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The Plot Of The Week - ATLAS Dilepton Resonance Search

Apr 04 2019 - 08:04
For the tenth anniversary of this blog being hosted by Science20, which is coming in a few days, I decided to reinstall the habit I once had of weekly picking and commenting on a result from high-energy physics research, a series I called "The Plot Of The Week". These days I am busier than I used to be when this blog started being published here, so I am not sure I will be able to keep a weekly pace for this series; on the other hand I want to make an attempt, and the first step in that direction is this article.

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Ageism Is Rampant In England, And Discrimination Against Seniors Is Causing Health Issues

Apr 03 2019 - 19:04
Ageism, discrimination against the elderly, has been reported in The Lancet Public Health journal as a problem for 25 percent of older people in England. And that is not truly old people, even those in their 50s face it. The repercussions are not just emotional, the study links the discrimination to worse health outcomes.

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Papaya Sugarcane May Be On Its Way

Apr 03 2019 - 14:04

The Rainbow Papaya in Hawaii is a great example of how biology solved a devastating problem that nature created and chemicals could not fix. It put GMOs, the successor to mutagenesis, on the map worldwide, and today billions of meals have been served using GMO science.

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An Electrochemical Way To Make Lead Pipes Safe Forever

Apr 03 2019 - 13:04

Though lead levels across America are far safer than even a generation ago, the lack of a solid answer on what the safe level is leads to concern that leaching, such as from water pipes, could be harmful. 

As the crisis in Flint, Michigan a few years ago showed, the public can be put in a panic easily, and politicians will use public health concern for advantage, even after their decisions to stop using the science that had protected the public caused the problem.

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FDA Investigating Reported Seizures In E-Cigarette Users

Apr 03 2019 - 12:04
When the Obama administration's Food and Drug Administration gave way to the Trump era, there were a number of positive changes in how the federal government treated smoking cessation tools that were not controlled by large corporations.

They rolled back the arbitrary framing that claimed all tobacco was as harmful as cigarettes - except Big Pharma products like nicotine patches and gums. They accepted that adults should have all options available for quitting cigarettes or at least reducing harm.

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Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology Entries Now Open

Apr 03 2019 - 10:04
Researchers 35 years and younger, the annual Eppendorf&Science Prize for Neurobiology, which is awarded for contributions to neurobiological research based on methods of molecular and cell biology, is now open for entries.

Applying requires a 1,000-word essay and tell the prize committee about your work.

The prize is $25,000 plus Science magazine will publish an essay about your work. You'll have travel paid to the Prize Ceremony held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in the USA and AAAS throws in a 10-year AAAS membership (but only a digital subscription to the magazine).


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Social Media Made The Modern Anti-Vax Movement Popular, But The Tide Is Turning

Apr 03 2019 - 07:04

As measles outbreaks spread across the U.S., our new look at how information about vaccine safety and reliability spreads online suggests that the tide may be turning against the anti-vaccination movement.

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Darwin's Raw Dog Food Ironically Uses No Biological Science And Will Poison Your Pet

Apr 02 2019 - 07:04
Everyone in 2019 likes to claim their beliefs are grounded in evidence.  The most anti-science groups, from the journalism department at New York University to Greenpeace, still claim to have evidence-based decision-making behind their political or financial agendas. It's no different in the "raw" pet food market, but it's harmless posturing to wrap yourself in the veil of science unless you are actually claiming to be scientific when you poison people or their pets.

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A Methane Spike On Mars Has Been Detected

Apr 01 2019 - 18:04
Methane detection in the Martian atmosphere haa been a source of debate because methane means a greater possibility for habitability and may even be a signature of life., but spacecraft and telescopic observations from Earth reported no detections of methane, at least not outside the realm of statistical wobble.

Finally, independent measurements report a firm detection in the Martian atmosphere above Gale Crater on 16 June 2013 by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard Mars Express, one day after the in situ observation of a methane spike by the Curiosity rover.

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European Air Is Clean, But Diesel Black Carbon Could Be An Issue For Respiratory Issue Sufferers On These Streets

Apr 01 2019 - 14:04
Air in England, the United States and most of Europe is now cleaner than it's been in over a century, but you wouldn't know that if you read populist epidemiology claims, which have redefined pollution from PM10, dangerous soot like black carbon, to PM2.5, which you can only detect with an electron microscope, and even down to PM1.0, which might as well be virtual pollution.

