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CharonY

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Everything posted by CharonY

  1. Please check your image and the refs you posted. The bioactive molecule is mostly NO. If it was just nitrate, nitrate reducing bacteria would play no role and the issue with mouthwash would make no sense.
  2. It is actually not nitrate, as that would not require bacterial action. What I assume they refer to is reduction of nitrate by bacteria to nitrite and nitric oxide. The last one is associated with cardiovascular health. Without digging through lit I am not sure whether we can clearly state that the effect size is large enough to have broader scale health issues.
  3. Also, methanol is toxic and can be absorbed through skin.
  4. Coming from Germany, I think I have talked to profs maybe a total of 30 mins through undergrad. It is not that much because of class sizes, it was mostly because you were expected to work through things on your own. There were exercises with postdocs/grad students, but they were often hit and miss. However there were block courses in the 3rd and 4th year, which were basically focussed topics where you went to the lab (or field) for a month to run a project (one lecture a week, the rest was whole day doing things, ranging from collecting plants, to running gels). The number of instructors depended on the group size of the prof (I had courses where there was basically just one technical assistant for the whole bunch, to a half-dozen grad students plus assistants). And then the real, real learning started when you ran your own project for a year (for a MSc equivalent). Good times.
  5. The best undergrad training IMO are labs where you have to apply what you have learned. Unfortunately in most countries this is the first thing to cut, as they are expensive and many students don't like them, as they are harder to get good grades in.
  6. That warning has been out for a while and it is one of multiple high-risk influenza variants out there. H1N1 (swine flu) already caused a major pandemic, and the increasing propagation of H1N1 in cattle increases the likelihood of it jumping to humans. It also shows that you do not need wet markets for these events to happen. Funnily, our awareness seems to come and go in ever shorter cycles. Pandemic preparedness plans were made when SARS hit, and while a number of surveillance measures were put in place, response mechanisms were not implemented or where removed after a few years. Than H1N1 hit and the same cycle happened. There was a general sense that the next big pandemic would be influenza driven, yet in many cases the public health plans were underfunded or non-existent. Then of course then COVID-19 came and we keep unlearning lessons. There are some incremental improvements. But even so soon after the last (well, technically still ongoing) pandemic we seem to lose capacities already. Add to that the general displeasure of the pandemic with pandemic responses, we are going to be in for wild ride if something major happens.
  7. Heinz Sielmann and the Grzimeks were influential to me. Sielmann was a filmmaker and not an academic, but his expeditions and footage made me want to pursue biology as a career. The documentary from the Grzimeks is one of my earliest memories of the impact of humans on the natural world. Also challenged the prevalent idea of humans being something separate and above nature.
  8. As a general, not too in-depth overview most are fine, especially on non-controversial subjects. I am not sure why a company would have an interested in editing a post on Lincoln. They are more likely to something related to their business interests. While this might be generally the case, I found that references were often a wild mix of decent, wildly outdated or simply incorrectly cited sources (most frequently just a snippet that is not really a key point of the paper). I think that is expected as many folks editing are not necessarily experts on the subject matter, especially for more obscure topics (and the same could be said for traditional encyclopedias).
  9. Generally speaking what you seem to think about are food-borne diseases (such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, noroviruses etc.). Meat should always considered to be somewhat contaminated (and hence need cooking). But even plants can be contaminated (e.g. by manure). Processed food can be cooked, after which the pathogen load should decrease. Freezing food is generally not enough to reduce pathogen count. Boxes and containers are usually not an issue (unless you eat them). What you should do is heat your food.
  10. Fair enough. Though all I have on it is: I'll be in the lab by 5, my plan has landed, I'll be 30 min late. It also has no internet access or bluetooth. I suspect there might be ways to use the cellular network itself, but I have the suspicion it might not be worth the effort.
  11. It always depends on what you want to do. I still occasionally use my old Symbian cell phone (with keyboard). Obviously nothing works except calling and texting, but that is all I need to do, especially while traveling. Maps is the only feature I miss. I have an android but use it actually less (I just hate the idea of having it).
  12. I think this type of lazy thinking is far more prevalent than you give it credit for, and not necessarily linked to religion (even if it might condition one to do so). In many cases, it seems like a protective mechanism to: avoid complicated feelings or the work needed to work through them and to protect and validate deeply held beliefs. I will remind you of (ex)members on this forum who were able to work to complicated questions even vaguely in their area of expertise but went off the handle once it came to issues they deeply disagreed with. Consistency seems to be more the exception (and requires more work) than the norm. I think that prior to the age of oversharing we secretly held the assumption that the folks we surround ourselves with are at least vaguely in line with what we are thinking (hence the old wisdom of no politics or religion at the dinner table).
