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Zenaspis: Lower Devonian Bony Fish Of Podolia, Ukraine

Mar 24 2024 - 08:03
A Devonian bony fish mortality plate showing a lower shield of Zenaspis podolica (Lankester, 1869) from Lower Devonian deposits of Podolia, Ukraine.

While war rages on in the Ukraine, our hearts go out to those who live and work here contributing much to our understanding of Podolia, a historic region in Eastern Europe, located in the west-central and south-western parts of Ukraine, in northeastern Moldova. 

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Fossils, Limestone And Salt: Hallstatt

Mar 24 2024 - 07:03
The Hallstatt Limestone is the world's richest Triassic ammonite unit, yielding specimens of more than 500 ammonite species.


Along with diversified cephalopod fauna  — orthoceratids, nautiloids, ammonoids — we also see gastropods, bivalves, especially the late Triassic pteriid bivalve Halobia (the halobiids), brachiopods, crinoids and a few corals. We also see a lovely selection of microfauna represented. 

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Driftwood Canyon Fossil Beds

Mar 24 2024 - 06:03
Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park covers 23 hectares of the Bulkley River Valley, on the east side of Driftwood Creek, a tributary of the Bulkley River, 10 km northeast of the town of Smithers in northern British Columbia. 

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The Analogy: A Powerful Instrument For Physics Outreach

Mar 24 2024 - 05:03
About a month ago I was contacted by a colleague who invited me to write a piece on the topic of science outreach for an electronic journal (Ithaca). I was happy to accept, but when I later pondered on what I would have liked to write, I could not help thinking back at a piece on the power and limits of the use of analogies in the explanation of physics, which I wrote 12 years ago as a proceedings paper for a conference themed on physics outreach in Torino. It dawned on me that although 12 years had gone by, my understanding of what constitutes good techniques for engagement of the public and for effective communication of scientific concepts had not widened very significantly. 

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Life May Be Found In Sea Spray Of Moons Orbiting Saturn Or Jupiter Next Year

Mar 23 2024 - 23:03
Life may be detected in a single ice grain containing one bacterial cell or portions of a cell which means it could be found in the frozen sea spray from the moons orbiting Saturn or Jupiter.

Finding that will take is a mass spectrometer onboard a spacecraft, and that will happen when the Europa Clipper mission launches in October with the The SUrface Dust Analyzer.

The authors couldn't simulate grains of ice flying through space at 2 to 3 miles per second to hit an observational instrument so they used an experimental setup that sent a thin beam of liquid water into a vacuum, where it disintegrates into droplets. They then used a laser beam to excite the droplets and mass spectral analysis to mimic what instruments on the space probe will detect.

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Mouse Study Correlates Diabetes To Alzheimer’s

Mar 23 2024 - 23:03
A recent study in mice suggests the the liver is key in a molecular link that may also cause humans with diabetes to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is overwhelmingly in obese people so if the findings in mice ever apply to humans the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in such people could be avoiding it in the first place.

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Women Could Cut Cervical Cancer Cases Doing This One Thing

Mar 19 2024 - 18:03
Given that most adult women did not have access to the HPV vaccine in youth, the clinical burden of cervical cancer in the United States has not yet declined.  

Women still get tested and a few thousand still die each year. The authors believe that the increase in saved life-years has not occurred because taxpayers haven't yet spent enough.

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American Individualism May Be A Negative In Old Age

Mar 18 2024 - 15:03
America was founded by people escaping European norms, like government control of religion and economies. Such culturally inherited individualism has served us well but government is now claiming that loneliness may be a problem. 

Not a problem like California manufactures with its claims about 'toxic stress' but because people are a lot more mobile. Fewer work in trades so they may not stay close to home, they go where lifestyles and jobs are, at least until they decide they want to buy a house.

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Plank It: Meta-Analysis Shows Isometric Exercises Help Lower Blood Pressure The Most, By A Lot

Mar 15 2024 - 09:03
Risk factors like salt and sugar intake and high blood pressure for heart attacks and disease need constant rethink if they are going to be more than folk wisdom.

Low-salt and sugar-free have too many vested interests to get critical thinking on how valid population-level statistics are for individuals, and 'high' blood pressure rarely gets questions about how reliable the correlation was that picked 130/85 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) as high blood pressure for everyone. Thosa blood pressure numbers are the clunkily-named systolic on top over the diastolic below. The top is the pressure in arteries as the heart beats while the bottom is the pressure at rest.(1)

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What Will It Take For Real Farming In Space?

Mar 14 2024 - 12:03
If humans in space are happening any time soon, it will be despite government involvement rather than because of it. NASA couldn't even build a telescope without going 25 years and 1,000 percent over budget. By the time all cultural parties pick away at a manned space program, it will be so expensive and time-costly it won't be worthwhile, and the private sector will throw all that baggage out and just do it.

The James Webb Space Telescope program showed NASA is incapable of doing Big Engineering now, but they can put cute robots on other planets, and fund smaller projects, like how we might grow plants. Early results for how monitors that plants can wear and will stretch as plants grow are due to a NASA grant, and that is a very good thing.

