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Comment: Re:There are randomized controlled trials (Score 2, Informative) 430

by herpchick (#29780079) Attached to: On the Efficacy of Flu Vaccine
I'm feeding the troll, but the one plague911 cites is researched because it has stood up to peer review. This is how science works. You can't just watch three cars go by, note that all are red, and write a paper saying all cars are red. I saw it. In science, we subject papers to peer review, where we look at the methods of a study, and if the study is not done well, if the methods do not hold up to a rigorous standard, then the paper is rejected and it is not published. This woman tried to publish her paper and it was rejected. It's hard to give much cred to her paper if she can't even get it published in a journal like PLoS, which evaluates strictly on the methods, not at all on the significance. PLoS does no value judgements. So if her argument is that her methods are sound and JAMA doesn't like it because it is too "against the grain" then send it to one of these type journals. I note however, that it is still not published. In addition, only some of the flu vaccines have thimerosol in them; if you are concerned about trace chemicals entering your body, do you eat all organic, too?

Comment: Re:Holy shit? (Score 1) 950

by herpchick (#29439573) Attached to: Heart Monitors In Middle School Gym Class?

As to the theory that PE teaches kids to enjoy exercise, I'd have to say that I found kick-ball the last exercise done in school that might have been termed enjoyable. Everything subsequent to that involved Nazi gym teachers and resulted in my avoiding those activities for the next 40 years. (Yes, it does show. Thanks for asking.)

I bet a good percentage of the people reading this comment would agree that school PE was the last thing that taught us exercise was fun. You are among friends - as you know, people who read slashdot, we were usually the last people picked for the kickball team. And even when I wasn't - I still hated PE.

Comment: Re:Let forever be (Score 1) 127

by herpchick (#27031867) Attached to: Scientists Build an Ark To Save Jungle Amphibians
According to background, we should be getting mass extinctions every several million years. We are now WAY ahead of schedule for the mass extinction we are currently in (and this applies to all creatures, not just frogs). What's happening with frogs at the moment is particularly scary though because we are losing them not just in Panama (if it were only in Panama, that would be one thing) but globally. In 2006 there was a global assessment published in Science where they found that a third of all 5600 amphibian species are in danger of extinction. 25% have so little data that we have no idea what's happening with them. A bunch more are about to be in danger of extinction. So amphibians around the globe are in trouble. If you don't want to do anything, keep in mind that amphibians are important in controlling crop pests, disease vectors such as mosquitos, and are the food for many other organisms in the food chain. In fact, in many places where there have been declines, there have been problems with increased crop pests. Undoing damage we have done by spreading a fungus around the world is not a bad thing when you look at what happens if we don't.

Comment: Re:don't rescue them (Score 1) 127

by herpchick (#27031833) Attached to: Scientists Build an Ark To Save Jungle Amphibians
Your thesis would be correct if evolution worked that quickly, or if all the unfilled niches could then be filled by the few that remain. At sites in Panama, researchers have gone from seeing over 200 animals per night to under 20 in less than two weeks when chytrid appeared. That doesn't leave much in the way of diversity to fill in the gaps.

Comment: Re:Evolution stymied? (Score 1) 127

by herpchick (#27031789) Attached to: Scientists Build an Ark To Save Jungle Amphibians
people in general are considered a cause, yes, including researchers. But, we didn't identify chytrid (this form of chytrid, chytrid fungi are actually a whole mess of fungi, only one parasitizes amphibians) as a problem until 1998. So people were probably spreading it unknowingly until we figured out that it was a problem, yes. Not a big surprise. But saying that not funding any more research is the answer is kind of daft - we are causing global warming, which is causing the expansion of mosquitoes ranges into new areas, expanding the ranges of dengue, malaria, et al. Are you opposed to research into that as well? (Yes I am a biologist, not some tree hugger, but a data-driven, quantitative biologist).

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