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Topics - VoxRat

1
Texas: 14-Year Old Virgin Falls Pregnant After Flu Shot
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A 14-year old schoolgirl has suffered serious complications after a flu shot allegedly left the young girl terribly ill and with severe cramps, until the family doctor finally realized weeks later she had been impregnated by the vaccine, reports the Forth Worth Telegram this week.

"She had all the typical symptoms of a pregnant woman. It's not the first time a young woman falls pregnant without the consent of her parents, but the girl seemed sincere when she said she had never had sexual relations with a boy, and she urged me to check her hymen, which I eventually did, and to my utter surprise, the hymen was fully intact. It is impossible she has been impregnated by male sperm" she assures. "In my 26 years of practice, I have never heard once of such a thing as someone being impregnated by a vaccine, but I did some research and found out it is more common than most people think".
And it's not just the flu vaccine!
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The United Nations estimates over 4,000 people each year fall pregnant to vaccine shots, but a 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) report concludes the benefits of mass vaccination campaigns worldwide are well worth the risk.

Hey! It's from World News Daily Report, which our resident PhD in Truth Detection regards as reliable. Not Fake News, like the mainstream media.

Snopes.com fact check, just for the record.
2
In biology, the dinosaurian origins of birds is pretty much settled science.
Apparently Dave Hawkins - unburdened by even basic high school textbook knowledge of the subject, let alone reading a single research article - knows better.  Here's his chance to set science straight.
( although with Darwinists, you never know because supposedly birds are a type of dinosaur )
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You're confusing "Darwinists" with "scientists".
The dinosaurian origins of birds is well established.
What evidence do you - someone who has not read a single paper on the subject - have to the contrary?
Let's discuss that elsewhere ...
:icare:
3
I've never actually watched it, mind you.
But I've never heard a good word about it from anyone who seems the least bit sophisticated.
And the idea of a TV comedy that sounds like the premise is exploitation of autism spectrum people pisses me off.

There is a Netflix comedy series called "Atypical", though, about an AS kid and his family that is sympathetic and gets a lot right.
4
Quote
An enormous prospective study of food intake in adults, reported here, challenges several staunchly held beliefs about dietary components and their association with health risks: finding, for example that diets rich in fats, including saturated fats, don't increase mortality risk, but high-carbohydrate diets do.
And the study, called PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology), also found that the benefits of fruits, vegetables, and legumes top out at just three to four total servings per day.

In sum, the results suggest that nutritional guidelines and conventional wisdom regarding these basic dietary elements may be seriously mistaken.
https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/esc/67566

The actual paper (paywalled, but you can read the abstract for free):
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)32252-3/fulltext?elsca1=tlpr
6
GOP rep asks NASA panel if there were ancient civilizations on Mars
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"You have indicated that Mars had, was totally different thousands of years ago. Is it possible that there was a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?" Rohrabacher asked.

Kenneth Farley, a project scientist on NASA's Mars Rover 2020 Project, said the congressman's premise behind the question was inaccurate because evidence showed that Mars was significantly different billions of years ago, not thousands.
Thousands... billions... whatever
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"There is no evidence that I'm aware of," Farley said.

"Would you rule that out?" Rohrabacher asked, referring to civilizations existing on the planet.

"I would say that is extremely unlikely," Farley responded.

Embarrassing enough if it were just any member of congress, but
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Mr. Rohrabacher is currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee and has also served as a member of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee since he first entered Congress in 1989, presiding 8 years as Chairman.
7
wtf, Europe?

Quote
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled Wednesday that courts may consider vaccines to be the cause of an illness, even in the absence of scientific evidence confirming a link.
8
Regular drinkers may find their mental abilities beginning to slip as they age.

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Overall, the study found, people who regularly drank showed more atrophy in a brain region called the hippocampus, versus those who'd consistently been occasional drinkers or abstainers.

Hippocampus size is linked to memory, explained lead researcher Dr Anya Topiwala. Atrophy in that brain region, she said, is one of the early changes seen in Alzheimer's disease.

This study makes me feel...  < can't think of the word >

I wonder if someone who's conversant in neuropsych research and brain imaging wants to give us her expert opinion on this article.

