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'Fear Is a Bigger Threat To Us Now Than COVID, And It’s Time To Move On'

Aug 03 2021 - 15:08
Dr. Scott Balsitis knows vaccines work, which is not a rarity in the San Francisco Bay area, but since they have long been a hotbed of anti-vaccine sentiment, leading the state that leads the U.S. in vaccine denial, it at least makes him a little contrarian.

He knows vaccinated people are safe, and making everyone safer, because he knows science in a way that Frisco people only pretend to believe if they think Republicans are opposed. They still don't trust science or pharmaceutical companies or the FDA, but love organic food, solar panels, and think endangered animals ground into powder by Asians is superior to medicine.

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How To Read A Graph

Aug 03 2021 - 11:08
Time and again, I get surprised by observing how scientific graphs meant to provide summarized, easy-to-access information get misunderstood, misinterpreted, or plainly ignored by otherwise well-read (mis-)users. It really aches me to see how what should be the bridge over the knowledge gap between scientists and the general public becomes yet another hurdle. 

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From Diapers To Sticky Notes - A Revolution In Recycling

Aug 02 2021 - 23:08

Diapers are not what you'd think about first when you consider recycling. The CBC estimates the number at billions of disposable diapers entering landfills in North America. With this much waste, recycling these absorbent plastics might seem like a good idea. The super-absorbent material inside diapers is made up of long-chain polymers. Unfortunately, they don't get put into recycling bins because the composition of these materials is too complex to break down and recycle traditionally. The problem with diapers is that we haven't found a way to recycle them into something useful. At least, until now.

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See You On The Dark Side Of The Black Hole - Einstein Was Right Again.

Aug 02 2021 - 15:08
Light that goes into that black hole doesn’t come out, so we shouldn’t be able to see anything behind one, but if a black hole is warping space, bending light and twisting magnetic fields around itself, then according to Einstein's theory of general relativity direct observation of light from behind a black hole should be possible.

Now it has happened

Material falling into a supermassive black hole powers the brightest continuous sources of light in the universe, and as it does so, forms a corona around the black hole. This light – which is X-ray light – can be analyzed to map and characterize a black hole.

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Dark Mode On Your Phone Doesn't Save Much Battery Power

Aug 02 2021 - 11:08
Smartphones tout 'dark mode' as an energy-saving feature, because darker-colored pixels use less power than lighter-colored pixels.

It's mostly an intellectual placebo, finds a new study, because of the way most people use their phones on a daily basis. The study looked at six of the most-downloaded apps on Google Play: Google Maps, Google News, Google Phone, Google Calendar, YouTube and Calculator. The researchers analyzed how dark mode affects 60 seconds of activity within each of these apps on the Pixel 2, Moto Z3, Pixel 4 and Pixel 5.

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Multiple Scattering: When Atoms Kick Particles Around

Jul 30 2021 - 06:07
When subnuclear particles traverse matter they give rise to a multitude of physical phenomena. The richness of the different processes is a crucial asset for the construction of sensitive particle detectors, and it is interesting in its own right. Indeed, it has been a very vigorously pursued field of research of its own ever since the end of the nineteenth century, with the discovery of X rays
(produced when electrons released their kinetic energy as they reached the cathode of an accelerating tube), and then after Rutherford's team bombarded gold foils with alpha particles (helium nuclei) emitted by a radioactive substance.

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Pessimism Makes The Headlines But The World Is Getting Better

Jul 30 2021 - 02:07

Pessimistic scenari

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Chewing Gum, Lördagsgodis, And The Wild Swedish Studies That Settled The Debate On Sugar And Cavities

Jul 29 2021 - 19:07
Nearly 70 years ago, results of a Swedish experiment, now called the Vipeholm studies, correlated frequent candy consumption and tooth decay. With the benefit of scientific hindsight, this is no surprise. What is a surprise is how different cultures reacted. 

For example, instead of public awareness campaigns highlighting the effects of carbohydrates on oral health, as Americans might expect, Sweden asked people to cut back on candy drastically, to eating candy one day per week. Thus was born lördagsgodis - “Saturday sweets.” Parents only let their kids eat candy on Saturday.

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California Is Forcing Everyone To Wear Masks Again While New York Wants To Force Everyone Back Into Office Buildings

Jul 29 2021 - 13:07
New York is a state, county, and city, but the money comes from the city. Not much of why it works makes logical sense. Manhattan is small, crowded, expensive, and stuffed with rats, cockroaches, and weirdos. There is rent control, which no one seems to mind, and then people exploiting loopholes in rent control, which no one minds except property owners, but since they are corporations everyone hates them even though nearly everyone in the city works for a corporation.

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YouTube Science Commuicator Derek Muller Won $10K From A UCLA Physics Professor By Knowing Physics Better

Jul 29 2021 - 13:07
A few months ago, Derek Muller, creator of the Veritasium YouTube channel, posted a video of a wind-powered vehicle. Nothing special about that, ancient sailors knew the wind could make you go faster.

But he showed it went faster than the wind that powered it. Ancient sailors gamed nature to accomplish that also, it is the essence of tacking, but this was a straight course. 

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ACE Inhibitors And ARB Blood Pressure Medicines Work About Equally But This One Has More Side Effects

Jul 27 2021 - 19:07
Blood pressure is a risk factor for a heart event and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are common prescriptions.

