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Blood Is A Terrible Food Source - Yet Vampire Bats Thrive On It. Here's Why.

May 03 2018 - 12:05
It sounds gross to humans - unless you read those "Twilight" books in which case maybe it's sexy - but a lot of animals consume blood.  That's right, even your cat familiar. 

The question is why? Blood is actually a poor source of energy. It consists of 78 percent liquid and what is left is 93 percent proteins and only one percent carbohydrates (1). Blood provides very little in the way of vitamins. Not only that, a blood-based diet exposes animals to blood-borne pathogens.

And yet some bat species (order Chiroptera) feed exclusively on blood and have managed to survive evolution that should have killed them, and their reliance on low-grade nourishment, off.

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UC San Francisco Tobacco-Funded Researchers Argue Cigarette Addiction Is More Social And Less Physical

May 01 2018 - 16:05
Many people are addicted to a stimulant. Lawyer-driven groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest have long wanted to sue coffee companies over caffeine but haven't gained much traction despite their efforts to claim it causes things like breast cancer.

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Aquatic Farming Can't Be Labeled Organic, But It Will Save The Land

May 01 2018 - 16:05
If you offer a wealthy elite any fish that is not gathered by depleting the oceans, they will recoil in horror. It is unclear why they recognize that farms are essential for growing vegetables but think farmed fish should only be for the poor. 

The science says otherwise. Aquatic farming -- aquaculture -- can help feed the future global population while substantially reducing one of the biggest environmental impacts of protein production -- land use -- without requiring people to entirely abandon protein as a food source.

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Earth's Magnetic Field Is Not Reversing

May 01 2018 - 14:05
The South Atlantic Anomaly has people concerned, but if Earth's magnetic field of the past is any indication, and it is, the anomaly is not a precursor of a switching of the poles.

What is the South Atlantic Anomaly?

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Dissent Over Results Of Federal CLARITY-BPA Study

May 01 2018 - 12:05

Last week, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina held a meeting to discuss the results of a 30-million-dollar fede

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Jordan I Want My Money Peterson Distorts Science For Alt-Right Market Niche While Pleasing Jews And Academic Overlords

May 01 2018 - 06:05

Jordan Peterson is like Milo Yiannopoulos and many similar Trump-age enabled e-celebrities, and from a scientist’s point of view, less, because Milo does not emphasize a scientific façade like Peterson does. The Alt-Right is a growing market niche where you can try “making it” by being edgy without too much sexual depravity. Being more perverted than the last guy is almost the only politically correct edgy still allowed in the mainstream, whether unfunny “comedians”, or pop music or … well even including hiring practices of universities, but its called “inclusiveness” then.

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Jupiter Last Friday

Apr 30 2018 - 14:04
Visual observation of the planets of our solar system has always been an appealing pastime for amateur astronomers, but the digital era has taken away a little bit of glamour to this activity. Until 30 years ago you could spot with your eye more detail than was at reach of normal photography even for large telescopes, so amateur astronomers could contribute to planetary science by producing detailed drawings of the surface of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and Mars. 

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Guest Post: Tony Smith: One Or Three Higgs Bosons ?

Apr 30 2018 - 10:04
Frank D. Smith (Tony Smith for his friends) has been following this blog since the beginning. He is an independent researcher who is very interested in phenomena connected with the top quark and the Higgs boson. He has a theory of his own and he has been trying to check whether LHC data is compatible or not with it. His ideas are reported here as a guest post, as a tribute to his faithfulness to this site. Of course the views expressed below are his own, as I retain a healthy dose of scepticism to any bit of new physics apparent in today's data... Also, I will comment in the thread below to inform the reader of what my ideas are on his interpretation of public LHC results.

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~100% Certain Earth Hit By SMALL Asteroid In 2000 Years - Risk ≪ Lightning - Can Retire Most Of Remaining Risk With $50 Million

Apr 30 2018 - 04:04

This is another of those sensationalist doomsday stories in the red top tabloids scaring people. The stories say that we are 100% certain to be hit by an asteroid. Well, yes, for small asteroids, but we are 100% certain to be hit by lightning too, many times a year. Your chance of dying of an asteroid impact is far less than that of dying of a lightning strike, 10,000 times less likely.

