henry copeland @hc

Creating https://t.co/yaIkIOcF20, an online toolkit the average person can use for personal (n-of-1) experiments. Way back when: Y84, bond trader, journalist.

Recent quotes:

Sport and memory go hand in hand -- ScienceDaily

To test the effect of sport on motor learning, scientists asked a group of 15 young and healthy men, who were not athletes, to take a memory test under three conditions of physical exercise: after 30 minutes of moderate cycling, after 15 minutes of intensive cycling (defined as 80% of their maximum heart rate), or after a period of rest. "The exercise was as follows: a screen showed four points placed next to each other. Each time one of the dots briefly changed into a star, the participant had to press the corresponding button as quickly as possible," explains Blanca Marin Bosch, researcher in the same laboratory. "It followed a predefined and repeated sequence in order to precisely evaluate how movements were learnt. This is very similar to what we do when, for example, we learn to type on a keyboard as quickly as possible. After an intensive sports session, the performance was much better."
This week, teams of 15 to 20 runners will take part in a 680-mile virtual relay from Atlanta, Georgia, to Washington, D.C. With 10,000 registered participants, the event raised over $260,000 for Black Voters Matter, an organization dedicated to increasing the power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities.  The COVID-19 pandemic added an unexpected hurdle to planning what was supposed to be an in-person event. Organizers had a few months to figure out how to transition the relay to the virtual world. They settled on using the online platform Racery: teams complete their miles anywhere and log them on the site or app. Racery traces the team’s progress on a map as they make their way—virtually—to Washington, D.C. Teams also pass pin-drops marking historical sites along the route, triggering emails with educational information.

The American University, the Politics of Professors and the Narrative of “Liberal Bias,” Charlie Tyson and Naomi Oreskes – Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective

This notion of conservatives as marginalized and therefore epistemically privileged borrows from feminist and Marxist standpoint theory while diluting it to mere perspectivalism. Marxist standpoint theory as developed by Georg Lukács held that workers, because of their social location, can correctly see whose interests are served by the capitalist system; feminist standpoint epistemology similarly claims that women’s social situations can help them see through sexist fantasies about women, or identify how patriarchy fails to meet everyone’s needs.[83] Conservative standpoint theory follows a different pattern. As the examples from Dunn and Shields suggest, conservative standpoint theory claims that conservatives, because of their situatedness, are able to see the truth about other groups: women, or black people, or homosexuals.

Exercise improves learning and memory in young adults -- ScienceDaily

The review, which is published in Translational Sports Medicine, included 13 relevant studies. The types of exercise that were studied involved walking, running, and bicycling in individuals between 18 to 35 years of age. Investigators found that aerobic exercise for 2 minutes to 1 hour at moderate to high intensity improved attention, concentration, and learning and memory functions for up to 2 hours. They noted that the results may have important education-related implications.

The American University, the Politics of Professors and the Narrative of “Liberal Bias,” Charlie Tyson and Naomi Oreskes – Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective

Professors, in other words, reflect the population from which they are drawn: highly educated people. People with PhDs tend to be more liberal than people without them. The general liberalizing effect of higher education, Gross suggests, is probably supplemented by a self-selection effect: because academia has a reputation for liberal politics, smart young liberals are more likely to consider a career in academia than are smart young conservatives.[40] Institutional factors matter as well, of course. In some quarters, conservative organizational efforts have been able to combat liberal self-selection effects, most notably in one influential area of graduate education: law school. Since the early 1980s, organizations such as the Federalist Society have succeeded in motivating young conservatives to attend law school by creating strong professional networks of conservative and libertarian legal professionals (“counter-networking,” to borrow Steven Teles’s term).[41] More recently, institutions attached to the conservative Christian legal movement, such as the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, have immersed law students from around the country in “the Christian foundations of the law”—and then helped to get them internships.[42]

Insomnia identified as a new risk factor for type 2 diabetes in new study which also confirms many other risk and protective factors -- ScienceDaily

The other 18 risk factors for T2D were depression, systolic blood pressure, starting smoking, lifetime smoking, coffee (caffeine) consumption, blood plasma levels of the amino acids isoleucine, valine and leucine, liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (a sign of liver function), childhood and adulthood body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, visceral (internal) fat mass, resting heart rate, and blood plasma levels of four fatty acids. The 15 exposures associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes were plasma alanine (an amino acid), high density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and total cholesterol, age at beginning puberty in women (menarche), testosterone levels, sex hormone binding globulin levels (adjusted for BMI), birthweight, adulthood height, lean body mass (for women), four plasma fatty acids, circulating vitamin D and years of education.

