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Too Little Water Storage, Pseudoscience Environmental Laws, Plus Drought Put California At Risk

Jun 29 2021 - 11:06
Major droughts in California happen every 20 years and smaller ones more frequently, yet northern California has not built major water infrastructure since the 1960s while the population has doubled. Environmental lawyers block any infrastructure improvements so no new water storage can be added and regulations about water flow in rivers were based on an optimistic guess. During the current drought California is sending so much water to the San Francisco Bay, which doesn't need it, that they have to issue warnings for people on the rivers.

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If You're Part Of A Data Breach, You Probably Don't Know It

Jun 28 2021 - 14:06
Most people don't recall the LinkedIn data breach from nine years ago, the Adobe customer cyber attackers from eight years back, that Equifax exposed private information of millions of people just four years ago.

Those are the high profile ones but most participants in a recent University of Michigan study remained unaware that their email addresses and other personal information had been compromised in five data breaches on average. Most breaches never make the news, and often they involved little or no notification to those impacted. 

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Are Missing Fingers In Gargas Cave Paintings The First Known Sign Language?

Jun 28 2021 - 14:06

(Inside Science) -- Tens of thousands of years ago in what is now Europe, people held their hands against cave walls and blew a spray of paint, leaving bare rock where their hands had rested. Many of these stencils show all five fingers, but in some, fingers appear to be shortened or missing. 

Researchers have proposed grisly explanations for these absent digits: Perhaps the artists lost fingers to frostbite or disease, or perhaps they endured amputations for ritual purposes or punishment. But other experts have long argued that it's more likely they weren't missing any fingers at all. Instead, the stone age artists may have been folding their fingers down to make hand signs -- possibly humanity's earliest venture into writing on the wall. 

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Americans' Sexual Activity Didn't Decline During The COVID-19 Pandemic, It Went Up

Jun 28 2021 - 10:06
The popular belief is that sexual activity must have declined during the pandemic, but that relies on the trope that young people go to bars and sleep with strangers and that lessened.

Some people were instead getting busy during the pandemic more than ever before. Older men with erectile dysfunction prescriptions. The qualifier "prescriptions" is because the number of men using them dwarfs the cases of actual erectile problems, the pill just makes it better.

In a review of National Sales Perspective data, the researchers found that sales of prescription daily-use erectile dysfunction drugs, such as tadalafil, soared after March 2020, when the country went into the nationwide lockdown.

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Fitting Lines Through Points With Simple Math

Jun 25 2021 - 14:06
One of the reasons why I love my job as a researcher in experimental physics is that every day brings along a new problem to solve, and through decades of practice I have become quick at solving them, so I typically enjoy doing it. And it does not matter whether the problem at hand is an entirely new, challenging one or a textbook thing that has been solved a million times before. It is your problem, and it deserves your attention and dedication.

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Cheese Is Already GMO, Consumers Now Also Want Real Cheese With No Cows Involved At All

Jun 25 2021 - 11:06
Cheese and insulin are two products most people don't realize were GMOs long before they became the target of anti-science groups. GMOs were instead embraced by activists like Rachel Carson, who saw them as a way to produce a lot more of things like insulin - no pigs needed - while using a lot fewer pesticides for plant crops.

In western nations it remains controversial - though a weedkiller has been found safe by European science authorities yet again it is "socially dead" - but elsewhere not only is science still acceptable, people want more of it.

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Positive Spiritual Beliefs May Improve Breast Cancer Survivor Health

Jun 24 2021 - 15:06
It is no surprise that cancer survivors often express gratitude for being alive and mention God or a divine acknowledgement that had improved their health and well-being.

Is there evidence spirituality helps? It may be that healthier levels of cortisol, a biomarker commonly associated with stress, among breast cancer survivors is key. 

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If You Just Bought A Marimo Moss Ball, Kill It With Bleach

Jun 24 2021 - 12:06
If you have been to Japan or Europe, you may have seen moss balls - Aegagropila linnaei algae that grow into green velvety balls - and thought it would be nice to have. 

Don't do it. By caring about the environment and believing natural-is-always-better hype and thinking if Europe or Asia does it, it must be good, you could be releasing a devastating plague. Marimo balls purchased after February have been found to have Zebra mussels, one of the most destructive invasive species in North America - and I am a guy who had to try and kill Bradford Pear trees in my yard after hippy-dippy California environmentalists got government to mandate them because Asia, so if I am more worried about these, you should be too. 

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Dark Alliance Is Going To Disappoint You - But Couch Co-Op Might Have Saved It

Jun 23 2021 - 16:06
I can know when I played a game based on whether or not I had time to play the game. Right now, for example, I have time, my kids are older, so "Frostpunk" and "The Division" will be locked into their high school years. Before they were born I had time because my wife and I would devote whole weekends to binge-watching "24" (before streaming services, there was the outstanding Replay DVR, and it even let you skip commercials) or playing a game together.

Remember when people played games together? On a couch?

It still happens but both "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance" (2001) and "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II" (2004), while indifferent when it came to the actual story, were a blast playing with other people in the room on the same Playstation. 

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Beekeeper Survey Shows 6% Higher Losses Last Year Than The 39% Average

Jun 23 2021 - 13:06
Honeybees die each year in great quantities and some years are worse than others. Since they are a big business, primarily as roving pollinators for crops that need them at a certain time (like almonds(1) there is always a concern about how to keep losses low.

