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No Realistic Possibility Of False Vacuum Decay - Your Questions Answered By An Expert - Tommi Markkanen

Sep 23 2020 - 20:09

Tommi Markkanen, an expert on the False Vacuum has kindly answered these questions in an email interview:

1. Does a false vacuum decay due to quantum tunneling have a realistic chance happening in my lifetime or already be on its way?

The answer is a resounding ‘no’. I’m assuming the question is referring specifically to the Standard Model of particle physics for which the likelihood of such an event can be reliably estimated as all input parameters are known to high accuracy. The probability of vacuum decay as predicted by the Standard Model is so mindbogglingly small that in every practical sense there is no chance of this happening.

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How Job Insecurity Changes Your Personality

Sep 23 2020 - 10:09

With unemployment at its highest rate in three decades, almost a million Australians are experiencing the anxiety of being out of work. Even more are underemployed, and more still holding on to jobs for now, not knowing if that will last.

If you feel secure in your job, you are lucky. Because the psychological fallout of job insecurity can last a lifetime.

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The Hunt For A Cool Rare Decay Of W Bosons

Sep 23 2020 - 07:09
W bosons, what are they? To answer this question, let me first tell you that our world is made of matter held together by forces. If you look deep within, you will realize that matter is essentially constituted by "fermions": quarks and leptons, particles that possess a half-integer unit of spin, in a certain meaningful system of measurement units. Forces, on the other hand, are the result of fermions exchanging different particles called "bosons", particles that possess integer units of spin.

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Conspiracy Theories Hinder Progress On COVID-19

Sep 23 2020 - 07:09
Do you believe that COVID-19 was created by Bill Gates so he and his Big Pharma pals could get rich selling a cure? Do you believe career government employees are exaggerating COVID-19 to sway the election to their side?

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Yaws: Infectious Disease Of 2000 BC

Sep 22 2020 - 17:09
Yaws is a childhood disease causing highly infectious skin lesions. It is spread by touch and, in advanced cases, can leave sufferers with severe bone disfigurement.

While it is easily curable in its early stages today, and is almost eradicated, the bone disfigurements are irreversible. Yet 4,000 years ago there was no treatment and a new study looked at skeletal remains from the Man Bac archaeological site,  excavated in 2005 and 2007, in the Ninh Bình Province of Vietnam. After seeing what might be yaws on a photograph of Man Bac remains, a team of experts confirmed it - and University of Otago graduate student Melandri Vlok found a second example of the disease. 

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Another Argument For Eradication Of Aedes Aegypti: The Viruses They Spread Are Linked To Stroke

Sep 21 2020 - 13:09
A new study shows there is even more reason to worry about the Zika and chikungunya viruses and the pests that spread them; increased risk of neurological diseases like stroke.

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Genomic Selection And Economics: A Model To Predict The Best Crop

Sep 21 2020 - 10:09
A new mathematical model seeks to predict economic performance of crops, which will allow breeders to obtain the plants with the highest possible quality. 

Using even the most advanced legacy tools, it is very difficult to create a new variety of plants and it usually takes 10-12 years. Using genomic selection models, this process can be accelerated several times, finds the new study, using a new mathematical model for predicting crop phenotypic traits as a function genotype.

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Smokers Use E-Cigarettes To Quit

Sep 21 2020 - 07:09
When e-cigarettes - vaping - began to gain in popularity in the early part of this decade, critics like Dr. Stan Glantz at UC San Francisco claimed they were only going to be used in addition to cigarettes, so risk reduction and smoking cessation would not happen.

Former smokers dismissed both him and his Johnson  & Johnson funding - they make nicotine patches that compete with vaping - as a little too convenient, and data since has shown his claims were unfounded. 

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Gentle Medicine: Be Less Interventionist And Other Changes To Routine Practice

Sep 20 2020 - 07:09

Numerous criticisms of medical science have been articulated in recent years. Some critics argue that spurious disease categories are being invented, and existing disease categories expanded, for the aim of profit. Others say that the benefits of most new drugs are minimal and typically exaggerated by clinical research, and that the harms of these drugs are extensive and typically underestimated by clinical research.

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Phosphine On Venus Sounds Obscure But Here Is Why It's A Big Deal

Sep 19 2020 - 07:09

On Sept. 14, 2020, a new planet was added to the list of potentially habitable worlds in the Solar System: Venus.

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Discovered: WD 1586 B, A Planet That Survived The Death Of Its Star

Sep 18 2020 - 11:09

(Inside Science) -- For the first time, an intact world may have been discovered around a white dwarf, suggesting that even after typical stars die, they may still host planets, a new study finds.

White dwarfs are the cooling Earth-size cores of dead stars left behind after average-size stars have exhausted their fuel and shed their outer layers. Our sun will eventually fade into a white dwarf after first bloating to become a red giant. The same fate awaits more than 90% of the stars in our galaxy.

