Science2.0

When Prophecy Fails: Analyzing Post-Election, Post-American Grief

Science2.0 - December 14, 2016 - 11:40pm

One of the many classics in social psychology from the mid-20th century was Leon Festinger’s When Prophecy Fails (1956). The point of the study was to infiltrate a doomsday cult. It was a cult whose leader had declared the world would come to an end on a specific day.

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Over 7 Million Bacterial Genes In The Pig Gut

Science2.0 - December 14, 2016 - 2:31pm

Pigs are a main livestock species for food production worldwide and is also widely used as an animal model in biomedical research. Today we know that the many types of bacteria that inhabit the gut are important for health and disease. Knowledge of the genes of these bacteria and their function therefore constitutes the first step towards a more comprehensive understanding of how bacteria in the gut affect health and disease.

An international consortium of researchers from INRA (France), University of Copenhagen and SEGES (Denmark), BGI-Shenzhen (China) and NIFES (Norway) has now established the first catalog of bacterial genes in the gut of pigs. This achievement is published in the latest issue of Nature Microbiology.


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Vitamin D Linked To Bladder Cancer In Systematic Review

Science2.0 - December 14, 2016 - 2:11pm

Vitamin D, which is produced by the body through exposure to sunshine, helps the body control calcium and phosphate levels, important for healthy bones. It can also be obtained from food sources such as fatty fish and egg yolks but it can be difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from food alone in countries with little sunlight so food is often fortified. 

For the benefit of the never-ending supplement fad industry, some papers have linked vitamin D deficiency with a host of health problems including cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions, and now Vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, though the source is a systematic review of just seven studies so it may not warrant a panic attack just yet.


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Obscure Tools Of The Practical Experimental Physicist: The Brazil Band

Science2.0 - December 14, 2016 - 1:47pm
As I am traveling around Europe this week, giving seminars in several places (Hamburg yesterday, Berlin today, and Clermont-Ferrand on Friday) my connectivity is erratic and my capability to follow the development of data analysis and new publications is strongly lowered. My connections to the world of LHC research continues through email exchanges, though.
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But, Who’s Really Manipulating The Science On Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?

Science2.0 - December 13, 2016 - 9:59pm

On November 29, an op-ed article, co-signed by 94 scientists, and entitled “Let’s Stop the Manipulation of Science” was published in Le Monde.  It makes numerous allegations, most prominent among them that industry is “manufacturing doubt” about the science on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).  But as anyone who has followed the issue of endocrine disruptors knows, it is highly controversial and polarized with serious questions

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But, Who’s Really Manipulating The Science On Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?

Science2.0 - December 13, 2016 - 9:56pm

On November 29, an op-ed article, co-signed by 94 scientists, and entitled “Let’s Stop the Manipulation of Science” was published in Le Monde.  It makes numerous allegations, most prominent among them that industry is “manufacturing doubt” about the science on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).  But as anyone who has followed the issue of endocrine disruptors knows, it is highly controversial and polarized with serious questions

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Paper Hopes To Link Diet, Gut Microbiome And Colorectal Cancer

Science2.0 - December 12, 2016 - 6:58pm
A new paper links specific types of intestinal bacteria in the development of colorectal cancer - in animal models, at least. Finding it in humans is another matter.

But if such a link is ever found, and currently these findings are only exploited by people selling something, it could lead to dietary-based therapeutic interventions which may be able to modify the composition of the gut microbiome and reduce colorectal cancer risk.
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Natural Symptoms May Be Misdiagnosed As Tamoxifen Side-Effects

Science2.0 - December 9, 2016 - 3:03pm
Women taking tamoxifen for breast cancer were less likely to continue taking the drug if they suffered nausea and vomiting - yet so were women given a placebo who experienced the same symptoms. This is evidence that drugs are being unfairly blamed for natural symptoms. 

