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:

How Science Explains Trump's Grip on White Males - Scientific American

“Individuals selectively credit and dismiss asserted dangers in a manner supportive of their preferred form of social organization,” wrote Slovic and collaborators in a 2007 research paper that rings no less true today. In other words, for certain individuals, supporting Trump is a psychologically palliative response to perceived risks.

College classrooms are still chilly for women, as men speak more, study finds: Gendered participation has a long way to go to reach equity -- ScienceDaily

Men speak 1.6 times more often than women in college classrooms, revealing how gender inequities regarding classroom participation still exist, according to a Dartmouth study. By comparison, women are more hesitant to speak and are more apt to use apologetic language. The findings are published in Gender & Society. When students didn't have to raise their hands to participate in class, men spoke three times more often than women. "You would think that it would be more equitable for students to not have to raise their hands to speak in class because then anyone could talk but our results showed otherwise. The higher level of participation relates to the idea of who may have felt like they were entitled to speak or had permission to do so," explains Janice McCabe, an associate professor of sociology at Dartmouth College. "Once you take away the structure of a professor calling on students, you see more of the cultural expectations that people may have, and the gender hierarchies present in the college classroom today."

Gates and Grove make predictions in 1996

GATES: I don't disagree that there are a couple of design points that might make sense. A TV/Internet browser [a set-top box comprising a cable TV decoder, a modem, and software for surfing the Internet] could be interesting. A portable, put-it-in-your-pocket device could be very interesting. GROVE: It would be possible to fashion lots of different appliances. I think appliance is a good term, because these will be single-purpose devices. One could be simply an Internet-browser terminal. Another could provide something like telephony over the Internet. There will probably be a large number of devices developed and experimented with, but eventually the market will settle down to a small number of useful functions. There's one other element. When you assess how good these devices are, they invariably will be compared with how PCs perform on the same networks. If the PC improves as it always has, it remains a moving target the new devices will never catch.

Gates and Grove make predictions in 1996

GATES: The key question for Andy and me is: As the world goes digital, and bandwidth is limited, will faster and faster microprocessors be valuable and will great software be valuable? There are actually people out there--this George Gilder guy and some others--who seem to think that as you get more bandwidth, somehow you don't need faster processors, or you need less software to help you find and manage things. That's just not the way it is. GROVE: Here's an example of what we think could happen. Digital satellite TV has blown onto the scene in the last couple of years. I'm painting speculative pictures, but I'll bet there are people figuring out right now how to put together a living-room computer, plus a satellite dish, plus a big hard-disk drive. The computer can watch your Internet usage and, in the middle of the night, use the satellite dish to download and freshen images from your top 200 Websites or whatever. It would stockpile copies of those Web pages on your hard disk.

Acquisition of object-robbing and object/food-bartering behaviours: a culturally maintained token economy in free-ranging long-tailed macaques | Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

The token exchange paradigm shows that monkeys and great apes are able to use objects as symbolic tools to request specific food rewards. Such studies provide insights into the cognitive underpinnings of economic behaviour in non-human primates. However, the ecological validity of these laboratory-based experimental situations tends to be limited. Our field research aims to address the need for a more ecologically valid primate model of trading systems in humans. Around the Uluwatu Temple in Bali, Indonesia, a large free-ranging population of long-tailed macaques spontaneously and routinely engage in token-mediated bartering interactions with humans. These interactions occur in two phases: after stealing inedible and more or less valuable objects from humans, the macaques appear to use them as tokens, by returning them to humans in exchange for food. Our field observational and experimental data showed (i) age differences in robbing/bartering success, indicative of experiential learning, and (ii) clear behavioural associations between value-based token possession and quantity or quality of food rewards rejected and accepted by subadult and adult monkeys, suggestive of robbing/bartering payoff maximization and economic decision-making. This population-specific, prevalent, cross-generational, learned and socially influenced practice may be the first example of a culturally maintained token economy in free-ranging animals.

