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CharonY

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Everything posted by CharonY

  1. No. It only demonstrates a lack of understanding of what oxidative phosphorylation refers to. One could explore this specifically by asking what the role of the respiratory chain in the presence of the suggested magic devices is.
  2. Why would there a need for a goal for existence in the first place?
  3. That would not work. Stroke is not a cellular condition, but a vascular disease (though often associated with neurological manifestations, which would make things even more complicate. So at the minimum you would need a vascular model or, more likely, an animal model. Also, stroke is not induced by a specific stressor, but basically is induced by damages/blockages in the vascular system and could be e.g. caused by thromboses or similar events. Also, agar plates are generally used for microbial studies and you cannot grow eukaryotic cells on them.
  4. It also depends on what is considered to be "safe". In toxicological studies a safe level is often defined as a concentration that is at the NOAEL (No Observed Adverse Effect Level), meaning that the experimentally there is no association with increased adverse effects due to exposure at the given level. However, increasingly studies suggest that there is likely no safe level for alcohol. I.e. any exposure is associated with an increase (if ever so slightly) with adverse effects. There is still a lot of discussion due to the complexity of the issue and the fact that we cannot really easily do long-term exposure studies in humans but recommendations are shifting, because of some of those findings.
  5. Yupp. It was eye opening when I heard a students saying that of of course they would conceal carry to bars as things can get dangerous when alcohol is involved. Also I feel that many Americans are not that great when it comes to irony (coming from a country where sarcasm is the norm).
  6. I did not take it as such, I should also add that in the past in Germany most men were familiar with guns due to obligatory military service. It is more about the realm (where do guns belong) rathe than familiarity around guns. I think others have expressed it better already, but what I tried to get at is the overall attitude that a gun is needed just in case. Americans I talked to seem to equate calling the police to deal with things like a sign of weakness but also impracticality (which I get in rural regions- the distances are vastly different compared to much of Europe). But there is also a disconnect in terms of how folks think how they need to deal with crime. In most countries folks seem to overestimate criminality but the US is more likely to think that a shootout would be a viable option to address it. I.e. it is not only guns themselves (though they play a big part) but also the way folks think about threat (individualized vs communal actions, for example) and many other things. Americans seem to view Europeans as too trusting regarding their government, but also their community (hence the children comment) and this comes over as fearful in societies were you have (or had) a higher level of trust.
  7. That is not it, actually. There guns in much of Europe, sometimes a lot of them. We have yearly marches from the shooting clubs, for example (yey guns and alcohol). But the difference is that it has a very specific niches: hunting and sports. Outside of expected events any gun would be seen as an extreme oddity and even in high-crime areas folks would not think much about arming themselves. I know folks who eventually got a gas pistol around the time in the 90s when neo-nazis were patrolling the neighborhood, but got rid of it pretty quickly. As a whole, even in rather sketchy areas at least locals have a higher sense of security and safety. And if things go downhill most would think about the need to call the police rather than thinking about arming themselves. American on the other hand think it is more rational to deal with things proactively just in case, as you mentioned and rationalize things very differently. I think back to my chainsaw comment, it is not that there are no trees, but elsewhere folks do not think frequently about the need to chop them down quickly.
  8. I get that, but again, for a non-American this thought process is bewildering. To many of us it is more like having a chainsaw around just in case. While going out to get sandwiches. This is not meant as an insult, but just an attempt to highlight how different these things appear to many of us.
  9. The fear part is also what stuck in my mind. When I lived there, I was astonished how frequently and casually folks (including academics) were certain that they need weapons do defend themselves. While certain (typically anti-immigrant) sentiments are quite common also in Europe in elsewhere, straight up violence would (in the past) generally only promoted in safe spaces and not expressed to random strangers. Another thing that was related to that is the fear of their children being harmed. Apparently not watching your kids every minute of the day was considered a offense and could get cops involved. Meanwhile, elsewhere kids where shooed out of the house during the day and you would have dinner with whoever managed to get back in time (well not exactly like that, but you get the idea). The assumption is that violence and murder is at every corner and you need to be prepared to answer with like any second. Police training also reflects that and in my mind this is very much the hallmark of a frightened society.
  10. You mean as the same PIT for everyone? That would be equal, but not equitable. A person with low income would have to use a higher percentage of their income on essentials (housing, food, etc.) so will end up with with less disposable income as part of their overall salary than a person with a higher income and the same tax rate. An equitable approach would tax folks with higher income more (but a would also need to close loopholes for them to get around those). One common issue is that many super rich actually do not have an income per se, but most of it is based on assets/wealth. So to pay for things they borrow against their wealth and while they spend a lot, they do not need to pay income tax (or barely any at all). Which is why wealth taxes are under discussion, but apparently difficult to implement.
