Science2.0

Association Created Between Texas Weather, Monarch Butterflies And Glyphosate

Science2.0 - May 17, 2017 - 11:51am
A paper has linked Monarch butterfly populations to glyphosate - but only when it was first used, and not when it was most heavily used. It also linked the populations to seasonal variation. That is to be expected, except since it's 2017, they try to claim that's climate change rather than wetter weather in some years.
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Science Acceptance: Don’t Underestimate The Power Of A Good Cartoon

Science2.0 - May 15, 2017 - 7:44pm
Though photos are considered more credible, if you are evangelizing a controversial energy type like wind, a cartoon may appear more persuasive. 

In a recent study, participants were shown one of two versions of the same set of brochures. Each set was designed to debunk a myth about wind energy, the intent being to give readers desired information about wind energy and assuage their concerns. Each pair of brochures was identical in design, text, color, size, etc.

The only difference was that the originally designed brochures featured a beautiful, professional photograph of wind turbines, while the look-alike brochures created for the study swapped out the photograph with a cartoon.
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Solar Plus Batteries Will At Least Double The Cost For Electricity

Science2.0 - May 15, 2017 - 12:40pm
Solar power is all the rage, at least for government officials who don't understand physics but do spend a lot of time with environmental (and solar panel) lobbyists.

Even in a small country like Belgium, solar can't even meet half of energy needs. In order for it to meet energy needs would require batteries, and that means doubling the cost for the public. If it were implemented in a large country like America, the cost would be astronomical, and that's without adding new transmission lines equivalent to every paved road in the U.S.
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Free Range Kids: Most Parents Won't Let Kids Swim In Their Backyard Without Supervision

Science2.0 - May 15, 2017 - 11:54am
A new national poll says that parents are in a panic about things like swimming pools.

Least likely to think their kids can swim; black parents. A slight majority of white parents are fine with kids swimming sans parental hovering. Almost all parents think a natural lake (84 percent) or ocean (87 percent) , lacking concrete and a diving board, is too dangerous to be allowed. Only 63 percent would even allow kids to swim in their backyard. 

Granted, pools can be dangerous, with some 5,000 child and teen injuries a year and around 1,000 drowning deaths occurring, but it shows we are bad at evaluating risk. Sharks attack fewer people than cows do, but who do you think parents worry more about after Shark Week?
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Stop The 19th Century Myths: Your Sense Of Smell Is As Good As Your Dog's

Science2.0 - May 12, 2017 - 3:33pm
We are at the top of the food chain, but some of our senses got short shrift when it came to other animals. Dogs can hear at frequencies we can't, mantis shrimp got 16 visual pigments and we are stuck with just 3.5, and don't even get other animals started on our pathetic sense of smell.

But a weak nose in humans is really just a 19th century myth that won't go away, like homeopathy and organic food, according to a new analysis. Instead of being limited to a paltry 10,000 odors, humans can discriminate maybe one trillion different ones, the same as dogs and rodents. 
The faulty persistent claim is thanks to Paul Broca, a 19th century brain surgeon and anthropologist as the culprit for the falsehood that humans have an impoverished olfactory system.
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CBC – Controversy Before Credibility

Science2.0 - May 11, 2017 - 7:01pm
When did it become okay for the media to be anti-science and anti-agriculture?

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Practical Tools Of The Improvised Speaker

Science2.0 - May 10, 2017 - 11:54am

Yesterday I visited the Liceo “Benedetti” of Venice, where 40 students are preparing their artwork for a project of communicating science with art that will culminate in an exhibit at the Palazzo del Casinò of the Lido of Venice, during the week of the EPS conference in July.

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Journalists Grieve Death Of Forensic Science Commission

Science2.0 - May 9, 2017 - 7:22pm
The National Commission on Forensic Science was dissolved by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a decisive action that brought an end to a highly decorated body of professionals, but one that was frequently stymied by legal gamesmanship and discord.  The commission, a precipitant of the Obama administration's criminal justice reform efforts, was curiously loaded with trial attorneys, law professors, and other academicians but relatively few forensic scientists.
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How Varroa Mites Exploit Beekeeping

Science2.0 - May 9, 2017 - 4:00pm
There has been some ongoing concern about bee colonies, even fears of an impending "colony collapse disorder", but both the fears and the causes have been misplaced, recent studies have shown.

Rather than being a mysterious effect due to pesticides (like neonicotinoids) slight variations in bee populations remain the fault of parasites. Yet that brings its own mystery. Varroa mites, the biggest culprit, are not very mobile. 
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Are Your Data Fluctuating As They Should ?

Science2.0 - May 8, 2017 - 1:25pm
A little while ago I encountered an interesting problem, which I had fun solving by myself. I think my solution is not original (it must have occurred to others a gazillion times in the past) but I do believe the implementation is nice, so I want to share it with you here.
The general problem

Imagine you are given a set of counts distributed in bins of a histogram. This could be, for instance, the age distribution of a set of people. You are asked to assign uncertainty bars to the counts: in other words, estimate a "one-sigma" interval for the relative rate of counts in each bin.
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Why Do Women Die At Higher Rates After Being Discharged With Heart Arrhythmias?