People who were children when their parents divorced have less 'love hormone' -- ScienceDaily

For the latest study, researchers recruited 128 individuals ages 18 to 62 at two institutions of higher learning in the Southeast United States. Of those, 27.3% indicated their parents were divorced. The average age for participants when their parents divorced was 9 years. Upon arriving at the study site, participants were asked to empty their bladders, then given a 16-ounce bottle of water to drink before filling out questionnaires about their parents and peers during childhood, as well as their current social functioning. The questions addressed their parents' style, including affection, protection, indifference, over-control and abuse; and their own levels of confidence, discomfort with closeness, need for approval and their styles of relationships and caregiving. After participants completed the questionnaires, urine samples were collected, and researchers analyzed oxytocin concentrations. The levels were substantially lower in individuals whose childhood experience included their parents' divorce.

The Corruption of Evidence Based Medicine — Killing for Profit | by Dr. Jason Fung | Medium

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful”

Smartphones can tell when you're drunk by analyzing your walk -- ScienceDaily

"In 5 years, I would like to imagine a world in which if people go out with friends and drink at risky levels," Suffoletto says, "they get an alert at the first sign of impairment and are sent strategies to help them stop drinking and protect them from high-risk events like driving, interpersonal violence and unprotected sexual encounters."

Social connection boosts fitness app appeal -- ScienceDaily

This study shows that the social components of physical activity apps are particularly beneficial in promoting engagement in physical activity due to their capacity to facilitate social support, and positively influence motivation and beliefs in one's ability to perform physical activity.

Michigan College Will Digitally Track Students' Movements At All Times - Washington Free Beacon

"The school wants my daughter to sign a form consenting to specimen collection and lab testing," he told the Washington Free Beacon on condition of anonymity. "I have a ton of concern with that…. Why is the state of Michigan's contact tracing not enough?" Though students are required to remain on campus, professors and administrators are not. When asked about this potential loophole in its "COVID-bubble," the school declined to comment. Rising senior Andrew Arszulowicz said that he is upset with both the mandatory use of the app and the manner in which students are being treated. "I feel like I am being treated like a five-year-old that cannot be trusted to follow rules," Arszulowicz told the Free Beacon. "If the school believes masks work … why are we not allowed to leave if they work? It does not make sense to me."

Oxygen therapy harms lung microbiome in mice: Study could have implications for treatment of reduced oxygen levels in critically ill patients -- ScienceDaily

"When we gave high concentrations of oxygen to healthy mice, their lung communities changed quickly, and just like we predicted," said Ashley. "The oxygen-intolerant bacteria went down, and the oxygen-tolerant bacteria went up." After three days of oxygen therapy, oxygen-tolerant Staphylococcus was by far the most commonly detected bacteria in mouse lungs. The team next designed experiments to answer a key "chicken or the egg" question: do these altered bacterial communities contribute to lung injury? Or are bacterial communities altered because the lung is injured? They first addressed this by comparing the relative timing of changes in lung bacteria as compared to the onset of lung injury. Using mice, they were able to demonstrate that while the lung microbiome was changed by high oxygen concentrations after only a day, lung injury wasn't detectable until after 3 days, proving that damage to the lung followed the disruption of the microbiome, and not the other way around. Furthermore, they showed that natural variation in lung bacteria was strongly correlated with variation in the severity of inflammation in oxygen-exposed mice.

