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Fact-Checking Joe Biden Science Claims On Energy

Oct 23 2020 - 15:10
During last night's Presidential debate, former Obama administration Vice-President and Delaware Senator Joe Biden said something that had Democrats worried and even the most partisan fact checkers holding up an index finger: "I have never said I oppose fracking."

Democrats absolutely do oppose natural gas, along with nuclear and even hydroelectric power, so they may have been shocked by his statement. They can rest east. Not only does Biden oppose fracking, despite its benefit to the environment, he believes in lots of other anti-science things that cater to the populism of his base.

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Remdesivir Gets FDA Approval As First COVID-19 Treatment

Oct 22 2020 - 17:10
After clinical trials showed the safety and efficacy of Veklury (remdesivir) in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the antiviral drug for the treatment of severe COVID-19 - requiring hospitalization.

Veklury is the first treatment for COVID-19 to receive such FDA approval but it did get an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) on May 1, 2020.

The approval of Veklury was supported by the agency’s analysis of data from three randomized, controlled clinical trials that included patients hospitalized with mild-to-severe COVID-19.

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Organic Farming Is Not Compatible With Conservation

Oct 21 2020 - 12:10
A recent paper finds that if just 15 percent of farmland reverted to nature, it would wipe out nearly a third of the carbon we've generated since the onset of the Industrial Revolution.

The good news; we can do that easily. The bad news; it involves science, and western elites in environmental activism, from Environmental Working Group in the U.S. To Swiss Public Eye in Europe, are never going to allow that without a fight.

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COVID-19: Closing Borders And Stopping Traffic Was The Right Move, Argues Paper

Oct 20 2020 - 10:10
In early 2020 the U.S. government reacted to worrisome death figures for COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 form of coronavirus that erupted in Wuhan China in late 2019, and restricted air travel. This was xenophobia, political critics charged, and not based on evidence. Closing borders was not going to work anyway.

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Build Your Own Hadron

Oct 20 2020 - 08:10
Every time I lecture my students about the static quark model I find that the construction of hadrons from their constituents is really entertaining. Probably I have more fun than my students as I explain the details, but today you get to be the judge - I am going to explain it here, and test your patience and skills as a matter builder.
Hadrons are composite particles made of quarks. The word "hadron" comes from ancient Greek αδρος, which means "thick, bulky". The two hadrons we know best are protons and neutrons, which make up atomic nuclei; but there exist literally hundreds more, which are unstable and decay very quickly after they are created, in subnuclear reactions we can produce using particle accelerators. 

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Permian-Triassic Mass Extinction Triggered Switch To Warm-Bloodedness

Oct 19 2020 - 11:10
ome 250 million years ago, in the time when life was recovering from

The greatest mass extinction of all time, the Permian-Triassic mass extinction 250 million years ago, killed 95 percent of life, and the very few survivors faced a turbulent world, repeatedly hit by ice ages, rapid warming and ocean acidification cycles.

Through all of that, two main groups of tetrapods survived; the synapsids and archosaurs, ancestors of mammals and birds. And a new study find that the ancestors of both mammals and birds became warm-blooded at the same time.

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In Canada, 70 Percent Of Firearms Deaths Are Suicide

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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