  13. That doesn't really answer my question. What does ownership mean in this context. Administering it like a colony or incorporating it into the country? In the latter case the "original" Swedes, for example would be a minority in the resulting country. The former is a bit problematic. Even with best intentions, a power differential and lack of self-governance will inevitably lead to issues. I mean, can you imagine Danes ruled by Swedes? The bloodshed (and alcohol poisoning) would be unfathomable.
  14. That is not always the case- it is more a rough tendency, which is not always correct. In quite a few parasites, the reproductive fate of a parasite is not coupled to their hosts, so they do not benefit from the host being alive longer (or conversely, there is no disadvantage for them to kill them- as long as they do not run out of hosts). In fact, in some cases the death of the host is a necessary part of their life cycle. Some fungi, for example, feed on their insect host until they are pretty much spent, then cause them seek a high point for maximum spore dispersal. Certain horsehair worms infect their hosts brain and cause them to drown, so that the worm can get into water and lay eggs. Some parasites have to change hosts during their lifecycle and either cost their first to die (or compel them to get eaten) so that they can get to their second one. Sometimes the opposite happens. Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malaria, is harmless to mosquitos, but an be quite deadly in their final host.
  15. More details needed. Do you mean to say that which political system you want to apply to the rest of the world (i.e. they basically become one nation) or whether each of the individual countries should rule like colonizers.
  16. As stated before: nope. Astonishingly, this short sentence manages to be wrong on multiple levels. Going backward, the retina is not composed of DNA, DNA is not ionized by (visible) light. At most there is photoexcitation by UV which can lead to DNA lesions, but not ionization. Taken together, it seems that you do not understand what ionization means, especially in the context of biomolecules. Also during photosynthesis there is no ionization by light, either. The electron flow is driven by conformation changes within the system that ultimately allow the extraction of electrons and protons from water. The light energy powers these changes but does not ionize the photosystem. I am not sure, are you just having a bit of fun of mushing words together that you don't quite understand?
  17. I think I would say potential rather than possibility. The latter could also include likelihood of exposure (probably).
  18. I wonder whether that is because the views are sufficiently superficial that things could be argued either way? The issue I feel is that generally speaking a consensus can only form if folks use the same basis, and arrive at least at a set of conclusions. One might disagree in the areas of uncertainties, but at least agree on the same set of facts. This, however, is no longer the case. Especially when we look at social media, including youtube. I think when wikipedia came up tech folks argued that social media and all the free information would disrupt science and our general understanding of the world. I think they were right, just not in the way they thought they would be.
  19. Wilson was more known for his work on sociobiology (which is not really much of a thing as a whole), plus some more problematic opinions outside. There is a bit of a rush of fairly recent work on cephalopod cognition. I think papers really started to ramp up only after 2000 and some of the authors that pop up are Jennifer Mather, Anil Seth and more recently Alexandra Schnell.
  20. There is also a lot of individual variation. Some of my dogs seeing a mirror the first time were at least curious, others basically immediately dismissed, one of the dumber ones barked a few times before realizing that no one else was reacting and so on. One of the issues that are often not documented (because they don't make a good hypothesis-driven paper) is that animals fail tasks because they are simply not interested.
  21. In my own biased opinion, I always assumed that we underestimate animal intelligence. In part, because we cannot help but view it through our own experiences and hence, assume that anything closer to us (in appearance and behaviour) must also be more intelligent. A change is coming in that regard, though: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7555673/ When I did my undergrad, I was highly skeptical of some of the tests (such as the mirror test) as it presumes something about the animal (e.g. that the visual cue has any relevance to them). Moreover, typically only few animals are used in behavioural studies. If we were to study human behaviour, we would not (or at least should not) overinterpret the outcome. Yet, in animal studies folks often assume that there is less individual difference. I think most pet owners know that there is a lot of individual differences and only fairly recently studies have started to push to a change in the perspective of animal behaviour analysis.
  22. No worries, I don't disagree. But expertise (at least in science) tends to coalesce around some kind of firm consensus, surrounded by wobblier, but still fairly bits and then areas where experts should state that things are speculative. I do know (especially with recent experience) that this is not always the case and some folks really are loud outside their field. So in that regard I understand that folks can be uncertain regarding who they should believe. However, that there is more recent trend to ignore consensus and expertise altogether and treat even the most ridiculous things as equivalent to even minimal levels of expertise. We went from opinions with insufficient data/understanding straight to 5G aliens did it. And that part worries me, as it essentially renders facts entirely non-relevant.
  23. Worse than that. Somehow managed to delete the negation, too. Fixed now.
  24. This great man phenomenon is unfortunately ubiquitous and is probably amplified with the celebrity thingy. Folks for some reason feel that they know a person if they seem the often enough and trust what is being said. Interestingly the exact opposite but also somehow convergent effect is happening within online communities. Despite not being seen, the mere repetition of factoids, can make them true and trusted facts. Both are part of the demise of expertise.
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