The Science Thread

Redglyph

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Yeah, I'd have thought that making devices that could withstand those g's would entail making them a lot heavier, somewhat defeating the purpose. Could good for sending up raw materials, when we have more facilities up there.
Or food, whatever organic you'd put in the capsule, alive or not, will arrive as hot soup up there :lol:
 
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wolfgrimdark

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This article was interesting (to me anyhow) as it showed some of the things on VR I wasn't aware about, along with some history, and possible future ideas. Note my posting it doesn't mean I believe this will pan out this way or anything. It was just an interesting read with some videos and such. I think VR still has a very long way to go from what I have seen though.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021...metaverse-has-a-different-idea-of-what-it-is/
 
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wolfgrimdark

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Gaming related: https://www.wired.com/story/online-gaming-is-the-new-therapists-office/

In the early weeks of the pandemic, Monet Goldman tried different strategies to cope with stress. “I was exercising, I was meditating, I was doing yoga,” says Goldman, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Santa Clara, California. But he didn’t start to feel better until he turned to a familiar pastime: video games. In the bright, immersive world of online gaming, Goldman found solace—and he started to have fun again. As he and his colleagues struggled to connect with clients virtually, he wondered if gaming could help his patients too.

Goldman began training other clinicians to use online gaming in their work, starting with Roblox, a platform with millions of games that’s especially popular with kids ages 5 to 12 in the United States. In a Zoom session with two elementary school boys, Goldman kicked things off by asking the kids to name their favorite Roblox game. At first, “it’s just like radio silence. Everybody has their cameras off,” says Goldman. Eventually, one boy mentioned Brookhaven, a roleplaying game set in a bustling city. Soon the kids were enthusiastically leading each other around the game space, their shyness forgotten.
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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What's the best way to make a decision? on Crowd Science

What's the best way to make a decision? on Crowd Science (https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3ct1prg)

Runs for about 36 minutes. Much of it I have heard before but nothing like a refresher course.

It looks at concepts like cognitive bias in particular that associated with the Sunk Cost Bias and the Framing Bias. Simple examples being eating food you have paid for even though you are full and risk stomach problems or is "90% fat free" better than "10% fat".

Research suggests that critical thinking is a separate skill from intelligence. One problem for very intelligence people is that they can believe they know everything (or always make the right decision) and use their intelligence to create a logical "explanation". An example was Arthur Conan-Doyle and the "fairies" incident. Intellectual humility, knowing you can be wrong, is very useful for critical thinking i.e. use all the data and don't cherry pick what you want to be true.

The role of intuition and emotions is also explored. These pick up signals (subconsciously) or use memory and/or experience to come to answers. It's described as a compass that sends you off in the right direction but it can be badly wrong!

Solomon Paradox (a new one for me) is giving excellent advice to a friend but fail to take your own advice. Reminds me of my Dad. For Solomon the two mothers and one baby story or the 500 wives. Suggest discussing your problems in the third person to try to get some self-distance (which assumes you have not already exploded).

Moved on to Group Intelligence. Discussions about meetings where some-one hogs the meeting without really contributing a great deal, a loss of focus on some of the issues. Anyone been in meetings will know what it's like. Collective Intelligence is a team thing. Found that the groups that did best had a majority of females (provided social intelligence which positively impacts teams) and ethnic diversity. Also required that people had equal participation and a willingness to talk. Teams that are best buds may not make the best decision since more likely to be aware of their "friends" approval. More likely to be challenged by those who don't care if you will have a coffee with them.

This is me now not the program. Context strikes me as important. For example a men's football team must be composed of only men though the support staff (coachs etc) could be gender diverse. If you are selling to one ethnic group then ethnic diversity is probably not required. (Though limiting your market may be silly in the longer term). There is a lack of detail and given the BBC's bias they may of overplayed some factors however overall I tend to agree with the general thrust of their arguments.
 
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SleepingDog

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Replacing Antibiotics in the Future?

I was reading about some work by a Canadian team on CRISPR-based "antibiotics". They found a way by editing DNA within bacteria known as conjugative plasmids. These plasmids then pass the genes to other bacteria.

The clever bit is that they can use this to selectively destroy other bacteria. Two sets of tests on mice have worked by destroying E. coli and Citrobacter rodentium - both gut bacterias. Within 4 days 99.9% of E.coli had disappeared and all of the Citrobacter rodentium. The next step is tests on pigs - farmers use antibiotics to keep them healthly - using this method may be more productive.

