Page 53 of 54

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:57 am
by RTH10260
Out of Africa, but from where?
Lush Okavango Delta Pinpointed as Ancestral Homeland of All Living Humans
Genetic evidence traces our origins to a hunter-gatherer community that lived 200,000 years ago, but the study has generated controversy

By Richard Conniff on October 28, 2019


The study, appearing Monday in the journal Nature, uses genetic, archaeological, linguistic and climatic evidence to argue that the ancestral homeland of everyone alive today was in northern Botswana—not in East Africa, as previously thought. Based on mitochondrial DNA, passed down from mother to daughter, the paper’s co-authors argue that we are all descended from a small community of Khoisan hunter-gatherers who lived 200,000 years ago in vast wetlands encompassing Botswana’s Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi regions. ... ng-humans/

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:08 am
by RTH10260
Paper Used in Creationist Teaching Retracted After 30 Years
Criticism of the paper first surfaced in 1994, and its author was accused of scientific misconduct.
Nov 11, 2019

A1989 paper by Russian researcher Dmitrii Kuznetsov on the genetics of wild timber voles has been retracted, decades after a scientist alerted the journal to concerns, according to Retraction Watch. The paper, published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, has been touted by creationists as evidence of their beliefs, and Kuznetsov has repeatedly been accused of scientific misconduct, The Scientist reported in 2013.

In the paper, Kuznetsov reportedly identified an mRNA from one vole species that blocked protein synthesis in a related vole species. That same mRNA, however, did not block translation in the original vole species or another species that was more distantly related. The finding, Kuznetsov wrote in his report, supported “the general creationist concept on the problems of the origin of boundless multitudes of different and harmonically functioning forms of life.”

Five years after the paper was published, Dan Larhammar, a cell and molecular biologist at Uppsala University in Sweden, wrote to the journal editors discounting Kuznetsov’s paper, saying “his approach goes against established scientific experience and his claimed results are not qualitatively demonstrated,” and that “Kuznetsov’s critique of ‘a modern molecular-genetic concept of biological evolution’ has no scientific basis whatsoever.” Larhammar learned last year that despite his criticism more than two decades earlier, Kuznetsov’s paper was still available without a retraction label, he tells Retraction Watch, which was especially concerning given that repeated accusations of fraud—allegedly making up citations and fabricating the sources of samples—led to Kuznetsov’s ouster as editor-in-chief of two journals in 2013.

After a series of emails between Larhammar, now president of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the International Journal of Neuroscience’s editor, the Kuznetsov paper now has a retraction stamp, which states: “The above article has been retracted due to the unreliable nature of the experimental results presented.” ... ears-66703

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:10 am
by RTH10260
Vaping Illnesses Are Linked to Vitamin E Acetate, C.D.C. Says
Samples of lung fluid from patients with the mysterious illness led to a breakthrough in finding a possible cause. More than 2,000 people have been sickened, many from illicit marijuana-based products.

By Denise Grady
Nov. 8, 2019

A form of vitamin E has been identified as a “very strong culprit” in lung injuries related to vaping THC, health officials reported on Friday, a major advance in a frightening outbreak that has killed 40 people and sickened 2,051.

Many patients with the mysterious illness have wound up hospitalized in intensive care units, needing ventilators or even more desperate measures to help them breathe. Most are young, male adults or even teenagers.

“For the first time, we have detected a potential toxin of concern, vitamin E acetate, from biological samples from patients,” with lung damage linked to vaping, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news briefing.

The new report, based on samples taken from the lungs of 29 patients, including two who died, she said, “provided evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury in the lungs.” ... s-cdc.html

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:32 am
by Foggy

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:22 am
by Bill_G
Lumpy mashed potatoes are simply a demonstration of fractals.