The GOP Must Choose Between Conspiracy and Reality - The Atlantic

The way Americans are consuming and producing news—or what passes for it these days—is driving us mad. This has been said many times, but the problem has worsened in the past five years. On the supply side, media outlets have discovered that dialing up the rhetoric increases clicks, eyeballs, and revenue. On the demand side, readers and viewers like to see their opinions affirmed, rather than challenged. When everybody’s outraged, everybody wins—at least in the short term. This is not a problem only on the right or only on obscure blogs. The underlying economics that drive Fox News and upstarts such as One America News to cultivate and serve ideologically distinct audiences also drive MSNBC, CNN, and The New York Times. More and more fiercely, media outlets rally their audience behind the latest cause du jour, whether it’s battling supposed election fraud or abolishing local police departments.

Bitcoin Climbs as Analysts Say Getting Back to $40,000 Is Key - Bloomberg

“I dread to think what most risk officers would think about that being in a core investment portfolio,” the chief investment officer of core investments at Axa Investment Managers wrote in a note. “For assets to be considered in a long-term investment portfolio one should be able to attach some fundamental intrinsic value to them.”

The Plot Against George Soros

It began in 2008, when Orbán decided to seek reelection. His old friend Bibi — as Netanyahu is known — introduced him to the two people who would guide his success. Before long, Finkelstein and Birnbaum were applying their formula to Orbán’s election campaign — and then turbocharging it. Enemies were easy to find in Hungary. The country was an economic basket case and had to be bailed out in 2008. Austerity measures were demanded by their creditors at the World Bank, the EU, and the IMF. Finkelstein and Birnbaum told Orbán to target “the bureaucrats” and “foreign capital.” Orbán won the 2010 election with a two-thirds majority as the country shifted to the right. Birnbaum is still amazed today how easy it was: “We blew the Socialist party off the table even before the election.”

Artificial intelligence in longevity medicine | Nature Aging

In order for these tools to be adopted by clinicians and accepted by the medical community, they need to be integrated into the current framework of clinical practice, ranging from primary through to secondary prevention, treatment and monitoring. Such integration requires the convergence of modern AI and medicine through a symbiotic collaboration between clinicians, geroscientists and AI researchers. Physicians should be encouraged and have the chance to be involved in AI-based longevity research. At the same time, AI-powered longevity biotechnology and AI-based biomarker-driven science should be promoted and seek close clinical and metaclinical collaborations. Doctors first need to have the access to tailored, validated and credible education on AI-based biogerontology sciences, such as accredited courses, that would further allow longevity physicians to build their networks and ultimately create a separate medical discipline. A basic knowledge of AI-driven geroscience is essential to bring relevant scientific discoveries to trials, and study outcomes to the clinic.

Vaccinology in the post−COVID-19 era | PNAS

Reverse vaccinology, structural vaccinology, synthetic biology, and vaccine adjuvants, that so far had been used independently to develop vaccines, were combined in an unprecedented worldwide effort to design and develop COVID-19 vaccines.

Post-COVID lungs worse than the worst smokers' lungs, surgeon says - CBS News

She says patients who've had COVID-19 symptoms show a severe chest X-ray every time, and those who were asymptomatic show a severe chest X-ray 70% to 80% of the time.

Short term low carbohydrate diet linked to remission of type 2 diabetes: But further trials are needed to determine longer term effects, say researchers -- ScienceDaily

Patients with type 2 diabetes who follow a strict low carbohydrate diet for six months may experience greater rates of remission compared with other recommended diets without adverse effects, suggests a study published by The BMJ today. The researchers acknowledge that most benefits diminished at 12 months, but say doctors might consider short term strict low carbohydrate diets for managing type 2 diabetes, while actively monitoring and adjusting diabetes medication as needed.

Rural areas lag in degree attainment while urban areas feature big racial gaps

Fully 84 percent of the counties in the bottom 10 percent on degree attainment rates are mostly or completely rural, the group found. And just 16 percent of the counties in the top 10 percent are rural. Counties with low attainment rates are most heavily concentrated in the South, running from the borders of Oklahoma and Texas to the Atlantic Ocean. Proximity to a college campus is a major driver of the rural attainment gap. Rural counties are home to 14 percent of the nation's campuses, the analysis found, even though these areas cover 97 percent of land area in the U.S.

