Tag Archives | Science

An Emerging Challenge to Science’s Credibility

The disinformation offices have long enjoyed a subscription to The Journal of Irreproducible Results. The joke of course, is that scientific journals are supposed to publish research that can be reproduced.

ijr

It’s becoming increasingly apparent, however, that many established journals are publishing papers perhaps more appropriate for the aforementioned Journal of Irreproducible Results. From the Christian Science Monitor:

Concerns are mounting that a pillar of modern science is showing cracks.

A key feature of science is researchers’ ability to reproduce experiments – to conduct a reality check on another group’s work by using its materials and following its methods, then comparing the results.

It’s a way to separate results worth building upon from those that aren’t, either because a research team was careless, overlooked something, misinterpreted data, or at worst, fabricated results.

During the past several years, however, worries have grown that many nonreproducible results are working their way into the scientific literature, lingering undetected and, importantly, unchallenged.

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The alien within: Fetal cells influence maternal health during pregnancy (and long after)

Dramatic research has shown that during pregnancy, cells of the fetus often migrate through the placenta, taking up residence in many areas of the mother's body, where their influence may benefit or undermine maternal health. Credit: Infographic by Jason Drees, Biodesign Institute

Dramatic research has shown that during pregnancy, cells of the fetus often migrate through the placenta, taking up residence in many areas of the mother’s body, where their influence may benefit or undermine maternal health.
Credit: Infographic by Jason Drees, Biodesign Institute

Arizona State University via Science Daily:

Parents go to great lengths to ensure the health and well-being of their developing offspring. The favor, however, may not always be returned.

Dramatic research has shown that during pregnancy, cells of the fetus often migrate through the placenta, taking up residence in many areas of the mother’s body, where their influence may benefit or undermine maternal health.

The presence of fetal cells in maternal tissue is known as fetal microchimerism. The term alludes to the chimeras of ancient Greek myth–composite creatures built from different animal parts, like the goat-lion-serpent depicted in an Etruscan bronze sculpture.

According to Amy Boddy, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Department of Psychology and lead author of a new study, chimeras exist.

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Terminator-style ‘skin’ repairs itself after a gunshot

A self-healing material that can fix itself with unprecedented speed could help protect structures in space.

via New Scientist:

Developed by Timothy Scott from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his team, the self-healing “skin” contains a reactive liquid sandwiched between two polymer sheets. When punctured, a chemical called tributylborane in the liquid reacts with oxygen to make it harden, sealing the hole within seconds.

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Gruesome Find: 100 Bodies Stuffed into Ancient House

The 5,000-year-old house found in China was about 14 by 15 feet in size.  Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Archaeology

The 5,000-year-old house found in China was about 14 by 15 feet in size.
Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Archaeology

Remains of 97 bodies have been discovered in a 5,000 year old house in China. It’s likely that these people were victims of an epidemic.

Owen Jarus via Live Science:

The remains of 97 human bodies have been found stuffed into a small 5,000-year-old house in a prehistoric village in northeast China, researchers report in two separate studies.

The bodies of juveniles, young adults and middle-age adults were packed together in the house — smaller than a modern-day squash court — before it burnt down. Anthropologists who studied the remains say a “prehistoric disaster,” possibly an epidemic of some sort, killed these people.

The site, whose modern-day name is “Hamin Mangha,” dates back to a time before writing was used in the area, when people lived in relatively small settlements, growing crops and hunting for food.

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The Case Against Sustainability

Via Peak Oil News and Message Boards:

Do you recycle? Cool, me too. Do you turn off your lights when you leave the room? Good idea. Do you only buy produce that’s in season? Nice! Way to support your local farmer. Are you worried about the future of the planet? Politically active in some way around conservation of resources or green energy? Awesome, politics is really important.

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, you’re probably concerned about sustainability in some way.

But I’ve got some news. “Sustainability” is a dangerously flawed way to think about the world.

What does “sustainability” mean?  Something is sustainable if you can sustain it—if you can keep doing it forever.

The world as it currently exists is deeply unequal and violent; the political and economic structures that shape the way that most of us live our lives depend on exploitation.  

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The Israeli Scientist Slowly Poisoning Herself With Radiation To Save Us All From Nuclear Fallout

This is really dedication to your work! The Times of Israel reports on Brenda Laster, the retired Israeli scientist who’s poisoning herself to find a vaccine for nuclear radiation:

Hiroshima girl.jpg

A Japanese girl from Hiroshima presenting the effects of radiation sickness.

A retired professor living in the manicured desert town of Meitar believes she has discovered a potential vaccine that, taken in advance of a nuclear attack, would reduce the physiological damage from radiation.

Her theory is yet untested, but is built around the notion that humans can be vaccinated against radiation in the same way as a virus: introduce small amounts of it to “teach” the body how to respond when larger amounts are suddenly present.

Just as the reactive immune system “remembers, rapidly responds, and protects us” from, say, smallpox, once it has been initially introduced to the body in a small dose in vaccine form, so too will the signature damage of radiation, which triggers the unchecked secretion of hydrogen peroxide within the body, be picked up and addressed, said Professor Brenda Laster, who taught nuclear engineering as applied to medicine at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

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The Verdict is in: Guess Who’s The Worst President in US History?

Mark Rain (CC BY 2.0)

Mark Rain (CC BY 2.0)

Jeff61b via HubPages:

Americans of all stripes love to debate which president was best or worst. This is a subject that is too important to rely on opinion polls, which are skewed by individual bias and political views. While It’s difficult to rate how good or bad any president may have been in comparison to another, a careful look at the facts shows one president failed in virtually every aspect of the job to a degree unrivaled by any other.

When you review the facts below and consider his impact on our economy, foreign policy, and domestic policy, by almost any standard, it’s difficult to find any president who did more harm and left the country in worse shape than George W. Bush.

At the same time that Bush was leaving office with a 28% job approval rating, 61% of historians rated George W. Bush’s presidency as the worst in history.

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GOP’s Favorite Socialist Program Lost $8.5 Trillion And Will Bankrupt America

Pentagon
Rmuse via Politics USA:

For several years, if not decades, Republicans have, and still do, claim that any American who is not anti-government, anti-taxation, anti-women’s rights, anti-immigration, anti-theocracy, and anti-democracy is a raving socialist. Yesterday Ted Cruzaccused Hillary Clinton of being a “wild-eyed socialist” who will do serious damage to America, and it is so typical for a Republican to use that term because they know most Americans are ignorant of what socialism entails. Socialism is simply “an economic and political system where all major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual companies or people, or a societal system in which there is no private property.” Obviously, neither Hillary Clinton, nor any Democrat supports or advocates for socialism, including SenatorBernie Sanders who claims to be a democratic socialist. In fact, democratic socialism isa political ideology involving a combination of political democracy with government ownership and control of all major industries.

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