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:32 am
by RoadScholar
A New Protein Source Made From Air Could Be A Planet-Saving Game Changer

Solar Foods has developed a sustainable food that’s totally disconnected from agriculture. Now they need to scale it up. ... b859d32d47

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:58 am
by RTH10260
:confused: Soylent Green no longer :?:

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:53 pm
by Foggy
Cool ... we're on our way to 20 billion people on the planet. :eek2:

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:40 pm
by RTH10260
Virus Spread by Shrews Linked to Human Deaths from Mysterious Brain Infections
The pathogen has been newly identified in eight cases of encephalitis in Germany over the past 20 years

By Tanya Lewis on January 8, 2020

Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1) causes a bizarre and deadly neurological infection in horses, sheep and other domesticated mammals in parts of Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria. Borna disease was named after a city in eastern Germany where it once killed numerous horses in the late 19th century. Infected animals have been known to engage in strange behaviors, such as smashing their heads into things, as well as “pipe smoking”—an informal term for when animals are eating hay and suddenly stop chewing mid-mouthful, with the uneaten portion protruding like a pipe. But the disease does not appear to spread between horses; they are thought to acquire it from shrews, which can live in hay and secrete or excrete fluids containing the virus.

About 14 years ago, researchers identified the bicolored white-toothed shrew as a reservoir host—an organism in which a virus replicates but does not usually cause illness—for BoDV-1. Horses and sheep are considered “dead-end hosts” that cannot spread the pathogen. For decades, scientists had debated whether the virus is zoonotic, or capable of jumping from animals to humans. Several studies even suggested that it might be present in people with psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It was later shown, however, that the viral RNA sequences detected in these studies were likely the result of laboratory contamination, and research on human infections subsided.

But in 2015 a related type of bornavirus found in exotic squirrels was implicated in at least four human deaths. Then, between 2018 and 2019, scientists detected the classical bornavirus, BoDV-1, in five people in Germany who suffered serious or fatal encephalitis (brain inflammation caused by infection)—three of whom were recipients of organ transplants and were taking drugs to suppress their immune system. Now, in a study published Tuesday in Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers have reported eight additional cases of BoDV-1 infection in humans who died of encephalitis. The pathogen appears to have flown under the radar for decades, but the researchers say doctors should be considering it a potential cause in such deaths. ... nfections/

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:52 am
by Tiredretiredlawyer ... study.html
Physicist Wins Ig Noble Prize For Study On Whether Cats Should Be Classified As Liquids Or Solids

A French physicist has won an Ig Nobel Prize for using mathematical formulas to determine whether cats are liquid or solid.

The Ig Nobel prizes are awarded every year by Improbable Research, an organization devoted to science and humor. The goal is to highlight scientific studies that first make people laugh, then think.

A ceremony is held every year at Harvard University.
Marc-Antoine Fardin was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in physics for his research paper on the rheology of cats.
"At the center of the definition of a liquid is an action: A material must be able to modify its form to fit within a container," Fardin said.

"If we take cats as our example, the fact is that they can adapt their shape to their container if we give them enough time. Cats are thus liquid if we give them the time to become liquid."
In his official research paper, Fardin discusses many factors including relaxation time, experimental time, the type of container, and the cat's degree of stress.

The conclusion? Cats can be either liquid or solid, depending on the circumstances, Fardin reported in the Rheology Bulletin in 2014.
Watch the [ceremony] video below (in article)

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:16 am
by AndyinPA

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:24 pm
by RTH10260

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:48 pm
by RoadScholar
Either liquid or solid depending on the circumstances? They must have borrowed the test cat from Dr. Schrödinger. 8-)

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:46 pm
by Notorial Dissent
I don't think that is quite what Schrödinger meant, but just yeah the same principal applies. Anyone who has spent real time around/living with a cat knows this to be true. As I've said before, cat physics allows for the feline to expand or contract to fit the available space/volume. A king sized bed is not of sufficient size for one cat yet can hold multiples if they so desire.

