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Did You Get Fat From The Air You Breathe Or The Pizza You Inhale?

Apr 27 2020 - 13:04
You may have heard of the Freshman 15; the weight gain some college students experience their first year, when they have unlimited dining at the university cafeteria. Coronavirus may leave behind a new pandemic when people emerge from their homes and discover their work clothes are tighter.

The developed world was already undergoing an obesity crisis thanks to affordable food. Agricultural science, which used to struggle with environmental doomsday narratives that farmers were too incompetent, now have to defend against New York Times and Guardian editorials claiming farming is too successful. Because for the first time in the history of the world, the poorest people can afford to get fat.

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If Nature And Biodiversity Were Enough, Amazonians Wouldn't Routinely Starve

Apr 27 2020 - 11:04
If we want to get a snapshot about what the ancient ways really meant for food, we need look no further than the Amazon, where despite living in the most biodiverse place on Earth, people go hungry.

The reason is simple; they don't harness nature, they exist at the whim of it. 

Ribeirinhos live alongside rivers in Brazil's Amazonian floodplain forests but struggle to catch enough fish to eat and can go hungry. The reason is nature. The Purus River undergoes one of the largest annual variations in water levels on the planet. When it floods, large areas of forest become submerged. River fish populations disperse making them much harder to catch. They can't feed themselves even with a sparse rural population

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Chiffron Is The Best Material For Homemade Masks

Apr 24 2020 - 18:04
If you can afford a combination of cotton with natural silk or chiffon, those provide the best protection from coronavirus if you are not one of those people hoarding N95 masks.

But, really, unless you are a healthcare worker, the kind of covering makes little difference. Even if you do spend the money for silk, you are unlikely to have a homemade mask fit well enough it is superior to a bandana. And if you are someone who touches your face often, they are all less effective. Your eyes are not covered. Critics are not wrong for wondering if homemade masks are more than placebo, since aerosols can easily slip through gaps in many cloth fibers.

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Test Trace Isolate Petition To UK Government: Take Immediate Action To Find And Isolate COVID-19 Cases And Recent Contacts

Apr 24 2020 - 14:04

This is a petition to the UK government. You have to be a UK citizen to sign it. The petition says:

The World Health Organization has recommended that countries test every suspected case of COVID19, and isolate and treat every confirmed case. It also recommends that they trace every contact and isolate those for 14 days. We call on the UK government to do all these things.

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Who Discovered The Top Quark Anyway?

Apr 24 2020 - 11:04
You may be wondering, upon reading the above title of this post, what I am after today: the top quark has been around for 25 years now, and there is no long-standing controversy on who discovered it -almost. Well, I will come to that in due time, but to explain quickly what I mean for those of you in a hurry, I am referring to how the top discovery is cited in the very important Wikipedia pages about that subatomic particle, as well as those of the relevant experiments that claimed its observation in 1995.

Quarks

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Filtered Coffee Does Not Increase Lifespan Now Any More Than It Did Four Months Ago

Apr 23 2020 - 13:04
Filtered coffee has been linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes by an epidemiology group ... Before you get too excited about this "filtered" coffee preventing diabetes, we need to remember what they are measuring - numbers, not coffee. This is not a science finding, it is an "exploratory" result. Drinking coffee, filtered in paper or Turkish in a pan, is not going to prevent diabetes any more than a juice cleanse prevents whatever that stuff is claiming to prevent.

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Coronavirus Is Not New, It's Been Evolving Along With Bats For Millions Of Years

Apr 23 2020 - 11:04
Though coronavirus is known to much of the world by now, it is often used synonymously with COVID-19 by journalists. In scientific reality, there are a vast number of types of different coronaviruses, potentially as many as the thousands of bat species, but most of them can't be transferred to humans and pose no known threat.

SARS-CoV-2 is just one flavor but coronaviruses have been evolving for likely as long as bats have. 

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During COVID-19, The Death Rate After Going On A Ventilator Is The Same As For Other Issues

Apr 23 2020 - 11:04
COVID-19 has brought high levels of attention to coronavirus, which few outside the microbiology community had heard of even after two pandemics in 17 years, SARS and MERS.

Terms like ventilators, respirators, and N95 masks were also less commonly thrown about. While it's difficult to trust corporate journalism doomsday narratives one thing is sure; coronavirus has already killed more many people in three months as flu does in its average six-month season. COVID-19 hasn't reached 2018 flu season levels yet but it likely will.(1)

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A Tribute To Teresa Rodrigo

Apr 23 2020 - 07:04
I was very saddened the other day upon learning from a colleague that Teresa Rodrigo Anoro passed away. Teresa was a professor at IFCA, University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain, where she held the position since 1995. At the IFCA she led a strong team of experimental particle physicists who collaborate to the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC. Her premature loss leaves a very large void at her institution in particular, as well as in the development of Spanish particle physics in general, where she had a big role.

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The Biology Of Depression - Similarities In Suicide And Other Brains

Apr 22 2020 - 13:04
There is no question depression can have physical effects but it is unclear how much of depression is caused by biology and how much is psychology. 

A new study finds there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts, fatty sections of a cell membrane, compared with non-depressed individuals. Tubulin is part of a protein complex that provides structure to cells. This complex also is involved in binding a specific protein called Gs alpha, or Gsa, which is a signaling molecule that conveys the action of neurotransmitters like serotonin.