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Scientist Support Greatest RAP Legend Genius Kanye West For President Of The United States Of America

Apr 30 2018 - 01:04

“I know Obama was heaven-sent, but ever since Trump won, it proved that I could be president” –Ye vs. the People

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Leni Riefenstahl: How A Nazi Film-Maker Became A Feminist Icon

Apr 28 2018 - 11:04

The dancer, actress, director and photographer Helene “Leni” Riefenstahl, who died in 2003, is a controversial character, largely because of the many propaganda movies she produced for the Nazis. So when it was recently announced that her estate would be handed over to a Berlin photography museum, historians of the period hoped to find some clarification about the extent of her involvement with the Nazi regime.

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Cancer Dormancy: Why Cancer Cells Go To Sleep

Apr 27 2018 - 09:04

Cancer has always been thought of as something that grows rapidly and uncontrollably, but this view may be wrong.
New evidence suggests that cancer alternatively uses the “accelerator” and the “brake” in order to survive.

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2040 Is Likely Earliest Date For Mars Sample Return (unless Sterilized) And Little More Than Astrobiology Technology Demo

Apr 26 2018 - 17:04

The BBC has just reported that ESA have signed a letter of intent to co-operate with NASA on a Mars sample return (see Agencies aim to bring back rocks from Mars). I hope this does not mean a change of focus for ESA from in situ searches to a sample return. It would be so sad if it did mean that. The NASA program is more of an astrobiology technology demo than an actual astrobiological mission. They would return our very controversial Tissint and ALH84001 meteorites as top priority targets for the organics and in the case of Tissint the carbon isotope ratios - and would not be able to detect life amongst all the meteorite organics.

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With The Science Settled That Neonicotinoids Don't Cause Honeybee Problems, Why Does Europe Need To Ban Them?

Apr 26 2018 - 15:04
Everyone agrees the health of bees is a concern but there is confusion about why different governments have reacted. Scientific experts note any acute problems are due to a combination of bee keeping practices, Varroa destructor mites (which vector roughly a dozen different diseases into beehives) and the widely prevalent gut fungus Nosema ceranae. Environmental activists, on the other side, insist bees are dying and it's due to neonicotinoid pesticides.

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Why Polar Regions Of Mars Are Of Outstanding Interest For Astrobiology - And Why We Haven't Been Able To Explore Them Yet

Apr 26 2018 - 10:04

The reason we know so little about the polar regions is not lack of interest. The polar regions are of great interest, for instance the Martian dry ice geysers in Richardson crater, one of the most interesting dynamic processes on Mars and the polar regions also have astrobiological interest too. There are potential habitats there that might even have fresh liquid water within 7 cms of the surface of clear ice - of all the unexpected things to find on Mars with its near vacuum atmosphere!

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Correct Blitz Chess - A Nice Miniature

Apr 26 2018 - 08:04
Playing chess games flawlessly is a super-human endeavour, which even machines are still having a hard time achieving. However, the occasional flawless game does arise in human practice, albeit rarely. Usually it is a grandmaster who pulls it off. The absence of sub-optimal moves can be ascertained by extensive computer analysis these days, so the quality of the moves is not in question. 

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Improve Mitochondria And You May Improve Heart Health

Apr 25 2018 - 12:04
A small study published in Hypertension resurrects the notion that oral antioxidants, broadly dismissed as ineffective, could reap measurable health benefits if they are bioavailable. And it was in older people.

The study consisted of 20 healthy men and women age 60 to 79 from the Boulder area. Half took a placebo and half took 20 milligrams per day of a commercially available supplement called MitoQ, which is Coenzyme Q10 which uses chemistry to allow the antioxidant to penetrate the membrane of mitochondria, the energy factories of our cells. 

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Violent People With Less Access To Guns Would Be A Homicide Deterrent

Apr 24 2018 - 14:04
While criminals will get guns illegally, and people who use guns to commit suicide may not be deterred by anything, people who are already prone to violence would be deterred from homicide by gun law changes, according to a new article which argues that federal and state laws should include people who abuse their partners regardless of whether they are married to them or not. And findings of abuse should be grounds for not being allowed access to guns. 

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Mental Fatigue May Be A Key Issue In Seniors' Walking Ability

Apr 24 2018 - 14:04
Today at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego a group of scholars posited that low "mental energy" may affect walking patterns in older adults more than physical fatigue. 

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