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Scientists were close to a coronavirus vaccine years ago. Then the money dried up.
A vaccine for SARS (which is a similar virus) was developed but never tested as funding disappeared. Researchers urge governments to fund vaccine work as it isn't profitable.
covid-19  medicine  science  via:reddit 
13 days ago by mcherm
Modern hunter-gatherers are just as sedentary as we are | Ars Technica
Hunder-gatherers also tend to spend ~10 hrs per day just sitting around. (Although they squat and kneel sometimes.) And all the other conclusions it attempts to draw are really not justified.
sociology  health  science  via:ArsTechnica  ArsTechnica 
19 days ago by mcherm
Powerful antibiotic discovered using machine learning for first time | Society | The Guardian
They claim to have used AI to develop an antibiotic that works via a new mechanism. If so, this is an incredible step forward. But it is somewhat overblown -- the AI didn't design the drug, it just told them which of several existing drugs to test for antibiotic properties.
science  biology  medicine  ai  machinelearning 
5 weeks ago by mcherm
What to do when you don’t trust your data anymore – Laskowski Lab at UC Davis
His collaborator (who produced the data) was just making up numbers, so he had to retract his papers.
science  ScientificMethod  via:HackerNews 
8 weeks ago by mcherm
Oldest material on Earth discovered - BBC News
Grains of dust embedded in a meteorite that are far older than our solar system.
science  space  via:slashdot 
10 weeks ago by mcherm
Decreasing human body temperature in the United States since the industrial revolution | eLife
A remarkable claim: normal human body temperature has dropped by more than half a degree in the past 150 years and this study claims it is real, not a measurement artifact. Perhaps due to better health and/or better heated houses.
medicine  history  science  via:HackerNews 
11 weeks ago by mcherm
Team that made gene-edited babies sentenced to prison, fined | Ars Technica
That guy who did gene editing in two human children (in violation of all bioethics rules)? He's going to jail.
ethics  science  via:ArsTechnica  ArsTechnica 
12 weeks ago by mcherm
Move Over, Beetles: The New Champions of Diversity Are Parasitic Wasps | Inside Science
It is not true that there are more beatle species than anything else, because parasitic wasps outnumber the beatles.
via:HackerNews  biology  science 
12 weeks ago by mcherm
The History of Asbestos - Importing, Exporting & Worldwide Use
(1) The Romans wove napkins out of asbestos, which they cleaned by throwing them into the fire. (2) The Romans also figured out that it caused lung disease. (But they had slaves to do it.)
history  materials  via:reddit  science 
12 weeks ago by mcherm
LEGO Block Structures as a Sub-Kelvin Thermal Insulator | Scientific Reports
This paper in Nature discovers that off-the-shelf LEGO blocks are actually BETTER thermal insulators (at microkelvin temperatures) than the fancy materials available commercially.
science  materialsscience  via:reddit 
december 2019 by mcherm
We ‘may’ have discovered a potential remedy for tinnitus – by accident.
They were testing a treatment for motion sickness (a vibrating thing that goes behind your ear). They accidentally discovered it seems to do really good things for tinnitus -- plausible as both originate from the inner ear.
science  medicine  invention  via:HackerNews 
november 2019 by mcherm
Research: Telling Why a Post is Removed Improves Outcomes
An analysis from Reddit shows that users who were informed why their post was taken down were less likely to make new posts that needed to be taken down.
socialcomputing  via:reddit  science 
november 2019 by mcherm
This Science Vigilante Calls Out Bogus Results in Prestigious Journals
A woman who makes practically a full time job of finding falsified scientific papers and reporting them. Many of the journals that published them do not follow up properly. She is trying to find how to get paid for doing this.
science  ScientificMethod  fraud  via:HackerNews 
november 2019 by mcherm
Magnet doubles hydrogen yield from water splitting
The title is quite misleading: it doesn't double the energy efficiency, just halves the size of the anode needed to produce the same amount of hydrogen. No one is avoiding electrolysis because of the size of the anode.
personal_net  science  physics  via:HackerNews 
november 2019 by mcherm
Scientists Now Know How Sleep Cleans Toxins From the Brain | WIRED
Using an MRI they determined that in non-REM sleep the neurons fire in huge waves which then causes blood to move away and brain fluids to come in cleaning out waste byproducts.
medicine  sleep  via:rachel  science 
november 2019 by mcherm
CO2: Foe, or… Friend? – Popula
After a few fascinating comments on climate change caused by massive growth of a water plant, this goes on to tell us how compressed CO2 is an excellent solvent with varied and interesting uses.
