Science2.0

Alan Alda's Art And Science Of Relating And Communicating

Science2.0 - June 12, 2017 - 5:30pm

You are about to hear a huge sigh of relief from the entire science journalism community, because Alan Alda, a man who can interview E.O. Wilson and Jim Watson with ease, who hosted the terrific Scientific American Frontiers, and founded the Alan Alda Center for Communication Science at Stony Brook University, has trouble communicating.

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Yes! To Hell With Out Of Africa

Science2.0 - June 12, 2017 - 7:37am
Ah, life is good lately; can’t stop winning. Almost never recommend anybody, ‘cuz humans disappoint, but if I do, its winners. Remember that “Erectus walks among us” guy with his “Out of Europe” theory? Yep – that’s the one I recommended, the most despised of the low. I only recommend those who are near my level. Well, ok, that orange fat disappoint I endorsed for POTUS is obviously not anywhere near my level, but that’s another story – I knew he would win and I just love to “Told’yer so!”
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Physics World's Review Of "Anomaly!"

Science2.0 - June 9, 2017 - 12:18pm
A new review of my book, "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab", has appeared on the June issue of "Physics World". It is authored by Gavin Hesketh, a lecturer at University College London, and you can read it here. -->

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The Future Of Branding

Science2.0 - June 6, 2017 - 10:59pm

A research firm has just bestowed the title “world’s most valuable insurance brand” on a mainland Chinese company. Other outfits issue similar announcements in diverse industries, despite that in 2014 The Economist made this remark about brands: “Their importance may be fading… no one agrees on how much they are worth or why.”

The decline of brands: We should have seen it coming, when mass customization first began to overshadow mass production. Scholars point to info tech to explain the growing irrelevance of brands; online customer reviews and social media now substitute for the “shorthand” information packages that brands once provided.

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A Giant Fireball Thrown At Venice

Science2.0 - June 6, 2017 - 7:26pm
In the evening of May 30 a giant fireball lit up the skies south of Venice, Italy. The object, which was traveling very slowly along a south-north trajectory, was captured by three video stations in the area, plus observed by countless bystanders and recorded in pictures. The video data allowed to precisely measure the trajectory, which made it clear that the rock was headed straight toward the Venice metropolitan area, and that it would have landed there if it had not disintegrated in flight.
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Physics-Inspired Artwork In Venice: The Works By The Foscarini School Students

Science2.0 - June 6, 2017 - 2:08pm

This article continues the series of postings in this blog on the results of artistic work by high-school students of three schools in Venice (out of five who took part initially) that participate in a contest and exposition connected to the initiative "Art and Science across Italy", an initiative of the network CREATIONS, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the EU.

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Getting Risk Right: Geoffrey Kabat's Guide To Resisting Health Scares

Science2.0 - June 5, 2017 - 8:03pm

Type “BPA” and “toxic” into Google and you get more than 500,000 results, many detailing how this chemical additive, which is used to strengthen plastics and line metal cans to prevent food poisoning, is disrupting your endocrine system and slowly killing you. It’s in your urine! It’s in your blood!

The first Google page is dominated by dire warnings of imminent health catastrophes, some even linking to articles on presumably legitimate websites, such as Newsweek, Mother Jones, Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): Infertility. Destroys your body. Impotence. Heart Disease. Cancer.

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False Argument For U.S. Solar Subsidies: That It Prevents Pollution Deaths

Science2.0 - June 2, 2017 - 6:50pm
Solar energy, with tens of billions in subsidies to keep it afloat, now employs more people than the fossil fuel alternative it is irrationally pitted against in media - coal. 

Solar panels are fine for elites, just like organic food is - but like with organic food we shouldn't manipulate data to match our belief system.
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Torrejonia: Early Primates Were Tree Dwellers

Science2.0 - June 1, 2017 - 9:54pm
The oldest-known primate skeleton, 62-million-years-old, dwelled in treetops, not on the ground, according to a new analysis.

The study shows that Torrejonia, a small mammal from an extinct group of primates called plesiadapiforms, had skeletal features adapted to living in trees, such as flexible joints for climbing and clinging to branches. Previously, researchers had proposed that plesiadapiforms in Palaechthonidae, the family to which Torrejonia belongs, were terrestrial based on details from cranial and dental fossils consistent with animals that nose about on the ground for insects.
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CRISPR Gene Editing May Cause Unintended Mutations

Science2.0 - May 31, 2017 - 2:23pm
A new paper found that the gene-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 can introduce hundreds of unintended mutations into the genome, important as it starts to move into clinical trials. 

