Science and medicine
Articles on science, pharmacology, astrophysics and philosophy of science

What is transverse myelitis?
The mysterious inflammatory paralysis that struck AstraZeneca's volunteers is still poorly understood

Lecture: How COVID-19 tests work
There's much confusion about COVID-19 testing. Here is some basic information on how the SARS-CoV-2 tests work, their benefits and their limitations.

Latest trends in Alzheimer's research (Nov 01 2020)
Stronger evidence for sex differences, more evidence for inflammation, and a call for a new disease definition

What are your odds of getting Alzheimer's disease?
Latest research shows that the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease is 75% genetic

The four classes of science
We are awash in unfalsifiable computer predictions. If a prediction can never be proven wrong, is it still science?

Here's what we know so far about clinical trials on COVID-19
Chloroquine results questioned; new system for starting trials rapidly is needed (Updated)

Do these new treatments for Wuhan coronavirus really work?
Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, not quinine water, not hydrochloric acid, please

Smoking, ACE2, Camostat, and the Wuhan Coronavirus
Some surprising facts that determine your risk for COVID-19 infection

Statins: the wonder drugs that led medicine into a cul de sac
After 40 years of statins, researchers are now considering that atherosclerosis may not be caused by high cholesterol after all.

Schizophrenia as a complication of virus infection
How respiratory viruses can trigger the immune system and cause psychosis

Extraterrestrial gelatin-like protein discovered
Scientists claim to discover Jell-O molecules from interstellar space in a meteorite

What does the Y chromosome do?
Is it really possible for a person to change sex? Do other animals have Y chromosomes? Some facts about our most beloved chromosome

Editors of scientific journals must reject gender politics
Journal editors must maintain a balance of perspective on controversial topics

Does loneliness cause Alzheimer's disease?
Elderly people who are isolated and lonely have a higher incidence of Alzheimer's

Blue light and your retina
Blue blocking sunglasses are popular again thanks to new discoveries about the retina. But do they work?

Why do humans cry?
Crying is one of our most fundamental behavioral responses, yet we barely understand it.

Postdoc Forever
An article in Nature shows how misunderstanding the process can lead you to waste a quarter of a century being a postdoc

The biochemical basis of emotions
Are human emotions a type of inflammation? Chocolate chip cookies may provide the answer

Sex differences in the liver
People are becoming afraid to express even the most anodyne ideas.

We need to encourage more deep science
The reward system is damaging the reputation of science. It must be overhauled.

Bees do not really understand zero
Scientists in Australia have claimed that honey bees understand the concept of zero.

Why we forget words
Forgetting in the brain is not like erasing files on a computer. It's an active process.

Have printed scientific journals outlived their usefulness?
Prestigious journals bias research toward fashionable dead-end topics

How to read complicated mathematical equations
Simple tricks that anyone can use to read math almost effortlessly. Okay, with slightly less difficulty

Mutant amyloid precursor proteins found in late-onset Alzheimer's disease
What did they find, and what does it actually mean?

'Mental illness' is no longer a useful term
Treating PTSD and other disorders will require understanding synaptic plasticity.

Better advice for a young scientist
Thirteen rules based on years of observation of how a science career can go horribly wrong.

The two faces of depression
Depression is telling us there is some major thing in our lives that we must change.

Birds Discover Fire
A new article reports that birds deliberately set fires to trap prey

Neanderthals, animals, and humans
What do different species think of humans? How do they see the world differently?

Problems with linear regression
First, a tedious statistical question. We'll fix the end of the world later

Why is the speed of light not infinity?
Wonky Minkowski diagrams, Rindler frames, and quantum foam, oh myyyy . .

Economists: the world is running out of ideas
Good ones, anyway; bad ideas more abundant than ever

Is there any way to neutralize radioactive material?
Yes there is, and Windows Vista is involved.

The Earth is Round (p<0.05)
After 23 years, the paper with that title still raises uncomfortable questions

Timeline of the 2017 Solar Eclipse
Nobody warned me about the mosquitoes

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse
Or, how to take pictures of the Sun without burning up your camera sensor, blinding yourself, and setting your dog on fire.

Can ultrasound damage your hearing?
It's been claimed that American diplomats in Cuba are being harassed by a sonic weapon. Is such a thing possible?

