Author Topic: Podcast Topic suggestions  (Read 40648 times)

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Offline Ambious

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #525 on: September 21, 2014, 05:49:34 AM »
While that would be nice, I think "Skeptic Solidarity" is an oxymoron by definition.
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Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #526 on: September 21, 2014, 05:57:56 AM »
While that would be nice, I think "Skeptic Solidarity" is an oxymoron by definition.

I disagree!

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Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #527 on: September 22, 2014, 12:16:40 PM »
While that would be nice, I think "Skeptic Solidarity" is an oxymoron by definition.


I disagree!

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Online pusher robot

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #528 on: September 24, 2014, 12:49:27 AM »
I already posted this in Health but it seems like it would be in Dr. Novella's wheelhouse:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/opinion/sunday/should-we-all-take-a-bit-of-lithium.html

I was intrigued but it raised a few red flags in my mind, making pretty grandiose claims about the benefits of Lithium and complaining about scientific prejudice and Big Pharma conspiracy (though those claims were stated relatively weakly.)  Is there any solid science behind the suggestion that low-level doses of Lithium have a positive effect on mood or brain function?
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Offline metal-dog

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #529 on: October 08, 2014, 04:52:39 AM »
I suppose it's a low-hanging fruit but somebody needs to pick it:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/life-after-death-largestever-study-provides-evidence-that-out-of-body-and-neardeath-experiences-may-actually-be-real-9780195.html

(Life after death is possible because anecdotes!)

Offline marcparis

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #530 on: October 08, 2014, 08:03:06 AM »
I suppose it's a low-hanging fruit but somebody needs to pick it:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/life-after-death-largestever-study-provides-evidence-that-out-of-body-and-neardeath-experiences-may-actually-be-real-9780195.html

(Life after death is possible because anecdotes!)


Was just about to post this suggestion. But it's "life after cardiac arrest is possible because memories that may come from any time whatsover".

Dreadful. Of course the press gobbles this up, but the "scientists" are really feeding it to them with a spoon.

Quote
Dr David Wilde, a research psychologist and Nottingham Trent University, is currently compiling data on out-of-body experiences in an attempt to discover a pattern which links each episode.
He hopes the latest research will encourage new studies into the controversial topic.
“Most studies look retrospectively, 10 or 20 years ago, but the researchers went out looking for examples and used a really large sample size, so this gives the work a lot of validity.
“There is some very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died.


Ugh. Billions of garbage data don't make the garbage more valid. People's claims of something they remember (how, if their brain can't be functioning?) at a traumatic time, with no reference to when the memories were created.

And this from the lead researcher:

Quote
Dr Parnia believes many more people may have experiences when they are close to death but drugs or sedatives used in the process of rescuitation may stop them remembering.
“Estimates have suggested that millions of people have had vivid experiences in relation to death but the scientific evidence has been ambiguous at best.
“Many people have assumed that these were hallucinations or illusions but they do seem to corresponded to actual events.
“And a higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits.


So... drugs or sedatives (which aren't drugs?) can interfere with memory. And that has nothing to do with what these people claim to remember. Right. And brain injury can have an effect on memory circuits (is that even a valid analogy in today's understanding of the brain?), but that in no way compromises the integrity of this "data".

Please discuss!

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #531 on: October 12, 2014, 02:32:12 AM »
Bacterial ClpB heat-shock protein, an antigen-mimetic of the anorexigenic peptide α-MSH, at the origin of eating disorders

