2019年2月5日 星期二

Daily Bulletin for 02/05/2019 

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The World Might Actually Run Out of People

Megan Molteni, Wired

You know the story. Despite technologies, regulations, and policies to make humanity less of a strain on the earth, people just won't stop reproducing. By 2050 there will be 9 billion carbon-burning, plastic-polluting, calorie-consuming people on the planet.

Cancer Growth Could Originate From a Single Cell

Michael P. Lisanti, Conversation

Cancer remains a frightening and largely incurable disease. The toxic side effects of chemotherapy and radiation make the cure often seem as bad as the ailment, and there is also the threat of recurrence and tumour spread.Cancer treatment still follows a practically medieval method of cut, burn or poison.

New Star Map Reveals the Milky Way Is Warped

Ryan Mandelbaum, Gizmodo

A new analysis of pulsing stars has revealed the Milky Way's twisted shape.Scientists have known since the 1950s that the spiral-shaped Milky Way's disk is warped, bending by thousands of light-years at its outskirts. Now, researchers have created a map of stars called Cepheid variables in order to create a 3D map of our galaxy and understand the warping better than ever.

Netflix Inks Deal With Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop. Sigh.

Alex B. Berezow, ACSH

Gwyneth Paltrow has a great career. Not many actors can claim her rsum: Shakespeare in Love, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Avengers, and even Contagion (ironically, a pro-science movie). Why she feels the need to become America's second biggest scam artist -- after Dr. Oz, of course -- is absolutely mind-boggling. Doesn't she have enough money already?

Specific Gut Microbes Linked With Depression

Ashley Yeager, The Scientist

Two types of bacteria, Coprococcus and Dialister, are depleted in people with depression, researchers report today (February 4) in Nature Microbiology. The study also found that many gut bacteria can produce compounds that act on the nervous system. If confirmed, the results could lead to a deeper understanding of the gut-brain connection, and possibly open avenues to new treatments for mental illness.

The Organisms That Are Both Plant and Animal

Rodrigo Perez Ortega, Knowable

Their color gave them away. Ecologist Diane Stoecker was looking at plankton in samples of ocean water from the dock in Woods Hole Harbor in Massachusetts some 40 years ago when she spotted something strange. Under the microscope, she recognized Laboea strobila, shaped like an ice-cream cone yellowish green and very beautiful, she recalls and the smaller, more spherical Strombidium species also oddly greenish.

Who's Responsible for Curbing Teen Vaping?

Noah Davis, Leaps Magazine

E-cigarettes are big business. In 2017, American consumers bought more than $250 million in vapes and juice-filled pods, and spent $1 billion in 2018. By 2023, the global market could be worth $44 billion a year.Investors are trying to capitalize on the phenomenal growth. In July 2018, Juul Labs, the company that owns 70 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market share, raised $1.25 billion at a $16 billion valuation, then sold a 35 percent stake to Phillip Morris USA owner Altria Group in December.

Indonesian Earthquake Broke a Geologic Speed Limit

Paul Voosen, Science Mag

The geological rupture responsible for the devastating magnitude-7.5 earthquake that struck Palu, Indonesia, in September 2018 ripped through Earth's crust at rare high speed, two teams of scientists reported this week. This supershear behavior likely intensified the shaking in the quake, which triggered a tsunami and killed more than 2000 people.

Are Med Errors Really the 3rd Most Common Cause of Death?

David Gorski, SBM

There is a myth promulgated by both quacks and academics who should know better that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. You'll see figures of 250,000 or even 400,000 deaths each year due to medical errors, which would indeed be the third leading cause of death after heart disease (635,000/year) and cancer (598,000/year).

Don't Blame Agriculture for Climate Change

Breanne Kincaid, News-Press

In the spirit of making New Year's resolutions, reports outlining the best path forward on climate change and health have peppered January's academic rolls. They're about as likely to come to fruition as your gym remaining busy in February.

What Happens to Humans in Sensory Deprivation?

Will Hunt, Popular Science

Our aversion to darkness is rooted in our eyes. We are diurnalday-activecreatures, meaning our ancestors, down to the finest physiological points, were adapted to forage, navigate, and seek shelter while the sun was up. Sure enough by daylight, our eyes are magnificent. We possess an abundance of the photoreceptor cells called cone cells that enable us to home in on sharp details: our ancestors could pick out game animals on the horizon, or glimpse a piece of fruit in a tree and know from the precise shade of color whether or not it was ripe.

How More Data Can Lead to Worse Decisions

Kendra Redmond, Physics Central

Key political, business, and personal decisions are regularly made on the basis of data and, increasingly, big data. In general, that's a good thingintuition is often a less reliable guide. But, as shown by new research published in the American Physical Society's journal Physical Review Physics Education Research, interpreting data is a tricky skill to master.

How Emergent Is the Brain?

Neuroskeptic, Discover

A new paper offers a broad challenge to a certain kind of grand theory' about the brain. According to the authors, Federico E. Turkheimer and colleagues, it is problematic to build models of brain function that rely on strong emergence'.

A Philosopher's Take on "Naturalness" in Physics

Sabine Hossenfelder, Backreaction

Porter Williams is a philosopher at the University of Pittsburgh. He has a new paper about naturalness, an idea that has become a prominent doctrine in particle physics. In brief, naturalness requires that a theory's dimensionless parameters should be close to 1, unless there is an explanation why they are not.

Unraveling the Mystery of 'Deadly Dreams' Syndrome

Sandeep Jauhar, Undark

In December 1981, the Centers for Disease Control (the name was amended to add Prevention in 1992) published a report detailing sudden, unexpected deaths during sleep among mostly young, male, Southeast Asian refugees in the United States. Thirty-three of those who died were from Laos, four were from Vietnam, and one was from Cambodia.

How Will Future Humans Look Back on He Jiankui?

Hank Greely, Leaps Magazine

On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown was born in Oldham, England, the first human born through in vitro fertilization, through the work of Patrick Steptoe, a gynecologist, and Robert Edwards, a physiologist. Her birth was greeted with strong (though not universal) expressions of ethical dismay.
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