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Bee Brains: New Attack On Science Claims Insects Can't Sleep Unless Pesticides Are Organic

Jan 21 2021 - 13:01
After suffering 80 percent losses in sugar beet crops due to the yellows virus, and now being free from the EU's activist-dominated politicization of science, the UK has decided to put a halt to the 80 percent decline and reverse course for crops before farmers went bankrupt.

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Deaths From COVID-19 Are Different From Other Respiratory Distress, But ICU Practices Are The Same

Jan 20 2021 - 14:01
If someone elderly with blood clots and cancer treatment dies from respiratory distress, the federal government is generous about calling it a COVID-19 death. Even gunshot victims are considered COVID-19 related if they had tested positive for the virus in the last 30 days. Meanwhile, China has been denying that they have any at all since March, and no one can disprove them because they destroyed the records from the Wuhan lab where they were experimenting with SARS on pangolins and only recently let the World Health Organisation in to look at carefully curated records.

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Less 'Feminine' Looking? Your Sexual Harassment Claims May Be Seen As Less Credible

Jan 19 2021 - 11:01
In 11 multi-method experiments involving more than 4,000 total participants designed to investigate the effect a victim's fit to the concept of a typical woman had on participants' view of sexual harassment and the consequences of that mental association, it was found that women who do not fit female stereotypes are less likely to be seen as victims of sexual harassment. 

If they claim they were harassed, they are less likely to be believed.

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Ivermectin Is No Longer Banned For Reducing Mild COVID-19 And A Small Pilot Study Gives It Some Hope For Approval

Jan 19 2021 - 09:01
The NIH Treatment Guidelines Panel recently changed ivermectin from firmly “against” to the neutral “neither for nor against” when it comes to mild COVID-19 treatment. Ivermectin, developed in 1975, led to the eradication of numerous parasitic diseases and earned the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for its discoverers, Dr. William Campbell and Dr. Ōmura Satoshi. It is considered safe and cheap but like another famous drug, the malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine, its claims about COVID-19 are more anecdote than science. In vitro studies are fine exploratory efforts but were only shown to do anything positive at doses far exceeding realistic human levels, unworkable for mild COVID-19.

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Artificial Intelligence Can Beat Many Of Us In Chess, Yet Strangely Not In Memory

Jan 19 2021 - 09:01
Computers are well-known for being able to recover information quickly - a Google search will often give you the result you wanted as you type, even if you make spelling errors - but are not known for creativity. They are good for storage and retrieval.

A new study finds those may be flipped. The distinction was never absolute anyway. Though it was only in 1996 that a computer beat a chess champion, computers beat lower quality players all of the time. And our memory may be better than we think, it is instead that the brain strategy for storing memories may lead to imperfect memories, while allowing it to store more memories easier than Artificial Intelligence. 

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Playing With Radioactivity

Jan 18 2021 - 09:01
Broadly speaking, radioactivity is not something one should mess with just as a pastime. Indeed, ionizing radiation has the potential of causing carcinogenic mutations in your cells DNA, as well as produce damage to cell tissue. Indeed, it makes me chuckle that until 50 years ago or so kids could play with it by purchasing stuff like that shown below...



If you know what you are dealing with and take the necessary precautions, however, radiation _can_ be fun to study at home. The tools and the primary matter are not found at the corner grocery, though, so you need to have a specific interest in it before you get ready to start. 

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Which Type Of Digital Hoarder Are You?

Jan 16 2021 - 12:01

How many emails are in your inbox? If the answer is thousands, or if you often struggle to find a file on your computer among its cluttered hard drive, then you might be classed as a digital hoarder.

In the physical world, hoarding disorder has been recognized as a distinct psychiatric condition among people who accumulate excessive amounts of objects to the point that it prevents them living a normal life. Now, research has begun to recognize that hoarding can be a problem in the digital world, too.

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Judge Issues Decree Against Valley Processing, Inc. For Contamination Of Juice Sent To Schools, Safeway, And More

Jan 15 2021 - 15:01
In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration went after  Valley Processing, Inc. of Sunnyside, Washington, along with the company’s owner and president, Mary Ann Bliesner, due to inorganic arsenic and patulin toxins at levels that can pose health risks to consumers. Arsenic can be found naturally in many fruits, of course, a known science fact to everyone but Dr. Oz, but at high doses can be harmful.

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Vaping Flavor Chemicals In Huge Quantities Can Damage Heart Cells In A Dish, But Where Is The Human Relevance?

Jan 14 2021 - 06:01
A new paper claims that people vaping instead of smoking are putting their hearts at risk but their study does not show that. Instead, they mixed chemicals in Petri dishes with heart cells and used mice. Both of those are fine exploratory experiments but they are scientifically invalid to make the conclusions the authors make in their press release.

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Activists Are Enraged The UK Are Allowing Neonics - But The Science Is Clear

Jan 13 2021 - 13:01
Activists like George Monbiot and Dave Goulson are parroting their environmental allies when it comes to neonics, but the science is clear - without them, sugar beet crops will continue to be devastated because older, less effective (but often certified organic) pesticides really only work if there are no pests to worry about.