Link to the research paper
9
Science / Newest oldest Homo sapiens!
Scientists discover the oldest Homo sapiens fossils at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco

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An international research team led by Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany) and Abdelouahed Ben-Ncer of the National Institute for Archaeology and Heritage (INSAP, Rabat, Morocco) uncovered fossil bones of Homo sapiens along with stone tools and animal bones at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. The finds are dated to about 300 thousand years ago and represent the oldest securely dated fossil evidence of our own species. This date is 100 thousand years earlier than the previous oldest Homo sapiens fossils.
...
"We used to think that there was a cradle of mankind 200 thousand years ago in east Africa, but our new data reveal that Homo sapiens spread across the entire African continent around 300 thousand years ago. Long before the out-of-Africa dispersal of Homo sapiens, there was dispersal within Africa," says palaeoanthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin.

10
... if the vaccination is done by untrained individuals (including children!) who don't keep the vaccine sterile and they end up injecting a live bacterial culture into the vaccinees.

A Botched Vaccine Campaign For Measles Killed 15 Children in South Sudan

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In a tragic turn in South Sudan, an effort to protect 15 children ended up killing them.

The children, all under age 5, died of severe sepsis and toxicity due to a botched vaccination campaign, according to a joint statement issued Thursday by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

The vaccine had been left unrefrigerated. One syringe was reused over the course of four days.
11
Politics and Current Events / Comey
I was going to put this under Trumpocalypse, or Kompromat, but those have become so crowded with separate Trumpocalyptic subthreads, I thought L'affaire Comey deserves its own thread. So apologies if someone's started this discussion in one of the others.

Trump threatens Comey in Twitter outburst

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President Donald Trump issued a thinly veiled threat Friday to fired FBI Director James Comey, an extraordinary development in the ongoing feud between the President and the agencies investigating alleged ties between his campaign and Russia.

The tweet seemed to suggest there are possibly recorded conversations between Trump and Comey that could be leaked to counter the former FBI director if necessary: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press."

This is just...  extraordinary*. 

Now with the President of the United States insulting him and his work, what's he supposed to do?
Disappear?
Is he not expected, or allowed, to correct the record?

just... not enough wtf's



* (gave up searching for the word that captures the full enormity of this.)
12
Anti-vaccine activists spark a state's worst measles outbreak in decades
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The young mother started getting advice early on from friends in the close-knit Somali immigrant community here. Don't let your children get the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella -- it causes autism, they said.

Suaado Salah listened. And this spring, her 3-year-old boy and 18-month-old girl contracted measles in Minnesota's largest outbreak of the highly infectious and potentially deadly disease in nearly three decades. Her daughter, who had a rash, high fever and a cough, was hospitalized for four nights and needed intravenous fluids and oxygen. ...

Last month, with immunization rates having plummeted, the first cases of measles appeared. In just weeks, there was a full-blown outbreak, one of the starkest consequences of an intensifying anti-vaccine movement in the United States and around the world that has gained traction in part by targeting specific communities.
13
Science / Origins of Indonesian hobbits
https://phys.org/news/2017-04-indonesian-hobbits-revealed.html

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The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.
...
"The analyses show that on the family tree, Homo floresiensis was likely a sister species of Homo habilis. It means these two shared a common ancestor," Dr Argue said.
"It's possible that Homo floresiensis evolved in Africa and migrated, or the common ancestor moved from Africa then evolved into Homo floresiensis somewhere."
14
Now that Trump has weighed in, I think this deserves its own thread, outside of Dave Hawkins's Alternative Reality Shit Show.

Trump, Citing No Evidence, Suggests Susan Rice Committed Crime
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President Trump said on Wednesday that he thought that the former national security adviser Susan E. Rice may have committed a crime by seeking the identities of Trump associates who were swept up in the surveillance of foreign officials by American spy agencies and that other Obama administration officials may also have been involved. ...

Mr. Trump, who has a history of promising to produce evidence to back up his unverified claims, and failing to do so, did not make clear what crime he was accusing Ms. Rice of committing. It is legal and not unusual for a national security adviser to request the identities of Americans who are mentioned in intelligence reports.
15
I was vacillating between posting this in "Science" or "Politics", but then remembered we have this special place for exactly this kind of thing.

https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2017/0330/How-climate-skeptics-are-trying-to-influence-200-000-science-teachers

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The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank promoting public policy based on individual liberty, limited government, and free markets, has mailed 25,000 copies of its book "Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming" and an accompanying explanatory DVD to science teachers across the United States. It plans to continue the campaign until all 200,000 K-12 science teachers in the country have a copy.

< clip most of article, which you should read >

One teacher who won't be using the book is Lori Baker, a sixth-grade science teacher from Indiana, who described the contents of the package as follows: "I read quite a bit of the book, actually, and it was extremely frustrating. It's an attempt to sound science literate, but there's very little actual data," she told Frontline.

