How Science Says Coronavirus Could Help Reelect Trump
- If the pandemic continues unabated until November, it could give Republicans like President Donald Trump an edge on election day.
- That's because fear of germs and disease makes people more conservative.
- That’s because fear of germs and disease makes people more conservative.
- If all it takes is the mere suggestion that germs exist to make a Bernie Bro slide toward Rush Limbaugh’s perception of the world, what effect will the coronavirus epidemic have on voters?
- Even if there’s never a severe coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., these studies suggest Trump could still benefit from a prolonged epidemic in China.
- Merely watching it unfold in China on our smartphones could push swing voters into Trump’s camp because of the fear that coronavirus could spread to North America.
- Another reason is because of the way research has found the mere suggestion of disease alters personalities toward a more conservative outlook.
Long-lasting contrails from airplanes warm our atmosphere. But a small change in plane altitude could reduce their impact by 59%.
- Getting planes to fly just 2,000 feet (610 meters) lower could cut the climate impact of the contrails they leave behind by a whopping 59%.
- Studies suggest that contrails and radiative forcing could be heating up the planet as much as CO2 emissions from aircraft fuel, but the impact of contrails is much more short-lived — and potentially easier to tackle.
- With 1.7% of flights flying lower, the data showed, a cut in contrail climate forcing of 59% could be achieved.
- Add the widespread adoption of cleaner jet engine fuel to the altitude adjustments, the researchers say, and the contribution of contrails to climate change could drop by up to 90%.
- What's clear is that the environmental impact of contrails should not be underestimated: The research shows that they can make a significant contribution to global warming (though you don't have to worry about a government cover-up).
Supplement may help burn fat long after exercise
- Gut bacteria produce an appetite suppressant than can strengthen the effect of an exercise-based weight loss program.
- It suggests that adding a certain appetite-suppressing supplement to moderate exercise increases the likelihood of weight loss, even without a change of diet.
- The scientists’ previous research established that the use of IPE as a dietary supplement increased the rate at which the body oxidizes, or burns, fat while at rest.
- Their new study has revealed that IPE can enhance the weight loss effects of a moderate exercise program without requiring dietary changes.
- As Morrison explains, “What we’ve been able to show for the first time is that this latter effect continues when exercise is added to regular IPE intake.” The study did not examine the effectiveness of a weight loss diet plus exercises plus IPE.
- The participants who exercised while taking the placebo exhibited no change to their fat oxidation levels after the trials.
Artificial shrimps could change the world
- FOR A LONG time, beef has been a target of environmentalists because of cattle farming’s contribution to global warming.
- A study conducted in 2017 by CIFOR, a research institute, found that in both these instances, by far the biggest contribution to the carbon footprint of the resulting beef or shrimp came from the clearing of the land.
- As a result, CIFOR concluded, a kilo of farmed shrimp was responsible for almost four times the greenhouse-gas emissions of a kilo of beef.
- Since prawn-meat has a simpler structure than beef, it should be easier to replicate in this way.
- Shiok Meats thinks it can bring the price down dramatically by using less rarefied ingredients in its growing solution.
- “Cell-based technology is one of the ways to provide that accountability.” And even ordinary shrimp, whether farmed or fished, come at a heady price.
Does having boys or girls run in families? New study says it's down to chance
- Some scientists think whether you're likely to have a girl or boy is inherited through the father, although nobody has identified a gene.
- For example, studies have speculated that tall parents have more boys, or beautiful parents have more girls, although the theory has been criticized.
- Using information from Swedish birth registries, the researchers compared whether siblings tended to have offspring of the same sex.
- Their statistical analysis ruled out the possibility that characteristics of the parents influence the likelihood of having boys or girls.
- For example, a 2008 study of 927 family trees covering 556,387 people going back to the year 1600 found that if a man produced more sons than daughters, those sons were likely to have more sons.