USDA ERS - Rural Education

While the overall educational attainment of people living in rural areas has increased markedly over time, the share of adults with at least a bachelor's degree is still higher in urban areas. In 1960, 60 percent of the rural population ages 25 and over had not completed high school; by 2018—58 years later—that dropped to 13 percent. Over the same period, the proportion of rural adults 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher increased from 5 percent to 20 percent; in urban areas, this proportion stood at 35 percent in 2018. The proportion of rural adults with a bachelor's degree or higher increased by 5 percentage points between 2000 and 2018, and the proportion without a high school degree or equivalent, such as a GED, declined by 11 percentage points.

The Place of College Grads in the Urban-Rural Divide - Bloomberg

While college grads make up 55 percent of the workforce in most leading urban counties (there is one urban county, Falls Church, Virginia, where the share of college grads is a staggering 80 percent), less than 10 percent of adults hold a college degree in the lowest-performing urban counties. By way of comparison, college grads make up a similar 55 percent in the leading rural counties and less than 5 percent or so in the lowest-performing rural counties.

What Japan's Wild Snow Monkeys Can Teach Us About Animal Culture | Science | Smithsonian Magazine

Imo had innovated a new behavior that spread to her peers. Age and sex both influenced its transmission: Younger monkeys and females were more likely to learn potato washing than adult monkeys and males. The next stage began when Imo and her peers matured and reproduced. Now the behavior spread to the next generation with every new baby, males as well as females, learning sweet-potato washing from its mother. Age and sex were no longer factors. “Pre-cultural pressure is working,” Kawai wrote. A new behavior had become fixed within the troop.

More than half of people using cannabis for pain experience multiple withdrawal symptoms: Minority experience worsening of symptoms over time, especially younger people -- ScienceDaily

In addition to a general craving to use cannabis, withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, restlessness, depressed mood, aggression, irritability, nausea, sweating, headache, stomach pain, strange dreams, increased anger and shakiness. Previous research has shown that the more symptoms and greater severity of symptoms a person has, the less likely they are to be able to reduce their use of cannabis, quit using it or stay away from it once they quit. They may mistakenly think that the symptoms happen because of their underlying medical conditions, and may even increase the amount or frequency of their cannabis use to try to counteract the effect -- leading to a cycle of increasing use and increasing withdrawal.

Protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 could last eight months or more: Why declining antibodies don't spell disaster for long-lasting immunity -- ScienceDaily

"It is possible that immune memory will be similarly long lasting similar following vaccination, but we will have to wait until the data come in to be able to tell for sure," says Weiskopf. "Several months ago, our studies showed that natural infection induced a strong response, and this study now shows that the responses lasts. The vaccine studies are at the initial stages, and so far have been associated with strong protection. We are hopeful that a similar pattern of responses lasting over time will also emerge for the vaccine-induced responses."

New study on circadian clock shows 'junk DNA' plays a key role in regulating rhythms -- ScienceDaily

With the help of Caitlyn Miller, a biochemistry undergraduate from USC Dornsife, researchers then verified the impact on circadian rhythms by inactivating certain miRNAs identified by the screen in their line of glowing cells. Knocking out the miRNAs had the opposite effect on the cells' circadian rhythm as adding them to the cells.

Increase in pleasurable effects of alcohol over time can predict alcohol use disorder: New research challenges existing dogma that higher tolerance for stimulating and rewarding effects of alcohol leads to addiction -- ScienceDaily