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COVID-19 Has Brought 'Thirdhand' Smoke Epidemiology Back From Its Science Grave

Sep 18 2020 - 09:09
With COVID-19 and worries about the SARS-CoV-2 virus keeping millions of people at home, activists and lawyers are hoping to resurrect worry about a problem dismissed by scientists as a money grab; third-hand smoke.

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Some U.S Cities Could Subsist On Locally Grown Food - If The Local Area Is Large Enough

Sep 17 2020 - 09:09
A new estimate says that of 378 metropolitan areas, many could actually exist on locally grown food - if the local area is up to 200 miles away, which means New York City could claim farms in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are local to New York. 

Even then, diets would have to change, because progress has meant having diversity and choice, and if locally-grown were really necessary, the population would starve along the Eastern Seaboard and the Southwest of the U.S. And meat would only be for the rich.

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Surrogate Sires: CRISPR Pigs And Cattle Could Produce Sperm Carrying Only The Genetic Traits Of Donor Animals

Sep 16 2020 - 11:09
In the old days, if you wanted to spread desirable characteristics in livestock you had to try breeding and hope for the past. The 19th century breakthroughs in genetics promised a future where trial and error was no longer the norm.

Now, with desire to optimize food production and reduce environmental impact without harming choices for poor people, scientists have created pigs, goats and cattle that can serve as viable “surrogate sires” - male animals that produce sperm carrying only the genetic traits of donor animals.

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Social Media Political Ads: Less Negative, But More Partisan

Sep 16 2020 - 08:09
While it is said that around six percent of voting Americans decide elections - the truly undecided - it is more the case that getting out the vote among your own party matters most. That is why political parties will drive their own to polling places while telling the other side the date of the election has been changed.

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What It Means To Be Anti-Science

Sep 14 2020 - 09:09
"Anti-scientific thinking" is a bad disease of our time, and one which may affect a wide range of human beings, from illiterate fanatics such as anti-vaxxers and religious fundamentalists on one side, to highly-educated and brilliant individuals such as the Sabine Hossenfelders on the other side. It is a sad realization to see how diversified and strong has become this general attitude of denying the usefulness of scientific progress and research, especially in a world where science is behind every good thing you use in your daily life, from the internet to your cell-phone, or from anti-cavity toothpaste to hadron therapy against tumours.

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COVID-19 Has Been A Gold Rush For Journals - But Media Coverage Of The 'Infodemic' May Confuse The Public

Sep 14 2020 - 09:09
Are you excited about dozens of COVID-19 vaccine candidates? Do you get confused about whether or not it's as harmful to have been exposed to the 2019 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus as it is to have COVID-19? Do you think the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine will either save you from COVID-19 or give you a heart attack?

If any of the above are true, you have been reading too much corporate media and witnessed coverage that they can claim is resulting from peer-reviewed journals. 

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Rapamycin May Prevent Sarcopenia And Keep Muscles Stronger For Longer

Sep 10 2020 - 13:09
We're living longer than ever, but that means we now have to think about new issues that were uncommon when life expectancy was low. 

Muscles shrink and their strength dwindles as we age. When that is excessive, the condition is called sarcopenia, and it affects every third person over the age of 80, reducing mobility, autonomy and quality of life.

There may be hope in the form of a well-known drug, Rapamycin, that can delay the progression of age-related muscle weakness.

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No Matter Who Wins The U.S. Election, COVID-19 Social Unrest Could Be Rampant

Sep 10 2020 - 11:09
Are Proud Boys and Antifa fighting each other 'to oppose fascism' a product of the COVID-19 pandemic? No, militant groups have always attracted people with pathologies who just need a reason to be violent, but pandemics do cause social unrest, at least historically.

There is a lot more isolation than in past pandemics but also a lot more community around SARS-CoV-2, the 2019 form of the coronavirus that has locked up most developed countries. Unlike the past, where nature was just trying to kill us, and the randomness of it all caused panic, people know where it originated and how. We know how to mitigate it. We are equipped to try and help those with co-morbidities. A lot of people have died, no one downplays that, but a lot fewer than in any pandemic ever.

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Fitness Overtraining And How To Avoid It

Sep 09 2020 - 18:09

There’s a thin line between working hard enough and working too hard. Pushing your body to reach new levels of fitness requires commitment, effort and a willingness to put yourself through intense, challenging workouts on a regular basis.

But more isn’t always better. Without the right balance of rest and recovery you could end up spiralling into a long-term fatigue condition called overtraining syndrome. The condition results in long-term reduced physical performance, and may be accompanied by other physiological and psychological symptoms (such as low mood or poor sleep) – though this isn’t always the case. It can take weeks, months and even years to recover from this condition.

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