Both types of medicines work on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, a group of related hormones that act together to regulate blood pressure. ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure by blocking an enzyme early in the system so that less angiotensin, a chemical that narrows blood vessels, is produced, and blood vessels can remain wider and more relaxed. ARBs block receptors in the blood vessels that angiotensin attaches to, diminishing its vessel-constricting effect. 

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Some Shark Scientists Have Issues With Shark Week

Jul 27 2021 - 17:07
"Shark Week" is a Discovery Channel event each summer, unsurprisingly about sharks. It came into existence because "Jaws" the book and then the film were huge hits and they never left the public consciousness after that.

Now Shark Week is much the same, a part of the cultural lexicon. They used to market it, one year they even killed me off in a shark attack as part of their promotional stunt, but now I bet they don't have to do much at all. Yet when you grow to be important, you are going to those who want to bring you down a little. Big tree fall hard, as the saying goes.

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Neanderthal And Denisovan African Origin, Eurasian Dispersal, And Interbreeding With Early Homo Sapiens Confirmed

Jul 27 2021 - 14:07
A recent blood group analysis of three Neanderthals and one Denisovan confirm their African origin, Eurasian dispersal, and interbreeding with early Homo sapiens. Intriguingly, it also added evidence of low genetic diversity and possible demographic fragility.

Neanderthals and Denisovans are extinct hominin lineages but were present throughout Eurasia from 300,000 to 40,000 years ago. This paper isn't the first time they have been sequenced but using the genes underlying blood groups in previously sequenced genomes of one Denisovan and three Neanderthal females who lived 100,000 to 40,000 years ago allowed scholars to identify their blood groups.

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People Who Who Say They Trust Science More Are Also More Likely To Promote False Science-y Sounding Claims

Jul 26 2021 - 12:07
A short while ago a prominent physicist made the offhand claim that bees were dying because of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids - seed treatments that protect plants from pests at their most vulnerable stage and result in far less chemical use than mass spraying. It's not true, and bees are not dying off anywhere, but that claim was still made by environmental fundraising brochures and lawyers hoping to sue so it's no surprise Mother Jones readers believe it.

But a scientist?  That should be odd. Yet it isn't.

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In Clinical Trial, K.Vita Betashot Treatment For Epilepsy Well Tolerated And Reduced Seizures

Jul 23 2021 - 11:07
A just completed clinical trial of K.Vita (Betashot), a dietary treatment for children and adults with severe forms of epilepsy, found it was well tolerated and reduced seizures.

The product was developed to offset the risks of the ketogenic diet, which mimics a fasting state by altering the metabolism to use body fat as the primary fuel source. Ketosis is when the body switches from carbohydrates to fat for body fuel.

It has shown some success with drug-resistant epilepsies but the restrictive high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can cause constipation, low blood sugar, and stomach problems. 

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Here Is How To Win A Nobel Prize Guaranteed

Jul 23 2021 - 10:07
Getting a Nobel Prize in science can be tough.(1) You have to do good work and be a little lucky, but here is a way to win one guaranteed.

You just need to go to Nate D. Sanders Auctions on July 29, 2021 and be the high bidder for the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to George D. Snell.

Organ transplants began in 1954 with a kidney and by 1968 doctors could do hearts, but there was a high compatibility risk - a strong genetic match was needed. Dr. Snell's work on Human Leukocyte Antigen, the genetic foundation of a body's immunological response to tissue and organ transplants which determines whether it accepts an organ or rejects it, became foundational in transplantation immunology.

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Conservatives' Understanding Of Climate Science Is More In Line With Climate Scientists Than Liberals'

Jul 22 2021 - 16:07
Americans are inherently skeptical, and American adults lead the world in science literacy, so those two things combine to show up in debates about climate change and other sciences.  

When you are literate and skeptical it is easy to know just enough to be wrong, when it comes to climate or nuclear energy, vaccines, and agriculture. The difference between the first one and the latter three is the political demographic that is skeptical about them. Politics infects everything.

That is why the each side paints issues they embrace in black and white; you can't be skeptical, you either accept what they accept or you are a denier.

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Demonic: A Black Ops Team Working For The Pope And Scientists Studying Demons Using VR? Just Take My Money

Jul 21 2021 - 19:07
If your checklist for quality cinema contains:

(1) The Pope having his own black ops team that hunts demons and

(2) Scientists who study demonic possession and

(3) VR that becomes R

you are in luck, because the trailer for "Demonic," directed by Neill Blomkamp, just dropped.

So that girl from "Perfect" is all grown up and has a mom who went on a homicidal rampage and for no reason that really matter, scientists have spent a fortune to send Carly Pope in VR form to ask her mom's brain why she went on a homicidal rampage. 

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Silent Spring Institute Claims Hundreds Of Chemicals Increase Breast Cancer ' Risk'

Jul 20 2021 - 23:07
A study by the Silent Spring Institute(1), with funding from the politically sympathetic National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences during the days of organic industry keynote speaker and Ramazzini Institute member Linda Birnbaum, claims that hundreds of chemicals are endocrine disruptors.

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Stars, Planets And Moons Are Round, So Why Aren't Comets And Asteroids?

Jul 20 2021 - 18:07

I’m puzzled as to why the planets, stars and moons are all round (when) other large and small objects such as asteroids and meteorites are irregular shapes?

— Lionel Young, age 74, Launceston, Tasmania

This is a fantastic question Lionel, and a really good observation!

When we look out at the Solar System, we see objects of all sizes — from tiny grains of dust, to giant planets and the Sun. A common theme among those objects is the big ones are (more or less) round, while the small ones are irregular. But why?

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