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Updated: 48 min 19 sec ago

Your Boss May Be A Jerk, But That's Not Why They Got Ahead

Sep 03 2020 - 11:09
Two studies of people who had completed personality assessments as undergraduates or MBA students at three universities, and were surveyed again over a decade later and ranked by co-workers about their workplace behavior, found that those with selfish, deceitful, and aggressive personality traits were not more likely to have attained power than those who were generous, trustworthy, and generally nice.

Plenty of jerks were in positions of power, but it wasn't because they manipulated their way into it. 

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No, Bill Gates Does NOT Want To Inject Us All With A Microchip In A Vaccine - Fails Basic Fact Check

Sep 02 2020 - 14:09

Bill Gates doesn't make vaccines. There are now 169 vaccines from many different countries, 30 of those already in clinical trials and six in phase 3. Some may be approved soon, and none are made by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation does provide funding for some vaccines. In particular they are amongst the funders for the vaccine alliances GAVI and COVAX, the vaccine pillar of the “Access to COVID19 Tools” ACT accelerator.

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FDA Bureaucracy Was Unprepared For A COVID-19 Vaccine - Here Is How To Fix It

Sep 01 2020 - 16:09
In late March of 2020, the Food and Drug Administration gave Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. The drug is already used off-label for diseases like arthritis and given how it behaves with human biology, it is plausible it might work on some with COVID-19. A peer-reviewed study found just that - but it was only epidemiology, and that is not how drug approval ever happens, any more than epidemiology alone should be how regulations happen at EPA or any policy-making group. 

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Collision Course: The Andromea Galaxy Halo Is Already Running Into Our Own

Aug 31 2020 - 11:08
The Andromeda galaxy, our nearest large galactic neighbor has been found to have a nearly invisible halo of diffuse plasma that extends about halfway to our Milky Way.

That's 1.3 million light-years, and it may go 2 million light-years in some directions, which means Andromeda's halo is already touching our own.

The halo has a layered structure, with two main nested and distinct shells of gas. These reservoirs of gas contain fuel for future star formation within the galaxy, as well as outflows from events such as supernovae. 

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Are Preschoolers Racist? Only If Learned, But They Notice Skin Color Differences Even Earlier

Aug 31 2020 - 11:08
With racial tension erupting again, parents may be wondering the appropriate age to discuss what they see in news or in protests at sporting events. 

Psychologist believe that some infants are aware of race and children are capable of thinking about all sorts of complex topics at a very young age. They must, because they see older, bigger people doing things that may seem almost magical, and it becomes important to make sense of their world and will come up with their own ideas. But if they only see news on television, with two sides rioting and committing violence in the name of opposing the others' fascism, the ideas kids come up with may be inaccurate or detrimental.

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No Realistic Possibility Of A False Vacuum Collapse For Much More Than Trillions Of Years - Not A Concern

Aug 28 2020 - 16:08

The false vacuum collapse is about a remote possibility so far in the future that all stars run out of fuel long before. Our universe is so young on this timescale it is like a newborn, with most of its planets and stars still to form. There is no realistic possibility of a false vacuum collapse at present and it is of no concern.

Also even with present day physics the vacuum may be totally stable. Experts on the Higgs field have worked out that the possibility that it is absolutely stable with their latest calculations and current measurements and the Standard Model. The answer is 0.7%

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COVID-19: Myths And Reality About Weather And Seasonality

Aug 28 2020 - 12:08
You've probably gotten a summer cold, perhaps even the flu, even though the weather is warm.

SARS-CoV-2, the 2019 form of coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, is in the same family as the common cold, so it is correct that heat will kill it, but just like colds and flu, weather is not a magic bullet.

Some do believe that with summer heat social distancing means less but that isn't reliable. False confidence can have adversely shaped risk perception and put people you know in the .03 with devastating risk factors in greater jeopardy.


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Eat A Vegetarian Diet If It Suits You, It Won't Make You Healthier - Only Fewer Calories Will

Aug 28 2020 - 10:08
People often adopt vegetarian or even vegan diets because they are told it will make them healthier, but the same epidemiological correlation that tried to link butter with heart disease claimed trans fats would prevent it, and now statistical links claim just the opposite. 

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A New Method For Muon Energy Measurement In A Granular Calorimeter

Aug 26 2020 - 15:08
Muons are very special particles. They are charged particles that obey the same physical laws and interaction phenomenology of electrons, but their 207 times heavier mass (105 MeV, versus the half MeV of electrons) makes them behave in an entirely different fashion.

For one thing, muons are not stable. As they weigh more than electrons, they may transform the excess weight into energy, undergoing a disintegration (muon decay) which produces an electron and two neutrinos. And since everything that is not prohibited is compulsory in the subnuclear world, this process happens with a half time of 2 microseconds.

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My Comment To USDA On Exempting The Blight-Resistant American Chestnut From Government Regulatory Cycles

Aug 26 2020 - 14:08
You may heard "chestnuts on an open fire" at Christmas but they are a lot of rarer than they once were. That is due to nature, and importation of a fungus that decimated 4,000,000,000 and caused this beautiful hardwood to disappear from eastern forests.

