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Climate Change: Engineering Models Hope For Best Outcomes - And Any Chess Player Knows That's Terrible Strategy

Sep 09 2020 - 11:09
Did you read a paper saying we can prevent ocean damage under climate change scenarios by dumping iron into water to spur phytoplankton growth? Germans did, and were so convinced they began doing illegal live experiments

The model used a best-case scenario, which any entry-level chess player knows is a bad idea - they forgot to falsify their own hypothesis in their zeal to do something. A new paper notes that many ambitious climate action plans rely on climate engineering technologies where the risks are unknown. They are more like TED talks than real plans.

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'Plug And Play' Brain Prosthesis Debuts In Paralyzed Person

Sep 08 2020 - 12:09
A brain-controlled prosthetic limb have shown that machine learning techniques helped an individual with paralysis learn to control motion using their brain activity without requiring extensive daily retraining. 

It is proof-of-concept for how future models can overcome limitations of prior brain-computer interface efforts, which existing had to be reset and recalibrated each day, almost like asking someone to learn to ride a bike over and over again each day.

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Children Use Both Brain Hemispheres To Understand Language, But Adults Don't

Sep 08 2020 - 10:09
Children learn languages much easier than adults, and also seem to recover from neural injuries better. The reason may be that adults process most discrete neural tasks in specific areas in one or the other of their brain's two hemispheres, while kids use both the right and left hemispheres to do the same task.

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Independent Frontier Mentality Still Exists In Modern Mountain Regions - And With It Less Neuroticism

Sep 08 2020 - 09:09
If you are a tourist and visit California in the United States or Bavaria in Germany, you will quickly notice it is not like a lot of other places in those countries. A cultural mentality exists and people who identify with the stereotype are more likely to stay or even move there.

A new paper finds that people who live in mountain regions of the U.S. maintain more of that sensibility even in the modern era. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner, a Harvard academic, presented his thesis on the US frontier in 1893, describing the "coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness" it had forged in the American character.

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Tennessee Whiskey: The Science Of The Lincoln County Process

Sep 07 2020 - 12:09
You can't market a "Tennessee whiskey" unless it goes through charcoal filtration called the Lincoln County Process, named such after the locale of the original Jack Daniel's distillery. 

Charcoal is not exclusive to American blended whiskey, this type of filtration is a common step in the production of distilled beverages, including vodka and rum, but while "charcoal mellowing" in Tennesse Whiskey varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, they all involve passing the fresh whiskey distillate through a bed of charcoal, usually derived from burnt sugar maple, prior to barrel-aging the product.

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COVID-19 Pandemic And Declines In Coffee Consumption Have Left Millions Struggling To Make A Living

Sep 06 2020 - 19:09

The reopening of cafes has been one of the highlights of relaxed COVID-19 restrictions for many Australians. During lockdowns, long queues for takeaway coffee were testimony to caffeine’s relevance to our lives.

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A Science Communication Proposal For Pandemic Times

Sep 05 2020 - 03:09
As every other aspect of human life, science communication has suffered a significant setback due to the ongoing Covid-19-induced pandemic. While regular meetings of scientific teams can be effectively held online, through zoom or skype, it is the big conferences that are suffering the biggest blow. And this is not good, for several reasons.

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New Species In The Same Group As Lobsters Found Living In The Hottest Place On Earth

Sep 04 2020 - 12:09
When you think of shrimp, lobster, or crabs, you don't think of the hottest place on Earth, but a new freshwater Crustacea has been discovered during an expedition of the desert Lut, which is the record-holder for temperature on land. The Lut desert, Dasht-e Lut in Farsi, is the second largest desert in Iran.

Almost deprived of vegetation, the Lut desert harbors a diverse animal life, but no permanent aquatic biotops, such as ponds. Instead, after rain falls, non-permanent astatic water bodies are filled including the Rud-e-Shur river from north-western Lut. And that is when these new creatures can be more readily found.

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Melittin: Honeybee Venom Compound Kills Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Sep 04 2020 - 10:09
The compound melittin, found in honeybee venom, rapidly destroyed triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-enriched breast cancer cells in a recent study. In the 1950s, bee venom was found to reduce the growth of tumors in plants and in the last two decades interest grew into the effects of honeybee venom on different cancers.

For the study, 312 honeybees and bumblebees in Perth Western Australia, Ireland and England, were used to test the effect of the venom on the clinical subtypes of breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer, which has limited treatment options.

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COVID-19: Did New York And California Achieve Herd Immunity?

Sep 03 2020 - 16:09
Findings based on a SIR (Susceptible, Infectious or Recovered) Model of Infection Dynamics, commonly used to determine infection scenarios, including COVID-19, and presented at the Artificial Intelligence and the Coronavirus workshop at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, find that New York and California may have reached herd immunity.

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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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