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:21 pm
by Tiredretiredlawyer
Notorial Dissent wrote: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:46 pm I don't think that is quite what Schrödinger meant, but just yeah the same principal applies. Anyone who has spent real time around/living with a cat knows this to be true. As I've said before, cat physics allows for the feline to expand or contract to fit the available space/volume. A king sized bed is not of sufficient size for one cat yet can hold multiples if they so desire.
My Siri cat says HER king sized bed is only big enough for one cat!!!

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:05 am
by Tiredretiredlawyer
The next time you consider ordering gator on the menu. ... n-sea.html
New Bone-Eating Life Form Discovered in Bizarre Alligator-Corpse Study

Once upon a research grant, scientists strapped three dead alligators into weighted harnesses and deposited the corpses 6,600 feet (2 kilometers) down in the Gulf of Mexico.

The first gator was overrun with giant pink crustaceans within a day and slowly eaten from the inside out.

The second gator was devoured down to its skull and spine after 51 days.

And the third gator? Well, nobody knows; its corpse was ripped from the harness and carried off by an unseen predator within a week, leaving behind some torn rope and unsettled sand.

So, to conclude the tale of “The Gators Who Fell Into the Sea,” many a bottom-feeding marine creature slaked its appetite on the tasty reptilian flesh — including some brown, bone-eating worms that nobody knew existed. And they all lived happily ever after, until their corpses were devoured in kind. The End.

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:29 pm
by RTH10260
[quote]The FCC’s Approval of SpaceX’s Starlink Mega Constellation May Have Been Unlawful
A new paper suggests that the agency broke U.S. environmental law in its approval of the satellites and that if it were to be sued in court, it would likely lose

By Jonathan O'Callaghan on January 16, 2020

A battle for the sky is raging, and the heavens are losing. Upcoming mega constellations of satellites, designed to blanket Earth orbit in spacecraft beaming high-speed Internet around the world, risk filling the firmament with tens of thousands of moving points of light, forever changing our view of the cosmos. Astronomers who rely on unsullied skies for their profession and members of the general public who enjoy the natural beauty of what lies above stand to lose out. The arrival of such a large number of satellites “has the potential to change our relationship, and our connection, with the universe,” says Ruskin Hartley, executive director of the nonprofit International Dark-Sky Association. But with no binding international laws or regulations in place to protect the night sky, anyone opposing the advancement of mega constellations is surely fighting a losing battle. Right?


A new paper to be published later this year in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law argues that the Federal Communications Commission—the agency responsible for licensing the operation of these constellations in the U.S.—should have considered the impact these satellites would have on the night sky. In ignoring a key piece of federal environmental legislation, the FCC could be sued in a court of law—and lose—potentially halting further launches of mega constellations until a proper review is carried out.

“Astronomers are having these issues [and think] there’s nothing they can do legally,” says the paper’s author Ramon Ryan, a second-year law student at Vanderbilt University. “[But] there is this law, the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA, pronounced ‘Nee-pah’], which requires federal agencies to take a hard look at their actions. The FCC’s lack of review of these commercial satellite projects violates [NEPA], so in the most basic sense, it would be unlawful.”[ ... ful//quote]

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:39 pm
by RTH10260
From a mailing to me, for those who may be interested:

Scientfific American
Celebrate 175 Years of Science Journalism

Dear Reader,

Relive some of the greatest achievements of the modern world with access to 175 years of expert story-telling. With a subscription to Scientific American Unlimited, you’ll gain access to all of our publications, apps and the full Web site experience. Our vast digital archive goes back to 1845 with articles by luminaries like Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, in over 7,000 issues!

Subscribe today for just $148.99 - that’s a 25% savings! [ed. that's a yearly subscription] Use code Unlimited175 at checkout.
Bonus: Get a unique reprint of the very first issue of Scientific American, originally published in August of 1845.

Subscrition link is ... &mt=1&rt=0

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:22 pm
by RVInit

Great thread about women scientists who study sharks and rays. You can lose yourself for hours following and reading about some great work being done. Better than politics any day.

