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Messier 87 — First Black Hole Image

Apr 10 2019 - 09:04
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole.

Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

The EHT links telescopes around the globe to form an Earth-sized virtual telescope with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution.

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Absurd Blog Post At Arctic News Predicting Ridiculous 10 °C Rise In Global Temperatures By 2026 - A POLYNOMIAL To EXTRAPOLATE!

Apr 09 2019 - 22:04

Am debunking this page because it makes a scary prediction of a 10 °C rise by 2026. It is very very silly. By far the silliest post I’ve seen on climate change, and that’s saying something, I’ve seen some ridiculous posts, but this takes the biscuit. I can’t find out anything about Sam Carana who runs this blog, but he would flunk high school maths and physics if he gave material like this in answer to exam questions.

This is not about the IPCC report which is often misunderstood as saying something similar. For the journalistic misunderstandings of the 2017 IPCC report see my

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FDA Approves Dovato (dolutegravir And Lamivudine) For HIV-1

Apr 08 2019 - 16:04
Approximately a million people in the U.S. are living with HIV and up to 15 percent may not even know they are infected. In Februrary, the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services announced a new initiative, Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, to reduce new infections by 75 percent in the next five years and by 90 percent in the next ten years, averting more than 250,000 HIV infections in that span.

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Vitamin C May Protect Cells From Hexavalent Chromium? No, But You're Safe From It Anyway

Apr 08 2019 - 11:04
In the movie "Erin Brockovich", actress Julia Roberts portrayed a clerk who got energy company PG&E worried enough about a jury being scared of science they wrote her boss a giant check. Because Hollywood is in California, the state government was motivated to declare the compound harmful and put in tighter restrictions.

The concern from the science community was that no one was being harmed. It's a slippery slope from demonizing a scary sounding chemical in water to doing the same thing to vaccines or weedkillers. Which is exactly what has happened, and California has led the way in both cases.

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Bayer Releases All Glyphosate Safety Studies Used By European Food Safety Authority

Apr 08 2019 - 10:04
Every regulatory body in the world has found that the weedkiller glyphosate is only harmful for plants. And huge studies of over 50,000 farmers have found the same.

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18 Percent Of Multiple Sclerosis Patients Misdiagnosed

Apr 08 2019 - 10:04
With a tricky disease like multiple sclerosis, where symptoms and MRI testing results can look like other conditions, such as stroke, migraines and vitamin B12 deficiency, it's common to be misdiagnosed with other things first. A new analysis of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before being referred to two major Los Angeles medical centers flipped the script; it found that 18 percent didn't have the autoimmune disease at all.  

The results showed that nearly 18 percent of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before being referred to two major Los Angeles medical centers for treatment actually had been misdiagnosed with the autoimmune disease. The patients spent an average of four years being treated for MS before receiving a correct diagnosis.

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Accelerating The Search For Dark Matter With Machine Learning

Apr 07 2019 - 09:04
Yes, this is supposedly a particle physics blog, not a machine learning one - and yet, I have been finding myself blogging a lot more about machine learning than particle physics as of late. Why is that? 
Well, of course the topic of algorithms that may dramatically improve our statistical inference from collider data is of course dear to my heart, and has been so since at least two decades (my first invention, the "inverse bagging" algorithm, is dated 1992, when nobody even knew what bagging was). But the more incidental reason is that now _everybody_ is interested in the topic, and that means all of my particle physics and astroparticle physics colleagues. 

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Europeans Keep Telling Peru To Preserve The Rainforest The Way Europe Wants But Nevertheless Peru Persisted

Apr 05 2019 - 18:04
University of Bonn environmentalists and economists say Peru's National Forest Conservation Program needs to do more ro protect the rainforest.

Peru, on the other hand, is navigating the shackled man problem(1); that developed countries want the rest of the world to limit progress now that rich economies are already doing well. So in 2010 they launched a program to protect the rainforest but Europeans criticize that its effect is still too small. Further, they want Peru to enact three more stringent measures and if governments in Europe agree Peru has to at least consider it because they are held hostage by international governments funding the program.

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Leishmaniosis: Dog To Dog Transmission Reported

Apr 05 2019 - 17:04

Canine leishmaniosis is a potentially fatal infection caused by the parasite Leishmania infantum, carried by the female sand fly and transmitted in its bite. It is zoonotic, so can be passed on to people but dogs have been known to pick up the infection after being bitten or wounded by another infected dog.

That's rare, and in the UK cases to-date have only been associated with blood transfusion, breeding programs, or overseas travel but a 3 year old neutered male shih tzu cross, which had been with its owner since a puppy and had none of the known risk factors for infection, was recently diagnosed with leishmaniosis in Hertfordshire.