  11. And also note that many of the other contaminants (including PFAS and other organohalogens) have shown to accumulate in wildlife up and including the arctic. Various endocrine disruptors are part of our "regular" food chain, personal care products etc. But again, identifying smoking gungs are tricky here. There are likely some long-term effects, but they will be mixed up with all other aspects (lifestyle, general health status, other environmental exposures, age, risk factors etc.) that it is very, very difficult to assess risk in a detailed level.
  12. Not really. We are still in the collecting data phase. There is the worry that bioaccumulation make chronic effects more likely, but so far there is no smoking gun publication (e.g. showing direct effects) nor is the body of evidence (IMO) strong enough to know about likely detrimental effects. Most evidence that I am aware of are basically showing potential associations or focus on components with somewhat better known detrimental effects (e.g. BPA). I.e. both rely on some level of extrapolation in terms of mechanisms or life-time exposure. That is not to say that there is no effect, but on the other hand there are many other exposures including "forever-chemicals" such as organohalogens, where potential toxicity is better understood. Also other exposures (e.g. air pollution) which are common but are known to be way more harmful. Microplastics in my mind is a bit of a "hip" topic, but compared to what we already routinely put into our bodies it is not really the most significant one (for now).
  13. Harboring bacteria is not the issue. It is more of an issue if they can multiply in there. And unless you are in the habit of never washing your cookware (i.e. having plenty of food residue and moisture around) it won't be an issue. Warm water and soap is usually sufficient.
  14. Well that is what I said, it is the act involving introspection rather then the method itself. I referred to that as a placebo as arguably other introspective exercise could have a similar or even more pronounced effects. This is the aim of many group activities (that do not involve personality tests), for example.
  15. To add to that, companies like to have shiny things that might increase productivity by even a tiny sliver. Management feels great about those initiatives as it becomes something that they can add into their reports. Often, they are precipitated by some genuine study finding some sort of positive effects, consulting agencies snatch it up and roll with it, leading to a boom of the shiny new method. Over time folks do some sort of meta-analysis or have larger data sets and quite frequently the purported advantage is diminished or evaporates. It basically follows the reproducibility crisis in psychological research. If you go back in lit, you'll find studies in the 90s showing mostly modest positive correlation between personality measures and job performance ratings ( e.g. Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1991). The Big Five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 44, 1–26.). But there are also numerous follow-ups when these effects were not observed. One of the disadvantages of personality testing is that there it seems to lead to hiring biases. The issue is (similar to issue in machine learning in other areas) is that as many human models, the personality scales were built based using data from predominantly white young folks. There is the running gag that we will soon be curing cancer but only mice and understand the human mind, but only from psychology undergrad students. Depending on study, there have been various degrees of differences between groups, depending on race and/or gender. Now, if personality tests become a proxy for race of gender we do run into all kind of issues, especially if we do not understand where those traits come from. And again, it is likely that the tests are set up to have a certain distribution/categorization based on a limited set of cultural and other backgrounds, making it potentially biased. This is to some extent true, but I do feel that this is a bit of a placebo effect. I am not sure whether it really matters how your personality is categorized, but it seems to me (again, from a layperson's perspective) that the introspection part is what is helpful. With regard to counseling that should not apply to personality tests. Mental states are not a personality trait and are not targeted by those questionnaires. Or conversely, if the tests would be affected by current mental states, they would not effectively test for what is assumed to be invariant traits.
  16. They are being used and quite a few assessment centre's use it as part of their package. In the past I have come across papers studying their impact, but I don't know if they are as influential or popular as, one or two decades ago.
  17. Just a few quick thoughts on the general matter and my apologies if they have already been discussed. A fundamental challenge in psychology is that the questionnaires are often used to categorize folks into something. These categories are often proxies for something else. The challenge is that while it is often easy to test whether a measure is robust (e.g. does a particular score change with age, do folks end up consistently in the same category). But it is often much more difficult to fully understand what the essence of these categories really are. IQ tests are such an example, where low scores do often indicate cognitive challenges. We also see overlap in e.g. IQ test score and income, and here the question is whether the score is a proxy for wealth (which creates an environment where it is easier to get high scores) or whether it is proxy for intelligence which then creates the wealth effect (newer studies are more dismissive about the latter interpretation). Same issues goes for personalities. After all, it is clear that personality categories are constructed (there are many different scales with varying number of personality traits). While the test can create robust outcomes and categorizations, it does not mean that the categories themselves are meaningful. Or perhaps they are meaningful in certain contexts but useless in others. And I think here is where much of the opinion goes apart. How meaningful is a categorization with a given set of personality traits? There is a lot of divergent papers on it out there but in cases where there is some empirical data (e.g. outcomes of hiring processes) the use of it does not seem to have a robust benefit.
