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Updated: 32 min 54 sec ago

Salt Makes Winter Streets Safe - But Not By Melting Ice

Feb 01 2019 - 18:02

Brrr … it’s cold out there! Children are flocking to the television in hopes of hearing there will be a snow day; the bread and milk aisles at grocery stores are empty because of an impending snow storm; and utility trucks are out spraying salt or salt water on the roads.

We all know why the first two happen – kids are excited for a day off of school filled with hot chocolate and snowmen. Adults are stocking up on necessities. But what’s up with those trucks?

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Vegetarians Are Even More Okay With Eating Insects Than Omnivores Are

Feb 01 2019 - 06:02
For the last 20 years, insects have been touted as the next big thing in food, because they have a lot of protein and would be reasonable to produce at scale. And people who don't understand agriculture think land only suitable for animal husbandry could magically support amber waves of grain if we stopped eating steers.

But are insects too icky? Perhaps to people who have never seen animals slaughtered but have killed an insect. However, people who claim to know a lot about animal welfare and food, vegetarians, are okay with insects. Zoologically, they are correct, insects are not animals. 

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Exercise Is The Best Preventive Medicine, But Does Extreme Exercise Harm Health In Men? No

Jan 31 2019 - 13:01

Exercise is good for you but some people worry there can be too much of a good thing, especially for middle-aged athletes. Extreme running and high-endurance exercise were a concern to some doctors but a study using coronary calcium scanning, an imaging test that helps physicians classify patients without cardiac symptoms as low, intermediate, or high risk for heart attack, show the fear is unfounded.

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In Trial, E-Cigarettes Work Better For Smoking Cessation Than Big Pharma Products

Jan 31 2019 - 11:01
In a multi-center trial of almost 900 smokers(1), e-cigarettes were shown to be twice as effective as pharmaceutical "gold standard" approaches like gums, lozenges, and patches.

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Hybridization, Associated Gene Exchange In Baboons: How New Species Emerge

Jan 31 2019 - 10:01

Through our evolutionary history, change is the one constant. 99.9999% of species that have ever existed are extinct and new ones emerged that adapted to constantly changing environments. 

Baboons, with six species widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, are a modern example of adaptation and well studied when it comes to morphology, behavior and ecology. but less is known about their evolutionary history. That is why they are the subject of a new study on how speciation by lineage splitting, speciation by hybridization and associated gene exchange occurred. 

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The See-Saw Of Whether Or Not, And For Who, Statins Reduce Risk Of Major Cardiovascular Events Continues

Jan 31 2019 - 07:01
Statins are cholesterol lowering drugs that are widely prescribed to patients at increased risk of heart attacks or strokes. Though evidence from randomized trials has shown that statin therapy reduces absolute risk among a wide range of individuals there has been uncertainty about their benefits in older people, along with uncertainty about how big a risk factor cholesterol is.

In the past, trials that looked at the effect of statin therapy reported statistically valid cardiovascular risk reductions in the 65-70 age group but statin therapy is often discontinued in patients 75 and older in part because of this question around risk (e.g. myopathy) and benefit.

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Relax, 2002 NT7 Will Not Hit Earth On 1st February - It Is Already Millions Of Kilometers Away And Flying Further Away Every Day

Jan 30 2019 - 23:01

I am getting many panicked PM’s and posts about this harmless asteroid. And can you blame people when they see this sort of thing in Google News if they search for “2002 NT7”? (See screenshot below).

Science 2.0 posts often go to the top of the search results briefly so I hope to reach a few scared people this way.

This asteroid is nothing to worry about, it flew past on the 13th January and is currently moving up North out of the plane of the ecliptic and away from us. This shows where it is right now as of 30th January 2019:

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We're Not As Far Apart As Media Accounts Make It Seem

Jan 30 2019 - 15:01
If you read media accounts, Republicans deny global warming and evolution while Democrats deny vaccines and GMOs. Republicans hate immigrants and Democrats hate unborn babies.

Yet such simple 'us' and 'them' narratives aren't true, even if it makes for compelling framing, according to a new paper

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Rembrandt's Plumbonacrite: A Very Rare Lead Mineral Has Been Found In His Unique Paint Recipe

Jan 30 2019 - 13:01
Rembrandt van Rijn was a master of light and shadow and a characteristic plasticity generated by a technique called impasto.

A new study shows he was also something of a chemist. An analysis of impasto layers in some of Rembrandt's paintings show they contain a very rare lead mineral called plumbonacrite, which means Rembrandt used a unique paint recipe. Plumbonacrite is extremely rare in historic paint layers. The only other notable occurrence was linked to degradation of the red lead (minimum) pigment in a Van Gogh painting.

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The First Photonic Quantum Computer Is About To Come To Market - You Read That Right

Jan 30 2019 - 12:01
If you've read anything about computers for the last 25 years, you've read the hype about quantum computing and how it is going to be better and faster and with less heat and replace conduction-based chips and it will generally be awesome. And then nothing happens outside a lot of arXiv papers and some physics magic published in journals. Quantum computing has basically gotten the best marketing free pass ever, because it is always five years away and no one seems to get cynical.