It is not a given that it will work in humans but they think "If it works in mice, it should also work in other animals, including people"

There are risks so the team is looking at ways to deal with this. This includes stopping the plasmids replicating or have a timed self-destruct system (after 4 days?).

I recall being told by my GP, many moons ago, that antibiotics is often like a nuclear option. It does not differentiate between good and bad stuff in your guts - just wipes them out. Given that we are seeing the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria then an alternative is needed.
 
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Redglyph

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I was reading about some work by a Canadian team on CRISPR-based "antibiotics". They found a way by editing DNA within bacteria known as conjugative plasmids. These plasmids then pass the genes to other bacteria.

The clever bit is that they can use this to selectively destroy other bacteria. Two sets of tests on mice have worked by destroying E. coli and Citrobacter rodentium - both gut bacterias. Within 4 days 99.9% of E.coli had disappeared and all of the Citrobacter rodentium. The next step is tests on pigs - farmers use antibiotics to keep them healthly - using this method may be more productive.

It's neat.

What's the advantage for humans? It doesn't prevent the usual problem of favouring bacteria that are resistant to the cure. Is it more easily produced? Since we're quite close to pigs, it must be the same argument I suppose, though I'm not sure we share the same illnesses (I have no idea).
 
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SleepingDog

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It's neat.

What's the advantage for humans? It doesn't prevent the usual problem of favouring bacteria that are resistant to the cure. Is it more easily produced? Since we're quite close to pigs, it must be the same argument I suppose, though I'm not sure we share the same illnesses (I have no idea).

My understanding is that you select specific bits of DNA which is unique to the bacteria in that "environment" (mice guts in these tests). The genes the plasmids pass on actual only kill those cells containing the DNA "sequence" that has been selected.

CRISPR technology has been gaining favour since 2014 and yes it is a much faster and easier process than previous gene editing techniques.

A thought I had was that in the past I have seen many articles talk about the mis-use of antibiotics in farm animals and the impact that this causes in antibiotic resistance. Then the bacteria jump to humans and the fun begins. With this technique you get the resistant bacteria, find a new unique gene strand, use gene editing and zap the bacteria. So even if it is only used on pigs there may be some benefits to us humans.


Illness that can come from pigs:
  • Erysipelas
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis E
  • Ringworm
  • Leptospirosis
  • Streptococcosis
Though it seems you have to have contact with the pigs or with some-one who has been infected by pigs. The pigs would be infected as well.

In the last few years there has been experiments on humans but usually they have something really nasty like sickle cell disease (average life is 40 to 60 years) or Leber congenital amaurosis (a rare inherited eye disease). Maybe in another 5 to 10 years we will see gene editing for more mundane diseases.
 
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Redglyph

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My understanding is that you select specific bits of DNA which is unique to the bacteria in that "environment" (mice guts in these tests). The genes the plasmids pass on actual only kill those cells containing the DNA "sequence" that has been selected. [..]
I see, they would only focus on a very few annoying targets instead of using antibiotics that eliminate a whole range of bacteria. This would leave most of the harmless bacteria alive, reducing the risk of making room for other, potentially more resistant ones.
 
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SleepingDog

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I see, they would only focus on a very few annoying targets instead of using antibiotics that eliminate a whole range of bacteria. This would leave most of the harmless bacteria alive, reducing the risk of making room for other, potentially more resistant ones.

Exactly - until they get it wrong and turn us in to flesh eating zombies a la Resident Evil:biggrin:
 
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pibbuR

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Today the James Webb telescope is due to launch. You can follow the countdown here: https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/countdown.html

PibbuR who is as excited as he can be (in other words, slightly excited)

PS. For some reason I'm also a bit nervous. It's a very complicated operation, taking place 1 000 000 km from home. So if there is, like with Hubble is a problem, unlike Hubble it's impossible to fix it. DS.
 
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Redglyph

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Yes, launching those poor devices in space, where the heat cannot dissipate, they get irradiated, there is no electric socket and repairs are near impossible... it's quite a feat. I have a lot of respect for those who can achieve that.
 
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SleepingDog

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This feels like a pure science thing.