Specifically, she cited the first paragraph of the forward, which called Obama's description of the threat of climate change as "laughable" in comparison to the terrorist activities of the Islamic State militant group.

"That as a foreword to something claiming to be scientific is pretty shocking," said Ms. Baker.
16
introductory article for middle-school level inquiring minds.
 Or "fake news" - depending on which side of The Looking Glass you call home.
17
I guess "Alternative Science" is the right place for this.
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He made that case in an op-ed article published in 2000 and has made no public effort to update his position since.

"Time for a quick reality check," Pence wrote. "Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill. In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer."

I have a feeling there's going to be a high demand for :facepalm: s in the coming years.
18
Science / They're bringing the aurochs back!
The wild, extinct supercow returning to Europe
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For thousands of years the aurochs were the largest land mammals in Europe, until the rise of human civilization decimated their numbers, and the last of the species died in Poland in 1627 -- one of the first recorded cases of extinction.
Conservationists now believe the loss of the keystone herbivore was tragic for biodiversity in Europe, arguing that the aurochs' huge appetite for grazing provided a natural "gardening service" that maintained landscapes and created the conditions for other species to thrive.
The theory is now being put to the test, as a "near 100% substitute" of the beast is returned to the forests.
...
Rather than attempt the type of gene editing or high-tech de-extinction approaches being employed for species from woolly mammoths to passenger pigeons, Goderie chose a method known as back-breeding to create a substitute bovine he named "Tauros."
Auroch genes remain present in various breeds of cattle around the continent, and the team identified descendants in Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Balkans. Geneticists advised breeding certain species together to produce offspring closer to the qualities of an auroch, and then breed the offspring.

(quibble: the article uses "auroch" as singular; I believe "aurochs" is both singular and plural:
one moose, two moose; one aurochs, two aurochs )

19
Two separate studies identified a single mutation in the ebolavirus  surface protein that resulted in more infectious (for humans) virus.
Human Adaptation of Ebola Virus during the West African Outbreak
Ebola Virus Glycoprotein with Increased Infectivity Dominated the 2013-2016 Epidemic

Washington Post summary here

The good news is that, with the human to human infection chain now broken, that mutant has a tougher time surviving in the reservoir (bats), so the next outbreak can't just pick up where the last one left off and build even greater infectivity on it.
20
Science / Neandertals, Denisovans and ? ? ?
DNA data offer evidence of unknown extinct human relative
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People from Melanesia, a region in the South Pacific encompassing Papua New Guinea and surrounding islands, may carry genetic evidence of a previously unknown extinct hominid species, Ryan Bohlender reported October 20 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. That species is probably not Neandertal or Denisovan, but a different, related hominid group, said Bohlender, a statistical geneticist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "We're missing a population or we're misunderstanding something about the relationships," he said.
meeting presentation abstract
21
Science / Human life span not likely to increase
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Humans can only live so long and we're reaching the natural biological limit, researchers say in a report published in Nature.

The paper, published Wednesday, says that despite life expectancy being dramatically higher than it was 100 years ago, it's highly unlikely it will continue to rise any more than what it is right now. It also says the probability of anyone living for more than 125 years is incredibly unlikely.
the Nature paper

But... but... but...
What about Noah? and Methuselah? :confused:
22
Politics and Current Events / Bombs in NYC
New York explosion that injured 29 was 'intentional act,' mayor says

The recovered unexploded bomb is one of those home-made pressure cooker bombs similar to the Boston marathon devices.
Was it a wannabe ISIS hero, like in Orlando or San Bernardino?
Or perhaps someone who thinks whipping up fears benefits a certain orange-tinged demagogue who thrives on fear-mongering?
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The video, which shows angles from inside and outside Orangetheory Fitness in Chelsea
:hmm:

I'm afraid without Jerome we are forever doomed to :dunno: about these questions.  :(
25
Research article here (not sure if it's open access or - if so - for how long):
Innate Immunity and Asthma Risk in Amish and Hutterite Farm Children
CBS news article about it: Why Amish kids are less likely to get asthma.


Summary:
  • Both populations are very similar genetically, both are rural, farming populations.
  • It's a small sample (60 children) but 0% asthma among Amish, ~20% among Hutterite.
  • There are statistically significant differences between the two in profiles of innate immune cells and cytokines.
  • House dust extracts collected from the Amish vs. Hutterite homes could protect against or promote (respectively) asthma-like response in mice.
  • Amish live on small farms, Hutterite farming is more "industrial" style; contact with horses and cows is much more intimate in Amish environment.
Summary of summary: more support for hygiene hypothesis, at least with respect to asthma.