Science2.0 - May 4, 2017 - 5:30pm
Atrial fibrillation and flutter (also known as AFF) is associated with serious health problems and is a significant contributor to death rates. Knowing that, why would there be different death rates for male and female patients who presented with AFF to emergency departments and then discharged? Even 30 and 90 days after discharge. 

AFF is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that is associated with blood clots to the brain (e.g., stroke) and other organs, heart failure, and sometimes death. It affects approximately 2.66 million Americans. 
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Separate Evolution: Men, Women, And Gene Expression

Science2.0 - May 3, 2017 - 9:04pm
Though men and women obviously differ, that has become muddled in the name of equality. Drug reactions are different, obviously one gender gives birth to children. 

A new study shows there are still many similarities, but also a whole lot of biological differences not in genes, but in gene expression. Their findings showed that harmful mutations in these particular genes tend to accumulate in the population in relatively high frequencies, and the study explains why. The detailed map of these genes provides evidence that males and females undergo a sort of separate, but interconnected, evolution.  
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Hand That Sees Is 10X Quicker Than Current Prosthetics

Science2.0 - May 3, 2017 - 7:23pm
Prosthetics may look better but they have not really changed much in the last 100 years. That could soon change. The next generation of hand prosthetics may be far more like a real hand - they could allow the wearer to reach for objects almost automatically, without really thinking, like real hands do now.

Current prosthetic hands are controlled via myoelectric signals - that is electrical activity of the muscles recorded from the skin surface of the stump.In the US there are 500,000 upper limb amputees a year.
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Hidden Demographic: Young Adult Smokers

Science2.0 - May 3, 2017 - 6:53pm
In the many efforts to prevent people from taking up smoking, most initiatives have focused on kids.  As the consumer advocacy group the American Council on Science and Health has long phrased it, "smoking is a pediatric disease." Prevent uptake in the young, and addiction rarely occurs.

But that has led to governments with a big blind spot about young adults, according to a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health by Thierry Gagné, a doctoral student at Université de Montréal's School of Public Health.
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Do You Know What’s In Your Water?

Science2.0 - May 3, 2017 - 11:48am

It’s widely understood that a key reason why life developed on Earth is because of water.  A common definition of a habitable environment is one in which plenty of liquid water is available to sustain life.  In short, we can’t live without water.

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INSIGHTS: A New EU Network For Particle Physics And Statistics

Science2.0 - May 3, 2017 - 7:13am
Innovative training networks are a European Community concept funded by the Research Executive Agency, under the project called "Marie Curie Actions". The idea is that the EU helps build structures that provide interdisciplinary training to skilled graduate students, providing them with knowledge and skills that make them attractive for the work market and useful to society, while boosting the research projects that the EU is interested in. -->

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Can Giant Airships Accelerate To Orbit (JP Aerospace's Idea)?

Science2.0 - May 3, 2017 - 12:00am

JP Aerospace is an interesting company - in the city of Rancho Cordova, CA., California, JP Aerospace, America's OTHER Space Program. Their aim is to develop ways to send airships up into the stratosphere - and more controversially, all the way to orbit with their "Orbital Airships" vision. The airships would accelerate very slowly, at a rate of perhaps a few centimeters per second increase n speed every second, over several days, until they reach orbital velocity. Can they, or can't they, or how far can they go?

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Ideology Of Climate Change: How Activist Journalism At Columbia Led To A Partisan Lawsuit

Science2.0 - May 1, 2017 - 2:33pm

The court case over whether ExxonMobil may have deliberately downplayed the potential dangers of global warming is heating up. Eleven attorney generals have filed a brief in US District Court in Manhattan supporting a lawsuit by Exxon to halt a probe by their peers in New York and Massachusetts.

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Paper Links Common Antibiotics To Increased Risk Of Miscarriage

Science2.0 - May 1, 2017 - 11:00am
It's manna from heaven for sue-and-settle law firms; a new paper links common antibiotics, such as macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides and metronidazole, to an increased risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy.

The association was weak, but juries won't know that, because Dr. Anick Bérard, Faculty of Pharmacy, Université de Montréal, declared, "our investigation shows that certain types of antibiotics are increasing the risk of spontaneous abortion, with a 60% to two-fold increased risk." That's important, since baseline risk of spontaneous abortion is 30 percent, but the women who miscarried in this study were more likely to be older, living alone and to have multiple health issues and infections. 
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Depression As Harbinger Of Other Disorders

Science2.0 - May 1, 2017 - 9:51am
Does the reality of mental disorders also cause depression, or is depression a harbinger of other disorders, a gateway as it were?
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