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Space Fans Can Buy Apollo Program Mementos At Auction Today

Jun 20 2019 - 15:06
RR Auction in Boston has a selection of pretty interesting Apollo program stuff, but you have to bid before 7PM.

This is the perfect time to sell, the 50th anniversary of the moon landing is a month away, so it may not be the perfect time to buy. I have made a decent amount of money selling key comics a month before the next Marvel movie release and buying identical or better copies a year later from people who made impulse buys.

Up for grabs is an American flag flown into orbit on Apollo 11, signed by Command Module pilot Michael Collins. There is also a burn chart page from the flight plan that went into orbit on the Columbia Command Module, signed by both Collins and Buzz.

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Doubling Of Glacier Loss Confirmed Throughout Himalayas - Billion Need Climate Resilience On Rivers Like Yangte, Ganges & Indus

Jun 20 2019 - 12:06

Another clickbait story in the news with headlines such as “Glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show”. That’s not what is new about this study; it confirmed earlier results and is one of the most robust predictions of climate change, though the details are harder to model.

The new thing about this study is that it covered the entire region in a uniform way. This let the authors conclude that the ice is most likely being lost due to warming rather than to precipitation changes or soot from cities.

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GROs - Genetically Rescued Organisms - Will Save Plant Species At Risk

Jun 20 2019 - 06:06
In today's Wall Street Journal my article Science Saves an Old Chestnut discusses the potential benefit of President Trump's executive order requiring USDA, FDA, and EPA to modernize when it comes to biotechnology approval. They have to consider actual risk instead of treating every product like a new invention. They don't make flowers go through tens of millions of dollars and 20 years of regulatory stonewalling, why do it for anything else? 

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The Plot Of The Week - Detecting Dark Matter With Brownian Motion

Jun 19 2019 - 12:06
I am reading a fun paper today, while traveling back home. I spent the past three days at CERN to follow a workshop on machine learning, where I also presented the Anomaly Detection algorithm I have been working on in the past few weeks (and about which I blogged here and here). This evening, I needed a work assignment to make my travel time productive, so why not reading some cool new research and blog about it?

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Epidemiologists Once Dismissed Hereditary Cancer Risk - Henry Lynch MD Proved Them Wrong

Jun 19 2019 - 10:06
Once upon a time, epidemiologists believed bacon caused cancer, as did hot tea, a weedkiller that acts on no human biology, bread, apples, lettuce, mustard, tomatoes, and more.

That faraway time was actually last year.

You name it, and it is possible for statisticians at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to link it to cancer. With most foods, it is also possible for other epidemiologists to link them to prevention of cancer.(1)

What did epidemiologists once deny causes cancer? The cancer history of your family - genetics. 

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For Some Parents, The Struggle Over A Child's Sexual Orientation Takes Years To Overcome

Jun 19 2019 - 09:06
Some parents with a lesbian, gay or bisexual child report just as much struggle to adjust two years after the fact as they did when they first learned of their child's sexual orientation, according to a recent survey. That has nothing to do with caring for their child, most do, but it informs how to make the adjustment easier for everyone involved.

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Seniors Swipe: Baby Boomers Love Dating Apps And Cosmetic Surgery

Jun 19 2019 - 08:06
New statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveals that 50,000 more Americans age 55 and older got cosmetic procedures in 2018 than the previous year.

Aging gracefully is not in the cards for senior citizens with the means to change it, they now have choices, and those choices are likely spurred by the greater availability of later romances. Most common in her Ohio practice, says plastic surgeon Anne Taylor, MD; cosmetic fixes of the neck or double chin. Those are most prominent when looking down into a camera.

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Cool Halo Gas Kinematics Keeps Time With Galactic Disks

Jun 18 2019 - 19:06
Astronomers using data from the W. M. Keck Observatory have discovered a dizzying cosmic choreography among typical star-forming galaxies; their cool halo gas appears to be in step with the galactic disks, spinning in the same direction. 

This is the first-ever direct observational evidence showing that corotating halo gas is not only possible, but common. Their findings suggest that the whirling gas halo will eventually spiral in towards the disk.

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Why Maple Syrup, Honey, And Cranberries Are Getting A Free Pass On FDA Sugar Labels

Jun 18 2019 - 12:06
Is honey healthier than bleached white table sugar or brown sugar or high fructose corn syrup?If you ask people selling nutritional fads yes, but if you ask your mitochondria, sugar is sugar. It's the total, which means calories, that matter.

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Overcrowding, Infectious Disease, Violence And Environmental Issues - Welcome To Urban Life In 7000 BC

Jun 17 2019 - 17:06
Many people feel the need to live in important times, so they complain about how much worse things are today.

But scientists studying the ancient ruins of Çatalhöyük, in modern Turkey, found that its inhabitants - 3,500 to 8,000 people at its peak - experienced overcrowding, infectious diseases, violence and environmental problems. And that was 9,000 years ago.

Sorry readers of The Guardian, it wasn't better then. One ne of the world's first large farming communities were also among the first humans to complain about modern urban living.

