Archive for the 'PopSci' Category

Should everyone be taking vitamin D? – BBC Future

April 18, 2020

There are two main types of D. The first is vitamin D3, which is found in animals including fish and is the kind the skin makes when exposed to sunlight. The second is vitamin D2, which comes from plant-based foods including mushrooms. Studies have found that D3 is more effective, and the conclusions of a 2012 meta-analysis argue that D3 is the preferred choice for supplementation.

When his team analysed raw data from 25 clinical trials involving 11,000 patients from 14 countries, they found a small benefit to taking daily or weekly vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk of respiratory infections, asthma attacks and bronchitis. Although the paper soon attracted robust criticism, Martineau points out that the reduction of risk, while slight, is still significant and comparable to the effects of other health measures: to prevent a single respiratory infection, you’d have to give 33 people vitamin D supplements – compared to, for example, giving a flu vaccination to 40 people to prevent a single case of flu.

The Brain That Couldn’t Remember – The New York Times

March 5, 2018

The #Brain That Couldn’t Remember Fight over the ownership of HM’s highlights issues in consent HT @FearLoathingBTX

A Code for Autism | Proto Magazine

December 16, 2017

Cancer’s Invasion Equation

October 30, 2017

Cancer’s Invasion Eqn, by @DrSidMukherjee terms: Soil-v-seed, metastasis matching + overcoming “denominator” problem


“This is medicine’s “denominator problem.” The numerator is you—the person who gets ill. The denominator is everyone at risk, including all the other passengers who were exposed. Numerators are easy to study. Denominators are hard. Numerators come to the doctor’s office, congested and miserable. They get blood tests and prescriptions. Denominators go home from the subway station, heat up dinner, and watch “The Strain.” The numerator persists. The denominator vanishes.” “}}

Ancient Viruses Are Buried in Your DNA

October 28, 2017

“Early on, the cells in an embryo can turn into any tissue. As these stem cells divide, they can lose this flexibility, committing to becoming one kind of cell or another. After that, cells typically shut down their viral genes.
Viral proteins appear to help keep stem cells from losing this potential. …
Viruses might have exploited embryos to make more copies of
themselves. By keeping their hosts as stem cells for longer, the viruses were able to invade more parts of the embryo’s body.” “}}

Ancient Viruses Are Buried in Your DNA, by @CarlZimmer Nice #intuition on why they may promote the stem-cell state

What Happens When a Superstorm Hits D.C.?

September 28, 2017

What Happens When a #Superstorm Hits DC? estimated at 1/100yr in ’50 now could be 1/3yr. Are coastal areas prepared?

“A report compiled in part by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and published in 2013 in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, included a study that found that increases in sea-level rise related to climate change have
significantly increased the probability of a Sandy-level flood as compared to 1950. … Another paper, published in 2012 in the journal Nature Climate Change, determined that by the end of the century what is presently considered a 100-year storm-surge flood in New York could actually be occurring as frequently as once every three years. … “Other nations are well aware of this changed risk regime,…In Britain, the Thames Barrier, completed in 1982, presently protects London against a one-in-1,000-year flood, … The Dutch design levees and regulations to protect their cities against a one-in-10,000-year flood, and are considering fixes that would ensure protection against a one-in-100,000-year flood.

Naked mole rats: Can they help us cure cancer? – Slate Magazine

July 31, 2017

Naked mole rats: Can they help..cure cancer? Live >6x longer than C57BL/6 & have “insectile” queen-domimated society Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience (Audible Audio Edition): The Great Courses, Professor Indre Viskontas, The Great Courses: Baby

July 4, 2017

You Look Familiar. Now Scientists Know Why.

June 13, 2017

You Look Familiar. Now Scientists Know Why #Privacy implications: determining whether a suspect recognizes a face


“One day, the authors suggested, it might even be possible to render a face seen by, say, a crime witness just by analyzing his brain activity.

“Cracking the code for faces would definitely be a big deal,” said Brad Duchaine, an expert on face recognition at Dartmouth.

Human and monkey brains have evolved dedicated systems for recognizing faces, presumably because, as social animals, survival depends on identifying members of one’s own social group and distinguishing them from strangers.”

Mind the gaps: The holes in your brain that make you smart

June 10, 2017

Mind the gaps: The holes in your brain…make you smart Contrasts connectivity from graphs vs large-scale topology