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Updated: 37 min 21 sec ago

The Amazon Fire This And Next Time

Aug 23 2019 - 13:08
Not so long ago it was thought that Amazonian forests and other tropical rainforest regions were completely immune to fires, thanks to the high moisture content of the undergrowth beneath the protection of the canopy tree cover. But the severe droughts of 1997-98, 2005, 2010, and currently a large number of wildfires across northern Brazil have forever changed this perception.

These severe ‘mega-droughts’ in the Amazon were most likely driven by interacting large-scale climatic events, with the warming of the Atlantic increasingly outweighing the drying effects of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events in the Pacific.

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Military Aeromedical Patient Evacuations: Yet Another Way Dogs Rule

Aug 23 2019 - 11:08
Members of the United States military who are injuried abroad often return to the U.S. for treatment and must be transported by aeromedical evacuation between medical facilities.

Evacuations can lead to their own chronic and acute stress, on top of the injuries and potential psychological trauma. 

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Japan’s Hayabusa 2 Spacecraft Discovered This Strange Anomaly About Asteroid Ryugu

Aug 23 2019 - 10:08
In the summer of 2018, the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft arrived at the Ryugu asteroid and in October of that year sent out the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander to gather information about the surface.

Now the images taken during its 17 hour mission have revealed something interesting. The asteroid, just over half a mile in diameter, has rocks like carbonaceous chondrite meteorites but there seems to be no dust, like is on the moon. The rocks are instead "bright, with smooth faces and sharp edges, or dark, with a cauliflower-like, crumbly surface."

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Scientific American Blogs Reminded People They Still Exist - By Scaremongering Vegetables And Promoting Supplements

Aug 23 2019 - 08:08
I didn't even know Scientific American Blogs still existed. They do, they were just irrelevant and no one remembered until a few days ago. Given their recent foray into nonsense, it can be the next place where denier for hire Paul Thacker pretends to be a journalist.

Scientific American Blogs was the brainchild of blogging wunderkind Bora Zivkovic, who left Scienceblogs for PLOS, to build a blog network for them, and then when Scientific American wanted to retry blogging they recruited him.

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Fish Oil Supplements Don't Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes - They May Make Glucose Metabolism Worse

Aug 23 2019 - 08:08
Increased consumption of omega 3 fats is widely promoted because of a recent belief that it will protect against, or even reverse, conditions such as type 2 diabetes. 

Fads always start with a kernel of scientific truth, as happened with acai berries, chocolate, red wine, and whatever probiotic or yogurt is being for the microbiome sold this week. Omega 3 is a type of fat and small amounts are essential for good health and can be found in the food that we eat.

But a systematic review commissioned by the World Health Organization and published today in the British Medical Journal finds that omega 3 supplements offer no benefit.

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Federal GMO Rules - An End To Patchwork States Bills Or Going DARK?

Aug 22 2019 - 19:08
A bipartisan duo has floated the idea of putting an end to having 50 rules for 50 states when it comes to labels on genetically modified foods. The federal government is usually hands off about processes that don't involve safety - they don't do spot testing of organic or kosher food, for example they rely on companies to be honest in filling out paperwork and for the public to be punitive when food makers are unethical. Likewise, GMO is just a process, so the FDA and the USDA hasn't much cared, as long as products show substantial equivalence.

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Cervical Cancer Is Not The Most Common Thing The HPV Vaccine Prevents, That's Oropharyngeal Cancer

Aug 22 2019 - 17:08
Though an entire $2 billion industry has been built scaring people about the modern world (which has promoted a $35 billion supplement market and a $110 billion Organic industry) we're in a Golden Age.

Even the poorest people can afford food, what were once booms and busts of famine and plenty have now leveled off, poverty declines are ahead of U.N. goals, and even centralized energy in developing countries, which could help a billion people, is attainable if western states stop telling poor nations they can only get World Bank help if it's not coal, natural gas, or nuclear. 

And we can prevent cancer for the first time. 

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Perfect Day Sold Out Of Its GMO Cell-Based Ice Cream In Hours - At $20 A Pint

Aug 22 2019 - 13:08
Ben&Jerry's is not going to roll out ice cream derived from geneticaly modified cells in a lab any time soon - their buying demographic hates science (although their parent conglomerate Unilever loves it) - but the public wants it now.

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Randy Constant, The Farmer Behind The Largest Known Organic Fraud in U.S. History, Has Committed Suicide

Aug 22 2019 - 12:08
Organic food has no surprise spot testing, and no testing at all from its clients like Environmental Working Group, in the U.S. you just have to rely on the willingness of over 80 groups that are in the business of selling stickers to believe their clients - the people who pay them and keep them in business.

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Australian Men Have The Highest Lagged Cohort Life Expectancy

Aug 22 2019 - 11:08
Will beer and fights become the newest health craze?

Though the stereotype of Australian men is the tough, beer-drinking Alpha - they popularized running face-first while rappelling down cliffs among armies across the world - but they must live pretty health lives because they lead the world in longevity.

Australian men, on average, live to 74.1. And women are doing well also. Only Switzerland surpasses the land down under for females. 

Lagged Cohort Life Expectancy

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Omega-3 Fats Won't Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Aug 22 2019 - 10:08
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin.  Though there is sometimes a genetic factor but it is overwhelmingly a lifestyle disease caused by being overweight and inactive. The pancreas simply becomes overworked.