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:12 pm
by Tiredretiredlawyer

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:28 pm
by RTH10260
Newly discovered species of snail named after teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg
Doyle Rice USA TODAY
Published 2:54 PM EST Feb 21, 2020

A newly discovered species of snail has been named after teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg, scientists announced in a new study published Thursday.

The critter, which was discovered in Brunei on the island of Borneo, now has the scientific name Craspedotropis gretathunbergae.

"The newly described snail belongs to the so-called caenogastropods, a group of land snails known to be sensitive to drought, temperature extremes and forest degradation," snail expert and study lead author Menno Schilthuizen said in a statement.

The tiny mollusk, which is about 2 millimeters in size, was discovered by citizen-scientists from the tour group Taxon Expeditions while on an expedition into the Borneo rain forest. ... 830174002/

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:31 pm
by AndyinPA

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:19 am
by RTH10260
Powerful antibiotics discovered using AI
Machine learning spots molecules that work even against ‘untreatable’ strains of bacteria.
Jo Marchant

A pioneering machine-learning approach has identified powerful new types of antibiotic from a pool of more than 100 million molecules — including one that works against a wide range of bacteria, including tuberculosis and strains considered untreatable.

The researchers say the antibiotic, called halicin, is the first discovered with artificial intelligence (AI). Although AI has been used to aid parts of the antibiotic-discovery process before, they say that this is the first time it has identified completely new kinds of antibiotic from scratch, without using any previous human assumptions. The work, led by synthetic biologist Jim Collins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, is published in Cell1.

The study is remarkable, says Jacob Durrant, a computational biologist at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team didn’t just identify candidates, but also validated promising molecules in animal tests, he says. What’s more, the approach could also be applied to other types of drug, such as those used to treat cancer or neurodegenerative diseases, says Durrant.

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is rising dramatically worldwide, and researchers predict that unless new drugs are developed urgently, resistant infections could kill ten million people per year by 2050. But over the past few decades, the discovery and regulatory approval of new antibiotics has slowed. “People keep finding the same molecules over and over,” says Collins. “We need novel chemistries with novel mechanisms of action.”

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:44 pm
by AndyinPA ... esearchers
From humans to black-tailed prairie dogs, female mammals often outlive males – but for birds, the reverse is true.

Now researchers say they have cracked the mystery, revealing that having two copies of the same sex chromosome is associated with having a longer lifespan, suggesting the second copy offers a protective effect.

“These findings are a crucial step in uncovering the underlying mechanisms affecting longevity, which could point to pathways for extending life,” the authors write. “We can only hope that more answers are found in our lifetime.”

Re: Science, General Stuff

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:28 am
by RTH10260
Solar storms can hamper whales' navigation, cause them to strand: Study
Radio frequency noise created by solar outburst affects whales’ senses and prevents them from navigating, according to the research

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020

Sudden releases of high-energy particles from the sun, called solar storms, can mess with the navigational ability of California gray whales, causing them to strand on land. The finding was recently published in science journal Current Biology.

Solar storms have the potential to modify geomagnetic field and disrupt magnetic orientation behaviour of animals, hampering their navigation during long periods of migration.

According to Duke University’s Jesse Granger, who authored the research paper, solar storms disrupt earth’s magnetic field — and the whales’ navigational sense.

However, it might not be the solar storm warping the Earth’s magnetic field that causes whales to lose way, according to Granger. The radio frequency noise created by the solar outburst affects the whales’ senses in a way that prevents them from navigating at all.

While correlation between solar activity and migratory behavior has been established before, Granger’s research tries to dig deeper.

According to the study, gray whales were chosen to test the relationship because they migrate 10,000 miles a year, from Baja California to Alaska and back.

Her team compiled datasets from United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and studied cases of over 31 years where gray whales were stranded. Data on whales which were sick, injured or malnourished was omitted. A total of 186 such cases of healthy strandings were found.

On studying the impact of solar activity on stranding, Granger concluded that gray whales were 4.3 times more likely to strand when a lot of radio frequency noise from a solar outburst was hitting the Earth. ... tudy-69446