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The Biggest Risk Factor For Type 2 Diabetes Is Lack Of Fitness

Jun 03 2019 - 09:06
Though some diet book authors want to suggest certain food types have magical power - trans fats, non-nutritive sweeteners, corn syrup, sugar, etc. - the rise in type 2 diabetes does not have anything to do with soda and everything  to do with energy balance.

People who eat more calories than they burn on a consistent basis gain weight, and that eventually begins to hinder insulin production, which can mean type 2 diabetes. 

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Archeologists Are Too Colonial, Says Anthropologist

Jun 03 2019 - 09:06
In a recent paper, Lehigh University anthropologist Professor Allison Mickel says archaeological excavations are often led by foreigners from the West while dependent on the labor of people from the local community, a relic of Western colonial and imperial pursuits. 

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Pancreatic Cancer: Challenges And Treatment Advances

Jun 01 2019 - 09:06

With Alex Trebek’s recent announcement that his pancreatic cancer is in remission, many people have wondered if this difficult cancer is now easier to treat. Pancreatic cancer remains a major cancer killer, but advances are happening.

As a medical oncologist who specializes in treating and studying pancreatic cancer, I’ll try to provide insights, including some from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting now underway.

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The Human Role In Spread Of 90 Percent Of Hospital Infections

May 31 2019 - 09:05
People treated in hospitals and other health care settings are increasingly at risk of infection with multidrug-resistant bacteria. Many of these microbes produce enzymes called extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), which make them resistant to antibiotics. Understanding how ESBL bacteria spread from person to person is key to developing effective prevention strategies.

An observational study conducted in a French hospital showed that human contact was responsible for 90 percent of the spread of one species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to new patients, but less than 60 percent of the spread of a different species.

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You Weren't Born That Way - And Being Told You Are May Undermine Education

May 30 2019 - 13:05
If you survey educators and students, current or former, many will claim they have a learning style -  such as visual, auditory or tactile - that they were born with, and some say it predicts both academic and career success.

There is no scientific evidence to support this common myth, according to new researc, but   surveys in the United States and other industrialized countries across the world have shown that 80% to 95% of people believe in learning styles. It's difficult to say how that myth became so widespread. 

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RIP Murray Gell-Mann, A Great Physicist Who Taught Science Journalists How To Do Better

May 30 2019 - 11:05
RIP to Professor Murray Gell-Mann, who passed away last week and was famed (including a Nobel prize) for quark theory. 

I never met him, but if you spent time at Caltech you probably did. He was not like Einstein, I am told, he was approachable if you were a young scientist, but you had to know what you were talking about. 

A few years ago I taught a class there, invited by my friend the best-selling author and science journalist Greg Critser, who was an instructor for science journalism at the school. He had previously agreed to be on an AAAS panel I was moderating in San Francisco and I was returning the favor for him by being a guest speaker for his class at Caltech.

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Belle Puts Limit On B Decays To X Plus Photon

May 30 2019 - 09:05
I know, the title of this article will not have you jump on your chair. Most probably, if you are reading these lines you are either terribly bored and in search of anything that can shake you from that state - but let me assure you that will not happen - or you are a freaking enthusiast of heavy flavour physics. In the latter case, you also probably do not need to read further. So why am I writing on anyway? Because I think physics is phun, and rare decays of heavy flavoured hadrons are interesting in their own right.

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Extroverts: What The Scientific Literature Says Abouts Their Four Key Advantages

May 29 2019 - 13:05
A prototypical extrovert is someone talkative, outgoing, who prefers taking the initiative in groups, expresses positive emotion and enjoys seeking out new experiences. By contrast, a prototypical introvert is quiet, emotionally reserved, less effusive, and harder to get to know.

You can imagine which of those is going to have an easier time in most jobs.

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Ancestors Of Humans Recycled Flint Tools For These Very Specific Purposes

May 29 2019 - 12:05
Ancestors of modern humans "recycled" broken flint tools 400,000 years ago in order to create small, sharp utensils with specific functions in the processing of animal products and plant materials. The results were found in digs at Qesem Cave, located just outside Tel Aviv, which was discovered in 2000 during a road construction project and has since provided insights into life in the region hundreds of thousands of years ago.

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Find The Fettuccine: To Find Evidence Of Life On Mars, Look For Rocks That Look Like Pasta

May 29 2019 - 11:05
Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense (Sulfuri), the bacterium that controls the formation of rocks that look like pasta on Earth is ancient and thrives in harsh environments that are similar to conditions on Mars.

That's why cute robots on the surface might want to look for fusilli or some other noodle.