But after 28 years of research, an academic group solved the problem using a gene found in grains, strawberries, etc. It is completely harmless but prevents the tree from developing sores. It is nature fixing nature.

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How Effective Will A COVID-19 Vaccine Need To Be To Stop The Pandemic? There's Bad News

Aug 26 2020 - 10:08
Researchers are on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine to eliminate the need for mask wearing and current limits on interpersonal gatherings (except protests), but a new model says it still may not help the world exit a lingering economic depression.

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Controversial Jena Biodiversity Experiment Put To The Test

Aug 26 2020 - 09:08
One problem with studies that create an outcome and then find data to support it is they don't have real world application. International Agency for Research on Cancer epidemiologists, for example, have been caught creating a desired warning label for chemicals and then hand-picking studies to support that goal - the opposite of what scientists do. Harvard TS Chan School of Public Health is frequently criticized for data dredging, where they take questionnaires with so many foods and outcomes they are sure to be able to link something and claim it has statistical power.

Yet in the real world, weedkillers don't cause cancer, neonicotinoids don't kill bees, and there are no "miracle vegetables." 

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Can This System Help Prevent Traffic Jams?

Aug 26 2020 - 08:08
The number one cause of traffic jams in larger U.S. cities is high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, which were created by government to force people into carpooling to prevent traffic jams. It did not work, nor did pretending single-use electric cars were carpools, because blocking off 25 percent of the road for 6 perfect of cars makes no sense and people did not change jobs to be able to work in the same factory in the same town, the way it was possible 60 years ago.

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Why COVID-19 Infection Curves Have Not Been What Epidemiologists Predicted

Aug 25 2020 - 14:08
Epidemiologists assured us S-shaped curves would be the case for COVID-19, but many countries had decreases of infection numbers "social distancing" and a linear rise of infection curves after the first peak.

A new paper offers an explanation for the linear growth of the infection curve.

Traditional epidemiological models required so much fine-tuning of parameters that they became scientifically meaningless. Linear growth, with an R number at 1, in the epidemiology models that were being used would have to mean reducing contacts by the same exact and constant percentage. That was never going to happen outside the world of statistical hope.

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Academic Surgery Has Fewer Women, But They Get More NIH Grants

Aug 25 2020 - 06:08
There are disparities in many fields of academia; physics has fewer women, for example, while psychology has fewer men. Some contend that is due to discomfort in not having equal representation.

But fewer members of the same sex is assuaged if there is more money, and that is the case for female academic surgeons. They are outnumbered by men but get more NIH funding than men do. They get nearly 50 percent more R01 grants.

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Though Only 20% Of Americans Hold Negative Views About Vaccination, The Political Skew Impacts Policy

Aug 24 2020 - 15:08
What do anti-vaccine believers have in common? A similar distrust in other settled science like GMOs and nuclear power, for one. And they all are more likely to share similar voting patterns, which means that even though only 20 percent of Americans hold negative views of vaccines, they have an outsized impact on policy. Because most of them are on the same political side.

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There Is Now No Racial Disparity In Lung Cancer Incidence - Except For White Women

Aug 24 2020 - 10:08
Historically, lung cancer incidence rates have been higher in Black people than White people among men of all ages and among younger women, likely reflecting historically higher smoking rates in Black adults.

That is no longer the case, and in women the trend has even reversed.

That is a big win for science and health nonprofit groups like ours, which have warned about the perils of smoking for our entire existence.

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IBD: How A Class Of Killer T Cells Goes Rogue

Aug 23 2020 - 15:08

Between 6 and 8 million people worldwide suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, a group of chronic intestinal disorders that can cause belly pain, urgent and frequent bowel movements, bloody stools and weight loss. New research suggests that a malfunctioning member of the patient’s own immune system called a killer T cell may be one of the culprits. This discovery may provide a new target for IBD medicines.

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82% Of Baby Boomers Are Experienced Enough Not To Trust Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ COVID-19 Vaccine Claims

Aug 21 2020 - 11:08
Only 16 percent of Americans believe that Russia leapfrogged American scientists and successfully created a viable COVID-19 in a recent survey. They may be the same 16 percent who believe Russian propaganda sites like Russia Today and Sputnik when it comes to food: that Russia became the world leader in "organic" food with a press release saying they were; and energy, where Russia funds environmental groups to undermine natural gas so they can control Europe using a strategic resource while Germany can claim they have a larger percent of "renewable" energy domestically than would be possible if their energy was generated locally.

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Our Food Supply Was Built On Engineering Plants: The War On Science Risks That Food Security

Aug 21 2020 - 09:08
The majority of today's plant-based food was created using scientific optimization of traits - genetic engineering. Watermelons, bananas, tomatoes, lettuce, and corn are all great examples of genetically engineered foods that few realize are not natural even if they carry an "organic" manufacturing process sticker.

Despite that success, government-funded scientists are reporting less funding than ever and the reason is largely because the private sector has done so well. It may also be because the war against agriculture is being waged by those often in the same political tribe as those who want to pursue a career in academia. No one wants to be shamed at parties because they do science that a giant chunk of people educated by marketing dislike.

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