Nostalgia is fine for their backyard gardens but not agriculture. In the real world of food production, neonics are better for the environment than legacy products that were sprayed everywhere. Instead of being mass spraying, which can lead to runoff and persistence, neonicotinoids are derived from natural mechanisms. They are seed treatments, for when plants are most vulnerable to pests.

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Why Haven't Crocodiles Evolved Much Since The Age Of The Dinosaurs?

Jan 07 2021 - 10:01
A lot has changed since the age of dinosaurs hundreds of millions of years ago. Humans didn't exist and dinosaurs are gone. Yet crocodiles are still here and, unlike humans, have not evolved much by comparison.
They even look similar to ones from the Jurassic period some 200 million years ago. 

A new study find that it's due to a 'stop-start' pattern of evolution, governed by environmental change. This pattern of evolution known as "punctuated equilibrium" is generally slow, but occasionally means faster evolution because the environment has changed. This new research suggests that their evolution speeds up when the climate is warmer, and that their body size increases.

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Bitter Or Sweet? It's Not Just Preference, Tongues Have Evolved In Different Areas

Jan 06 2021 - 12:01
An American might ask if the mayonnaise is spicy while an Asian will warn them they only think they want the hot sauce on Asian food. A woman is more likely to be better at detecting bitter tastes than men.

The difference is not cultural, that some people are timid when it comes to food, is it anatomical. A new study found that Danes aren't quite as good as Chinese at discerning bitter tastes - and the reason is biology. So if you are more sensitive to the bitter taste found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts and dark chocolate, you now know why.

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Longitudinal Study Shows Vaping Is Not As Harmful As Smoking

Jan 05 2021 - 16:01
Smoking is on the decline, and that's a good thing. The evidence is clear that smoking kills. But what about tobacco? A few years ago groups like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control began to suggest nicotine was as harmful as smoking; meaning it was not the smoke at all. There was no evidence of that, it was only epidemiological correlation.

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13 Ways To Get Better COVID-19 Restriction Uptake

Jan 05 2021 - 16:01
It's well-known that infectious disease mitigation worksl if people voluntarily follow the rules and guidelines of experts but what has happened instead is resentment of what some perceive as social authoritarian decision-makers calling the shots.

What would be better for everyone at risk of respiratory distress from COVID-19 is understanding why and how avoiding social contact and regular hand washing will help. Government can mandate things but we may be getting less adherence to guidelines because it is top-down rules, and in the case of some politicians hypocrisy after issuing them, rather than personal commitment.

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R0 And Why We'll Need 70 Percent Vaccination To Stop COVID-19

Jan 05 2021 - 10:01

It has been clear for a while that, at least in the U.S., the only way out of the coronavirus pandemic will be through vaccination. The rapid deployment of coronavirus vaccines is underway, but how many people need to be vaccinated in order to control this pandemic?

I am a computational biologist who uses data and computer models to answer biological question at the University of Connecticut. I have been tracking my state’s COVID-19 epidemic with a computer model to help forecast the number of hospitalizations at the University of Connecticut’s John Dempsey Hospital.

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Model That Claimed Only Lockdown Works To Prevent Coronavirus Spread Was Flawed, Shows New Look

Jan 04 2021 - 12:01
If you believe the Chinese government, they've had basically no meaningful COVID-19 deaths since March. I'd also like to sell you a wet market in Wuhan. Believing a dictatorship that has routinely lied has been disastrous. It was disastrous for the reputation of the World Health Organisation, who claimed no travel should be curtailed and that the virus could not spread from human to human because China told them that, it was disastrous for the doctor who exposed the Wuhan cover-up (he became dead), and it was disastrous for the world economy, which could take a decade to recover.

It may be harming trust in epidemiologists and peer review as well.

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2020 Review, 2021 Agenda

Jan 01 2021 - 12:01
Everybody would agree that 2020 was a difficult time for all of us - the pandemic forced on us dramatic changes in our way of living, working, and interacting with one another; and let's leave alone the horrible, avoidable death toll that came with it. Notwithstanding, for some reason it was a productive year for me, and one which has potentially paved the ground for an even more productive future. Below I will summarize, if only for myself, the most important work milestones of the past year, and the ones that lay ahead in the forthcoming months. But I will also touch on a few ancillary activities and their outcome, for the record.
Geometry optimization of a muon-electron scattering experiment (MUonE) 

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Is The Dunning - Kruger Effect An Artifact ?

Dec 30 2020 - 14:12
Ever had a nervous breakdown by reading Facebook threads where absolutely incompetent people entertain similar ignoramuses by providing explanations of everything from quantum physics to the way vaccines work? Or did you ever have to apply yoga techniques to avoid jumping into a bar conversation wherein some smart ass worked his audience by explaining things he clearly did not have the dimmest clue about?

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College Enrollment Will Go Down This Decade, And That's Probably A Good Thing

Dec 28 2020 - 11:12
If you sell hot dogs at a baseball stadium, you probably do well in revenue. Now imagine the stadium puts 6 hot dog competitors next to you. Will you still do well or will your hot dog revenue go down? Unless you are Paul Krugman you know the price will go down. Now imagine the stadium tells you 6 people just like you doing the same job is a positive thing; more people will enjoy hot dogs and the market for hot dogs will probably grow because there are so many choices. 

That may be true, yet it does not help you one bit.

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