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Would You Buy Vitalized Minerals in 2022? Then You Shouldn't Buy Vitamins Either

Mar 23 2022 - 15:03
I got an email from a PR agent for a vitamin company criticizing other vitamin companies for doing a questionnaire for visitors to their website and then recommending up to 8 vitamins based on their health goals and current self-reported state in this material plane. Others got it down to 2 pills a day. Still too many, they said!

The two doctors behind this company did the exact same thing, except the big news was they got it down to 1 pill. In other words, they paid someone to promote the big breakthrough that they created a multivitamin. Multivitamins have existed since 1943. Even during World War II, with sugar and meat rationed, someone found a way to be a grifter and call it science.

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The Game Of The Three Spin Wheels

Mar 23 2022 - 06:03
The late Martin Gardner held for many years a fantastic feature in the popular Scientific American magazine. It was called "Mathematical Games", and it was worth the whole magazine by itself, although SciAm always featured many interesting articles about scientific advancements. Upon picking the magazine up at a newsstand, "Mathematical Games" was the first article I would read as a teenager eager to learn about the endless tricks Gardner taught there, in his wonderful tale-telling style.

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Food Is Essential And Fertilizer Is Expensive; A New RNA Sequencing Study May Improve Both

Mar 22 2022 - 11:03
When a giant chunk of the work force is told to stay home, and even paid to do it, the results can be felt for years. The US is facing supply chain issues due to conflicting stances like politicians demanding prices be kept low while workers must be paid more. Few areas have felt the pinch like agriculture. Food is simultaneously a strategic resource, a commodity, a values issue, and a commodity.

Labor costs have gone up across the spectrum, including fertilizer and crop protection tools, while politicians in states like California say if farmers, processors, and stores raise prices they are price gouging and will face lawsuits.

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Limiting Purchases Of Firearms By People On Psychiatric Medication May Reduce Suicides

Mar 21 2022 - 18:03
Random violence is obviously a psychological problem. Every mass shooting has a link to psychiatric medication but medicine doesn't cause shootings any more than guns do. Yet we know that together there may be warning signs because number one in firearm deaths is not mass gun shootings, those are so rare they are big news, it is suicide. (1)

Discouraging gun purchases among people with major depressive symptoms may be an opportunity to diminish suicide risk while help is obtained. A new cross-sectional survey found that people with moderate depressive symptoms were more likely to have recently purchased a first firearm.

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During The Pandemic, Plants Became The New Pets And Greenhouses Boomed

Mar 21 2022 - 11:03
No one will miss the COVID-19 pandemic. Except maybe greenhouses.

New surveys show about one out of every three people began gardening in 2020 because they were home more due to SARS-CoV-2 restrictions and worries. Many also put in new grass lawns and did outdoor renovations, such as installing new plant beds and other landscaping.

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The James Webb Space Telescope Achieves A New Milestone

Mar 21 2022 - 00:03

The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope peered into the universe and captured one of the most stunning images you will ever see.

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Sac, Tac, Mate

Mar 19 2022 - 15:03
Chess is a wonderful game, one that contains in itself a universe of situations, choices to make, strategic concepts, tactical ideas. Through its study we realize how difficult it is to take the correct decision in a maze of opportunities, even when everything is under the sun and nothing is hidden from our view. By losing game after game with stronger opponents we get to learn the hard way -but still, within an imaginary world- that our actions have consequences. Even more: we understand that if we are sometimes powerless to choose correctly even when we have all the information available to us, we cannot possibly believe we can do that in the real world, when we have to deal with incomplete, faulty, or missing data.

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Putin’s Information War: Winning Or Losing?

Mar 18 2022 - 19:03

Putin’s Information War: Winning or Losing?

Remarks for World Talent Economy Forum, March 21,2022

Fred Phillips

 

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Activists Oppose Vaccines, Agriculture And Now...Vegetarians?

Mar 17 2022 - 14:03
The pandemic changed a lot of political landscaping when it comes to science. The anti-vaccine movement was once squarely centered inside the left but now lots of right-wing people have done their best to make Republicans look just as stupid. 

Prior to 2021, environmental activists were not only comfortable with anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists under their umbrella, they embraced them, because they were overwhelmingly their wealthy donors. Now even Brooklyn hipsters and their shoulder cats say they are on Team Science again but the kookier members of the progressive movement remain opposed to nearly all applied science. They are even turning on vegetarians.

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Pests And Disease Ruin 20% Of The Global Wheat Harvest Each Year - These Scientists Think They Can Fix It

Mar 16 2022 - 07:03
With war in Ukraine, Europeans are worried a key source of their food, Russia and Ukraine, is at risk.

They are right to be concerned. Food is a strategic resource but European countries chose to embrace higher cost lower yield alternatives to modern agriculture at home because they got cheap food from the east.

If an additional 290,000,000,000 loaves of bread were available, that would ease the strain worldwide. That is how much wheat is lost each year due to pests and diseases that the so-called organic process can't prevent. But science can.

