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Live Cold, Die Old? Body Temperature Exerts A Greater Effect On Lifespan Than Metabolic Rate

Mar 16 2022 - 07:03
"Live cold, die old" may soon become folk wisdom if a new study holds up in mice is true for people.

Most of us have heard some form of the phrase "live fast, die young" and take it to mean reckless behavior leads to premature death. It certainly does in epidemiology but in science it means that animals with high metabolic rates ("living fast") tend to die sooner than those with slow metabolism. They burn out rather than fade away.

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Science Conferences Are Worth Your Time, But You Don't Need To Create Emissions Traveling To Them To Benefit

Mar 16 2022 - 06:03
The public are often baffled why environmental journalists attend climate conferences in person, using the rationalization that they do their jobs better if they can talk to people outside formal interviews.

What salesperson doesn't feel the same way? 

Science conferences are also well-attended, groups hosting them even note their high attendance, but the belief that any benefit from flying there and staying in a hotel is meaningful is usually held by people who enjoy going to conferences rather than empirical data. 

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To Sleep Healthier, You Need Darkness

Mar 16 2022 - 06:03
A small pilot study has concluded that even one night of exposure to moderate room lighting during sleep can impair glucose and cardiovascular regulation.

In the experiment, 10 people slept for one night in dim light followed by one night with overhead room lighting while another 10 slept for two nights in dim light.

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Why Your Expensive Restaurant Mac And Cheese Probably Has Velveeta

Mar 15 2022 - 17:03
I make macaroni and cheese quite a lot. I like to eat it on Fridays and for friends and family on holidays. I have sampled mac and cheese all across the country. I am no Guy Fieri, but I have gotten around, and I can tell you with a great deal of confidence that most elite - which is to say costly - macaroni and cheese uses Velveeta.

The reason is not flavor. It is science. 

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3 Exoplanets Are Probably Stars

Mar 15 2022 - 15:03
Though often get graphical representations of what an exoplanet that has been discovered might look like, in reality they are statistical wobbles.

And a new study finds that of the some 5,000 planets detected outside our solar system, three are likely not planets, but stars. The new analysis of the data finds that Kepler-854b, Kepler-840b, and Kepler-699b are probably between two and four times the size of Jupiter. So they are likely small stars instead.

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Cellular Respiration: An Alternate Version Of The Famous Krebs Cycle?

Mar 12 2022 - 12:03
The Krebs cycle is named after Hans Krebs, who discovered it in 1937, part of the race to discover the central hub of cellular metabolism. In a cell’s mitochondria, it is a core part of the process by which cells “burn” sugars to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s energy-carrying molecule. 

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Active Matter: The Next Generation Of Robots Could Be Shape Shifters

Mar 11 2022 - 15:03
By coating soft robots in materials that allow them to move and function in a more purposeful way, scientists could design machines with arms made of flexible materials and robots embedded in their surface.

Coating the surface of nanoparticles in a responsive, active material could mean tailoring the size and shape of drug delivery capsules and have a dramatic effect on how a drug interacts with cells in the body. This ‘active matter’ could mark a turning point in the design of robots and make it possible to determine the shape, movement and behavior of a soft solid not by its natural elasticity but by human-controlled activity on its surface.

How it works

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Cancel Culture In Science?

Mar 11 2022 - 13:03
Like the vast majority of readers of this column, I very strongly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing atrocities. War is never an answer to international controversies. And I would like to add: I am in favor of all sanctions that financially hit the aggressor, including cutting Russia from use of international banking circuits and similar impactful actions.

That said, I will say here what I think about this ongoing rush to find ways to hurt a country whose citizens are largely innocent of their leader's crimes. I think most of these creative initiatives are counter-productive, reaching the nonsensical, the irrational, and the plain nuts. 

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Transition From Hunter-Gatherer To Agriculture: Population Replacement Or Culture Change?

Mar 09 2022 - 14:03
The transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers and ranchers remains a subject of debate. In Europe, where that happened thousands of years ago, based largely on genetic studies, the prevailing view is that the "Neolithic transition" occurred mainly by population replacement rather than cultural change.

The old stuck to old ways, much like organic farmers and believers in alternative medicine do, while the young embraced progress as the elders died off. 

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Syllipsimopodi Bideni: An Octopus With 10 Arms Pushes Back The Age Of Vampyropoda By Nearly 82 Million Years

Mar 09 2022 - 12:03
A recent study describes a new species of vampyropod based on a 328-million-year-old fossil and pushes back the age of the group by nearly 82 million years. And shows that the oldest ancestors of the group of animals that includes octopuses and vampire squids had not eight but 10 arms. 

Vampyropods are soft-bodied cephalopods typically characterized by eight arms and an internalized chitinous shell or fin supports. Because they lack hard structures, Vampyropoda are not well represented in the fossil record. The new study is based on a vampyropod fossil from the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum. It was originally discovered in Montana and donated to the museum in 1988.