science  environment  physics  via:HackerNews 
october 2019 by mcherm
Painting 'Zebra Stripes' on Cows Wards Off Biting Flies | RealClearScience
It sounds simple, but since we believe zebras have stripes to deter biting flies, these scientists tried painting stripes onto cows. It reduced flies by a lot, leaving cows 20% less bothered. It is more effective than bug repellent.
science  animals  via:reddit 
october 2019 by mcherm
A Summer without Sunspots | Spaceweather.com
I never even knew that sunspots came in cycles and reversed their polarity.
science  space  via:HackerNews 
september 2019 by mcherm
Kindness Is the Trait College Students Want Most in a Mate | Time
Cross cultural survey on expressed mate preferences: kindness is #1; #2 for men is looks, #2 for women is ability to provide; beyond that it varies by culture.
sociology  dating  via:reddit  science  psychology  EvolutionaryPsycology 
september 2019 by mcherm
Your $220 million to the ALS bucket challenge made a difference - Business Insider
Remember the "Ice Bucket Challenge"? The money it raised funded research that actually made meaningful progress on ALS.
science  socialcomputing  upliftingnews  medicine  via:reddit 
september 2019 by mcherm
GM experiment may have strengthened wild mosquitoes
They released a strain of modified mosquitoes with a gene that was deadly so they would die out. It didn't work and they mixed with the general population of mosquitoes.
genetics  geneticmodification  science  via:HackerNews 
september 2019 by mcherm
Sci-Hub: removing barriers in the way of science
The publicly available (copyright violating) repository of scientific papers.
reference  science  law  ip-law  copyright  useful 
september 2019 by mcherm
The Amazon Is on Fire, but Earth Has Plenty of Oxygen - The Atlantic
Photosynthesis binds hydrogens on carbon chains leaving oxygen. But breaking down the carbon chains always re-consumes the same oxygen. Burn every living thing and we'd still have ~20% oxygen in the air -- it is balanced by buried carbon chains.
science  via:reddit  TheAtlantic 
august 2019 by mcherm
Adding pink seaweed to cow feed eliminates their methane emissions / Boing Boing
Apparently, cows like to eat it and a small portion in their diet can eliminate the methane-producing gut bacteria.
science  globalwarming  via:boingboing 
august 2019 by mcherm
If this type of dark matter existed, people would be dying of unexplained ‘gunshot’ wounds | Science | AAAS
We can rule out dark matter being made of particles that interact with normal matter and have about the same energy as a bullet from a 22. Because if it existed, it would be frequent enough to show up in death statistics.
science  physics  via:HackerNews  ScientificMethod 
july 2019 by mcherm
How are heavier-than-iron elements created?
In the "bounce" when a star collapses, forms a neutron star, and rebounds. Also when two neutron stars collide.
science  physics  via:reddit 
july 2019 by mcherm
The boy was dying. Zebrafish helped save his life - STAT
Quick research replicated the child's unique mutation in an animal model, allowing researchers to test numerous drugs and find one that was effective in time to save the child's life.
medicine  via:HackerNews  science 
july 2019 by mcherm
The First Complete Brain Wiring Diagram of Any Species Is Here
The physical structure of all 307 neurons in c-elegens (sp) has been mapped much better than it was before.
science  via:reddit 
july 2019 by mcherm
We tried to publish a replication of a Science paper in Science. The journal refused.
No one has a "right" for their work to be considered influential enough to be published in a key journal such as "Science". But I think these authors make an excellent case that theirs should have been.
science  ScientificMethod  via:HackerNews  slate 
june 2019 by mcherm
Children who are breastfed appear to be at a lower risk for obesity later in life | Science
Children who are breastfed appear to be at a lower risk for obesity later in life.
science  health  breastfeeding 
june 2019 by mcherm
Adults Who Played Pokémon Extensively In Childhood Have A Pokémon-Sensitive Region In Their Visual Cortex – Research Digest
In a tiny sample, people who played Pokemon extensively as a child had a dedicated brain region for visual identification of Pokemon, and other people did not have a dedicated region. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-019-0592-8
brain  via:reddit  science 
june 2019 by mcherm
How the Gut Microbiome Could Provide a New Tool to Treat Autism | Science | Smithsonian
In a small study (and the article isn't clear about controls and blinding) replacing gut microbiome in autistic kids with digestion issues helped digestion AND the mental symptoms of Autism.
science  brain  SmithsonianMagazine  via:rachel  medicine 
june 2019 by mcherm
The mysterious crystal that melts at two different temperatures
One double-bond can face 2 ways. Solid is all Z orientation; liquid is 2/3 Z, 1/3 W. Two possible melting processes: @ 90°C all melts then afterward some Z's rotate or @60°C incredibly tiny impurities catalyse Z->W and it melts directly to a mix of Z&W.
