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Showing posts from June, 2014

When Liars Cross the Line - GMO Insulin

I was shocked, but not surprised, when a internet meme from GMO-Free USA popped up on my Facebook page: GMO Free USA (and GMO Free Canada, eh) really shows their true colors with this one.  The referenced paper has nothing to do with GMO insulin, other than saying that it is better than the stuff from animals. The rocket surgeons over at GMO Free USA really stepped in it this time.  They are using their fear-based misinformation machine to now scare people away from life-saving insulin therapy.  We all depend on insulin, a hormone synthesized in the Pancreas, to control blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar can lead to a variety of metabolic disorders and long-term damage to various organs. Type II diabetics produce too much at first, leading to insulin resistance, a state where the body just does not respond to the hormone and blood sugar levels remain high. Eventually type II's do not produce enough, so they need to control blood sugar with drugs, or in some cases

Predicting the Future -- Seralini Rat Paper Redux

" I don't need a crystal ball; I have a crystal brain. " - -Adam Carolla Today the famous Lumpy Rat paper was published by Seralini and colleagues.  I should say RE-published because it is basically the same content published in 2012, that was later retracted from the journal.  Personally, I was glad to see him attempt to publish it again.  The literature is where the conversation should happen, and if the work is of good quality it will be reproduced and expanded upon.  If the work is of poor quality it will die a scientific dead end, cited only by the same authors in future papers with no additional progress.  Kind of like the rest of the Seralini work.  Unfortunately the general public doesn't follow the scientific conversation. People only pick the monologues they agree with, and a single flawed study from a biased lab carries as much weight (or more) than a thousand agreeing reports from 800 different groups.  It was disappointing to see that S

Voyager's Gold Record- Vintage Technology for Extraterrestrial Audiophiles

I'm a huge Sagan fan, and even today I am surprised at how well his words and the 70's series resonate gloriously.  But WTF is with the Gold Record on Voyager?  The records were constructed of copper with a gold plating and contain Sounds of Earth .  They were placed on both Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977 and now are somewhere out past Pluto.  Sagan noted, " The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring   civilizations   in interstellar space (that have a turntable)."  Shot into space, any extraterrestrial can enjoy "Sounds of Earth". If they have a good thrift shop they might find a way to play the damn thing. Of course, back in the 70's we were pretty sure that the LP was here to stay.  I remember thinking they should have shot the KISS Alive II double album into space too. The problem of launching an LP into space is that the receiving party has to figure how to use it.  If such a