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CharonY

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CharonY last won the day on November 11

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2044 Glorious Leader

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About CharonY

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  • Location
    somewhere in the Americas.
  • Interests
    Breathing. I enjoy it a lot, when I can.
  • College Major/Degree
    PhD
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Biology/ (post-)genome research
  • Biography
    Labrat turned grantrat.

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  1. Well it may (or may not) surprise you but climate change research has been subject to political scrutiny. During the Harper years in Canada, for example long-standing research projects which have collected valuable data have seen severed cuts and some programs were essentially halted. The Trudeau government has since then reversed some of those decisions, but there are still many projects being in danger of being shut down. The fatal thing about many of these projects is that in order to provide good data they need to collect samples on a regular basis. Funding gaps result in data gaps which in turn result in poor quality models. In the US, the current government also has cut funds to project initiated earlier (as well as withdrawn funds to finance global climate change-related projects). Most researchers that I know in that field mention that there is a certain urgency within the community and peer reviewers for these types of studies are often positive (if one comes up with reasonable ideas). However, big calls specifically targeting those challenges are not in line with the data gaps we still have. That being said, it is difficult to track the dollars in detail, as not all related research are labelled as climate change-related projects. For example, a study may study the change in insect population, or forest ecology and eventually come to the conclusion that changes in weather patterns are the main drivers. While the study is not specifically looking at the effects of climate change, it may nonetheless provide important insights.
  2. Do you mean the tripping part? There is some work on walking in animals and I vaguely recall some research into walking pattern generation and how different animals behave when perturbed. For example, in walking sticks you can even pull off legs and they recover after a part of a cycle, as there is a neuronal network that coordinates the different legs on a very basal level. In humans on the other hand bipedal walking has requires central control to coordinate muscle activity and much of the pattern generation (responsibly for rhythmic movement) is located at the spinal level. In these cases anticipation most likely plays a minor role as once the patterns are generated, the movement sets in a somewhat predetermined way. Even if you visually see a step difference, if you are not in time to alter the pattern consciously, your leg will follow the generated pattern.
  3. It is going to be the 5th avenue all over again.
  4. What is described is somewhat related to an interesting phenomenon called the size-weight illusion. It is a multisensory phenomenon in which, roughly speaking larger objects feel heavier, even if they are not. The interesting bit is that these studies look at the interaction between feedforward (anticipation of weight) and feedback information. In the case of OP it is fairly clear, the discrepancy between anticipated weight and experienced one is large, and as such the feedback mechanism cannot cope with the excess forces (the jolt may be a surprise reaction due to the perceived discrepancy). However, in cases where, for example two objects of same weight but different size are presented, the muscle stiffness may be different before lifting the object (as the feedforward mechanisms anticipates that the larger object is heavier) but then the feedback kicks in and adjusts closer to the actual weight. The perception, however, is still that the larger object is actually heavier. It should also be noted that anticipation is common to basically all animals with an CNS, not only to arboreal ones, as relying on feedback mechanisms is typically too slow for most dynamic situations. For example, catching a ball requires anticipation of its flight path. Some simpler animals have faster feedback loops in which locally for example legs convey information regarding the status to other legs, without need for central coordination. But even then in hunting spiders one has found evidence that they may anticipate to some degree anticipate prey behaviour.
  5. Slightly beside the point, but in some ways this thread seems like a microcosm of what postmodernist philosophers have predicted since the 80s. Instead of a common meta-narrative, knowledge is fragmented and used as a commodity by various actors (Lyotard refers specifically the issues of computerization and who determines which information is stored and disseminated- a thought that can be easily extended to tech companies as the new gate-keepers of knowledge). While we are dealing with exactly the same event, the associated strands of knowledge appear to be very different, resulting not only a different viewpoints, but in fact in parallel strands that do not cross over. It reminds me a bit on the concept of Language games where players agree to use certain rules to create meaning from uttered words. In the postmodernist world, according to Lyotard, we have created many parallel language games, each of which are legitimized by their respective institutions. So we may have politically affiliated language games, in which certain fragments of information carry entirely different meanings and which are self-referenced and amplified by the use of different communication channels (say, social media). Even when we discuss the same things on this board, we arrived to our conclusions using different lines of information. There is ultimately not thinking for oneself, unless one plays the solitaire equivalent of a language game.
  6. Perhaps you are not familiar with the concept of "conflict of interest" and how these issues are normally navigated. Let's assume for a moment that the allegations are credible. A normal (assuming that this also means non-corrupt) President (or other person of power) who has a conflict of interest would step away from such investigation and would task the respective organization (e.g. DOJ) to run point. Ideally with someone heading the investigation who is sufficiently removed so that the investigation is not tainted by the conflict of interest. An example of a similar situation was appointing Robert Mueller, for example. Key point here is that one is removed from direct interference to resolve the conflict. Especially considering the scope of the Presidency, investigation of individuals is generally not something that a President would personally be involved in, instead the respective branches of law enforcement should have taken point (which they would not do, if there was no real reasons to do so...) A number of things that you would not do would include for example: - circumvent normal communication channels and get folks involved that are more loyal, but normally not part of the process - get folks involved that work for you directly (say, personal attorneys) and not for the organization you work for - fire folks who warn you of a potential conflict of interest - hide evidence for a conflict of interest. - demand persecution of political rivals or persons connected to them, if there are investigations, they should be handled as independently as possible (see above, and also note the lack of interaction between the Obama WH and FBI). As you can see, it is not an either or situation. There are, in fact, a lot of things one might do and many more things one should not do in cases of conflict. And you may take a guess or two to what Trump decided to do in this matter.