chemistry  physics  science  via:HackerNews  materialsscience 
june 2019 by mcherm
The search for the kryptonite that can stop CRISPR - MIT Technology Review
CRISPR can do a lot of harm. Can we build something that STOPS it from editing genes? Several labs are trying.
security  biology  via:HackerNews  science 
may 2019 by mcherm
How My Husband Became a Poster Child of the Post-Antibiotic, Superbug Era
He caught an infection which was immune to almost every known antibiotic. His wife (a bacterial researcher) treated him with a custom bacteriophage (virus that plays on bacteria).
medicine  science  via:HackerNews 
may 2019 by mcherm
How Twisted Graphene Became the Big Thing in Physics | Quanta Magazine
Put two sheets of graphene together twisted by a very precise angle to form a morie pattern, and you get unusual behavior. Like superconductivity.
science  physics  materialsscience  via:HackerNews  ScientificMethod 
may 2019 by mcherm
Surprisingly Little Evidence for the Accepted Wisdom About Teeth - The New York Times
Apparently there are not enough studies about the basic fundamental dental health practices that we recommend.
science  via:HackerNews  health 
april 2019 by mcherm
How 5G is Likely to Put Weather Forecasting at Risk | Hackaday
5g witeless will use wavelengths close to that used by weather satellites to detect water vapor. Will reduce the accuracy of weather forecasting.
science  weather  wireless  via:HackerNews 
april 2019 by mcherm
Chemistry illustrator
Give it any chemical name or formula and it will draw the molecular diagram for that molecule. The author wrote it in Python.
science  chemistry  programming  via:reddit  useful 
april 2019 by mcherm
That's Not Gross! Sexual Arousal Lessens Disgust
Study: exposure to sexual content reduces the disgust response in women.
sex  science  brain  via:reddit 
april 2019 by mcherm
Why Are Human Teeth So Messed Up? - SAPIENS
Because teeth are genetically pre-programmed but jaw size isn't, and modern humans don't spend enough time chewing really tough stuff for their job to reach full strength and size.
via:HackerNews  medicine  science 
march 2019 by mcherm
Why a Grape Turns Into a Fireball in a Microwave | WIRED
A sliced grape (or two grapes side by side) can focus microwaves enough to generate a plasma and a big explosion when put in a microwave oven.
science  physics  via:HackerNews 
february 2019 by mcherm
What It Was Like Being Criticized by Feynman
He had Feynman as an undergraduate teacher and advisor; later he invented quasicrystals. He learned that Feynman called things "impossible" when they violated all existing assumptions and called people including himself "stupid" whenever they made a plain error.
Feynman  via:HackerNews  science  ScientificMethod 
february 2019 by mcherm
Twins get some 'mystifying' results when they put 5 ancestry DNA kits to the test | CBC News
A simple test with identical twins shows that the ancestry information that genetic testing services provide, is pretty much entirely bullshit.
science  genetics  via:HackerNews 
january 2019 by mcherm
Scientists Have 'Hacked Photosynthesis' In Search Of More Productive Crops : The Salt : NPR
This is the first major (very major!) bioengineering project that I've heard about. The photosynthesis-powered process of creating sugar molecules is inefficient; this changes the molecule that does this so it works more effectively.
bioengineering  biology  npr  science  engineering  via:slashdot 
january 2019 by mcherm
MIT Figured out a Way to Shrink Objects to Nanoscale
It's the inverse of expansion microscopy -- place things in a hydrated diaper-like matrix then dehydrate to shrink it to a tiny scale.
materialsscience  nanotech  via:reddit  science 
december 2018 by mcherm
This Chemical Is So Hot It Destroys Nerve Fibers—in a Good Way | WIRED
This plant produces a "hot" chemical thousands of times stronger than the hottest of peppers. It literally overloads and damages pain nerves (and temperature nerves and no others) and a better-than-opioids treatment for pain in extreme cases.
medicine  biology  via:HackerNews  wired  science 
december 2018 by mcherm
Young People Are Having Less Sex - The Atlantic
Really detailed article on why the frequency of sex and likely the quality of it have decreased in western culture in the past few decades.
sex  via:reddit  sociology  science  TheAtlantic  thoughtful 
december 2018 by mcherm
See-through film rejects 70 percent of incoming solar heat | MIT News
They made (lab, not industrial yet) a material that is transparent at low temperature, but opaque to infrared / translucent to visual light when warm. Ideal to coat windows to save on cooling costs.