CRISPR-Cas9 editing technology—by virtue of its speed and unprecedented precision—has been a boon for scientists trying to understand the role of genes in disease. The technique also has raised hope for more powerful gene therapies that can delete or repair flawed genes, not just add new genes.
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How Dopamine And Opioid Systems Modulate Responses To The Pain Of Others

Science2.0 - May 30, 2017 - 1:28pm
Capacity for vicarious experiences is a fundamental aspect of human social behavior. For example, seeing others experiencing pain can activate brain circuits that are known to support actual first-hand experience of pain. 

A new study has revealed how the human brain’s opioid system modulates responses to other people’s pain. The less opioid receptors the participants had in their brain, the stronger were their emotion and pain circuits’ response to seeing others in distress. Similar association was not found for the dopamine system despite its known importance in pain management.
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Meeting Matts Roos

Science2.0 - May 30, 2017 - 11:18am
Today I gave a seminar at the Physics Department of the University of Helsinki, to talk of "Controversial Phenomena in Collider Data and the 5-Sigma Criterion in HEP", invited by Juska Pekkanen and Mikko Voutilanen, two CMS colleagues. 
The seminar is more or less the same I have given several times in the past year around Europe and the US. It contains some statistics, some HEP history, and some material taken from my recent book, "Anomaly!".
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High False Positives In Neuroimages May Be Overstated

Science2.0 - May 29, 2017 - 2:26pm
The effects of a "bug" in the analysis of functional neuroimages (AFNI) software was greatly exaggerated, a finding that is in defiance of numerous other studies which have found that false positive rates in the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain may negate the findings of countless previous studies. 
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Boosted H-->bb Decays Seen By CMS !

Science2.0 - May 29, 2017 - 12:57pm
The CMS collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider has pulled off an extremely neat new measurement of the Higgs boson production rate - one which, for some reasons, is extraordinary in its own right.

Despite being the decay mode with the highest probability (two thirds of Higgs bosons die that way), the H->bb process is among the most elusive to put in evidence in LHC data, because b-quarks are quite commonplace there.  -->

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Physics-Inspired Artwork In Venice 2: Symmetries

Science2.0 - May 26, 2017 - 10:39am

As I explained in the previous post of this series, students in high schools of the Venice area have been asked to produce artistic works inspired by LHC physics research, and in particular the Higgs boson.

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Water Structure: It's Different At Nanoscale Size And Different Temperature

Science2.0 - May 24, 2017 - 11:09am
The surface of water drops at 100 nm size changes with temperature. At room temperature, the surface water molecules of these droplets have much stronger interactions than a normal water surface. The structural difference corresponds to a difference in temperature of -50°C.

Nanometric-sized water drops are everywhere, as droplets or aerosols in air, in our bodies as medication, and in rocks and oil fields. How they interact with their hydrophobic environment, at the curved droplet interface, a sub-nanometric region that surrounds the small pocket of water, could boost our understanding of atmospheric, biological and geological processes.
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Physics-Inspired Artwork In Venice 1: Sub-Lime

Science2.0 - May 23, 2017 - 12:36pm

This is the first of a series of posts that will publish the results of artistic work by high-school students of three schools in Venice, who participate in a contest and exposition connected to the initiative "Art and Science across Italy", an initiative of the network CREATIONS, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme

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Can't Sleep? Blame Air Pollution

Science2.0 - May 22, 2017 - 12:03pm
Tablet and phone marketing executives can sleep well tonight. While those devices are commonly blamed for recent sleep problems, beams of pure digital energy shot straight into the eyeballs will do that, a new paper seeks to shore up the failing claim that tiny particulate matter, PM 2.5 (2.5 microns per cubic meter of air), is impacting human health and should be the source of new regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency.
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New Heights In Systemic Corrupt Science: Another Hockey Stick; Would You Fund For Retracting?

Science2.0 - May 22, 2017 - 6:13am
Well known: Critical science is career suicide. But did you know you are not even allowed to warn the community about fraud committed yourself? Welcome to science, where we reject the scientific method because it slows down publications, and call the public stupid for not trusting us.

The journal ‘ChemSusChem’ was informed already a year ago about fraud in their journal. 'Chemical Communications' has been informed about manipulations that inflate claims by 300%.
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Europe In My Region 2017

Science2.0 - May 21, 2017 - 8:08pm
The European Commission has launched a couple of weeks ago the campaign "Europe in my region 2017", an initiative aimed at getting the general public informed on the projects funded by the European Community in their area of residence or activity. There are open day events scheduled a bit everywhere, a blog contest, a photo contest, and other initiatives of interest. -->

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