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Pesticide Use In Germany Went Down, So Why Are Environmentalists Angry?

Aug 18 2020 - 12:08
German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture data show that use of crop protection products, e.g. pesticides, went down last year and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner notes that has been the trend since 2012. Klöckner says it shows Germany is "on the right track" when it comes to reducing use of pesticides but anti-science groups are angry.

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With No Bee Deaths Happening, Activists Now Say Birds Are Dying From Neonicotinoids

Aug 17 2020 - 16:08
Though periodic deaths of bees continue to happen, and have been documented for as long as records of bees have been kept, over 1,000 years, efforts to blame the most recent statistical blip on a newer class of pesticides designed to reduce pesticide usage, neonicotinoids, have fallen flat. Parasites remain the big killer, as does winter, even changes in land. Arguably the only thing not killing bees are seed treatments created so there would be less pesticide in the environment.

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Flying Dinosaurs: Anchiornithine Theropods As The Earliest Birds

Aug 17 2020 - 12:08
A new paper supports the traditional relationship of dromaeosaurid ('raptors') and troodontid theropods as the closest relatives of birds, but also supports the status of the controversial anchiornithine theropods as the earliest birds.

The authors say theirs is the most comprehensive study of feathered dinosaurs and early birds into the evolutionary relationships of dinosaurs at the origin of birds. They used an analytical pipeline to search for evolutionary trees, and estimated how each species may have crossed the stringent thresholds for powered flight.

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Sour Beer: The Science

Aug 17 2020 - 10:08

Sour beer is not a defect. Some people like the tart, tangy brew which results when wild yeast and bacteria are allowed to grow in freshly brewed beer (wort) and then ferment.

It's the opposite of the fresher beer many desire and began as a niche market in in Europe long ago. Now it's taking off in the U.S. the way IPAs did a decade ago. 

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Twistors: A New Direction For A Unified Theory

Aug 16 2020 - 14:08
What is a twistor, and why should we care? Well, I may not be the most qualified blogger out here to give you an answer, but I will try to at least give you an idea. Before I do, though, maybe first of all I should say why I am discussing here a rather obscure mathematical concept, in this typically experimental-physics-oriented blog.

Twistor theory is a mathematical construction that dates back to the sixties, and is probably mostly known for some of its uses within string theory. Funnily enough, it has now been brought to the fore by Peter Woit, a mathematical physicist from Columbia University who became internationally renowned when he published his 2006 book "Not Even Wrong".

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Newborn Mothers Get Too Many Opiods, Claim Osteopaths, Then They Circulate Them In Their Community

Aug 14 2020 - 13:08
The 'teach to the protocol' environment created by government and insurance companies has removed much of the critical thinking in modern medicine, and a new paper suggests even more regulations are needed.

It suggests that absent control, doctors are giving prescriptions for postpartum pain in new mothers containing a few too many pills. And those 7-9 extra pills, they claim, may lead to opioid addiction.

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Everything Wrong With Modern Theoretical Physics In One Paper's Practical Summary

Aug 13 2020 - 06:08
There was once a time when theoretical physicists were prized because they were basically smarter than most people - about one or two things.

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If We Want The Next Generation To Care About The Environment, Stop Saying It's Not To Be Enjoyed

Aug 12 2020 - 11:08
Few care about nature as much as hunters, fishers, and other outdoor sporting enthusiasts. Yet, that is the opposite of the narrative created by more militant environmental groups, who promote the belief that land must be untouched by people and legally off-limits, even if it means government social authoritarianism.

Yet in their desire to raise their $2 billion a year by keeping everyone on apocalyptic red alert, they miss something obvious; if no one is allowed to experience nature, they won't appreciate it or care about it in the future. And if they don't care because it's not valuable to them, they won't support environmental lawyers.

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The Insect Apocalypse That Never Was

Aug 12 2020 - 07:08

In recent years, the notion of an insect apocalypse has become a hot topic in the conservation science community and has captured the public’s attention. Scientists who warn that this catastrophe is unfolding assert that arthropods – a large category of invertebrates that includes insects – are rapidly declining, perhaps signaling a general collapse of ecosystems across the world.

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GMOs Can't Cause Cancer; But Nutritionists Who Note That Get Yelled At

Aug 12 2020 - 06:08
In 2020, we've all come to know "Karen" in popular culture. She is angry, wealthy, white, and she wants to speak to your manager right now.

In food circles, Karen has been around for much longer. She made Whole Foods great. Her asymmetrical bob has long prowled the aisles looking for free-range, shade-tree-grown, fair-trade spices, because she is not just more ethical than you Plebians buying in Safeway, she is smarter. She knows GMOs cause cancer.

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The Futurist Quest To Cure Aging, And Why It May Never Work

Aug 11 2020 - 14:08

As time passes, our fertility declines and our bodies start to fail. These natural changes are what we call ageing.

