Saturday, August 28, 2010

Follow Patrick Lockerby on Scientific Blogging

Hats off to Richard Lockerby for his continued efforts to bring the science of climate change to the wider public. His recent post, Mad 2.0, illustrates the urgent need for the wider public to become much more informed about the science of climate change. Follow his posts because Patrick has an excellent grasp of the problem and the need for urgent change.

Behaviorism and Culture

A friend of mine in the USA sent me this long (30min) and fascinating video which highlights the development of a new perspective on cultural analysis that is based on ideas drawn from behavioral analysis. This is a seminal approach and will take many years if not decades to be explored. There are some interesting ideas being explored here, the talk introduces these ideas but you'll need to track down the relevant research to obtain a larger picture. Great stuff, pleasing to see that there is at least someone out there trying to develop a novel approach to understanding cultural dynamics.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monkey Economics

Primate Economics

Longevity(Exceptional) - the genes have it

This recent press release has caused a world wide stir, with critics pointing out flaws in the analyses, though with the caveat that the identified flaws did not disprove the conclusions but raised questions that needed further investigation. In that link the researcher states his own research also identifies 150 specific markers in the exceptionally long lived. This more critical analysis though suggests the whole methodological approach is up the creek with one scientist quoted as saying the paper should not have been published because all the conclusions are suspect. The question is: Do we now know enough to enable people to realistically aim at extending their healthy lifespan? Not with studies like the above, but when the current centenarians were born people were only just becoming interested in the work of the quiet monk, Gregor Mendel, who pioneered modern genetics. Today we know so much more, and there is sufficient information to suggest it is possible to increase our lifespan and avoid illness. It is still a numbers game but we can play with the odds. First, some more of these genetic studies ... .

Monday, August 9, 2010

Diabetes Mediated by Pollution

This news release reminded me of this prior research which prompted me to think about this research. Then I found this and  this and this and this  and this which of course led to the obvious hypothesis being thus  and thus (full text available at link)all of which reminded of this recent research news wherein they still fail to recognise the obvious hypothesis. Take note from the last reference:
One striking observation is that obese persons that do not have elevated POPs are not at elevated risk of diabetes, suggesting that the POPs rather than the obesity per se is responsible for the association.
At a personal level I find this quite incredible because several years ago I wrote up a report for an environmental group wherein I argued that the compounds found in many electronic components were known to be toxic and needed to be safely disposed of instead of being put in landfill. The Queensland Environmental Protection Agency laughed at my report. Idiots, it was the obvious hypothesis back then, if only because several countries had already passed legislation to address the issue.

All that is a friggin disaster.