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While The House Pushes Green New Deal Fan Fiction, The Senate Wants To Lower Emissions Using Science

Apr 01 2019 - 11:04
The Green New Deal is the name given to a half-formed quasi-rational publicity stunt formed by the New Guard in the House of Representatives. 

Deniers for hire like Organic Consumers Association, which are opposed to agriculture (not to mention their endorsement of anti-vaccine activists and endorsement of opponents of all science) say it will be great. And it will be, for their clients. That poor people will starve or freeze to death if city politicians define "sustainable" isn't really a concern, because the wealthy elites who give to environmental groups will be fine.

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FDA Approves Oral Drug Mayzent To Treat Multiple Sclerosis, Novartis Expected To Get $1.7 Billion In Revenue By 2026

Apr 01 2019 - 10:04

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Mayzent (siponimod) tablets by Novartis to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease.

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Like The Periodic Table? Thank Female Scientists

Apr 01 2019 - 07:04
Discussion of the periodic table of elements often ends with simply invoking Dmitri Mendeleev, the Russian chemist who formulated the Periodic Law and used it to correct the properties of some already discovered elements, not to mention predicting the properties of eight elements yet to be discovered.

But instead of being foundational, it would have been just a quaint paper in a mining journal. had its development ended there. Mendeleev had been appointed him professor of general chemistry in 1867 and was required to lecture on inorganic chemistry. Lacking a good Russian textbook, he decided to write one, and that required truly arranging the chemical elements, something that had eluded other scholars.

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Deep Adaptation - Climate Change Paper Which Is Just: ‘Crap’

Mar 30 2019 - 18:03

I was astonished to find out that the BBC linked to this “paper” in a recent article about eco-anxiety without explaining to the reader that in the words of Michael Mann it is “crap”. This BBC article is here:

All they say about it is

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Newest Largest T. Rex Weighs In At 20,000 Pounds

Mar 29 2019 - 14:03
The largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton discovered so far, and therefore the largest carnivore on land currently known to science, was discovered in 1991 in Saskatchewan, Canada, but the extremely hard matrix surrounding the bones, in combination with the size of the skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex (RSM P2523.8), made it especially difficult and time-consuming to remove, assemble, and study. 

Since is is relatively complete (roughly 65 percent), RSM P2523.8 has finally been described in The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology.

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The Mysterious Genetic Origin Of Scandinavian Wolves

Mar 29 2019 - 13:03
The Scandinavian wolf population is a bit of an evolutionary mystery. In the hoped for descent with modification scenario, textbook natural selection, there would be signs that hybrids of dog and wolf have contributed to this population, but none have been found.

 Wolf-dog hybrids – crosses between wolf and dog – are known from many parts of the world and have mainly been the result of male dogs mating with female wolves. One such hybrid was found south-west of Stockholm, in 2017; another turned up near Oslo 20 years ago. In the Storting, the Norwegian parliament, the question has been raised of whether the wolves returning to Scandinavia in the 1980s, after they had been virtually exterminated, even had some elements from dogs in their genetic ancestry.

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Your Brain On Deception: Why April Fools’ Day Pranks Work

Mar 29 2019 - 12:03
I enjoy hearing about or even falling for a good harmless prank — and I certainly enjoy pulling a child or two’s string, in a cheerful, happy way, just to keep them on their toes — so, April Fools’ is one of my favorite days of the year.

The holiday underscores how important surprises are for our brains. Of course, one hopes those surprises will be delightful ones!

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It's Biologically Impossible For Diet Soda To Increase Your Risk Of Heart Attack, But Statistics Can Make It 100%

Mar 29 2019 - 07:03
I sometimes like to read the arXix preprint physics site. It's where a lot of papers go before they are in journals. It was open access, a way to see what scientists were working on before the results were locked behind a corporate journal paywall, before open access was even a thing.

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Not Really Human: How Australians See Cyclists

Mar 28 2019 - 15:03
A small survey in Australia (n=442) found that more than half of car drivers think cyclists are not really human, and many admit to intentionally driving too close to them. 

The survey says it is the first to look at a road-user group with the problem of dehumanization, which is typically studied in relation to attitudes towards racial or ethnic groups. The authors state that cyclists have been conceptualized as a minority group and a target of negative attitudes and behavior - but if drivers can put a human face to cyclists, researchers say it could reduce aggression directed at cyclists and road trauma involving riders.

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Republicans And Democrats Are Equal In Science Knowledge - It's Gender, Education And Ethnicity That Make The Difference

Mar 28 2019 - 11:03
There are substantial differences among Americans when it comes to knowledge and understanding of science and scientific processes.

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