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Immune System Slows Degenerative Eye Disease Retinitis Pigmentosa In Mice

Jun 17 2019 - 11:06
A new exploratory study in mice found that the complement system, part of the innate immune system, plays a protective role to slow retinal degeneration in retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited eye disease.

Retinitis pigmentosa is an incurable and unpreventable blinding eye disease that affects 1 in 4,000 people but if "in mice" isn't caution enough, even more is warranted. Other studies have found that the complement system worsens retinal degeneration because it mediates some aspects of inflammation and worsens damage in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in people age 65 years and older. 

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Immortal: Quasiparticles Decay, But Identical Particle Entities Emerge From The Debris

Jun 14 2019 - 12:06
The concept of quasiparticles was coined by Nobel laureate Lev Davidovich Landau, who used it to describe collective states of lots of particles or rather their interactions due to electrical or magnetic forces. Due to this interaction, several particles act like one single one.

The assumption has been that quasiparticles in interacting quantum systems decay after a certain time but the opposite is the case, according to a recent paper: strong interactions can even stop decay entirely. Collective lattice vibrations in crystals, so-called phonons, are one example of such quasiparticles.

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Pew announces its 2019 biomedical scholars

Jun 14 2019 - 12:06

The Pew Charitable Trusts has appointed 39 researchers to the 

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With "Make Regulatory Determinations Based On Risks" President Trump May Be The Most Pro-Biotech President Of The Last 30 Years

Jun 14 2019 - 09:06
With a new executive order, President Trump has done something that the science community has wished would have been done since the 1980s; he has ordered his administration to streamline the federal regulatory process for agricultural biotechnology so that every new product is not treated like a new invention.

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If You Want To Seem More Dominant, Tilt Your Head

Jun 13 2019 - 18:06
Social psychologists say we send out social cues not just with our facial expressions, but with the tilt of our heads as well.

An otherwise neutral expression looks more dominant when the head is tilted down. The authors speculate that is because tilting one's head downward leads to the artificial appearance of lowered and V-shaped eyebrows--which elicit perceptions of aggression, intimidation, and dominance.

But why does looking like a serial killer seem more dominant than someone with their head tilted back, a pose usually regarded as more confident? Dominant means something different to them than it does the public.

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Interdigital Cell Death: More Atmospheric Is A Signal To Remove Webbed Feet

Jun 13 2019 - 13:06
Free fingers have obvious advantages on land, and don't even get us started on opposable thumbs, but provides aquatic or gliding animals with more suitable webbed ones. But both amphibians and amniotes, which include mammals, reptiles, and birds, can have webbed digits. 

A new study has found that during embryo development, some animal species detect the presence of atmospheric oxygen, which triggers removal of interdigital webbing.

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The Steep Climb Of Vertical Farms And Where Urban Ag Might Be Revolutionary

Jun 13 2019 - 13:06
A few years back in an essay titled: “Why I’m empowering 1,000’s of millennials to become #realfood entrepreneurs through Vertical Farming”, Elon Musk’s younger brother Kimball announced that he was going to invest in urban farm incubators in multiple cities. While there is certainly room for vertical farms in urban food systems to supply hydroponic greens and herbs to upscale grocers and restaurants, Musk’s ambitions go far beyond that. The Kitchen’s mission is to strengthen communities by bringing local, real food to everyone. With our commitment to local food sourcing, our restaurants have become major catalysts for local food economies — across Colorado, Chicago, and now Memphis — serving real food to over 1 million guests a year.

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OOPS - Purto Rican Insects In The Forest Canopy Increase With Warmth - Not Decline - And Frogs Like The Warmth Too

Jun 13 2019 - 11:06

This is about that much publicized insect collapse in Puerto Rico, which the authors blamed on climate change. It turns out that they made a natural but rather big mistake, not correcting for the effects of Hurricane Hugo, which increased the numbers of birds and insects before one of their main data points. A more in depth analysis of the data finds no decrease, but rather, an increase of insects in the canopy with warming temperatures. It also finds an increase in numbers of frogs as temperatures increase.

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Sodium Chloride On Jupiter's Moon Europa May Mean Its Subsurface Ocean May Be Like Ours In Ways

Jun 12 2019 - 20:06

A familiar table salt ingredient has been hiding in plain sight on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, finds a recent analysis. Using a visible light spectral analysis, planetary scientists have discovered that the yellow color visible on portions of the surface of Europa is actually sodium chloride, a compound known on Earth as table salt, which is also the principal component of sea salt.

The discovery suggests that the salty subsurface ocean of Europa may chemically resemble Earth's oceans more than previously thought, challenging decades of supposition about the composition of those waters and making them potentially a lot more interesting for study.

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The Chinese Were Smoking Genetically Engineered Cannabis 2,500 Years Ago

Jun 12 2019 - 16:06
Cannabis, known as marijuana in the U.S., Cannabis has been cultivated for millennia in East Asia and like many drugs exported from there to become one of the most widely used psychoactive drugs in the world today.

But now archaeologists have tracked down its earliest known use: 2,500-year-old funerary incense burners from the Jirzankal Cemetery in the eastern Pamirs. 

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