Causes of death were once a moving target. For as long as records of bees have been kept, there have been reports of extraordinary die-offs, recorded all the way back to the Dark Ages. Now we know the big problem are pests like varroa mites but there are also concerns about harsh winters, land use, and some environmental groups even try to raise money claiming it might be pesticides used on crops.

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How To Speak Cicada

Jun 23 2021 - 06:06

(Inside Science) -- When you first hear it, a cicada chorus may sound like simple buzzing. But to a cicada, that cacophony is full of meaning. 

There are three species in Brood X, the cohort of 17-year cicadas now emerging in much of the eastern U.S. Members of each species congregate with their own kind and talk to each other with their own species-specific sounds. Males sing to court females and "jam" the songs of other males, while females make clicks with their wings to encourage or repel suitors. 

Humans can learn to decode these sounds. John Cooley, a biologist at the University of Connecticut, can speak cicada so well he can seduce insects of either sex. He uses his voice to imitate males and gentle finger snaps to imitate females. 

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The Male Reproduction Apocalypse That Never Was

Jun 22 2021 - 12:06

As Carl Sagan once said, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

You may have recently read some extraordinary claims that total sperm count has dramatically declined among “Western” men and that endocrine disrupters - but only the synthetic kind, not natural ones - are the reason. The extraordinary evidence is lacking.

Scientists from the Harvard GenderSci Lab are putting the brakes on the alleged “apocalyptic” trends in male reproduction

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Voices From Stone: How A Scottish Graveyard Reveals The Untold Stories Of Colonial Women In India

Jun 22 2021 - 06:06

When I was a child growing up in Kolkata, I would hear stories about the European colonisation of Bengal – the precolonial name of India’s West Bengal. These were selective narratives from a particularly male perspective, and presented colonisers as transforming social benefactors installed to provide a civilising influence. The rich histories of Indian philosophy that were once associated with religion, education and health were replaced by the colonial philosophy of conversion, modernising and improvement.

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Gain Of Function Research And Why It Matters

Jun 21 2021 - 11:06

Due to unanswered questions into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, both the U.S. government and scientists have called for a deeper examination into the validity of claims that a virus could have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.

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Reducing Errors In Two-Qubit Gates Bodes Well For Quantum Computing

Jun 21 2021 - 10:06

Most people in the tech world are well aware of quantum computing. Sci-Tech Daily mentions that quantum computing utilizes the power of quantum mechanics to perform calculations exponentially faster than the processors we currently have today. Quantum computing uses elements smaller than an atom to complete its processes.

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Organic Activists, Anti-Vaxxers, And Scientologists Claim We're A Corporate 'Front' Group. Their Disinformation Exposed

Jun 21 2021 - 10:06
Activist groups that endorse the organic manufacturing and are opposed to agricultural biotechnology (GMOs and gene edited crops and animals) try to claim that the Genetic Literacy Project is a “corporate front group that was formerly funded by Monsanto” — a statement found on the SourceWatch site owned by Democratic political party activists is one example.

It’s not true but what is true is that these accusations are a collaboration between extremists financed by the far left fringe of the organic community in partnership with the Church of Scientology and anti-vaccine scaremongers like Robery F. Kennedy, Jr. 

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COVID-19 Ignited The Era Of Real-World-Evidence. Now, Let’s Bring It On To Accelerate Cancer Research

Jun 19 2021 - 08:06

As we exit the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care community must consider how to apply lessons learned over the past year to improve quality of care and patient outcomes across the health care spectrum.  One critic

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COVID-19 May Accomplish The Medical Tort Reform That Predatory Lawyers Have Blocked

Jun 18 2021 - 13:06
One little-known secret in the medical community is that it is not greedy doctors or insurance companies or hospitals that made health care so expensive. It is unnecessary tests and procedures doctors and hospitals must do in order to check off the boxes for the inevitable lawsuit. They are waiting to pounce on doctors and hospitals while wrapping themselves in the flag of 'holding the medical establishment accountable' and that keeps doctors and hospitals doing some things twice. And some things doctors know are unneeded but must do.

From neurosurgery to dermatology, nearly all doctors practice this "defensive medicine" and it isn't, as conspirators claim, to make more money - it is to avoid blame if something goes wrong with a patient that was basically unavoidable.(1)

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Scientific American Unpublishes Anti-Semitic Article

Jun 18 2021 - 09:06
If you are one of the many who no longer subscribe to Scientific American, few are surprised. There is a reason they got sold for a dollar, and that reason is that they lost the trust of science readers when they became not only political, but overwhelmingly partisan. Being covertly partisan means you can even be bigoted, if the demographic you are prejudiced against is acceptable to the base.

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Do COVID-19 Vaccines Fan The Flames Of Myocarditis?

Jun 16 2021 - 08:06
Since COVID-19 emerged on the global scene, the heart has been the centre of action. Cardiovascular disease increases the risk of severe illness and death, and injuries to the heart and blood vessels are common complications.

Recent reports linking COVID-19 vaccinations of young adults to a heart condition called myocarditis are the most recent chapter in this story. Is this link a real-life medical mystery or a work of fiction?

What is Myocarditis?

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