  7. Indeed, and it would probably achieve fairly little. Selective pressure on a given antibiotics often also increase resistance for others. Most obviously, there are unspecific resistance mechanisms, such as efflux pumps, which are also one of the big issues with regard to multiple resistances. There are a number of additional uncertainties and issues. Unknown interactions with the immune system is one, resistance to viruses is a real concern, viruses have very specific activity, so applying therapies are going to be more complicated and more limited, pharmaceutical development is tricky, phages can contribute to the further spread of AB resistance (via transduction) and so on. It is likely going to have a place, but its scope is probably going to remain more limited than traditional ABs. I think it is not necessarily an either or situation. The critical point is that ideally the treatment has a sufficiently high concentration and lasts just long enough to clear the infection, but does not provide a continuous selective environment. Medical guidelines provide estimates, but realistically, each infection is different. Actually, in North America that is widely used in public buildings. In many universities you will see them everywhere near doors, for example. While it helps, there are also other measures that hospitals need to take into account. One important bit is proper isolation of stations (e.g. that folks do not freely move from high to low risk environments and spread bugs). Often, clothes are underappreciated as a source of carrying bugs for example. Another now common source are cell phones (it is actually also an issue in our labs and part of an ongoing culture fight).
  8. Unfortunately it is often difficult to predict how different cell lines react to certain chemicals. There are certain cell lines which are considered more hardy, and often e.g. primary cell lines are more sensitive than many carcinomas. HepG2 is often used as it is a bit less resilient (and probably less full of viruses) compared to e.g. HeLa, but there are folks who prefer to use primary cell lines, as the results are probably closer in vivo conditions. But there is no simply way to extrapolate those values (to my knowledge) and most data is obtained empirically. In other words, HepG2 data can not be easily translated to other cell lines. Using whole animals things are getting more complicated. Remember, the dose you use directly at the cell is independent on the animal (as we work on the cellular level). However, during in vivo experiments you will need to account for the interaction of the chemical with the body (ADME- absorption, distributon, metabolism, excretion). I.e. if you apply the chemical to a rat, depending on how you apply it (e.g. orally, intravenously), the bioavailability of the chemical and how it is metabolized will determine how much will actually end up in the liver to do damage. Moreover, metabolization can inactive it (e.g. making it more hydrophilic and eliminate from the body quicker than the original compound) or conversely make it more toxic. There is a reason why in many cases we still rely on animal data, rather than solely on cell lines to assess human toxicity.
  9. Thinking the same. I am wondering how a secret vote in the senate would look like, though.
  10. In various threads we have (albeit briefly) touched on the fact that resistant bacteria are starting to overwhelm our ability to treat them. Now the CDC has issued a new antibiotic resistance threat report, Basically every 4 hours a new resistant strain is detected and about 35k people die every year due to resistant strains. Countermeasures that have started since the last report came out (2013) were less effective than hoped. Among the biggest threats currently are resistant Acinetobacter, Candida auris, Clostridioides difficile (formerly Clostridium), carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. There are a lot of issues that have to solved outside the clinical environment, such as reducing or stopping the massive use of antibiotics in agriculture. There, antibiotics are routinely used to fatten animals which results in massive amounts of antibiotics released into the environment and enter the human food chain. Another aspects are procedures in health care (including elderly care) which are often not up to par to limit microbe spread. The challenge is that a single failure can lead to spread through the health care services. There are folks still hoping that we will find an alternative treatment that will be as useful as antibiotics (which we messed up badly) but so far not alternative golden bullet is really in sight (yes there are some developments which can be useful but for the most part they have potential and/or have not shown to be effective in vivo). As a result, it seems that we are indeed moving straight toward the projected post-antibiotic era. Personally (and of course biased by my own research), I think we need to accelerate our understanding of bacterial physiology in order to develop effective countermeasures from the bottom up, as in most cases we only have a very rough understanding how antimicrobial substances actually kill bacteria (which to some extent is also true for antifungals and fungi).
  11. All impeachments are based on the actions in office. Of course there is political spin but if folks cannot get public support, it will be difficult to proceed beyond the commitees. In fact, McCain and Boehner opposed impeachment proceedings against Obama as they consider it to be a risk to for the 2014 elections. Likewise, I suspect that Pelosi was opposed to starting the inquiry after the Muller report, as she feared it negatively affecting the elections. If revenge was the motive rather than conduct (in terms of political fuel for elections) why the delay? The senate composition has not changed since then. In other words, it is not necessarily only about judging on the facts, but considering what the voter base would do if they vote one way or another after hearing the evidence. Of course, in the age of social media public opinion has become more isolated from each other, which makes it easier to vote along partisan lines. However, there the fact that among independents the support for impeachment is increasing could affect future elections. Just to given an example, the support for impeachment of Obama was also split among partisan lines, though as a whole was quite lower than for Trump currently. Wait, so you do not have access to the secret server yet? You should complain to the IT department.
  12. Oh, OK. I assumed that what they moved to the servers was different from the summary they released.
  13. Maybe I just lost track, but wasn't a transcript moved to a secret server at some point?
  14. How about a livefeed? I could put it in a screen and watch while pretending to listen to students!
  15. Attempts of impeachment have been conducted for all modern-day US presidents,starting with Ronald Reagan (over the contra-affair), though they proceeded to different levels before they died. As such impeachment is nothing new per se (though polarization of politics could affect outcome), nor is it really tied to Clinton in any way. It does not make a lot of sense to refer to SCOTUS to allow these proceedings to happen, as the stages are political in nature and are as such resolved by congress and senate (and respective committees).
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