"These pleasurable alcohol effects grow in intensity over time, and do not dissipate, in people progressing in excessive drinking," said King. "This tells us that having a higher sensitivity to the rewarding effects of alcohol in the brain puts such individuals at higher risk for developing addiction. It all fits a picture of persistent pleasure-seeking that increases the likelihood of habitual excessive drinking over time. Alcoholics were thought to need to drink more to finally get their desired effect when they drink, but these well-controlled data do not support that contention. They get the desirable alcohol effect early in the drinking bout and that seems to fuel wanting more alcohol." While it may seem relatively intuitive that individuals who experience alcohol's pleasurable effects most intensely are at the greatest risk for developing drinking problems, King's findings run counter to current prominent addiction theories. "Our results support a theory called incentive-sensitization," said King. "In response to a standard intoxicating dose of alcohol in the laboratory, ratings of wanting more alcohol increased substantially over the decade among the individuals who developed more severe AUD. Additionally, the hedonic response -- essentially, how much a person liked the effects -- remained elevated over this interval and didn't go down at all. This has traditionally been the crux of the lore of addiction -- that addicts don't like the drug (alcohol) but can't stop using it."

New clues why gold standard treatment for bipolar disorder doesn't work for majority of patients -- ScienceDaily

"Only one-third of patients respond to lithium with disappearance of the symptoms," says Renata Santos, co-first author on the study and a Salk research collaborator. "We were interested in the molecular mechanisms behind lithium resistance, what was blocking lithium treatment in nonresponders. We found that LEF1 was deficient in neurons derived from nonresponders. We were excited to see that it was possible to increase LEF1 and its dependent genes, making it a new target for therapeutic intervention in BD."

Anticoagulants reduce the number of brain metastases in mice -- ScienceDaily

It was already known from observational studies that antithrombotic drugs that inhibit blood clotting can have a favorable effect on the prognosis of certain cancers. It is possible that these agents influence metastasis. Winkler and his colleagues have now investigated in mice whether this also applies to brain metastases and, if so, how blood clotting and metastasis are linked. This study was made possible by a special microscopic technique (in vivo multiphoton laser-scanning microscopy) that allows the researchers to look deep into brain tissue and track individual cancer cells.

Study of 50,000 people finds brown fat may protect against numerous chronic diseases -- ScienceDaily

In collaboration with Heiko Schoder and Andreas Wibmer at Memorial Sloan Kettering, the researchers reviewed 130,000 PET scans from more than 52,000 patients, and found the presence of brown fat in nearly 10 percent of individuals. (Cohen notes that this figure is likely an underestimate because the patients had been instructed to avoid cold exposure, exercise, and caffeine, all of which are thought to increase brown fat activity). Several common and chronic diseases were less prevalent among people with detectable brown fat. For example, only 4.6 percent had type 2 diabetes, compared with 9.5 percent of people who did not have detectable brown fat. Similarly, 18.9 percent had abnormal cholesterol, compared to 22.2 percent in those without brown fat.

France Accelerating Covid-19 Vaccinations, Parisien Reports - Bloomberg

France’s government is under pressure after a much slower debut of the vaccination campaign than most other European countries. As of Dec. 31, only 352 people had gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, versus 131,626 in Germany and 944,539 in the U.K., according to data cited by Le Parisien.

Obesity Rates Continue to Rise Among Americans | MedPage Today

According to data from the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the prevalence of obesity in American children, adolescents, and adults was higher than it has ever been in nearly 60 years. Among American adults ages 20 and older, 42.4% had obesity, reported Cheryl Fryar, MSPH, of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues in the latest Health E-Stats. Another 30.7% of adults were categorized as overweight, and 9.2% had severe obesity. When the results were stratified by age, adults 40 to 59 saw the highest rates of obesity, with 45% of this age group with a BMI of 30 or higher. Middle-age men had the highest prevalence of obesity, at a rate of 46%.

Endnotes on 2020: Crypto and Beyond

The community split was chaotic, and one can see this in how the channels of communication were split up in the divorce: /r/bitcoin stayed under the control of supporters of Bitcoin (BTC). /r/btc was controlled by supporters of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Bitcoin.org was controlled by supporters of Bitcoin (BTC). Bitcoin.com on the other hand was controlled by supporters of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Each side claimed themselves to be the true Bitcoin. The result looked remarkably similar to one of those civil wars that happens from time to time that results in a country splitting in half, the two halves calling themselves almost identical names that differ only in which subset of the words "democratic", "people's" and "republic" appears on each side. Neither side had the ability to destroy the other, and of course there was no higher authority to adjudicate the dispute.