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Biologic From Reengineered Human Skin Cells As COVID-19 Therapy

Mar 09 2022 - 11:03
Few treatments exist for COVID-19 and the ones that do primarily focus solely on preventing the virus from replicating.

A new potential treatment inhibits replication but also protects or repairs tissue, which is important because COVID-19 can cause symptoms that affect patients long after the viral infection has been cleared. It is a biologic substance created by reengineered human skin cells called dermal fibroblasts.

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Where The Power Of Deep Learning Is

Mar 08 2022 - 05:03
Over the course of the past two decades we have witnessed the rise of deep learning as a paradigm-changing technology. Deep learning allows algorithms to dramatically improve their performance on multivariate analysis tasks. Deep neural networks, in particular, are very flexible models capable of effective generalization of available data, with unbeatable results in their predictions. Indeed, from the outside, nowadays it looks as if the game changer in predictive analysis was the construction of large neural network architectures. But it was not.

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Liquid Electrolyte In Solid-State Batteries Could Make Electric Car Batteries Cheaper And Better

Mar 07 2022 - 13:03
Electric cars are being artificially bolstered by government mandates and subsidies and are doing little to reduce emissions because the electricity they need is overwhelmingly not solar, nuclear, or hydroelectric.

What would help are batteries that aren't stuck in the 20th century, like lithium-ion, which cost so much to replace that one Tesla owner blew up his car with dynamite rather than a cost for new batteries that was 50 percent of the original purchase price. And they can be dangerous.

Lithium-ion explosion risk

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Janssen Vs Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines: A Clear Winner In Reduced Hospitalizations

Mar 07 2022 - 12:03
COVID-19 vaccines have shown to be effective at preventing vaccines but the big win for public health is reduced effects if you get it anyway. If you don't have co-morbidities your relative risk is very low but if you do have them, every precaution is worth taking.

The vaccines come in many forms but two of note are the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S) and Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2), distinct because Janssen only requires one dose.  And the latter made "mRNA" part of the cultural lexicon. 

Which one led to fewer hospitalizations? They were both outstanding but there is a winner.

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The Social Justice Of Oral Health

Mar 03 2022 - 18:03
In the quest to create more social justice and equity, a lot of economic common sense leaves the discussion first. If I become a politician by promising you that you'll get your own personal doctor, for example, you aren't getting a real doctor - you are getting someone handed a doctor title but is really a naturopath, homeopath or whatever else that can be found cheap.

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Why Women Are More Susceptible To Alzheimer’s Disease

Mar 02 2022 - 11:03
Being a woman is correlated to being twice as men to develop Alzheimer's disease, but lacking a scientific foundation for why, epidemiology is limited to noting it on a population level and moving on.

A new paper seeks to create a biological hypothesis. The authors say the C/EBPβ/AEP pathway is the core factor driving the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and searched for female hormones that are dramatically changed during menopause and tested which hormone selectively activates the C/EBPβ/AEP pathway. They have identified follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) as the major pathogenic factor.

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In Times Of Financial Stress, Buying Makes Us Less Happy

Mar 02 2022 - 11:03
President Biden is touting his strong economic performance but the public disagrees; his approval rating is in the 30th percentile because an expanding economy as framed by politicians still means high inflation to people paying taxes. The psychological impacts of bad economic performance are evident also; when times are good, spending makes people happy. When times are bad, spending is stressful. Customers even leave worse reviews, according to a new paper.

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If You Are Vaccinated And Catch COVID-19, What Are Your Chances Of Dying?

Mar 01 2022 - 05:03

Thankfully, most people who get COVID–19 don’t become seriously ill – especially those who are vaccinated. But a small fraction do get hospitalized, and a smaller fraction do die. If you are vaccinated and catch the coronavirus, what are your chances of getting hospitalized or dying?

As an epidemiologist, I have been asked to respond to this question in one form or another throughout the pandemic. This is a very reasonable question to ask, but a challenging one to answer.

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Origin Of The 30,000-Year-Old Venus Of Willendorf Solved

Feb 28 2022 - 10:02
One of the most important examples of early art in Europe, a 11 cm high figurine colloquially dubbed a 'Venus' and found in Willendorf, Austria, is made of a rock called "oolite" which is not found in or around Willendorf. 

New high-resolution tomographic images lead the authors to concluse the material from which the Venus was carved likely comes from northern Italy or possible eastern Ukraine, which sheds new light on the mobility of the first modern humans south and north of the Alps. 

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Traditional Media Are In Decline And Journalism Schools Need To Reflect Reality

Feb 28 2022 - 05:02

For more than a century, journalism education prepared young people for the role of full-time professionals employed by sizeable news organisations. But the advertising-based business model that sustained journalism is collapsing because of new technology, and jobs of the old kind are becoming scarce. The educational model, too, must change to accommodate the new realities.

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