It's a chemophobia culture. People embrace homeopathy, naturopathy and various alternative techniques because they aren't required to have elaborate disclosures of side effects like real medicines have. And there is a culture war against drug companies, so if symptoms occur it may be easy to blame Big Pharma or Big Generic.
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Determining Prostate Cancer Risk With A DNA Methylation Biomarker

Science2.0 - December 8, 2016 - 11:36am
Currently, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and other biomarkers are used for diagnosing and monitoring prostate cancer. However, biomarkers to selectively identify patients with high risk of recurrence, those who might benefit from intervention, and those who can safely choose active surveillance, are lacking. A new study in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes a biomarker, PITX2 DNA methylation, which is capable of distinguishing cancerous tissue from non-cancerous tissue and predicting the risk of cancer recurrence using only small amounts of tissue obtained from core needle biopsies.
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Are Marijuana Warning Labels Needed? Users Say Yes

Science2.0 - December 7, 2016 - 1:56pm
In the United States, legalization of marijuana is happening at a record pace, thanks to governments hoping for new tax streams and public health claims giving it a free pass that literally no other product has ever gotten. However, a few experts and some users agree that package warnings stating the health risks are needed, yet what marijuana smokers think is needed is different from what the medical community believes should be required. 

Given the craze, it is no surprise journal publishers are scrambling to push out new places to lend marijuana a veneer of scientific authenticity. One new one, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research,  -->

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Running Sounds May Contain Clues To Injury Prevention

Science2.0 - December 6, 2016 - 11:31am

The number of Australians who run for exercise has doubled since the mid-2000s. Preventing and managing injuries are common concerns, and can present an ongoing health burden and high cost if not addressed appropriately.

But what if listening to the sound of running could help prevent injuries?

We recently conducted the first study to relate running technique with the sound of feet hitting the ground. Listening could prove a simple and effective feedback mechanism for runners, coaches and clinicians to understand how runners land their feet and the potential for certain injuries.

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Baby Boomers Unbound: Marijuana Surges In The Elderly

Science2.0 - December 5, 2016 - 5:10pm
When the oddly-named Baby Boom generation (the "boom" happened in 1946, after soldiers returned from World War II, it wasn't an entire generation) were young, it was the age of "Reefer Madness", with kids involved in manslaughter, suicide, and a whole bunch else thanks to marijuana.
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Is The X(5568) A True Resonance ?

Science2.0 - December 4, 2016 - 4:57pm
The DZERO collaboration published earlier this year a search for resonances decaying to pairs in its Run-2 dataset of 2-TeV proton-antiproton collisions, produced by the now defunct Tevatron collider in the first 10 years of this century.
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Order Patterned With Chaos - How Climate Is Predicted For Decades - With Exact Forecasts Only For Days

Science2.0 - December 4, 2016 - 5:43am

How can we predict the climate so far ahead when we can't do an accurate weather forecast even ten days ahead? Well it is remarkable that we can forecast our weather even one day ahead, and by looking at how the forecasters do that we can begin to understand how the models can work over longer timescales. When I was a child in the UK in the 1960s, with our unpredictable weather, a cautious person would take rain gear with them almost no matter what the forecasters said. Even as late as 1987 we had Michael Fish's famous weather blooper. This broadcast is so famous here that it starred in the Olympics 2012 opening ceremony.

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Time, Wittgenstein And Language Scaffolding

Science2.0 - December 3, 2016 - 6:53pm
There’s a widespread belief that actually existing democracies are in the grip of a fast-paced world dominated by breaking news and all things instant. The following contribution sets out to question this belief. It takes readers on a time journey. It sets out to probe the meaning of time, and explains why time has a malleable quality. It asks why time is a political matter and why, when they function well, democracies do intriguing things to people’s shared sense of time. -->

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Jena's Roots In The Tree Of Life

Science2.0 - December 2, 2016 - 12:58am
Ernst Haeckel created the first phylogenetic ‘tree of life’ of organisms 150 years ago in Jena, and published it in his major work, the ‘General morphology of organisms.’ It allowed for us to see diversity and the connections between species.

It was not only Darwin who influenced Haeckel’s creation. He was also inspired by a linguist who was his colleague and friend in Jena. “As early as 1863, the linguist August Schleicher created a first ‘family tree’ to represent the development of Indo-Germanic languages,” says Prof. Uwe Hoßfeld of Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany. “Ernst Haeckel eventually adopted this form of visualization.” 
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Trump’s Cuban Insight Trumps Fidel Kaepernick’s Caper Part 2

Science2.0 - December 1, 2016 - 4:11pm

In the first installment of this two-part post, I mentioned that from my perspective I had understood Kaepernick had a right to protest as an American, but all of that sentiment had changed through a series of interlocking events. Here is what I mean by the interlocking events. There is curious coming together of a few topics from current events that is taking place now.

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