  18. IIRC methanol is a byproduct of pectin degradation pathways. Pure sugar would be safer than plant material, for example.
  19. How about we get those political leaders nice uniforms and, give them a fancy title like, I dunno, commissar, perhaps? I am sure compliance issues will be way down to approved levels.
  20. 'tis the season to be lapsing, our domain fa-la-la-la
  21. Sorry to butt in, but the first part of your sentence is of great interest to me, specifically in relation to the quest for reality. I am not sure whether it warrants a new thread, but I came (mostly) to the conclusion that postmodernist views are crucial to integrity of science. Science needs to be provisional, i.e. ready to accept revisions when warranted. It works under the implicit assumption that a) there is an objective reality but also that b) our work only provides approximations of said reality. Not all approximations are equal, though some (I think erroneously) assume that a postmodernism would assume such a nihilistic view. Ultimately science is a construct, built from elements of reality and what the modernist view got wrong is that it confused the model we built with how reality really is. Postmodernism added the layer of scrutiny and nuance that we desperately needed in many areas of science that we were lacking before. The most notable example I can thinks of is the rigid characterization of human races, for example. A fluid representation of genetic boundaries makes much more sense, despite the fact that it broke the rules of species and sub-species definitions of the well-ordered "enlightened" world. In a simplified way I see it reflected in an individual's journey in scientific learning. You start of with simple rules and categories that you learn and internalize. But the more you specialize, the more you recognize the nuances and the wobbly bits of the simplified models. You keep using them, as long as they are useful, but may find yourself abandoning them to various degrees to be able to integrate your findings. You might end up with parallel models of the same system, depending on what aspects of your system you are looking at.
  22. The fact that soldiers suffer from trauma and can clearly break in encounters does seem to imply that this "strength" is not immanent or lasting feature. Also I am not sure why you think folks agree with your premise regarding torture. Things are difficult to compare in the first place, as length and intensity are important factors. Someone subjected to controlled water boarding once (out of context of fight to the death), is far less likely to suffer from PTSD than someone in constant threat of death.
  23. Hmm good point. I was thinking in term of epitope size but calling it not antigenic is probably too broad.
  24. That goes well into the realm of science fiction. Metal ions are too small to be antigenic (which is a good thing, else our immune system would wreak havoc). Simple peptides generally do not have good metal binding capacities (or high specificity), usually there are additional modifications metabolization steps needed (same for artificial metal-binding peptides). But generally speaking, in order to get rid of something via chelation, you want high water solubility and small molecular weight, so that it can be excreted via urine. Invoking microbiota seems like yet another magic wand argument, especially as we have little success even in modifying composition in a lasting way, much less modify them to specific purposes. But I think overall the argument is backward. First you would need to figure out a compound that actually has the specificity needed to sequester specific metals but leave essentials (which are generally present at much higher concentrations) alone, and then one could think about how to administer them. Genetic manipulation is a fairly high hurdle, especially when it comes to functional manipulation of mammals (much less the ethical issues with humans) so it would be the last, not the the first step. In fact, one could simply take a look what kind of chelators are provided to treat metal poisoning. Typical compounds use are EDTA, succimer, D-penicillamine and succimer. They are used for similar ranges of metals (most commonly lead, mercury and arsenic) and most tend to bind a rather broad range of metals with various affinity. All have side effects and are generally not commended for preventive use. So unless a new compound comes along without the noted issues, we do not to dream about bioengineering something that would provide this marvelous compound.
  25. The short answer to OP is that it is not feasible. Introducing several synthesis steps genetically into simple cells (e.g. bacteria and yeast) works to various degrees, but often causes issues. In more complex organism it is even more difficult. But even if feasible there are other issues. Many of our proteins that are effective at binding metals are not exclusively for detoxification, they are also part of homeostatic regulation and storage as we need those metals for regular function. With respect to toxic metals, this is something we obviously want to avoid. Moreover, chelators for metals are often not super specific. Many iron-binding chelators also bind manganese, for example. In fact, some metals exert their toxicity because they take the place of the actually intended metal, and thereby inhibit enzyme functions. So having a chelator circulating, can be rather harmful as essential metals are now also sequestered in an unintended way. This is why the use of chelators to treat e.g. lead poisoning can result in harmful effects in patients and cause deficiency of similar metals and ions. So overall, not feasible.
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