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Arete

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Everything posted by Arete

  1. As I alluded to earlier, it's unlikely to yield a positive result. There is a global shortage of expert taxonomists, and an ever growing backlog of putative new species waiting to be formally classified. For example, even individual genetic barcoding studies can reveal hundreds of undescribed taxa. Unless the species you have found is of particular scientific or cultural importance, the novel taxa you have putatively identified simply join the queue. Further, wanting someone else to describe the taxon while you dictate the name is akin to asking someone to ghost write a book for you, while they likely have a backlog of books they can write themselves. An exception to this I've seen is that the museum I worked for auctioned off the right to name some charismatic species to raise money for the museum. Without knowing what the taxa are, how you define them to be novel and whether or not you have viable specimens in hand - it's difficult to really say how much help an expert taxonomist might provide.
  2. It really depends; 1) Without knowing anything about the morphology/ecology/genetics of the organism in question, I don't really see how OP can determine they have discovered a novel taxon. 2) Depends on the taxon - new beetle? Cool. Go put it in the jar with all the other new beetles and maybe we'll get to it one day. New bear? Forget what else I had on today, let's go.
  3. I've formally named several species of lizard, as part of my PhD was a systematic review of a genus. Generally, the person/people who publish the formal description also are the individual/s who nominate the species name. There are several nomenclatural codes that describe the process of naming species e.g. the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), Botanical (ICBN), Bacterial/Archaeal (ICNB) etc. These have in the past been largely gentlemen's agreements, but more formal regulations have been recently applied thanks to a few bad actors. Anyone can publish a formal description - which is essentially a description of the phenotypic/genetic/ecological traits which distinguish the novel species from existing species.
  4. "World's biggest clown buys worlds biggest circus" Also, the same thing happened with MySpace: News Corp. bought Myspace 2009 for $580 million and sold it to Viant for $35 million in 2011. Also, in terms of active users, Twitter is actually kind of small with 436 million, compared to Facebook's 2.9 billion, Youtube's 2.5 billion, WhatsApp's 2 billion, Instagram's 1.4 billion, TikTok's 1 billion, Snapchat's 557 million and Pinterest's 444 million. I'm just a layperson with no fondness for either Twitter or Elon Musk, but I imagine, given the increasing competition in social media platforms, poor management could kill twitter pretty rapidly. I also can't really imagine the Musk is capable of the kind of nuanced and insidious approach to data management, manipulation and collection that Mark Zuckerberg orchestrates with Facebook.
  5. Verizon bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013, only to sell it for $3 million to Wordpress in 2019. Hopefully we can collectively do something similar with the cesspool that is twitter for Elon.
  6. I have significant experience working in research that is adjacent to clinical trials. I think the big thing preventing many folk/herbal/alternative therapies from being prescriptible medical products is that one of the first steps in evaluating a potential therapeutic agent is determining HOW and WHY it works. So if you have Grandma's bubbleberry bush tea that helps with her asthma, we can use that as a starting point. But we're going to stick it through a GCMS to determine exactly what molecules are in it. We are then going to determine which components of the tea are those that are active, and isolate them. We then test in vitro to see how they alleviate asthma. We may then bring in the biochemistry people, and they may determine that by adding an acetyl group to the enzyme we isolated from the tea makes it 5 times more effective. Then you synthesize it, and take it to clinical trial. By the time it's in a pharmacy, it's called Dilexapropha, its side effects include diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset (which you'd get if you drank 7 pots of bubbleberry bush tea as well), and shouldn't be taken by breastfeeding mothers. And the same people who only take herbal remedies who wanted bubbleberry tea to be a legit medicine won't touch it.