Lack of females in drug dose trials leads to overmedicated women: Gender gap leaves women experiencing adverse drug reactions nearly twice as often as men, study shows -- ScienceDaily

Researchers analyzed data from several thousand medical journal articles and found clear evidence of a drug dose gender gap for 86 different medications approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), including antidepressants, cardiovascular and anti-seizure drugs and analgesics, among others. "When it comes to prescribing drugs, a one-size-fits-all approach, based on male-dominated clinical trials, is not working, and women are getting the short end of the stick," said study lead author Irving Zucker, a professor emeritus of psychology and of integrative biology at UC Berkeley. The findings, published in the journal Biology of Sex Differences, confirm the persistence of a drug dose gender gap stemming from a historic disregard of the fundamental biological differences between male and female bodies, Zucker said.

Does high blood sugar worsen COVID-19 outcomes? -- ScienceDaily

"Improving blood sugar control was important in reducing the amount of secondary infections and kidney issues this cohort of patients are susceptible to," Gianchandani says. "This might help shorten ICU stays and lessen the amount of patients that need a ventilator." It's important to note this algorithm wasn't developed as a result of a clinical trial, but is based solely on preliminary observations in the patients the team followed. A larger, randomized and controlled study is necessary to determine how this algorithm impacts mortality, time to recovery, the length of ICU stays and rate of severe complications.

Inside the mind of an animal

Neuroscientists are now discovering other groups of neurons with persistent activity in different brain areas. Using calcium imaging in mice, Andreas Lüthi at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, and Jan Gründemann at the University of Basel searched in the amygdala, which is central to the regulation of a range of emotions and behaviours. The team found two different populations of neurons that displayed sustained but opposing activation when the mice switched between two distinct behaviours6 — exploring the environment and performing defensive behaviours such as freezing.

Small supply, wider adoption

Mark it down and write it down. We’re trading roughly $9,600 per Bitcoin right now. I think we’ll take out $10,000 soon and end the year closer to $20,000, the old highs. Once these store values start building momentum, there’s not a lot of supply. We’ve had this thing called the halvening, where there’s half the supply being mined than there was even a week ago. But mostly, the story’s finally catching broader adoption. And it’s not just hedge funds that are going to be able to buy it. You’re going to see wealth managers start selling it to their clients through products. We have a Bitcoin fund that’s targeted to the 50- to 80-year-olds in America that make their investment decisions through TD Ameritrade or Charles Schwab or Goldman Sachs, our registered investment advisors. Bitcoin has been a young man’s game. It’s been Gen Z and the millennials, it’s been bought on Coinbase app or Square or Robinhood, those things aren’t going away. Quite frankly, there are going to be more of them. Facebook’s Collibra is going to allow you buy Bitcoin. And that’ll be 2,000, 3,000 people using that wallet. And so there are so many more avenues of access. I always tell people if it was easy to buy, the price would be far higher already. Bitcoin’s been hard to buy and a year from now, it’s going to be that much easier.

Coca-Cola’s work with academics was a “low point in history of public health” | The BMJ

An analysis of thousands of emails has shown the extent to which Coca-Cola sought to obscure its relationship with scientists, minimise perception of its role, and use researchers to promote industry friendly messaging. The findings represented a “low point in the history of public health,” said one of the authors. Academics the UK and Italy worked with US Right to Know, an investigative public health and consumer group, to obtain and analyse more than 18 000 pages of email correspondence between the Coca-Cola Company, West Virginia University, and the University of Colorado.1 Both universities were part of a “front group” funded by Coca-Cola called the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), a global network of scientists1 said to have been created by Coke to downplay links between obesity and sugary drinks.2

For Donald Winnicott, the psyche is not inside us but between us | Psyche Ideas

He wrote of culture – its artifacts and its activities – as extensions of the transitional phenomena of childhood, themselves rooted in the original mix-up with the parent. He thought that the very worlds we inhabit and take for granted are always partly of our own making. For Winnicott, it is only because the worlds we experience are coextensive with ourselves that they feel alive, alluring and psychically experienceable in the first instance, rather than like cold, mathematical structures, as scientific materialism would have us believe. In this way, Winnicott’s psychological paradox of subject and object becomes a philosophical paradox of idealism and materialism.