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England Has Banned Puberty Blockers

Mar 13 2024 - 17:03
If my son watches Lord of the Rings, and decides to take up a pipe, he can't do it until he is 21, even though a pipe is, by any scientific measure, absolutely harmless. Government says he is too immature until then to decide for himself.

What about taking Supprelin LA, with some real positives - it blocks puberty for young people who do not feel like their sex at birth - and unknown negatives? England is taking the precautionary principle about it and National Health Service has banned puberty blockers for cases of gender dysphoria or gender incongruence in minors. They're instead going to somehow conduct trials. 

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Why Some Female Whales Live So Long: Menopause

Mar 13 2024 - 15:03
Humans and five whale species are the only mammals known to go through menopause. Why is unclear but a new study sought answers.

Scientists found that females of short-finned pilot whales, false killer whales, killer whales, narwhals and beluga whales and experience menopause live around 40 years longer than other female whale species of a similar size and speculation is that by living longer without extending their reproductive lifespan they have more time to help their children and grandchildren, without increasing the “overlap” period when they compete with their daughters by breeding and raising calves at the same time.

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On The Utility Function Of Future Experiments

Mar 13 2024 - 08:03
At a recent meeting of the board of editors of a journal I am an editor of, it was decided to produce a special issue (to commemorate an important anniversary). As I liked the idea I got carried away a bit, and proposed to write an article for it. 

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Social Media Brings Out Our Baser Natures - Anger Is Rising In Democracies

Mar 12 2024 - 15:03
Like old media such as newspapers and televisions, content on social media is tailored toward audience engagement. Television and newspapers have long known that 'dead bodies sell' but in social media it can be sold in real-time. It has sped up information - and cynicism. Fifteen years ago Reuters was caught augmenting photos of an Israeli attack on terrorists so it looked like more smoke and destruction than actually occurred and few in media were bothered, more recently outlets pulled a photo of British Princess Kate of Wales because it had been retouched. Only after the audience flagged it, though.

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Emergency Room Bro Culture Needs To Change Before Millennial Doctors Will Take The Speciality

Mar 11 2024 - 15:03
If a small survey in California is indicative of young physicians nationwide, emergency room culture will need to change for younger residents to have interest.

The news comes at a worrisome time. Increased government control of health care has meant plummeting interest in emergency medicine among graduating medical students. Women are even less likely to enter the field and instead opt for a culture that requires less assertiveness and self-advocacy, according to the survey.  

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Correlation: Sitting Is Bad For Your Health And Exercise Won't Help

Mar 11 2024 - 14:03

Advances in technology in recent decades have obviated the need and desire for humans to move. Many of the world’s population sit for long periods throughout the day, whether in front of a computer at work or in front of a TV at home. Given that the human body is made to move, all this sitting is clearly bad for our health. A new study from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), confirmed this – and then some.

A total of 5,856 female participants aged 63 to 99 years were asked to wear an activity monitor on their hip for seven days at the start of the study. The researchers then followed them for a decade, during which 1,733 participants died.

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Benzene Is Not 'Cancer Causing' When IARC Epidemiology Only Claims Correlation

Mar 07 2024 - 14:03
If you have acne, and are worried about benzene because corporate media is touting that an "independent" lab - which happened to be paid by a group representing lawyers who want to sue - found elevated levels of it, you can relax.

In 2018, an International Agency for Research on Cancer did discuss benzene, but the levels were 10,000X safe levels. And they do not ever show what causes cancer, all they do is target chemicals and look at rows and columns of data from surveys and other papers, and try to claim correlation.


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IRS Correctly Says You Can't Use Health Savings For Acupuncture, Massages or Other Wellness Nonsense

Mar 07 2024 - 13:03
Folk medicine, traditional medicine, alternative medicine, complementary medicine, wellness - it is all the same thing rebranded to be sold anew but one thing remains consistent; none of it is actual medicine.

Acupuncture is a placebo, massages are not evidence-based treatments, your Blue Apron "organic" food subscription is not preventing any illness, and so the Biden administration has rightly decreed that you can't use a Health Savings Account - untaxed funds meant to be used for medical care - and buy alternatives to medicine. Not even if you you get a doctor to give you a note saying it is real. The irony is that because his constituents overwhelmingly distrust science, his administration launched an unscientific  “Food is Medicine” initiative last year.

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Weedkillers Don't Cause Cancer And Juries Have Learned People Are Not Plants

Mar 07 2024 - 11:03
A lawyers who claims his client, a government union employee, got cancer from using the common weedkiller Roundup, is whining that his client didn't get to hear "key evidence" from "the World Health Organisation" that it caused cancer.

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Losing Weight Can't Cause Cancer But Welcome To Modern Epidemiology

Mar 06 2024 - 13:03
As the century turned, the science community began to become critical of a once-honored field; epidemiology.  If you are not familiar with it, it is people who correlate causes to outcomes. They don't show it, they usually are not scientists, but they look for links and then if those look interesting scientists will follow up on it.

This was an occupation once so conservative and evidence-driven that they were the last to accept that heart disease and cancer might have a hereditary factor. When epidemiologists showed that smoking causes lung cancer the data were so overwhelming and comprehensive that Big Tobacco began to stockpile money for the inevitable lawsuits because they had denied it.

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