Webb's goal will be to try to show the very first stars and galaxies to shine in the Universe. It will be looking at light that has travelled for 13.8 billion years. Another goal is that it will also have the power to probe the atmospheres of distant planets to look for gases that might hint at the presence of life.

And while not wishing to be a killjoy one wonders what we will gain to help those in need? The $10bn spent on it is a lot of money for a shiny new toy. Happy to be shown that I am wrong.
 
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pibbuR

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The telescope was folded/crushed to fit inside the rocklet. Unfolding/deployment of the components will continue during the first 14 days of the journey, as shown in the following figure:
JWSTDeployment.jpg


pibbuR who expects it will take significant longer to unfold his folds (wrinkles).

PS. If you want to know where it is rignt now, look no further: https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html
DS.
 
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pibbuR

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I got presents this birthday (admittedly I usually do). One of them was a subscription for a science magazine. New Scientist? Scientific American? Nature? Journal of Irreproducible Results?

Choices, CHOICES, … arrrgh….CHOICES!!!??????

pibbuR who will accept recommendations.
 
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Ripper

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Depends on the sort of thing you fancy. New Scientist and Scientific American are much lighter popular science, and sometimes their article titles are a bit clickbaity (or the publishing equivalent). But sometimes that's not so bad, and you get to find out little bits about lots of interesting things. Nature is a bit more heavy duty, if you feel like reading the proper papers instead of concise articles. Most likely a pibbuR would be familiar with it.

The James Webb is very exciting, but I'm also nervous, and will be for a while. There's a lot that could go wrong over the next few months, without much to be done. The fact that it's going to rely on a finite fuel supply to maintain its position adds another layer of wrinkles.
 
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Redglyph

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Nature is very good quality, I actually got a subscription as a gift a few years back. But it's quite on the edge of science, and probably aimed at researchers or people with the same spirit (as Ripper said above). It came with an online access which allowed you to retrieve and consult past articles, sometimes a necessity when articles expand and rely on their bibliography.

You can explore some of its content online (some articles have a PDF download button on the top right, others are in HTML).

PS: It's mostly focused on molecular biology, at least it used to; I don't think it's the case of the other journals.
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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Science & New Scientists are more casually oriented, imho, than Nature.
When I was reading through all of them during my study at university, to me, Nature always seemed to be a bit more "hardcore". ;)
So, I'd say, it also depends on when and how you want to read these magazines. Leisure Science ? Reading in train, bus, tram ? Take Science or New Scientist, I'd say. More deeply into the matter and at the same time being at the frontier of science : Read Nature, I'd say, then.
I must admit that I've never heard of the fourth one, though. Edit : According to Wikipedia, it seems to be more on the humorous side of science. Which isn't bad, either, since life isn't humourless, either. ;) It seems to be connected to the Ig Nobel Prize. ;)
 
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pibbuR

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Thanks for the advce, all of you. I think I'll go for New Scientist.

Regarding JOIR, yepp, it is a science oriented (nerdy/geeky) humour magazine. I subscribed to it once, many years ago. It's quite funny.

One of the jokes (as I remember it):

"Correction.
In our report "
The Black Hole, an Inexpensive Vacuum Cleaner" we incorrectly said that the hose should be placed inside the Swartzchild radius. The correct is that it should be placed outside. We regret any inconveniences this may have caused".

pibbuR who has named his vacuum cleaner robot after a black hole. the Cygnius X-1.
 
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pibbuR

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Where is Webb now?

After 5 days (25 days left to go):
Distance from earth: 690 000 km
Distance to L2: 750 000 km
Distance completed: 47%

Current deployment step: Sunshield covers release. The sunshield itself wil start unfolding tomorrow, which is a very important step. I guess they're a bit nervous now in Houston or wherever the control is. "Houston, we have a problem"….?

After 5 days it has covered 50% of the distance., with more than 20 days for the remaining 50% of the journey. Which may seem a bit strange? Not exactly. The rocket gave it enough speed to nearly reach the target, not more than that (the course correction bursts took care of the rest). That's because Webb doesn't have fuel enough to break at L2. Cruising speed is now 0.75 km/s, significantly slower than when it started (11 km/s). And it's still decellerating. I guess that near L2, it would no longer get fined on a highway.

pibbuR who spends time following it every day.

PS. 0.75 km/s is about 2 700 km/h. We have airplanes going faster than that. DS

PPS: Said it before, but once again: You can follow it here: https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html?units=metric. DS
 
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