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Alcohol Does Not Prevent Strokes

Apr 05 2019 - 11:04

Blood pressure and stroke risk increase steadily with sedentary lifestyle, obesity and of course the biggest risk is age. Many want to optimize their time living to prevent debilitating injuries and epidemiologists are happy to find a statistical correlation for everything; that is why some embrace supplements, some embrace organic food, and some embrace alcohol use.

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Gun Shootings Lead To More Gun Purchases

Apr 05 2019 - 11:04
For a recent paper, researchers examined monthly data on U.S. background checks for gun purchases and permits from November 1998 through April 2016, looking for purchasing trends after shootings during that time. 

When media coverage highlighted shootings, they found there were increases in handgun purchases. Only after high-fatality shootings were there decreases. The authors segmented results by the shooter’s race/ethnicity, the region where the shooting occurred, if a shooting was school related, fatalities, if it was a handgun or rifle, automatic or semiautomatic, the extent of media coverage level, and state political affiliation.

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The Plot Of The Week - ATLAS Dilepton Resonance Search

Apr 04 2019 - 08:04
For the tenth anniversary of this blog being hosted by Science20, which is coming in a few days, I decided to reinstall the habit I once had of weekly picking and commenting on a result from high-energy physics research, a series I called "The Plot Of The Week". These days I am busier than I used to be when this blog started being published here, so I am not sure I will be able to keep a weekly pace for this series; on the other hand I want to make an attempt, and the first step in that direction is this article.

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Ageism Is Rampant In England, And Discrimination Against Seniors Is Causing Health Issues

Apr 03 2019 - 19:04
Ageism, discrimination against the elderly, has been reported in The Lancet Public Health journal as a problem for 25 percent of older people in England. And that is not truly old people, even those in their 50s face it. The repercussions are not just emotional, the study links the discrimination to worse health outcomes.

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Papaya Sugarcane May Be On Its Way

Apr 03 2019 - 14:04

The Rainbow Papaya in Hawaii is a great example of how biology solved a devastating problem that nature created and chemicals could not fix. It put GMOs, the successor to mutagenesis, on the map worldwide, and today billions of meals have been served using GMO science.

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An Electrochemical Way To Make Lead Pipes Safe Forever

Apr 03 2019 - 13:04

Though lead levels across America are far safer than even a generation ago, the lack of a solid answer on what the safe level is leads to concern that leaching, such as from water pipes, could be harmful. 

As the crisis in Flint, Michigan a few years ago showed, the public can be put in a panic easily, and politicians will use public health concern for advantage, even after their decisions to stop using the science that had protected the public caused the problem.

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FDA Investigating Reported Seizures In E-Cigarette Users

Apr 03 2019 - 12:04
When the Obama administration's Food and Drug Administration gave way to the Trump era, there were a number of positive changes in how the federal government treated smoking cessation tools that were not controlled by large corporations.

They rolled back the arbitrary framing that claimed all tobacco was as harmful as cigarettes - except Big Pharma products like nicotine patches and gums. They accepted that adults should have all options available for quitting cigarettes or at least reducing harm.

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Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology Entries Now Open

Apr 03 2019 - 10:04
Researchers 35 years and younger, the annual Eppendorf&Science Prize for Neurobiology, which is awarded for contributions to neurobiological research based on methods of molecular and cell biology, is now open for entries.

Applying requires a 1,000-word essay and tell the prize committee about your work.

The prize is $25,000 plus Science magazine will publish an essay about your work. You'll have travel paid to the Prize Ceremony held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in the USA and AAAS throws in a 10-year AAAS membership (but only a digital subscription to the magazine).


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Social Media Made The Modern Anti-Vax Movement Popular, But The Tide Is Turning

Apr 03 2019 - 07:04

As measles outbreaks spread across the U.S., our new look at how information about vaccine safety and reliability spreads online suggests that the tide may be turning against the anti-vaccination movement.

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Darwin's Raw Dog Food Ironically Uses No Biological Science And Will Poison Your Pet

Apr 02 2019 - 07:04
Everyone in 2019 likes to claim their beliefs are grounded in evidence.  The most anti-science groups, from the journalism department at New York University to Greenpeace, still claim to have evidence-based decision-making behind their political or financial agendas. It's no different in the "raw" pet food market, but it's harmless posturing to wrap yourself in the veil of science unless you are actually claiming to be scientific when you poison people or their pets.

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A Methane Spike On Mars Has Been Detected

Apr 01 2019 - 18:04
Methane detection in the Martian atmosphere haa been a source of debate because methane means a greater possibility for habitability and may even be a signature of life., but spacecraft and telescopic observations from Earth reported no detections of methane, at least not outside the realm of statistical wobble.

Finally, independent measurements report a firm detection in the Martian atmosphere above Gale Crater on 16 June 2013 by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard Mars Express, one day after the in situ observation of a methane spike by the Curiosity rover.

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