In recent decades, we’ve come leaps and bounds in treating and preventing some of the world’s leading age-related diseases, such as coronary heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

But some research takes an entirely unique view on the role of science in easing the burden of aging, focusing instead on trying to prevent it, or drastically slow it down. This may seem like an idea reserved mainly for cranks and science fiction writers, but it’s not.

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'Star Trek: Lower Decks' - This Universe Needs A Comedy, We'll Continue To Wait

Aug 11 2020 - 13:08
I can save you some time. If the first few episodes of "Star Trek: Lower Decks" are any indication, CBS All Access won't be retaining a lot of new subscribers who signed up to watch it.

It's no secret that "Star Trek" from the 1960s and "Star Wars" from the 1970s hold a grip on cosmic fiction in culture, and they do so without much overlap. Their hardcore fandom, outside 'nerd' sterotypes on television shows, is pretty distinct. I prefer "Star Trek" because it's a little lighter in tone than the Sturm and Drang of the "Star Wars" universe, and that makes it perfect for a comedy.

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Soil Science: Regenerative Agriculture Is 'Just Nonsense', Farmers Already Do It

Aug 11 2020 - 11:08
"Regenerative agriculture" is the latest buzzterm advocated by people who primarily work at food marketing groups in cities, coming along at the end of the no-till, sustainable fads, but what it really means is so subjective it's "just nonsense" according to New Zealand soil expert Dr. Doug Edmeades.

Instead of getting an informed discussion of healthy soil, people are getting political spin, he worries. 

And the politicians and activists implying that local farmers are doing something wrong and wanting to shame them with regulations ignore the reality that they have been practicing actual regenerative agriculture quite well.

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Like 'Sustainable' And 'Organic', Consumers Misunderstand What 'Whole Grain' Means

Aug 10 2020 - 17:08
Consumers have been so saturated with vague marketing claims that nearly 50 percent can't correctly identify what is claimed to be a "healthier" option on packages.

That sounds bad, except buying whole grain or white bread or fancy crackers are not making any difference in health anyway.

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ALMA's Stellar Egg Hunt Finds A Truly Newborn Star

Aug 10 2020 - 06:08
Though telescopes are anathema to environmental groups in the United States, Chile still desires multicultural, high-paying, white collar jobs, and so the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) continues to carry the water for science in the north.

ALMA recently took a census of stellar eggs in the constellation Taurus and their evolution state in order to better understand how and when a stellar embryo transforms to a baby star deep inside a gaseous egg.

They also  found a bipolar outflow, a pair of gas streams that could be telltale evidence of a truly newborn star.

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Rnf Enzyme: Missing Link Between Anoxic Life On Earth And Modern Respiration

Aug 09 2020 - 06:08
Life developed when there was no oxygen on earth. It was an anoxic environment dominated by bacteria, who instead of oxidation and reduction, as our mitochondria do to produce energy, probably extracted various substances by means of fermentation.

But there has long been another possibility; a kind of “oxygen-free respiration” hinted at in studies on primordial microbes that are still found in anoxic habitats today. There have been found genes in microbes that perhaps encode for a primordial respiration enzyme.

Yet proving the existence of this respiratory enzyme and isolating it requires time and effort. The complex is fragile and often fell apart during attempts to isolate it from the membrane. 

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Reflections On The Statement “The IAU Has A Clear Ideology About Inclusion That Has To Be Accepted By All Its Members"

Aug 08 2020 - 09:08

POLITICIZATION OF SCIENCE. Reflections on the statement “The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has a clear ideology about Inclusion that has to be accepted by all its members”


There are epochs in which science, academia and all intellectual activities are constrained by an ideological system to create monsters at the beck and call of political or religious agendas within totalitarian regimes that repress the free development of ideas.

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Age Is Not A Number, It's An Ability

Aug 08 2020 - 06:08

It’s a common assumption that exercise in older people is difficult and dangerous, so it’s perhaps best avoided. But this is often not the case – even if these ideas are ingrained in society. Research has repeatedly shown that exercise in older adults is linked with lower disease risk, reduced risk of falls, and better overall health.

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UK Transgender Individuals 3X More Likely To Be Autistic

Aug 07 2020 - 13:08
Compared to cisgender people (gender identity corresponds to their sex), an analysis of over 600,000 adults finds transgender and gender-diverse adults are three to six times more likely to be diagnosed as autistic. 

The findings are simply exploratory and about co-occurrence between gender identity and autism diagnoses, they cannot inform or suggest causal links.  These correlations have confounders.

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What Is That 'Black Goo' Coming From Ancient Egyptian Coffins?

Aug 07 2020 - 11:08
Egyptian coffins and mummy cases have been found covered in a mysterious 'black goo'. What is this goo made from and what can it reveal about Egyptian funerary practice? The British Museum has detailed answers but you can read a summary below.

Djedkhonsiu-ef-ankh died almost 3,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. He was a priest in the temple of Amun at Karnak, where he was an ‘Opener of the Doors of Heaven’ - permitted to open the temple sanctuary which contained the image of their deity.

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