Bill Moyers and Heather Cox Richardson on Her Daily Letters – BillMoyers.com

They were absolutely not trying to do anything other than create a narrative to be edited. They were looking for sound bites to edit into their own story. And that, the realization, I still remember I was driving my car and listening to it. And all of a sudden, I thought, they’re not even trying to participate in this system. You can sort of assume that politicians will skew things in their direction. That’s fine. That’s the way the system works. But you could tell they didn’t care. They didn’t care what the truth was. They didn’t care about getting to what had happened. All they cared about was getting sound bites so that they could cut them into a video that they could convince people of something that wasn’t true. And I found that the most chilling moment of this entire episode of the last four years. The realization that elected representatives weren’t even trying to spin things. They were simply trying to write their own reality.

Bill Moyers and Heather Cox Richardson on Her Daily Letters – BillMoyers.com

HEATHER COX RICHARDSON: The newsletter was completely an accident, and I have my readers to thank for it. I had on Facebook a professional page that I posted on about once a week. And I hadn’t written on it in a while in the summer last year because I was actually busy moving. And I was all set to get in the car and drive from my home in Maine to teach in Boston. And I happened to be stung by a yellow-jacket, and I’m allergic to them. And I didn’t have my EpiPen nearby. So I didn’t dare get on the road until I knew how badly I would react. And I thought, “Well, I haven’t written in a while on my Facebook page.” And I know that on Friday, Friday the 13th, September 13th, Adam Schiff wrote a letter to the acting director of national intelligence at the time saying, “We know there’s a whistleblower complaint out there. And we know that you have it, and we know that you’re supposed to give it to us, and you’re not. And that means that we have to assume it’s a really big deal. Hand the stupid thing over.” And of course, I paraphrase, but that was the gist of it. And I recognized because I’m a political historian, that this was the first time that a member of Congress had found a specific law that they were accusing a specific member of the executive branch of violating. So I thought, you know, I oughta put that down, ’cause this is a really important moment. If you knew what you were looking for, it was a big moment. So I wrote it down, and then got myself back to Boston and got home and there were a ton of questions about what I’d written. And it was clear that the readers wanted to know more. They seemed to want to know the answers, so I wrote again, I think it was two nights later on the 17th. And I’ve written every night since because questions just poured in, and people flooded me with questions about what was going on, and who were the players, and how was this going to play out? And what were the laws, and why should I have any hope that this was gonna turn out in a good way? And this was just something that really was sort of reader-driven, not driven by me at all. And I think that’s probably why it’s had such staying power.

Protesting Indians on sports program = Yale Taliban

The desire embraced by many in the university community to whitewash history to preserve the sensibilities of the present is as destructive to understanding the past as are efforts by radical Islamists to erase their own heritage. The West lamented the Taliban’s destruction of 1700-year-old Buddhas in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. What successive Islamic dynasties had for centuries ignored fell to the dynamite of those who demanded no artifact of the past offend their current sensitivity. Alas, when it comes to so many universities today, the desire to hide, ban, and break symbols have transformed them less into centers of learning and more into safe-spaces for a new Taliban.