  7. Unpopular opinion: It doesn't matter. The same lobbyists and corporate interests own both major parties. The health insurance industry isn't going away, the banks aren't being meaningfully regulated, the military isn't being defunded, the oil industry isn't getting curtailed... While the January 6 riots were eye opening, does anyone really think it could have changed the election outcome - like if the crowd successfully held the capitol and prevented the certification of the election would it have had any long term effect? Personally I have trouble imagining a successful coup without the full support and cooperation of the military, which Trump certainly didn't have. There is trillions of dollars a year dependent on the political status quo of the US and I don't think that Trump had any realistic possibility of disrupting that. One of the "benefits" of Trump is that he's largely bluster and chest thumping, without the political clout or intelligence to effect meaningful change. His political ideology and agenda is incoherent, and has no ability to actually staff and effectively manage a government. So, while he is a disturbing symptom of a broader, problematic worldview that is prevalent in the US - which CharonY described in detail, he has very little ability or even motivation it would seem to do much more than performative symbolism. Hillary isn't in jail, there's no border wall, the affordable care act is still law, etc. So rather than a malignant growth, Trump is ultimately more like pustulent discharge - unpleasant and concerning, but a symptom rather than the cause of the infection.
  8. You are all wrong. I thought it was common knowledge that the answer is 42 and am disappointed in you all.
  9. You're right in that it's a topic of considerable debate, and I'm very much a layperson on the topic, so am happy to be wrong - I've read a few articles on the origin of the fourth Gospel and I am struggling to find the article, or I'm misremembering I may well be confusing the letters of John with the gospel. Either way, modern scholars seem to agree that John the disciple himself didn't write it.
  10. All liquids conform to the shape of their container, but I doubt many people would agree that it means that mercury and water are basically the same.
  11. Also for the record, it is illegal to own just one guinea pig in Switzerland, due to them being social animals.
  12. Given the Gospel of John was written by an Alexandrian theologian, in Greek, 100 years after the death of Jesus - and I would assume you're quoting a subsequent English translation, how accurate do you think the direct quotes are?
  13. Indeed. I also wasn't responding to you personally. Absolutely. I accepted a type iv pilus from a friendly giraffe earlier today, got a sweet new metabolic plasmid, and now I don't actually need to breathe air. I also ate a big lunch, but just replicated my circular genome and divided, and we felt great. It sure does. The Dean is sure going to be happy to hear that intro psych and microbiology are the same class. Gonna save the campus a bunch.
  14. "I've been kicked out of every bar in the city for being too charming, witty and respectful."
  15. Every human population has some form of religion extending back to the paleolithic and Neanderthals - which is an absurd level of coincidental convergence if there is no evolutionary explanation. So several hypotheses with varying levels of evidence exist. Most of them stem from the field of evolutionary psychology, which is... not my favorite field of evolutionary biology, to put it politely. In my opinion, the explanations provided tend to be high on the assumption that correlation indicates causation and light on direct hypothesis tests. That said, there is some meat on the bone in the sense that religion is a byproduct of adaptive cognitive systems (e.g. animacy detection, social cognition, precautionary reasoning) and there is some evidence that religious behavior correlates with evolutionary fitness via inclusive selection. In lay terms, being a member of a group can increase evolutionary fitness, leading to positive selection for group norms, even if those specific norms are not selectively advantageous in of themselves - e.g. participation in a religious ceremony allows access to the collective resources of the group, refusal leads to excommunication, and in many environments, death of self and/or one's offspring. Thus, positive selection for religious participation occurs. Why is this useful? Well, if done properly (see previous caveat) it allows for the generation of hypotheses and predictions of traits and evolutionary trajectories. Given that religious participation is less critical for fitness in modern societies, how labile are the psychological traits associated with religious participation? Are there specific genetic/epigenetic markers that predict propensity for religious belief - and is their presence/absence linked with other traits, such as risk of depression? etc. If you were to dismiss the entire body of evolutionary evidence as "irrational" or "a cult" for.... well... reasons I guess... you'd be rather myopically and ignorantly dismissing a body of potentially useful evolutionary anthropology and neurobiology.
  16. I guess we will never know what dinosaurs ate since they didn't write it down either.
  17. Realistically, in my house it's gonna be a Mossberg 500 loaded with Winchester #4, because that's what's in the safe. But if Andrzej Duda wants to give me a Mig 29 I'd do my best with it.
  18. Well, if it were giving up a stool in a bar, there is virtually no cost beyond minor inconvenience and perceived loss of status. Given the cost of engaging the bully over something that has little value to me, I wouldn't consider it. On the other hand, if he barges through the front door of my house, declares that he's moving in and taking the master bedroom before smashing all the dishes and overturning the furniture, I might be a little more inclined to call the police/my friends and neighbors for help. If they sent me a Glock, a box of 9mm rounds and their thoughts and prayers in response, I'd probably be inclined to take matters into my own hands.
