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Updated: 28 min 36 sec ago

How Effective Will A COVID-19 Vaccine Need To Be To Stop The Pandemic? There's Bad News

Aug 26 2020 - 10:08
Researchers are on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine to eliminate the need for mask wearing and current limits on interpersonal gatherings (except protests), but a new model says it still may not help the world exit a lingering economic depression.

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Controversial Jena Biodiversity Experiment Put To The Test

Aug 26 2020 - 09:08
One problem with studies that create an outcome and then find data to support it is they don't have real world application. International Agency for Research on Cancer epidemiologists, for example, have been caught creating a desired warning label for chemicals and then hand-picking studies to support that goal - the opposite of what scientists do. Harvard TS Chan School of Public Health is frequently criticized for data dredging, where they take questionnaires with so many foods and outcomes they are sure to be able to link something and claim it has statistical power.

Yet in the real world, weedkillers don't cause cancer, neonicotinoids don't kill bees, and there are no "miracle vegetables." 

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Can This System Help Prevent Traffic Jams?

Aug 26 2020 - 08:08
The number one cause of traffic jams in larger U.S. cities is high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, which were created by government to force people into carpooling to prevent traffic jams. It did not work, nor did pretending single-use electric cars were carpools, because blocking off 25 percent of the road for 6 perfect of cars makes no sense and people did not change jobs to be able to work in the same factory in the same town, the way it was possible 60 years ago.

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Why COVID-19 Infection Curves Have Not Been What Epidemiologists Predicted

Aug 25 2020 - 14:08
Epidemiologists assured us S-shaped curves would be the case for COVID-19, but many countries had decreases of infection numbers "social distancing" and a linear rise of infection curves after the first peak.

A new paper offers an explanation for the linear growth of the infection curve.

Traditional epidemiological models required so much fine-tuning of parameters that they became scientifically meaningless. Linear growth, with an R number at 1, in the epidemiology models that were being used would have to mean reducing contacts by the same exact and constant percentage. That was never going to happen outside the world of statistical hope.

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Academic Surgery Has Fewer Women, But They Get More NIH Grants

Aug 25 2020 - 06:08
There are disparities in many fields of academia; physics has fewer women, for example, while psychology has fewer men. Some contend that is due to discomfort in not having equal representation.

But fewer members of the same sex is assuaged if there is more money, and that is the case for female academic surgeons. They are outnumbered by men but get more NIH funding than men do. They get nearly 50 percent more R01 grants.

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Though Only 20% Of Americans Hold Negative Views About Vaccination, The Political Skew Impacts Policy

Aug 24 2020 - 15:08
What do anti-vaccine believers have in common? A similar distrust in other settled science like GMOs and nuclear power, for one. And they all are more likely to share similar voting patterns, which means that even though only 20 percent of Americans hold negative views of vaccines, they have an outsized impact on policy. Because most of them are on the same political side.

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There Is Now No Racial Disparity In Lung Cancer Incidence - Except For White Women

Aug 24 2020 - 10:08
Historically, lung cancer incidence rates have been higher in Black people than White people among men of all ages and among younger women, likely reflecting historically higher smoking rates in Black adults.

That is no longer the case, and in women the trend has even reversed.

That is a big win for science and health nonprofit groups like ours, which have warned about the perils of smoking for our entire existence.

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IBD: How A Class Of Killer T Cells Goes Rogue

Aug 23 2020 - 15:08

Between 6 and 8 million people worldwide suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, a group of chronic intestinal disorders that can cause belly pain, urgent and frequent bowel movements, bloody stools and weight loss. New research suggests that a malfunctioning member of the patient’s own immune system called a killer T cell may be one of the culprits. This discovery may provide a new target for IBD medicines.

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82% Of Baby Boomers Are Experienced Enough Not To Trust Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ COVID-19 Vaccine Claims

Aug 21 2020 - 11:08
Only 16 percent of Americans believe that Russia leapfrogged American scientists and successfully created a viable COVID-19 in a recent survey. They may be the same 16 percent who believe Russian propaganda sites like Russia Today and Sputnik when it comes to food: that Russia became the world leader in "organic" food with a press release saying they were; and energy, where Russia funds environmental groups to undermine natural gas so they can control Europe using a strategic resource while Germany can claim they have a larger percent of "renewable" energy domestically than would be possible if their energy was generated locally.

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Our Food Supply Was Built On Engineering Plants: The War On Science Risks That Food Security

Aug 21 2020 - 09:08
The majority of today's plant-based food was created using scientific optimization of traits - genetic engineering. Watermelons, bananas, tomatoes, lettuce, and corn are all great examples of genetically engineered foods that few realize are not natural even if they carry an "organic" manufacturing process sticker.

Despite that success, government-funded scientists are reporting less funding than ever and the reason is largely because the private sector has done so well. It may also be because the war against agriculture is being waged by those often in the same political tribe as those who want to pursue a career in academia. No one wants to be shamed at parties because they do science that a giant chunk of people educated by marketing dislike.