Unparalleled inventory of the human gut ecosystem -- ScienceDaily

"Last year, three independent teams, including ours, reconstructed thousands of gut microbiome genomes. The big questions were whether these teams had comparable results, and whether we could pool them into a comprehensive inventory," says Rob Finn, Team Leader at EMBL-EBI. The scientists have now compiled 200,000 genomes and 170 million protein sequences from more than 4 600 bacterial species in the human gut. Their new databases, the Unified Human Gastrointestinal Genome collection and the Unified Gastrointestinal Protein catalogue, reveal the tremendous diversity in our guts and pave the way for further microbiome research. "This immense catalogue is a landmark in microbiome research, and will be an invaluable resource for scientists to start studying and hopefully understanding the role of each bacterial species in the human gut ecosystem," explains Nicola Segata, Principal Investigator at the University of Trento. The project revealed that more than 70% of the detected bacterial species had never been cultured in the lab -- their activity in the body remains unknown. The largest group of bacteria that falls into that category is the Comantemales, an order of gut bacteria first described in 2019 in a study led by the Bork Group at EMBL Heidelberg. "It was a real surprise to see how widespread the Comantemales are. This highlights how little we know about the bacteria in our gut," explains Alexandre Almeida, EMBL-EBI/Sanger Postdoctoral Fellow in the Finn Team. "We hope our catalogue will help bioinformaticians and microbiologists bridge that knowledge gap in the coming years." A freely accessible data resource All the data collected in the Unified Human Gastrointestinal Genome collection and the Unified Human Gastrointestinal Protein catalogue are freely available in MGnify, an EMBL-EBI online resource that allows scientists to analyse their microbial genomic data and make comparisons with existing datasets.

World War II's Warsaw Ghetto Holds Lifesaving Lessons for COVID-19 - Scientific American

Residents’ medical organizations and citizen self-help networks within the Warsaw Ghetto taught health education courses, and the lectures sometimes attracted more than 900 people. An underground university taught medical students. Scientific research on starvation and epidemics was even carried out. The model Stone and his team used for the epidemic’s trajectory indicated that without steps to fight the disease, the number of people infected would have been two to three times greater.

Researchers develop a method for predicting unprecedented events -- ScienceDaily

Bray settled on three eclectic datasets: an eight-year study of plankton from the Baltic Sea with species levels measured twice weekly; net carbon measurements from a deciduous broadleaf forest at Harvard University, gathered every 30 minutes since 1991; and measurements of barnacles, algae and mussels on the coast of New Zealand, taken monthly for over 20 years. The researchers then analyzed these three datasets using theory about avalanches -- physical fluctuations that, like black swan events, exhibit short-term, sudden, extreme behavior. At its core, this theory attempts to explain the physics of systems like avalanches, earthquakes, fire embers, or even crumpling candy wrappers, which all respond to external forces with discrete events of various magnitudes or sizes -- a phenomenon scientists call "crackling noise." Built on the analysis, the researchers developed a method for predicting black swan events, one that is designed to be flexible across species and timespans, and able to work with data that are far less detailed and more complex than those used to develop it. "Existing methods rely on what we have seen to predict what might happen in the future, and that's why they tend to miss black swan events," said Wang. "But Sam's method is different in that it assumes we are only seeing part of the world. It extrapolates a little about what we're missing, and it turns out that helps tremendously in terms of prediction."

Covid-19 Vaccines With ‘Minor Side Effects’ Could Still Be Pretty Bad | WIRED

The press release for Monday’s publication of results from the Oxford vaccine trials described an increased frequency of “minor side effects” among participants. A look at the actual paper, though, reveals this to be a marketing spin that has since been parroted in media reports. (The phrases “minor side effects” or “only minor side effects” appeared in writeups from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, among other outlets.) Yes, mild reactions were far more common than worse ones. But moderate or severe harms—defined as being bad enough to interfere with daily life or needing medical care—were common too. Around one-third of people vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine without acetaminophen experienced moderate or severe chills, fatigue, headache, malaise, and/or feverishness. Close to 10 percent had a fever of at least 100.4 degrees, and just over one-fourth developed moderate or severe muscle aches. That’s a lot, in a young and healthy group of people—and the acetaminophen didn’t help much for most of those problems.

What Donald Trump Could Learn From Playing Poker - POLITICO

In 2004, the game of poker in full boom, Trump once again gave an interview about the game, when he graced the cover of the newly launched Bluff magazine. He still hadn’t found time to play, he admitted. But he did know where he would direct his invitations if he had to pick six historical figures to play with: Winston Churchill, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, Robert Moses, Leonardo da Vinci and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He reckoned he would be a favorite in the lineup. “Would I win?” came his musings. “Most likely.” An interesting assumption, given that at least one of his imaginary opponents, Churchill, was no poker slouch. But that’s the thing about bad players—they always think they’re going to win. Right until the moment they lose.