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CharonY

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Everything posted by CharonY

  1. CharonY

    Hair Loss

    I suspect you are talking about androgenetic alopecia. Fundamentally, the condition is related to sensitivity to androgens and especially DHT, and not exclusively to androgen levels itself (though higher levels can increase the effects in sensitive folks). For example, age-paired groups of folks with and without hair loss have no significant difference in androgen levels. Rather, there is something in the signaling cascades (for example number of receptors and there is some evidence of second involvement of certain second messenger pathways) that affects follicle growth. Also, there is a difference how hair on top of the head reacts to DHT and hair on the rest of the body (one aspect being is the number of androgen receptors, for example).
  2. Despite the lack of feasibility of cooling whole lakes, algae bloom are also driven by nutrient influx (e.g. agriculture). Cooling the system down would slow it down a bit, but it seems like trying to address the wrong issue with a lot of effort.
  3. It certainly created some challenges. Interestingly, in eukaryotes linearization is thought to be a essential for meiosis to happen. However, there are a couple of prokaryotes with linear chromosomes. While they have also have to deal with end of replication issues, (and some e.g. overcome it by transiently circularizing the linear chromosomes during replication) it is much less clear why they have them. Or at least I did not come across strong hypothesis what that advantage could be (as circularity is clearly maintained otherwise in prokaryotes).
  4. It is not working the way you think. The issue here is not exposure of DNA to external factors, they will have that all the time, anyway as active regions have to be unwound (most of the time far from the ends where the telomeres sit). Rather, they are involved in solving the end of replication issue (which is not the subject here) but also interacting with our own damage response system. The issue is really is focused on the end of chromosomes. If we have DNA damage, our response pathways either try to fix it or it can lead to further degradation pathways, which ultimately can result in cell arrest or death. To prevent that, telomeres together with a protein complex called shelterin. There are different functions involved, but ultimately they stop a number of different pathways that are involved in DNA repair pathways (specifically nonhomologous end joining and homology directed repair, in case you want to read up) as well as signaling pathways that are activated when DNA breaks are detected (ATR and ATM). So in short, the resulting structures are not so much about exogenous damage protection, but really about protecting our ends from our repair systems. Edit: I found an article on wiki that explains it a bit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelterin
  5. Not quite true. Telomeres are actually genetic material themselves and as such have no protective properties over other stretches of DNA. Essentially, they are repetitive sequences of DNA at the ends of chromosomes. They shorten during replication, though reactive oxygen species are also thought to play a role in telomere shortening.
  6. Generally speaking, animal welfare is related to the ability of an animal to suffer in some form. Depending on country, the laws will vary, but typically we assume that animals that are closer to us are more likely able to suffer. So generally, warm-blooded animals are most protected, and this also often extended to animals with a spinal cord (e.g. fish). Local regulations can be stricter than that and some also include e.g. certain cephalopods. Beyond that, most animal use is exempt from animal welfare considerations as folks assume that they have limited ability for suffering. This is why no one gets charged with animal cruelty if they squish flies or put out ant killers.
  7. Two tidbits on that. In Canada BA.5/BA.4 showed up during summer, and caused a lot of infections. After that, it was hypothesized that the expected Fall surge would be delayed until immunity wanes, so perhaps around winter. However there are new variants,BA.2.75.2 and BQ.1.1, circulating worldwide, which are both very immune evasive. So now the fear is that a wave may come in earlier, after all, as those sub-lineages would reduce or nullify the immunity provided by BA.5. No clear data on virulence (AFAIK) yet.
  8. Considering, the lengthy abolitionist campaign and the fact that there were several stages (first trade, then abiut 30 years later owning them), it seems only neat in hindsight and compared to the US. And again some historians are putting more weight to the Haitian revolution as one of the factors weighing against slavery. Also not really neat. JC's link has a good summary (though as non-historian hard to tell how much nuance is list).
  9. And again, it depends on what precisely what we are talking about. Based on OP I would interpret it as general laws pertaining mostly to the Atlantic chattel slave trade, which as practice has ended. But if it is about slavery in general, including e.g. legal forms in the US as per the 13th amendment then it would be a very broad discussion.