  19. My wife loves it when I say that I'm ignoring her because I'm not listening to anything a rib says (disclaimer: she doesn't).
  20. To elaborate, mitochondrial "Eve" and Y chromosome "Adam" aren't individuals, but hypothetical genetic alleles determined by the application of coalescent Bayesian statistics to observed human genetic diversity. These alleles were likely to be carried by multiple individuals, and they swept to fixation over generations - so were not the only genetic variants present at the time they arose. Take the following image. The purple allele at the base of the tree is the common ancestor of all extant individuals. However, other genetic lineages exist simultaneously alongside the presently fixed allele, and "Adam" and "Eve" are simply the genetic lineages that, through a combination of stochasticity and selection, give rise to the genetic diversity observed at present. Re skin color - the melanin content of skin is a highly labile trait, that evolutionarily trades off between skin cancer risk and vitamin D synthesis. Chimpanzees and Bonobos have light skin under dark hair, ancestral human populations had dark skin 1.2 million years ago, and there have been multiple independent lineages of humans that have subsequently evolved lighter pigmentation. Babies born to parents of different skin tones have variable skin pigmentation. The following photograph is of fraternal twins. As you might deduce, melanin content of skin is a poor indicator of genetic lineage in humans - and generally, no, the same individual does not have "multicolored" skin.
  21. I am an associate editor for two journals in my field, and facilitate the peer review of a couple of papers per month. Generally, a prospective reviewer needs to have an active publication record in the field - which generally dictates they have a relevant PhD (though not always, sometimes grad students can review) and some kind of academic position. Generally, I would expect a reviewer for a virology paper to have worked/published on viruses, a reviewer for a bacteriology paper to have worked/published on bacteria, and also be familiar with the methodology e.g. I wouldn't send a genomics/bioinformatics paper to and old school physiologist and vice versa. Also, we always solicit the names of prospective reviewers from the authors of the paper themselves, although who I actually send it to is at my discretion. I usually have to solicit 6-12 reviewers to end up with 2 reviews.
  22. 1. I'm a He. 2. You misquoted the abstract of Boehmer et. al. let alone actually read the paper itself. They used both inpatient and outpatient data, corrected their data for patient effects, and compared their data to other hospital patients rather than the population at large. 3. You provided no evidence whatsoever to support this being an overestimation of the myocarditis risk for COVID patients, no any actual evidence of anything but your own personal incredulity, which given you apparently didn't read the paper, indicates bad faith and little point engaging you. 4. Despite a statistic being openly reported in a publication, you demand I "show my working". My working is "actually reading the paper". 5. You provide no evidence of VAERS under-reporting vaccine side effects by your claimed 90-99%. Again, despite you repeatedly demanding others provide you with citations, you can seemingly pull numbers out of your posterior and we are all supposed take them as gospel, despite all indications that they are erroneous <- this underlined bit of text is a link to a peer reviewed publication. Ultimately, the "take down" was a a mix of logical fallacy, proof of bad faith argument, and mis-cited data because you apparently didn't actually read the papers you demanded. It clearly demonstrates you aren't worth engaging.
  23. I did. You literally just quoted the links to the peer reviewed papers.
  24. X-post with CharonY's edit Second edit just point out that that the Lancet study did not achieve a statistically significant result, primarily due to the fact they only observed 12 breakthrough transmission events. Even then, as CharonY points out - it demonstrates a 34% reduction in transmission. Also back to a more central point - if your concern is the prospect of acute myocarditis; acute myocarditis is observed in 0.146% COVID-19 cases in >16 year olds, and 0.0071% of vaccinated >16 year olds. COVID infection therefore has a 20 fold increase in the risk of acute myocarditis than BNT162b2 vaccine. So if the claim is that the long term effects of S protein induced myocarditis are unknown, you have a very succinct mathematical risk analysis between the risk of acquiring natural immunity vs vaccine immunity. If the claim is that administration of the BNT162b2 vaccine may cause acute myocarditis months/years after the fact, you should be able to demonstrate mechanism given the constant exposure to microbial mRNA that all humans experience.
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