Last 24 Hours

A week and a half ago, a conference was held at the NYU Langone Medical Center, Confronting Vaccine Resistance: Strategies for Success. It featured speakers and panelists whom I admire quite a bit, including Paul Offit, the man who is to antivaccine loons Satan, Darth Vader, Voldemort, and Sauron all rolled up into one. Also…

I know this is not a comparative physiology topic, but this article caught my attention as I know I just ate a rather high fat meal last week for Thanksgiving and I plan to do the same throughout the holiday season. Insulin does more than just lowering blood sugar by increasing its uptake into tissues.…

Bracing for President Trump

The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the U.S. caught nearly everyone by surprise, and fingers were immediately pointed in all directions as the election’s losers looked to lay blame. Chad Orzel offers one relevant narrative: “There are a lot of people who feel like they’re being screwed by a system run for…

EPA beats Congress’ deadline, names first 10 chemicals for action under new law

EPA met its first major milestone under the new chemical safety law passed by Congress this past June. It announced its list for the first 10 chemicals for which it will prepare risk evaluations. Those evaluations could lead to restrictions on use or phase-outs of chemicals that presents an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment.

“…axions are potentially detectable through their weak coupling to electromagnetism…” -Aaron Chou We know, from hundreds of years of experience with the laws of physics, that momentum is strictly conserved, and therefore a reactionless drive is impossible. What’s not impossible is an engine that has a reaction that’s simply invisible, or otherwise undetectable to us.…

I’m always hesitant to write about matters that are more political than scientific or medical, although sometimes the sorts of topics that I blog about inevitably require it (e.g., the 21st Century Cures Act, an act that buys into the myth that to bring “cures” to patients faster we have to neuter the FDA and…

The percentage of Americans who reported cost-related barriers to health care dropped from 37 percent in 2013 to 33 percent in 2016 — a change that directly corresponds to insurance expansions under the Affordable Care Act, a new study reports. On the flip side, Americans are still more likely than peers in other high-income nations to face financial obstacles to health care.

Cat-tongues inspire new technology?

If you have ever been licked by a cat, you have experienced just how scratchy their tongues are. If you have not had the pleasure, it is much like being licked by a piece of Velcro. In fact, Mechanical Engineer Alexis Noel (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta) recently described the tiny claw-like structures on a cat’s tongue after observing…

The crackpots are bustin’ out all over — not just in politics, but also in science. Remember Stuart Pivar? The septic tank tycoon who invented a whole new theory of evolution and development that he called Lifecode, built entirely around imaginary drawings of how embryos formed by folding and stretching themselves like balloon animals? It…

A new report by four leading workers’ rights group shows just how hard it is to get international clothing brands to fix problems in their global supply chains despite the fact that 1,100 workers were killed in an instant in an unsafe garment factory in Bangladesh.  Three and a half years after the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, five major clothing brands – Walmart, Gap, VF, Target and Hudson’s Bay – were found to have continuing hazards and dangerous delays in fixing them.

“Most of these experiments required the reduction of the cosmic ray muon flux in order to be successful, and the group necessarily became expert in the operation of deep underground laboratories.” -Frederick Reines High-energy particles from space, generated from stars, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, active galaxies and more, can far exceed the energies…

You know that Donald Trump has been claiming very clearly and precisely that he won both the electoral and popular vote, and that it only looks like he did not win the popular vote because of voter fraud, meaning, that a certain number of American citizens voted twice, or otherwise rigged the elections. In fact,…

… and loss of citizenship, which may amount to be thrown out of the country. Flag burning may be obnoxious to many, but it is a constitutionally protected act, as long as it is your flag and you do it outside. Presumptive President Elect Donald Trump has called for severe penalties for flag burners: Nobody…

I don’t have many “rules” per se about blogging, but one informal rule that I do live by is that I never blog about a study if all I can access is the abstract. In general, I insist on having the complete study before I will blog it, because to me the abstract isn’t enough.…

Science-Nerd LEGO Ideas Ideas

You know what LEGO is. Do you know what LEGO Ideas is? This is a program where people — not normal people but Lego Ninja Expert people — propose lego builds. The builds are normally actually built, but some are just designed or have parts that are just designed. These propose builds are then vetted…