  10. Now this alludes to a rather different discussion. There are different forms of slavery, which involve different types of attitudes between slaves and slave owners. However, chattel slavery is infamous for the particular reason that the slaves were basically treated as tools and properties and sometimes disposable ones. Enslaving of prisoners of war falls under a somewhat different category (though someone enslaved under one condition could end up in the other category). For chattel slavery there is generally no path to freedom as compared to some other forms slavery, the children born to slaves are slaves themselves. Dehumanization seems rather apt here for this type of slavery, at least. Also, in modern times slavery became increasingly connected to race. But again, this would make a whole new discussion and I think it is important to distinguish different forms of slavery and their historic context. Otherwise one would be stuck with making very generalized statements that are just inaccurate, depending on which era you are talking about.
  11. There is quite a bit of scholarship around the various factors and the first thing to consider is that the motivation for each country to abolish slavery was somewhat different. The two most common arguments that you can find are related to morality as well as economics, as you pointed out. Economically, slave trade were connected to colonies, and obviously they becoming less profitable and in connection with the industrial revolution, slave labour was becoming less profitable and ethical concerns got more weight as a result. However, one often overlooked factor are also the actions of black abolitionists, and perhaps, most famously the Haitian Revolution, which in one fell swoop cut France off from its largest plantation colony. While it took a while (and the Haitians had to pay reparations for their freedom until recently https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2021/10/05/1042518732/-the-greatest-heist-in-history-how-haiti-was-forced-to-pay-reparations-for-freed ), some historians argue that this was a turning point in the abolition of slavery in the French (and British) empire. So, while there is no singular (or simple answer) to the question in OP, it should be noted that luck is probably not a good answer and also takes away the agency of folks who were opposed to it.
  12. I think motivated is the key point here.
  13. Now that we have gone through it for a while, what we have seen in practice is that online teaching is even less effective as in-Person. The latter kind of forces at least a minimum level of student engagement, whereas online it is just very difficult to achieve, even if you throw in all the gimmicks there are at them (polls, questions, exercises etc.). Folks just check out mentally much faster in front of a screen as opposed to have someone right in front of them (and scowling at them).
  14. I don't think that it necessarily at a specific effort of social engineering, though it could have that consequence. Primarily it seems to me like a performative act (something that some folks love to call virtue signaling) for their basis. Of course it does perpetuate a certain worldview (which is supposed to appeal and mobilize a specific segment of the voter base), but I am not sure whether that is really the main point. But then folks were taking QAnon seriously, so what do I know?
  15. Going back to OP, fundamentally it means that ultimately power comes from the population. That could have many different means, but ultimately it requires the ability of the population to remove folks from power, if they so choose. There are challenges, of course and one of the key elements of democracy is that it relies on an informed public. It is no coincidence that controlling the flow of information is one of the key elements of any modern dictatorship. We had long discussions in the past on this forum on the dangers of media monopolies, mostly in conjunction with the Murdoch empire, but also the Koch brothers etc. which were actively working to create certain narratives to control public opinion resulting in folks voting against their interest (including on issues such as climate change which has gotten so bad that it is now impossible to ignore, but also aspects such as health care, taxation and so on). This issue has now been supercharged with social media, which in theory should democratize flow of information, but instead resulted in a fracture on how folks perceive reality. While media conglomerates put a lot of efforts in "spin", it turns out that you do not actually need to that. Rather you just need a stupid algorithm to push falsehoods and magically it will become reality for a lot of folks. Under these circumstances I am not sure how democracy is supposed to function.
  16. OP was asking about arbitrary measures in order to categorize phages (i.e. ways to measure genetic distance), and was not referring to naming conventions as such. IOW it is not about how systematic we name phages, but rather how systematic (or not) are we able to distinguish them in the first place.
  17. From a recent opinion article (NYT):
  18. I think most interested folks will come across the term a fair bit, as newspapers and popular science magazines do mention whether papers are peer reviewed or not. This has also become more common during this pandemic. So I would think many folks would have at least a vague idea what it means. Folks might see as a high bar rather than the minimum requirement it really is, though. I think in recent times folks increasingly believe things to be true based on their beliefs rather than evidence (probably also depending on country).
