains of our closest primate cousin, the chimpanzee, and a new study takes that a step further.

CT-scans of three-million-year old brain imprints inside fossil skulls of the species Australopithecus afarensis (famous for "Lucy" and "Selam" from Ethiopia's Afar region) reveals that while Lucy's species had an ape-like brain structure, the brain took longer to reach adult size, suggesting that infants may have had a longer dependence on caregivers, a human-like trait.

read more

Categories: Science 2.0

SARS-CoV-2 Gaming: Ubisoft Is Giving Away Raymand Legends, Chess Royale and Rabbids Coding

Apr 01 2020 - 14:04
Though cynics will insist that companies are giving away free stuff as some sort of genius marketing tactic, it is 100% certain none of those claiming such have ever run a company. Giving away free stuff rarely pays off that way.

Companies are made up of people just like you and me, and they care about what is going on. They may even recognize that while everyone is staying home, not everyone has a catalog of games they can play. Not everyone has discretionary money, especially if they are in the groups that have been laid off because of company closures.

Why not give them some games?

read more

Categories: Science 2.0