The theory that just won't die
Beta-amyloid has been studied for 30 years, and we are no closer to a cure.

How close are they to real AI?
We read the textbook on ‘deep learning’ so you don't have to.

Does lack of sleep cause Alzheimer's disease?
There's a strong correlation, but the evidence is still circumstantial.

Global warming and CFCs
A remarkable paper has provided strong evidence that global warming was not caused by carbon dioxide, but by chlorofluorocarbons.

Reality, multiverses, and artificial intelligence
Pretending something doesn't exist doesn't make it go away. Or does it?

Not your grandfather's theory of evolution, Part 1
Darwin's theory of natural selection has mutated almost beyond recognition.

Weird science news: Can chickens really do arithmetic?
Maybe, but they can't do calculus. Reason: they are chicken.

Antimatter in thunderclouds
Lightning produces gamma rays and antimatter. Some researchers may have even detected neutrons.

Submarines, whales, drones, and ocean pressure
Manned submarines can only dive to two or three times their own length.

Do flickering lights cure Alzheimer's disease?
Here's a summary of what Iaccarino et al. really found in that craaaa-zy Nature paper.

Forging the universe
Why is there something instead of nothing? Science, religion, and philosophy have different ideas.

Aliens from outer space are sending me messages
A recent paper sees possible evidence for extraterrestrials in 234 stellar spectra. Is it real or an artifact?

Does the theory of relativity prove that the world is a simulation?
On unfalsifiable tautologies in popular science.

Is solanezumab curtains for the beta-amyloid theory?
Not a chance. Here's what you need to know about Eli Lilly's anti-Alzheimer antibody.

Swearing as a human distress call
Ever wondered why it's so hard to stop yourself from cursing? It's a preprogrammed response. But what is its real purpose?

Subcortical vascular dementia
Vascular dementia is the loss of mental faculties caused by a problem in the blood vessels in the brain.

How cerebrovascular disease has affected American history
Two US presidents had devastating strokes while in office. The strokes changed the course of history. Also, background information on Hillary's CVST.

The ozone layer cured global warming
The global warming 'pause' began only a few years after the Montreal Protocol went into effect. Coincidence?

Cold facts on global warming
Even though global warming has become mostly an academic concern now that the climate has moved into a cooling phase, it's still important to understand what is and is not factual about the climate.

Tinnitus: Causes and Treatment
Recent research suggests that tinnitus is easier to cure when treatment is given early. In this article, I will discuss what is known about tinnitus and what tinnitus sufferers can do about their affliction.

The future of medicine
In the future things will be ... uh, better ... mostly

Nietzsche and the girl from treponema
Recent evidence proves that Nietzsche's dementia was not caused by syphilis.

Let me tell you about my trouble with girls in the lab
Male and female brains are wired differently for pain.

Science under siege, part 6
The climate studies scandal has seriously impacted the public perception of science. Here's how we can put science back on track

Science under siege, part 5
A reproducibility crisis, you say? Talk to the hand.

Science Under Siege, Part III
Understanding what causes bad science is critical to reforming it.

Science Under Siege, Part II
People say there are no jokes in scientific papers. But I found one.

Science under siege, Part I
Bogus claims about the reproducibility of scientific research will not die on their own. We must give them a push.

Why are there still hippies?
Risk-taking behavior violates the principles of Darwinian selection. So why haven't hippies all died out?

Celebrating our petrochemical culture
Our chemical industry may not be glamorous, but to the engineering mind its purpose makes it beautiful.

Little-known facts about the Moon
The Moon really does have a dark side. And an atmosphere ... sort of.

Traumatic brain injury and paroxysmal coughing
Traumatic brain injury and paroxysmal coughing don't add up to a single malady. Or do they?

Breakthrough in Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease may be caused by an immune reaction in the brain gone haywire.

Jurassic Park for Humans
Manipulating the human genome is the ultimate grab for power. It would be the biggest gamble mankind has ever taken.

Without cause and effect, nothing would ever happen. But what actually is it?

Will intelligent robots really kill us all?
The idea that artificial intelligence is dangerous betrays a lack of confidence in the strength of our own values.