Abstract below:
Quote
The molecular mechanisms at the origin of eating disorders (EDs), including anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia and binge-eating disorder (BED), are currently unknown. Previous data indicated that immunoglobulins (Igs) or autoantibodies (auto-Abs) reactive with α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) are involved in regulation of feeding and emotion; however, the origin of such auto-Abs is unknown. Here, using proteomics, we identified ClpB heat-shock disaggregation chaperone protein of commensal gut bacteria Escherichia coli as a conformational antigen mimetic of α-MSH. We show that ClpB-immunized mice produce anti-ClpB IgG crossreactive with α-MSH, influencing food intake, body weight, anxiety and melanocortin receptor 4 signaling. Furthermore, chronic intragastric delivery of E. coli in mice decreased food intake and stimulated formation of ClpB- and α-MSH-reactive antibodies, while ClpB-deficient E. coli did not affect food intake or antibody levels. Finally, we show that plasma levels of anti-ClpB IgG crossreactive with α-MSH are increased in patients with AN, bulimia and BED, and that the ED Inventory-2 scores in ED patients correlate with anti-ClpB IgG and IgM, which is similar to our previous findings for α-MSH auto-Abs. In conclusion, this work shows that the bacterial ClpB protein, which is present in several commensal and pathogenic microorganisms, can be responsible for the production of auto-Abs crossreactive with α-MSH, associated with altered feeding and emotion in humans with ED. Our data suggest that ClpB-expressing gut microorganisms might be involved in the etiology of EDs.
Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence without communications is irrelevant.

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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #532 on: October 28, 2014, 12:04:33 PM »
Another genome-wide association study for the mix:

Quote from: BBC
A genetic analysis of almost 900 offenders in Finland has revealed two genes associated with violent crime.

Those with the genes were 13 times more likely to have a history of repeated violent behaviour.

The authors of the study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, said at least 5-10% of all violent crime in Finland could be attributed to individuals with these genotypes.


But they stressed the genes could not be used to screen criminals.

Many more genes may be involved in violent behaviour and environmental factors are also known to have a fundamental role.

Even if an individual has a "high-risk combination" of these genes the majority will never commit a crime, the lead author of the work Jari Tiihonen of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden said.

"Committing a severe, violent crime is extremely rare in the general population. So even though the relative risk would be increased, the absolute risk is very low," he told the BBC.

...


Link to the study in question:

Quote from: Molecular Psychiatry
Genetic background of extreme violent behavior

J Tiihonen, M-R Rautiainen, H M Ollila, E Repo-Tiihonen, M Virkkunen, A Palotie, O Pietiläinen, K Kristiansson, M Joukamaa, H Lauerma, J Saarela, S Tyni, H Vartiainen, J Paananen, D Goldman and T Paunio
Abstract

In developed countries, the majority of all violent crime is committed by a small group of antisocial recidivistic offenders, but no genes have been shown to contribute to recidivistic violent offending or severe violent behavior, such as homicide. Our results, from two independent cohorts of Finnish prisoners, revealed that a monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) low-activity genotype (contributing to low dopamine turnover rate) as well as the CDH13 gene (coding for neuronal membrane adhesion protein) are associated with extremely violent behavior (at least 10 committed homicides, attempted homicides or batteries). No substantial signal was observed for either MAOA or CDH13 among non-violent offenders, indicating that findings were specific for violent offending, and not largely attributable to substance abuse or antisocial personality disorder. These results indicate both low monoamine metabolism and neuronal membrane dysfunction as plausible factors in the etiology of extreme criminal violent behavior, and imply that at least about 5–10% of all severe violent crime in Finland is attributable to the aforementioned MAOA and CDH13 genotypes.
Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence without communications is irrelevant.

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Offline Professor Truman

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #533 on: November 09, 2014, 04:24:12 PM »
This looks pretty fascinating. Would like to hear Steve's take on it.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29939672

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #534 on: November 15, 2014, 04:33:28 PM »
Has the enlightenment era ever been discussed?

This little fun fact about the Bavarian Illuminati, the historical basis for centuries of conspiracist fever dreams, got me thinking about it:

Quote
The society's goals were to oppose superstition, prejudice, religious influence over public life and abuses of state power, and to support women's education and gender equality.

Source
Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence without communications is irrelevant.

--Gen Alfred Gray, USMC