  19. Well, Sweden Democrats are a bit different, though. They were formed in the late 80s and were the successor party of an actual neo-Nazi group. They have softened their stance since the mid 2000s and are mostly keeping Euro-skepticism and anti-immigrant sentiments. In my mind they are fairly similar to the German AfD whose program is mostly populist and anti-(visible) foreigners. While outwardly they try to present themselves as respectable, looking at their leadership and members paint a more problematic pictures where folks (often on social media) have anti-semitic/muslim/foreigners rants, have or had ties with Neo-Nazi groups and are uncomfortably close with Russia. The biggest failure of many European countries is a somewhat segregating worldview. Ethnicity is a anchoring concept and for example in Germany there is common distinction between being German (i.e. holding a German passport) and being biologically German (ethnic). This ingrained societal model makes it very difficult for others to find a niche that fits and integrates with the majority. As a result sub-communities are formed which are deemed foreign and then are used to point out the impossibility to integrate (visible) foreigners. Compare that to immigration nations such as Canada and US, where there is more tolerance toward visible and even superficial cultural differences. It makes for a more welcoming situation for integration. In a way the Nordic model kind of demands a full assimilation with no wrinkles (which is difficult even with extreme effort because at the end of the day some folks will keep looking different) whereas in immigration societies kink and wrinkles are accepted, especially as the result is often better food. That is of course only a very superficial view and regionally there are huge differences. But living in those countries as an immigrant is hugely different experience. For a few decades the displacement theory is the thing that get folks riled up. I.e. the fear of not being the majority in all spaces anymore. It was actually fairly mainstream (when I was in school even kids complained that they heard foreign languages in public spaces) but now has coalesced into a specific political force. That has gone on for as long i can remember and while I do see temporary advances, they often slide back to zero once a crisis hit (war in former Yugoslavia, Syrian war, to a lesser degree Ukraine etc.). Well, some do, but has little impact politically. Fear wins out as we can see in Sweden.
  20. You have different physical properties in your own body alone. Your left arm does not have the exact same composition as your right, for example.
  21. RE: IDE, what often happens is that reviewers request additional info which will extend the timeline, especially if there is any potential risk to the participants. Likewise the timeline for EUAs cannot be easily generalized, as it depends on too many factors. If the application is straightforward, documentation is great and the need is high, it will be on the lower end of the spectrum. Conversely, if the application is risky/novel and/or poorly documented then emergency use might be delayed significantly. Generally panels have to decide based on available data and past experiences (if applicable) and each case can be very different and has to be treated differently. It is not like a simple checklist.
  22. Apologies for taking this off-topic a bit, but nope. Territorial and group behaviour has been with us for a long time. However, the principles of race and racism is a somewhat modern development stemming from the enlightenment period where naturalists like Carl Linnaeus starting to organize nature into categories, such as species. These ideas where then eventually also applied to humans, which created the rough categories we still use to this day (typically white, black and Asian which really does not capture our genetic diversity, but that is a side point of an already off-topic post). Before, folks might have been discriminated based on looks or, perhaps more commonly, origin. However, the general assumption is that is less a system which we would associate with racism in the moderns sense but more a rejection of others, which is related, but not really the same. I will say that there is at least one work (I forgot the author, but can find it out) that argues that in antiquity we already found something akin to proto-racism which might even be the precursor of the modern form of racism. That book is slightly controversial, as it goes against the common mainstream historic thought of attitudes in that era (e.g. based on how Romans and Greek would describe other ethnicities). But assuming that everyone had always a sense of race throughout human history is just not really evidenced.
  23. Actually they do spread a fair bit (mostly mosquitos) and mosquitos are present in most parts of the world. The spread of disease depends a fair bit on the pathogens and human/animal reservoirs in which they reproduce. Since there is no human-to-human spread, travel does not factor in like it does e.g. with influenza or SARS-CoV-2. However, it is very wrong to assume that those diseases are only found in Africa as a lot of mosquito-borne diseases are present on several continents. Malaria which is caused by Plasmidium palcifarum is found in Africa, South America and throughout South Asia, for example. The Dengue virus has a similar distribution, but there are occasional outbreaks in the continental US (though often travel-related). West Nile virus is found in Africa, Europe, Middle East and North America and West Asia. While most limited to the more Southern parts, due to global Warming their territory is creeping Northward. Tropical climate does benefit mosquito life cycles and often provides abundant reservoirs for a given disease, but again, they
  24. They have characteristic mycolic acids which really makes them tough little buggers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycolic_acid
  25. I told you. First read the two papers for which I have provided references. This teaches you how to find known literature. Then, for the review, you go to the back and look at the references. These are papers that are described in the review. Take those references and search for them on pubmed. This is how you find additional literature. Then look at the older paper I referenced. Then go to pubmed (or google scholar if you prefer) and check out which newer papers have referenced that paper. This teaches you how to look for new papers which are based on previous work. Learning requires work and effort. It is not a passive process.
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