science  via:reddit  materialsscience 
december 2018 by mcherm
Chart of the Decade: Why You Shouldn’t Trust Every Scientific Study You See – Mother Jones
Before pre-registration: 60% of published studies on heart disease treatment showed benefits. After pre-registration: 10%.
science  ScientificMethod  via:reddit 
december 2018 by mcherm
MPEG-G: the ugly
A data format standard for DNA sequences is marred by patents (dubious ones).
law  ip-law  patent  patentabuse  standards  via:HackerNews  science 
december 2018 by mcherm
Leonardo da Vinci's tree rule may be explained by wind
For some tree species, Leonardo noted, the cross-sectional area of a ranch before a fork is equal to the sum of the cross-sectional areas after the fork. The previous explanation is implausible; this author shows that constant resistance to wind forces could explain it.
LeonardoDaVinci  math  science  biology  via:HackerNews 
december 2018 by mcherm
Overlooked factors in the analysis of parole decisions | PNAS
I knew this had to be the case, and now there's evidence. That research about how hungry judges are far harsher? It was just bad research design.
science  ScientificMethod  via:reddit 
december 2018 by mcherm
A Learning Secret: Don’t Take Notes with a Laptop - Scientific American
Research shows taking notes by hand captures fewer words, but is better for memory, probably because it forces the notetaker to synthesize more.
via:GregRobinson  brain  productivity  science  ScientificAmerican 
november 2018 by mcherm
How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born? - The New York Times
An excellent way to present climate change data, if your goal is to reach people who "don't believe it is real".
via:reddit  nytimes  climate  environment  science  datavisualization 
september 2018 by mcherm
Ed Boyden on “How to invent game-changing technologies” | Rationally Speaking
He invented a way to use light to trigger neurons, also a way to blow a brain up large enough to use normal microscopes on it, and a ton of other interesting things.
via:RationallySpeaking  science  invention  biology  brain 
september 2018 by mcherm
Ancient farmers spared us from glaciers but profoundly changed Earth's climate
Human effects on the global environment may have been visible as early as 10,000 years ago (due to deforestation).
science  environment  globalwarming  via:HackerNews 
september 2018 by mcherm
The ‘Zombie Gene’ That May Protect Elephants From Cancer - The New York Times
Cell-killer gene got duplicated in elephants and manatees; gained "turn-on switch" tied to a mutation detector, now cancer is rare in Elephants despite their high number of cells.
science  genetics  via:reddit 
august 2018 by mcherm
Sucking carbon dioxide from air is cheaper than scientists thought
Directly capturing carbon from air and burying it is far cheaper than expected -- perhaps as little as 83 cents per gallon of gasoline. However, Hacker News commentators think this is entirely impractical.
science  invention  environment  globalwarming  via:HackerNews 
june 2018 by mcherm
Let's Stop Talking About The '30 Million Word Gap' : NPR Ed : NPR
That study showing upper class kids heard vastly more vocabulary than lower class kids by age 3? Irreproducable.
ReplicationCrisis  science  npr  via:reddit 
june 2018 by mcherm
The Marshmallow Test: What Does It Really Measure? - The Atlantic
This article claims a larger follow-up study showed the marshmallow test results are fully explained by correlation with the wealth of the participants.
psychology  science  via:HackerNews  ReplicationCrisis  TheAtlantic 
june 2018 by mcherm
How one man’s death led to the extinction of a butterfly population | Ars Technica
Caterpillars evolved to prefer a certain non-native plant. Cow grazing patterns changed and the plants disappeared. Caterpillars nearly died out.
science  evolution  via:ArsTechnica  ArsTechnica 
may 2018 by mcherm
Did last ice age affect breastfeeding in Native Americans?
A gene linked to shovel shaped teeth and breast ducts that increase vitamin D in milk seems to have appeared in at least one population that lived in the far north.
science  biology  evolution  breastfeeding 
april 2018 by mcherm
Mas Subramanian's Quest for a Billion-Dollar Red
He invented a new blue, and he's trying to invent a new red. Apparently that's a big deal.
color  science  materialsscience  invention  chemistry  via:HackerNews 
april 2018 by mcherm
Adult Neurogenesis – A Pointed Review | Slate Star Codex
Rats grow new neurons. Early studies showed (probably) humans do too. Many studies showed neuron growth is necessary for lots of stuff (like learning maps, positive growth mindset, and recovering from physical damage to the brain). But actually humans don't grow new neurons; all that science was wrong.
science  ScientificMethod  brain  ScottAlexander  via:SlateStarCodex 
april 2018 by mcherm
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