Now it's only two years away. 

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AIP and ASA Science Communication Award Nominations Now Open

Jan 30 2019 - 12:01
The American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) are accepting submissions for their respective 2019 science communication awards.

 The AIP Science Communication Awards were established in 1968 to recognize some of the best examples of science writing in the previous year. Currently there are four awards for the best science writing in :

1) books;
2) magazine, newspaper or online articles
3) children's books and other works intended for children
4) broadcast and online productions.

Works should be intended for a general audience and will be judged on their ability to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of physics and related fields.

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The Genetic Reason You May Be A Morning Or Night Person

Jan 30 2019 - 06:01

Do you prefer to rise early with the lark or stay up late with the owl? Your preference turns out to be partly decided by your genes. Our genetic study of nearly 700,000 people has revealed new insights about the genetics of chronotype – our preference to rise early or sleep late – and how it influences our mental and physical health.

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Defining Microbiome Deviancy Down: Now Even Nanoparticles Impact Your Gut?

Jan 29 2019 - 12:01
Though our guts contain a trillion bacteria in various compositions, it's become popular to claim any detectable change is a bad thing. Unless it is to sell yogurt, where no detectable change is regarded as a probiotic good thing.

Now even at the nano- level. A new study claims ultra-small particles adhere to intestinal microorganisms, thereby affecting their life cycle as well as cross talk with the host. Nanoparticles’ binding inhibits the infection with Helicobacter pylori, a pathogen implicated in gastric cancer and the authors hope this could the development of potential 'probiotic' nanoparticles for food. Homeopaths are cheering.

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If You Are Going To Communicate Science, Be Yoda Instead Of Spock

Jan 29 2019 - 11:01
Nothing killed science culture more than Spock from the 1960s television show "Star Trek." He was wildly popular because he was so logical and reasoned. Emotions did not enter into his decisions. Scientists flocked to that mystique and so a whole generation of scholars sought to be dispassionate and data-driven in their interactions with the public.

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Terrible At Sports? Low Vitamin D Is To Blame. Or Not. Turns Out It's All Hype

Jan 29 2019 - 05:01
In 2015, I predicted that someone was going to end up in the hospital due to overdoses on supplements.

But don't you always say they are useless placebos? a friend asked.

No, they are not all placebos, but products sold as supplements that do something are either actual drugs, like kratom, and thus should be regulated as drugs, they are useless placebos adulterated with actual drugs, like many Internet erectile dysfunction and diet pills, or they are useless in normal doses but toxic at high levels. 

Like Vitamin D.

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You Don't Have Stomach Flu

Jan 28 2019 - 16:01
Like " I had insomnia last night" and "I am so OCD", medical terms often become colloquial. So it is with people who say they had a "stomach flu."

There are stomach virusus, but what many people commonly call “stomach flu” isn’t flu at all. "Flu" is short for influenza, and that is respiratory so it involves lungs, not the stomach. What people call a stomach flu is instead viral gastroenteritis. It could be rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus or something else, and could have been through tainted food.

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America Leads The World In Controlling Energy Consumption And Emissions - We Should Be Exporting That, Not Solar Dogma

Jan 28 2019 - 11:01
As the world's most powerful economy, we read a lot about how America needs to do more to use cleaner energy, and less of it. 

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Genetically Modified Chicken Can Lay Eggs That Help Create Drugs For Cancer

Jan 28 2019 - 10:01
Chicken eggs are already used for growing viruses that are used as vaccines, such as the flu jab but science is going one better; chickens that are genetically modified to produce human proteins in their eggs as part of the egg white.

A new study found the drugs work at least as well as the same proteins produced using existing methods and high quantities of the proteins can be recovered from each egg using a simple purification system and there are no adverse effects on the chickens themselves, which lay eggs as normal.

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Gene Editing May Soon Be Able To Remove Gluten Genes, Making Wheat Safe For Celiac Patients

Jan 25 2019 - 13:01
One to two percent of people have celiac disease, and the first thing they will tell you is that it is not a fad diet, no matter how many books of Dr. Oz segments tout gluten-free. To celiac patients, it is like poison and the replacements for gluten often contain extra sugar, extra fat, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and xanthan gum.

Science may soon be able to help. Gluten is a mixture of glutenin and gliadin proteins, which build a network that gives wheat bread itsproperties and quality. Most gliadins and part of the glutenins contain immunogenic epitopes, which are the actual trigger of the immune reaction.

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A Flawed Science Journalism Article Provides Good Education On How We Can Do Better

Jan 25 2019 - 08:01
Anti-science activists are having a field day on social media, happy that a rather poorly designed study can let them claim that human sperm is being damaged by modern pesticides, even though the study found nothing of the kind. 

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