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Live Cold, Die Old? Body Temperature Exerts A Greater Effect On Lifespan Than Metabolic Rate

Mar 16 2022 - 07:03
"Live cold, die old" may soon become folk wisdom if a new study holds up in mice is true for people.

Most of us have heard some form of the phrase "live fast, die young" and take it to mean reckless behavior leads to premature death. It certainly does in epidemiology but in science it means that animals with high metabolic rates ("living fast") tend to die sooner than those with slow metabolism. They burn out rather than fade away.

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Science Conferences Are Worth Your Time, But You Don't Need To Create Emissions Traveling To Them To Benefit

Mar 16 2022 - 06:03
The public are often baffled why environmental journalists attend climate conferences in person, using the rationalization that they do their jobs better if they can talk to people outside formal interviews.

What salesperson doesn't feel the same way? 

Science conferences are also well-attended, groups hosting them even note their high attendance, but the belief that any benefit from flying there and staying in a hotel is meaningful is usually held by people who enjoy going to conferences rather than empirical data. 

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To Sleep Healthier, You Need Darkness

Mar 16 2022 - 06:03
A small pilot study has concluded that even one night of exposure to moderate room lighting during sleep can impair glucose and cardiovascular regulation.

In the experiment, 10 people slept for one night in dim light followed by one night with overhead room lighting while another 10 slept for two nights in dim light.

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Why Your Expensive Restaurant Mac And Cheese Probably Has Velveeta

Mar 15 2022 - 17:03
I make macaroni and cheese quite a lot. I like to eat it on Fridays and for friends and family on holidays. I have sampled mac and cheese all across the country. I am no Guy Fieri, but I have gotten around, and I can tell you with a great deal of confidence that most elite - which is to say costly - macaroni and cheese uses Velveeta.

The reason is not flavor. It is science. 

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3 Exoplanets Are Probably Stars

Mar 15 2022 - 15:03
Though often get graphical representations of what an exoplanet that has been discovered might look like, in reality they are statistical wobbles.

And a new study finds that of the some 5,000 planets detected outside our solar system, three are likely not planets, but stars. The new analysis of the data finds that Kepler-854b, Kepler-840b, and Kepler-699b are probably between two and four times the size of Jupiter. So they are likely small stars instead.

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Cellular Respiration: An Alternate Version Of The Famous Krebs Cycle?

Mar 12 2022 - 12:03
The Krebs cycle is named after Hans Krebs, who discovered it in 1937, part of the race to discover the central hub of cellular metabolism. In a cell’s mitochondria, it is a core part of the process by which cells “burn” sugars to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s energy-carrying molecule. 

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Active Matter: The Next Generation Of Robots Could Be Shape Shifters

Mar 11 2022 - 15:03
By coating soft robots in materials that allow them to move and function in a more purposeful way, scientists could design machines with arms made of flexible materials and robots embedded in their surface.

Coating the surface of nanoparticles in a responsive, active material could mean tailoring the size and shape of drug delivery capsules and have a dramatic effect on how a drug interacts with cells in the body. This ‘active matter’ could mark a turning point in the design of robots and make it possible to determine the shape, movement and behavior of a soft solid not by its natural elasticity but by human-controlled activity on its surface.

How it works

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Cancel Culture In Science?

Mar 11 2022 - 13:03
Like the vast majority of readers of this column, I very strongly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing atrocities. War is never an answer to international controversies. And I would like to add: I am in favor of all sanctions that financially hit the aggressor, including cutting Russia from use of international banking circuits and similar impactful actions.

That said, I will say here what I think about this ongoing rush to find ways to hurt a country whose citizens are largely innocent of their leader's crimes. I think most of these creative initiatives are counter-productive, reaching the nonsensical, the irrational, and the plain nuts. 

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Transition From Hunter-Gatherer To Agriculture: Population Replacement Or Culture Change?

Mar 09 2022 - 14:03
The transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers and ranchers remains a subject of debate. In Europe, where that happened thousands of years ago, based largely on genetic studies, the prevailing view is that the "Neolithic transition" occurred mainly by population replacement rather than cultural change.

The old stuck to old ways, much like organic farmers and believers in alternative medicine do, while the young embraced progress as the elders died off. 

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Syllipsimopodi Bideni: An Octopus With 10 Arms Pushes Back The Age Of Vampyropoda By Nearly 82 Million Years

Mar 09 2022 - 12:03
A recent study describes a new species of vampyropod based on a 328-million-year-old fossil and pushes back the age of the group by nearly 82 million years. And shows that the oldest ancestors of the group of animals that includes octopuses and vampire squids had not eight but 10 arms. 

Vampyropods are soft-bodied cephalopods typically characterized by eight arms and an internalized chitinous shell or fin supports. Because they lack hard structures, Vampyropoda are not well represented in the fossil record. The new study is based on a vampyropod fossil from the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum. It was originally discovered in Montana and donated to the museum in 1988.

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