Yesterday I gave a lecture at the 3rd International Conference on New Frontiers in Physics, which is going on in kolympari (Crete). I spoke critically about the five-sigma criterion that is nowadays the accepted standard in particle physics and astrophysics for discovery claims.
My slides, as usual, are quite heavily written, which is a nuisance if you are sitting at the conference trying to follow my speech, but it becomes an asset if you are reading them by yourself post-mortem. You can find them here (pdf) and here (ppt) .
Resistance to artemisinin, the main drug to treat malaria, has become widespread throughout Southeast Asia.
Resistance among the Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) parasites that cause the disease is likely caused by a genetic mutation in the parasites, but a six-day course of artemisinin-based combination therapy, as opposed to a standard three-day course, has proved highly effective in treating drug-resistant malaria cases, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. DDT has also been effective for the last 70 years.
Electronic cigarettes have gained considerable popularity over the past few years - for most they are another form of the nicotine patch, and a way to curb harmful cigarette smoking but critics contend they make smoking cool.
No one thinks they are cool, they are in Google Glass territory among the public, just a moment away from leading to insults, so research instead focuses on the well-documented health benefits of smoking less versus any possible risks.
Governments want to regulate them to generate revenue so the onus is on the industry to try and prove they are safe, an impossible task. Yet if they show they are not harmful, it will be harder to convince the public they should regulate those when alternative medicine is unchecked.
Bumblebees can glean differences in pollen quality based on floral features like petal color and that informs their decision on where to land.
Bees do not sample pollen so it has been unclear how they determined quality. The new study in the Journal of Experimental Biology found that they are able to form associative relationships between appearance and pollen quality. Bumblebees can individually assess pollen samples and discriminate between them during collection, quickly forming preferences for a particular type of pollen.
Pollen foraging behavior involves learning and individual decision-making, which may allow bees to quickly learn which flowers provide the most nutritious pollen rewards for rearing their young, the authors write.
Diverticulitis was once the refrain of a Saturday Night Live skit but it isn't funny to people who have it.
A paper in Quality of Life Research has interviews with diverticulitis patients and it confirms that many suffer psychological and physical symptoms long after their acute illness has passed.
Schrödinger's cat is one of the famous examples of the weirdness of quantum mechanics
The thought puzzle is that you put a cat inside a box and make its life dependent on a random event, when does the cat die? When the random event occurs, or when you open the box?
Millennials are redefining adulthood by living at home and getting supported by their parents longer than ever - and in the future it may turn into outright exploitation.
It used to be that family watched out for shysters out to bilk their parents but now the nearly 5 percent elderly American adults being financially exploited are often exploited by family members - poor and black people the most.
Dr. Janey Peterson of Weill Cornell Medical College led one of the largest American studies ever done on elder abuse and the results appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Toddlers who did not frolic and smile and laugh were once called pensive or shy or quiet but now a Preschool Feelings Checklist
can label kids as depressed at 3 years of age.
Using that as a factual basis, a paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry has found that depressed preschoolers were 2.5 times more likely to suffer from the condition in elementary and middle school than kids who were not diagnosed as depressed at very young ages.
Doctors and scientists maintain that children as young as 3 or 4 can not be clinically depressed.
A trigeneration system fueled entirely by raw plant oils could have great potential for isolated homes and businesses operating outside grid systems.
Combined Heat and Power units have been used by large businesses for many years, producing electricity from a generator, and running heating off the engine cooling system and exhausts. But on small premises, where turning on an appliance such as a pump or a kettle can increase the electrical load several fold in a matter of seconds, attempts to match the competing demands of electricity and heat can seriously undermine the units' efficiency.
A comparison of Baltic Sea region amber with amber from Asia could be significant - rather than being found just in Mecklenburg, Poland or Belarus, European species have been found almost 10,000 kilometers away in Fushun, even though Europe and Asia were divided by the Strait of Turgay, a wide arm of the ocean, 50 million years ago.
The pieces from the Baltic region are younger than the ones from Fushun and the assumption has been that this body of saltwater prevented species migrations between the continents.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials on the effects of tree nuts for metabolic syndrome found a "modest decrease" in blood fats known as triglycerides and blood sugars compared to those who ate a control diet.
Tree nuts are such things as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, coconuts, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pine nuts and pistachios and appear to help reduce two of the five markers for metabolic syndrome, a group of factors that raise the risk for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and strokes, a new research paper says.
Sorry Mr. Peanut, you are not on the list because you are a legume.
Folate is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B found in food, while folic acid is synthetically produced and used in fortified foods and supplements. Taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy is linked to a reduction in the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida. The current recommended dose is 400 ìg (micrograms) a day though it is unclear how much daily folic acid is needed to prevent neural tube defects.
One of the most promising aspects of a Science 2.0 future is not just being able to analyze trillions of data points or getting the public to help with biology, but making more accurate models using much larger data sets. Big data.
For older people, and farsighted people, watching television while also reading this article can be challenging experiences because the eyes do not adjust. So people wear glasses down on their nose to read while they watch something farther away.
It's the 21st century, The Future of Back To The Future is a year away, it's time to ditch spectacles and make the computer screens wear the glasses instead of people.
In the 1800s, mentally ill people were in jail. Then they were put in more humane mental hospitals. But then mental hospitals got vilified in mainstream news stories and horror movies and they were closed and now mentally ill people are back in jails, 10 times as many as are in mental health facilities.
Policy makers don't buy that psychology has value any more, and they feel only slightly better about psychiatry. Scrutiny and abuse has led politicians to demand tighter Medicaid policies governing antipsychotic drugs and a new paper links those tighter policies to increased incarceration rates for schizophrenics.
As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water which is predicted to extend across the whole Arctic Ocean before the middle of this century. Storms thus have the potential to create Arctic swell – huge waves that could add a new and unpredictable element to the region.
A University of Washington researcher made the first study of waves in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, and detected house-sized waves during a September 2012 storm.
"As the Arctic is melting, it's a pretty simple prediction that the additional open water should make waves," said lead author Jim Thomson, an oceanographer with the UW Applied Physics Laboratory.
In the summer of 2008, the US economy was clipping along as well as it had ever been. There were people in the know who recognized that actual economic output was down and the drivers were housing sales, including President Bush and his economic advisors years earlier, but they got little attention as long as GDP kept looking higher.
Scholars studying the child care sector in Kansas, particularly in rural areas, have found that informal child care services create a large economic impact in the state.
Informal child care services include unlicensed facilities, unreported day care services run from homes, and child care performed for trade rather than money.
The authors estimate that
the informal child care industry created more than 128,000 jobs and added about $971.5 million in total value to the state of Kansas in 2005.
Does this galaxy make me look fat? Has Andromeda been taking skinny selfies?
It turns out the way some astrophysicists have been studying our galaxy made it appear that the Milky Way might be more massive than it's neighbor Andromeda.
It isn't, says a study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society by an international group of researchers, including Matthew Walker of Carnegie Mellon University's McWilliams Center for Cosmology. In the paper, they outline a new, more accurate method for measuring the mass of galaxies. Using this method, the researchers have shown that the Milky Way has only about half the mass of its neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy.
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) finds that the younger a woman is when she goes on her first diet, the more likely she is to experience several negative health outcomes later in life.