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Fabien Cousteau's Proteus Could Be The ISS Of The Ocean

Aug 21 2020 - 07:08

Aquanaut Fabien Cousteau — grandson of famed ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau — has announced plans to build the world's biggest underwater base for scientific research.

He calls the facility "Proteus" and envisions it being the ocean equivalent of the International Space Station — a place where scientists from across the globe can work together to solve the world's biggest problems, from climate change to world hunger.

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Melanoma: Why Lymph Nodes Matter In How Cancer Cells Spread

Aug 21 2020 - 06:08
If you or someone you know have gotten a cancer diagnosis, you know one of the first tests is to see if it has spread to your lymph nodes.

That is because they will often be a harbinger of spread to distant organs. Most cancer deaths happen after cancer spreads to other parts of the body through a process known as metastasis. This occurs when cancer cells from the primary tumor spread through blood vessels or migrate through lymphatic vessels before entering the blood.

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More Evidence That Emotional Expressions Are Universal

Aug 20 2020 - 15:08
Are smiles, scowls, or sympathetic sighs universal across cultures? Studies from Namibia to Bhutan have attempted to find out, but the findings have been too inconsistent to take seriously.

It may be because asking asking participants in a remote culture to match depictions of Western facial, bodily, or vocal expressions to situations or words in their native language is not the way to go.

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Corgis And Noise, Retrievers And Surfaces - How You Can Reduce Fearfulness In Your Dog

Aug 20 2020 - 11:08
Fear of thunder or other loud noises, nervousness about new areas, and fear of slippery surfaces and heights are common among dogs but a new paper says these non-social fears can be mitigated.

Not for all dogs, the typical Cairn Terrier will remain more fearful than the average Chinese Crested Dog, but living environment and lifestyle will help.

What works, according to 14,000 dog owners surveyed? Exposure to new things as puppies. Insufficient socialization of puppies to various situations and new environments were a link with fearfulness related to novel situations, loud noises as well as different walking surfaces. The company of other dogs reduced the occurrence of non-social fear.

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Hydrocodone, Lorazepam, Oxycodone And More Are Being Prescribed For Dementia With No Evidence They Work

Aug 20 2020 - 07:08
Data from 737,839 people with dementia find that 73.5 percent of them filled at least one prescription for an antidepressant, opioid painkiller, epilepsy drug, anxiety medication or antipsychotic drug in a one-year period. 

The percentages generally were even higher among women, non-Hispanic white patients, people in their late 60s and early 70s, and people with low incomes.

The problem; there is no evidence they work, they are not approved for off-label use in dementia, and some of the drugs have been linked to worse cognitive symptoms in old adults. 

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Consumers Don't Realize It But The Pandemic Has Clobbered Farmers

Aug 20 2020 - 06:08
Tennessee corn, soybean, cotton and wheat producers are estimated to have declines in income of $58.8 million, $21.4 million, $20.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively, for a total decline of $101.7 million - and that's just what is known right now.

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COVID-19 Is Not Transmitted Through Breast Milk

Aug 19 2020 - 17:08
Samples of breast milk collected by the Mommy's Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository from women infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) only showed one positive for viral RNA. However, subsequent tests found that the virus was unable to replicate, and thus unable to cause infection in the breastfed infant.

There have been no documented cases to-date of an infant contracting COVID-19 as a result of consuming infected breast milk but without studies it was hard to be sure, to this is good news for families with new babies.

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Alaska's Salmon Are Getting Smaller, And The Natural Fetish For 'wild Caught' Is To Blame

Aug 19 2020 - 15:08
Try to imagine a world where people though wild lettuce was a status symbol and superior to lettuce grown on a farm; a salad would cost $400.

That is the problem with salmon. Elite customers want to know a laborer sweated for it, they insist if it is farmed it must be inferior but unlike organic certified pineapples or non-GMO rock salt, the naturalist fetish has real world consequences when it comes to the sea. Salmon are getting smaller, because they are spending less time at sea before being caught.

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Terminator 2 T-1000 Gets Closer: A New Material That Can Autonomously Heal In Air And Underwater

Aug 19 2020 - 00:08
A new epoxy material is a first-of-its-kind, 3-D printable, stimuli-responsive polymeric material that enable massive reconfigurability in future military platforms, according to a recent paper.

It will have embedded intelligence allowing it to autonomously adapt to its environment without any external control. It is a system of materials to simultaneously provide structure, sensing and response.

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Assholery In Academia

Aug 18 2020 - 19:08
Have you ever behaved like an a**hole? Or did you ever have the impulse to do so? Did you ever use your position, your status, your authority to please yourself by crushing some ego? Please answer this in good faith to yourself - nobody is looking behind your shoulders. Take a breath. I know, it's hard to admit it. But we all have.

It is, after all, part of human nature. Humans are ready to make huge sacrifices to acquire a status or a position from which they can harass other human beings. Perhaps we have the unspoken urge to take revenge of the times when we were at the receiving end of such harassment. Or maybe we just tasted the sweet sensation it gives to use your power against somebody who can't fight back.

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