Rethinking ozone: the short version
Nearly 30 years after CFCs were banned, something doesn't add up. Nontechnical version of my ozone article for readers who aren't interested in the chemistry.

The Hydrogenated Bomb: Science and the Cholesterol Scandal
Saturated fat and cholesterol are now good for you again. There will be a quiz.

What can science learn from Paul Tillich?
Profound ideas from a maverick theologian.

What is Depression?
The question whether major clinical depression is a physical disease or a psychological ailment is meaningless.

Fraud in Science
Where there's misconduct in science, there's invariably a deep reservoir of social and managerial pathology that creates it.

Is Science Dying?
Science is drowning in a rising tide of malaise, but many of the proposed solutions will only make things worse.

Molecular biology, Raelians, and the mysterious doctrine of transubstantiation
A flying saucer cult confirms Thomas Aquinas using modern molecular biology techniques.

Antisocial personality disorder
What are the differences between psychopaths, sociopaths, and psychotics?

What is the value of computer modeling?
If mathematical models are done badly, they will discredit an entire branch of science. It's happened before.

How to identify bad science
Here are some tips on how to identify a scientific snowjob.

Indeterminacy in Science
Is the universe indeterminate at the smallest level? If so, what about free will?

Does Anesthesia Cause Dementia?

Science, Religion and Other Crazy Ideas
What do scientists really think about religion?

Is the universe mathematical?
We use mathematics to deconstruct the universe. Could it also build one?

Freud called dreams the royal road to the unconscious. But the road still has many potholes.

Is Alzheimer's disease caused by a fungus?
A possible new direction in view of the failures of antiamyloid therapy.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Politicians can be narcissistic, and so can the organizations they manage.

Is Schizophrenia a Real Disease?
The idea that schizophrenia is a medical conditions is on shaky ground.

What Causes Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's disease is a devastating and mysterious illness that strikes people with increasing frequency as they age. In this article, I will discuss the current theories and epidemiological results that might explain the molecular basis of sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

How to Drive on Snow
Tips on driving on snow-covered roads and driving up hills in winter without getting killed.

Bad Pharma: Fact or Myth?
The pharmaceutical industry is dying. When it's gone, some of the blame for its loss will be laid at the feet of the authors of all those pharma-bashing books.

What Does Science Say About Life After Death?
The Buddhists had a lot to say about the afterlife, but science is starting to catch up.

What's so great about Euler's formula?
What does Euler's formula tell us about the real world? How can we understand it?

Does the concept of free will have any meaning?
Free will actually means two unrelated things.

Why do so many drugs fail?
Nine of every ten new drugs fail in clinical phase II or III testing. Why is this?

Should you pursue a career in science? Some advice from a professional scientist
Being a research scientist can be a highly rewarding career. What you discover could change how people make their toast in the morning, or it could change how civilization evolves--maybe even prevent the next Dark Ages.

Noise-induced hearing loss
Loud noises can produce both temporary and permanent hearing loss. This article describes what types of sound constitute a hazard and what you can do to mitigate the hearing damage if you are accidentally exposed to a loud noise.

Introduction to population dynamics
Population growth can be calculated by a number of mathematical models. The two simplest models are the Malthusian, or exponential model, and the Verhulst, or logistic model.

Cholesterol and alzheimer's disease
Almost all of the major risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, with the exception of head trauma, involve cholesterol in one way or another.

Mercury cleanup procedures
Mercury is extremely toxic. When spilled, vapor accumulates and is absorbed by inhalation, causing long-term neurological and kidney damage.

Hazards of liquid nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen is not just a frostbite hazard--sample vials stored in the liquid phase of liquid nitrogen can cause serious injury if improperly sealed.

Photographing Fluorescently-Stained 2D Gels
This article discusses some of the common fluorescent dyes and describes how to build a light source for photographing fluorescent 2D gels using a CCD camera.

Intelligent Design: Is it a theory?
What is this all about? Is intelligent design really an alternative to Darwinian evolution? Is it a valid scientific theory? As scientists we must remain open to all new ideas, no matter how bizarre. Many scientists have strong religious beliefs. At the same time, if intelligent design is not a valid scientific theory we should be honest and say so.

articles received from colleagues

Interactions between Space-time, Gravity and Consciousness by Amrit Srecko Sorli, Slovenia. html format

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