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Plant Sex: Striped Maple Trees Often Flip Sexes, While Females Are More Likely To Die

May 29 2019 - 10:05
In only 10 percent of flowering plant species do female and male flowers exist on separate plants, where they typically remain female or male throughout their lifetime. The other 90 percent combine both sexes in one plant.

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'Loser Effect' After Being Defeated Evolves Separate From Fighting Ability

May 28 2019 - 19:05
The "loser effect"- avoiding violence after losing a fight - evolves independently of any change in fighting ability, according to results after scientists studied male broad-horned flour beetles, which regularly fight over females, to see how long they avoided fights after a defeat. 

Most would not start a fight for about four days after a loss, but researchers selectively bred the beetles for a shorter duration of this loser effect and found that it evolved to be shorter - despite no improvement in fighting prowess. 

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'Forbidden' Planet Found In The 'Neptunian Desert'

May 28 2019 - 19:05
A Neptunian planet named NGTS-4b has been found in what should be a 'Neptunian Desert' using the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) observing facility, designed to search for transiting planets on bright stars. NGTS-4b is so small other ground surveys wouldn't have spotted it.

But small is relative. Though NGTS-4b is 20% smaller than Neptune, that is about 3 times the size of Earth, and 20 times our Earth in mass. It has been nicknamed the 'Forbidden' planet by researchers and is hotter than Mercury at 1,000 degrees Celsius. It orbits around the star in only 1.3 days - the equivalent of Earth's orbit around the sun of one year. 

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Palm Oil Is Causing Deforestation And Other Myths Environmentalists Want To Dispel

May 28 2019 - 15:05
Palm oil is being blamed for a lot but two academic conservationists note that those who ask to boycott all palm oil due to its contribution to deforestation should also consider boycotting coffee, chocolate and coconut if they wish to be consistent.

Are you against or really against palm oil? 

Ask anyone who has followed any environmental news related to palm oil if they are for or against it and they will most likely say 'Against.' They'll mention destroyed orangutan habitats and rainforests disappearing.

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Mutations For Herbicide Resistance Are Rarer Than We've Been Told

May 28 2019 - 14:05
Evolution will happen, in medicines like antibiotics, and in crop protection like herbicides. Though some groups may continue to use older, less effective products such as organic copper sulfate, evidence-based agriculture works to create new products that do less environmental damage, such as neonicotinoids.

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Hyped Claims About Medical Science Are Unethical, And Occasionally Dangerous

May 28 2019 - 14:05

I work in the field of bioprinting, where the aim is to build biological tissues by printing living cells into 3D structures.

Last month I found my Facebook news feed plastered with an amazing story about “the first 3D printed heart using a patient’s own cells”. A video showed a beautiful, healthy-looking heart apparently materializing inside a vat of pinkish liquid.

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Why Advertising Doesn't Work Very Well - People Profiled By Demographics Actually Agree On Little

May 23 2019 - 14:05
If you want to annoy someone in their late 30s, joke that all they care about are avocado toast points or beard grooming or running off to Coachella when a project needs to be finished. Because they are millennials.

You can also stereotype Baby Boomers or Generation X(1) and get a rise out of them. Everyone seems to know that these "generation" classifications were entirely manufactured by advertisers, but they caught on and have become part of the lexicon. Advertisers created these sweeping generalizations based on demographics.

Yet they may not be right at all. They may even be shockingly wrong.

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Your Meat Does Not Bleed - But That People Think It Does Is Important For Plant-Based Substitutes

May 22 2019 - 10:05
If you have cooked a steak or a hamburger you know that by the time you are ready to serve it, and certainly after you cut or bite into it, there will be liquid that oozes out of it. 

Anti-meat groups know it isn't blood(1) but they use that imagery to try and sway people to their cause. And groups who make substitutes for meat also use that imagery, because they think that's important to meat eaters. Because marketing groups have long used it, people think it's blood, and even use the term "bloody."

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Fur Color Identified In 3 Million Year Old Mouse

May 21 2019 - 11:05
Were dinosaurs green? You'd think so going by pop culture imagery but there is no way to know if they were green or grey or something else.

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Probability Abuse: Why P-Values And Statistical Significance Are So Often Misunderstood

May 21 2019 - 10:05
Have you read this week a claim by the Harvard School of Public Health that Food Z is linked to cancer or from our U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) claims Chemical X is linked to Harm Y?

It's technically true, though in high-profile cases like with the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, what they leave out is that to create their statistical hazard, they use studies with up up to 10,000 times the normal dose. To create hazard, they torture data but because they were able to get a p-value>.05 they declare it statistically significant.

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