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Crocodiles Don't Clean Their Teeth, They Get Rid Of Them And Grow New Ones

Aug 22 2019 - 10:08
Having one of the most powerful bites in the animal kingdom, crocodiles must be able to bite hard to eat their food such as turtles, wildebeest and other large prey.  Well, so do we, but we don't have exceptionally tough teeth and neither do crocodiles.

However, we do have relatively thick enamel on our teeth, which can get ruined over time without proper care. 

Crocodiles don't even have that. They have thin tooth enamel, the opposite of humans and other hard-biting species, as their plant-eating ancestors did. But unlike humans, when their teeth go bad, they seem to just grow new ones.


Fossilized crocodile teeth. Image: University of Missouri

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Just Egg: Eggless Egg Substitute Concoctions Go Into 2,100 Kroger stores

Aug 22 2019 - 08:08
Mung bean protein, canola oil, onion puree and turmeric - it's what's for breakfast. Maybe.

Fake versions of foods are all the rage but egg farmers who survived the Vegg ("nutritional yeast flakes, Sodium alginate, Kala Namak, beta-carotene") can't rest easy just yet. Joining any number of eggless egg substitute concoctions, Just Egg is rolling out in 2,100 Kroger stores nationwide.

Unlike most others, which are just used as a leavening agent or a binder so egg is substituted by xantham gum or tofu or some other chemical and isn't really for cooking, three tablespoons of Just Egg is touted to be just like a regular egg and can be used for an omelet or scramble.

So if you don't want to eat liquid chicken, you can eat whatever this is instead.

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Happy Family Organics Lobbyists Get A Win - More Organic Food For Poor People On WIC, At The Same High Cost

Aug 22 2019 - 06:08
Happy Family Organics has another win, by expanding the number of states in which participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) can purchase its jars of "organic" baby food.

The company also claims it is making packaging commitments that "support a more circular economy" but the beginning of that circle need to be the price poor people pay, not fuzzy-wuzzy marketing claims about whatever "sustainability" is pretending to be this week.

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Iceland Held A Funeral For A Glacier

Aug 22 2019 - 06:08
Iceland is not really icy and Greenland is not really green (nor it is for sale, it seems) so Iceland prizes its glaciers. One, Okjokull glacier, disappeared 10 years ago so they recently decided to give it a funeral in a the made-for-media political theater memorial that only unemployed people mobilized by professional activists have time to engage in.
 
About 100 people actually did walk up the volcano, with the kids (naturally) featured prominently. 

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Every Year There Are Amazon Wildfires - NOT An All Time Record - More In 2016 And Far More 2005 - Doesn't Derail Paris Agreement

Aug 22 2019 - 01:08

Short summary: we have had wild fires for many years now in the Amazon, even in the tropical rainforest - mainly started by humans for forest clearing and ranching. It is not enough to impact significantly on the Paris agreement pledges yet though it is important in the long term if this continues for decades.

The ranchers use fire for forest clearing, "slash and burn agriculture" as it is called. That is because it is much easier to convert forest into grassland by burning it than to do it by felling the trees. Once it is cut, the way they manage the pastures is to reburn them every few years to clear out the brush and to get the grass to resprout.

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Artificial Cranial Deformation For Social Status Found In Croatia Skulls From 5th Century

Aug 21 2019 - 19:08
Artificial Cranial Deformation (ACD) is the practice of modifying the skull from infancy to create a permanently altered shape, often to signify social status.

In a new study, genetic, isotopic and skeletal analysis of three human skeletons dating to 415-560 AD excavated from the Hermanov vinograd archaeological site in Osijek Croatia revealed that all were males between 12 and 16 years of age at death and that they all suffered from malnutrition.

They are not obviously of different social status, but genetic analysis found that the two with cranial modifications exhibited very distinct ancestries, one from the Near East and the other from East Asia. 

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Nearly 1/3 of Immigrants Experience Violence While Traveling Through Mexico

Aug 21 2019 - 19:08
Whether or not to allow unchecked illegal immigration from Mexico is a U.S. political debate but left out of it is how poorly Mexico allows migrants to be treated along the way.

Mexico is not the only place where this is a problem. People trying to avoid immigration laws face peril around the world, no matter what country they visit but America provides the largest undefended borders in the world so the problem is just more easily seen here. 

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Statistics Can Correlate Anything To Anything - Even Air Quality To Mental Illness

Aug 21 2019 - 19:08
There is a pattern to junk science that borders on disinformation. Lay out all of the things you want gullible science journalists to repeat in the press release but then at the bottom of the actual journal article concede that your statistical link is simply an exploratory results and that associations you found cannot show causation.

Like that trace levels of air pollution cause psychiatric disorders.

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The Division 2 Very Late, Very Good, Somewhat Pointless Review: Less Science, More Action

Aug 21 2019 - 11:08
In 2016's "Tom Clancy's The Division", eco-terrorists bioengineer a fast-acting mutation of Smallpox in order to cull humanity by using the greed of people - they placed it on a fomite, dollar bills in Manhattan's largest department store.

Game reviewers at the time were as perplexed by that but to the science community the rationale made perfect sense. Environmental groups that want to cull humanity want the culling to be among regard as less fit, even if they don't admit it. By using dollar bills they would be targeting people who don't have credit cards. The poor, not organic food shoppers that listen to NPR.  So this modern form of eugenicists and social Darwinists could eliminate non-elites and slap consumerism.

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