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Hipposideridae: Four New Species Of Bats Revealed, Cousins Of The Horseshoe Bats Behind SARS-CoV-2

Apr 22 2020 - 12:04
COVID-19 resulted from a coronavirus that originated in a horseshoe bat in China but with at least two dozen species of horseshoe bats in China (no one knows how many there really are), no one can determine which species  was involved.

Bats carry diseases, but unlike the useless disease vectors known as Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, bats have ecological value also; they can pollinate crops and eat disease-carrying mosquitoes.

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FDA Is Providing 'Relief' From Food Label Bureaucracy During COVID-19, So How Important Is It?

Apr 21 2020 - 17:04
Many people have recently discovered that the U.S. CDC is actually not that useful. For some, it came when CDC refused to send hospitals coronavirus tests until they proved to CDC their patients had coronavirus. Then, when the Trump administration forced them to send tests nationwide the career employees at CDC showed they were so clueless they hadn't even checked to see if the tests only they were allowed to send had the correct reagents (they didn't.) Then the public started to wonder if CDC could do anything more than reformat and reprint statistics they got from states using money they got from states.

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Asthma And Alcohol Consumption

Apr 21 2020 - 14:04
Asthma is a chronic condition which causes a sudden inflammation and narrowing of airways in the lungs. The resulting “asthma attack” causes the patient to suffer periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. Asthma is a truly global, non-communicable disease which afflicts people of all ages from infant to elderly adult. Indeed, Asthma is globally ranked 16th among the leading causes of years lived with disability and 28th among the leading causes of burden of disease as measured by disability-adjusted life years. It is estimated that 300 million people have asthma worldwide and it is further estimated that by 2025 a further 100 million people will be affected. While asthma often begins in childhood it can occur at any time throughout life.

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Ophraella Communa: Leaf Beetle Significantly Reduces Pollen And That's Great For Allergies

Apr 21 2020 - 13:04
The leaf beetle Ophraella communa can significantly reduce pollen and that may mean a more cost-effective way to reduce allergies and their health care costs using science, while still appealing to activists that otherwise would oppose it.

Ambrosia artemisiifolia, ragweed, causes sneezing and itchy eyes in those with an allergy and aggravates conditions such as asthma and eczema.

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E. Thermophilum: Deep Sea Natural Gas Munching Microbes Can Eat CO2 Also

Apr 21 2020 - 12:04
Though we convert fat, protein, and carbohydrates to make our common ATP energy currency, microbes have a far more diverse diet.

It turns out a new one can even digest organic compounds like ethane, the second most common component of natural gas.

In the seafloor of the Guaymas Basin at a water depth of 2000 meters in the Gulf of California, a new archaea named Ethanoperedens thermophilum ("heat-loving ethane-eater") has been discovered, and it can also convert carbon dioxide into ethane.

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Earth Day Should Refuse To Change Its April 22nd Date, Eh Comrade?

Apr 20 2020 - 06:04
Disney and Warner Bros. are losing a small fortune pushing back the dates of "Black Widow" and "Wonder Woman 1984" respectively. Yet they did it.

Despite paying interest on $500 million in debt, they believe it will be better to change the date for theater release than sell their films directly. Movies, concerts, theater shows, etc. command a premium because they are communal. Anyone who has watched a filmed version of a Broadway show can tell you it's not the same.

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UK Non Medical Labs Could Be Empowered To Do 10 Million PCR Tests For COVID-19 Every Day - Testing Entire UK Population Weekly

Apr 18 2020 - 23:04

The proposal is to select a small town of 200,000 people. While the rest of the UK follows the exit strategy proposed by the government, this small town will experimentally use a much stricter strategy. Everyone in the town gets tested for Covid-19 - whether they have symptoms or not. This is voluntary but they assume 90% compliance.

Letter with signatures here:

Article in the Lancet:

The authors sent this proposal to the UK government on the 10th April.

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COVID-19 Nurses In The UK Have Serious Lack Of Personal Protection - We Need To Fix This

Apr 18 2020 - 20:04

We need to protect our health workers and find a way to fix this serious gap in personal protection equipment in the UK.

The survey was open over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend – from Friday 10 April until Monday 13 April 2020.

Dr Nisreen Alwan tweets :

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Locally Grown Food Is Believed By The Food 1%, But It Isn't Possible For Most Of The World

Apr 18 2020 - 11:04
In western countries, there is a lot of talk about globalization and agriculture being negative things about the modern world. They instead offer terms like "agroecology" and "locally grown" and "sustainable."

To paraphrase U.S. President Eisenhower, when the only hoe you have ever seen is in a Twitter posting by an organic industry trade group, farming is easy.

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UK Health Professors Request Scientific Justification For 7 Day Covid-19 Isolation - WHO Says 14 Days After Symptoms Resolve

Apr 18 2020 - 08:04

In the UK prince Charles, Matt Hancock and others who get COVID-19 isolate for only 7 days. Yet the WHO say to isolate until all the symptoms resolve plus 14 days.

25 professors of public health, virology, immunology etc have signed a letter asking the UK government to share the evidence for their much shorter isolation period.

The long isolation period for COVID-19 should come as no surprise after SARS. For SARS the isolation period required by the CDC in the US is until 10 days after the resolution of fever, provided respiratory symptoms are absent or improving

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