- The study suggested that an as-yet undiscovered gene controlled whether a man's sperm contains more X or more Y chromosomes, which affects the sex of his children.
Poor quality American diet kills sperm count and lowers male testosterone, study says
- So could the lower nutritional quality of the typical Western diet, according to a new study published Friday in JAMA Urology.
- The study found that, on average, men who typically ate a Westernized diet of pizza, snacks, sweets and processed foods produced around 68 million fewer sperm upon ejaculation than men who ate a more healthy, balanced diet.
- A man is considered to have a low sperm count if he has less than 39 million sperm per ejaculation or fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter.
- Men who closely followed the prudent pattern of eating -- characterized by lots of fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit and water -- were associated with the highest sperm counts.
- In addition, the median sperm count of men who had the highest adherence to the vegetarian-like pattern was nearly 33 million higher than men who mostly ate the less nutritious Western diet.
50-year-olds can have the brains of 25-year-olds if they meditate, memory and decision-making research shows
- The results showed that those with a strong meditation background had increased gray matter in several areas of the brain, including the auditory and sensory cortex, as well as insula and sensory regions.
- However, the neuroscientists also found that the meditators had more gray matter in another brain region, this time linked to decision-making and working memory: the frontal cortex.
- In fact, while most people see their cortexes shrink as they age, 50-year-old meditators in the study had the same amount of gray matter as those half their age.
- Lazar and her team wanted to make sure this wasn't because the long-term meditators had more gray matter to begin with, so they conducted a second study.
- Since then, Lazar has taken studying the effects of meditation to the next level, finding increased compassion and improved mental health from people overcoming childhood maltreatment and fear-inducing memories thanks to mindfulness training.
Quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots
- The stunning levels of Twitter bot activity on topics related to global heating and the climate crisis is distorting the online discourse to include far more climate science denialism than it would otherwise.
- An analysis of millions of tweets from around the period when Donald Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement found that bots tended to applaud the president for his actions and spread misinformation about the science.
- Trump has consistently spread misinformation about the climate crisis, most famously calling it “bullshit” and a “hoax”, although more recently the US president has said he accepts the science that the world is heating up.
- Although Twitter bots didn’t ramp up significantly around the Paris withdrawal announcement, some advocates of action to tackle the climate crisis are wary of a spike in activity around the US presidential election later this year.
Pediatrician: Several vaccines at once might be too much for parents, but kids are just fine
- Using data from the 2014 National Immunization Surveillance Survey, the latest available data from a nationally representative sample at the time of the study, researchers found that over a third of parents of children ages 19 to 35 months followed delayed immunization schedules.
- Of the parents surveyed, 23% followed an alternate schedule that either limited the number of shots per visit or skipped at least one vaccine series altogether.
- The latest findings follow a 2015 survey, also published in Pediatrics, in which 93% of the 534 pediatricians surveyed said they had been asked by parents of children under 2 to spread out vaccines.
- But to do this -- without pointing out these made-up alternate schedules are not based in science and are instead rooted in misplaced fear -- would violate the trust parents have placed in my knowledge and would represent a failure to their children.
The new coronavirus has killed nearly 3 times as many people in 8 weeks as SARS did in 8 months. Here's how the 2 outbreaks compare.
- A coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China has killed nearly three times as many people in eight weeks than severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) did in eight months.
- Most experts think the new coronavirus' incubation period ranges from one to 14 days, though a recent study from China's National Health Commission (which has yet to be peer-reviewed) suggested it could be as long as 24 days.
- In a study released January 31, a group of researchers at Lanzhou University analyzed two CT scans of a 33-year-old coronavirus patient's lungs.
- Both SARS and the new coronavirus belong to a particular virus lineage called betacoronaviruses, which can make the jump to humans and nest in our respiratory tracts.
- Bats were the original hosts of SARS, too; the animals can pass diseases to other species via their poop or saliva, and the unwitting intermediaries can transmit those viruses to humans.