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Comment: Re:More details (Score 2) 294

Most artificial sweeteners sold in powder form contain a simple sugar or starch to add bulk and give the product free-flowing granules more similar to sugar. Since saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame all taste hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, they are used in much lower amounts, with bulk added for the consumer-serving preparations so that you don't have to add micrograms of sweetener to your coffee to get the equivalent sweetness of sugar. Either glucose (usually listed as dextrose) or maltodextrin are generally used, which is interesting since it means that sugar substitutes generally contain a small amount of carbohydrates. The little single-serving packets tend to have about 3 (kilo)calories each; in the US, the FDA allows foods with less than 5 calories to be labeled as "zero calorie," so they generally are.

I note that this study did happen to use all powder-form sweeteners (dissolved in water) which means that there would some small amount carbohydrate in the solution. That's a perfectly reasonable way to run this study, since these are widely used preparations of these sweeteners, but I do wonder if there might be a difference with a genuinely digestible-carbohydrate-free preparation.

Comment: Re:Would YOU be able to sleep in space?? (Score 3, Interesting) 106

by reverseengineer (#47635137) Attached to: Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived

I read the Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal during the anniversary back on July 20th, and one of the entries that stood out to me was a section called "Trying to Rest," which detailed a time between the end of the astronauts' moonwalk, but prior to when they needed to make preparations to liftoff from the Moon. A period of about 7 hours was scheduled for the astronauts to sleep, but

[Armstrong - "(The quality of the rest) was poor in my case."]

[Aldrin - "I'd say the same thing."]

In their technical debrief, Armstrong and Aldrin detailed some problems with their sleep environment- too cold, too bright, too noisy, but yeah, that they were also just too excited to sleep. (It does mention that most of the technical problems were worked out by Apollo 15, and the last few crews got decent sleep on the lunar surface. I'm still convinced that if it were me, I would have responded to planned rest periods with "HOUSTON, I CAN SLEEP WHEN I GET BACK FROM THE MOON, OVER.")

Comment: Re:Federation of Am... Soc.. for Exper... Biology? (Score 1) 63

by reverseengineer (#47555447) Attached to: UK Team Claims Breakthrough In Universal Cancer Test

Ah, I didn't think to look at the other societies. They do apparently have a large campus at that address, so I guess they probably have real office space for those societies there. The property was a country estate when they bought it- now it's inside the Beltway.

Comment: Re:Federation of Am... Soc.. for Exper... Biology? (Score 1) 63

by reverseengineer (#47555291) Attached to: UK Team Claims Breakthrough In Universal Cancer Test

27, according to their website. They do cover a wide range of disciplines at least. I was going to note that the Genetics Society of America and the American Society of Human Genetics seem like they'd have a lot of overlap, but then I noticed that they're headquartered at the same address, so I imagine they came to a similar conclusion at some point.

Comment: Re:size? (Score 4, Informative) 94

by reverseengineer (#46468849) Attached to: Monster Hypergiant Star Discovered

The 22 and 40 look like lower and upper bounds. In section 6.1 of the paper, it says, "we infer the lowest current mass of the system to be 22±5 [solar masses]" . They mention this value comes from a calculation based on Kepler's 3rd law. So it looks like the lower bound comes from orbital mechanics based on the orbit of the companion star and the upper bound of 40 comes from their interferometry observations and modeling of that data, but they consider it more likely that the true value is closer to the higher value.

Comment: Re:Whine (Score 1) 412

I get the sense that the Daily Doubles have historically been located in the high dollar values of a category because it has been more traditional behavior for contestants to start at the top of the board and work their way down. That way, the Daily Doubles tend to get exposed later in the round, when contestants generally have more money to wager and the game situation is more likely to be swung by a big win or loss. As I understand it, the DD wager may still be made for up to the highest dollar amount on the board for the round even if the player's current score is less than that amount, but it still is undesirable from an audience point of view for the only DD of the first round to be "wasted" on the first question.

Of course, from what you might call a "power player" perspective, the Daily Double spaces are very valuable, both in terms of the potential money you can earn and in terms of denying your opponents that potential. It's smart to try and find them as soon as possible. Making the DD spaces truly random on the board may limit the use of the "harder levels first" strategy, but there's still value in building an early lead (this is assuming that as a "power player," the hard questions on Jeopardy aren't going to be substantially harder for you than the easy ones) and maintaining control of the board, so I don't think it would totally go away.

Comment: Re:"A molecule nearly identical" (Score 1) 131

by reverseengineer (#45914069) Attached to: Metal-Free 'Rhubarb' Battery Could Store Renewable Grid Energy

I don't know why the focus is on rhubarb specifically. Anthraquinones are found all throughout nature, usually as some sort of red or yellow pigment (like the pigment carmine, for instance, made from cochineal insects). Rhubarb contains some compounds call anthraquinone glycosides, but I wouldn't characterize them as being "nearly identical" to anthraquinone disulfonic acid on account of sugar molecules not being very similar to sulfonic acid groups.

Comment: Re:Cafestol and Kahweol (Score 3, Informative) 49

It's something that's been known for awhile- there are papers on it going back to the early 1980s, though I'd imagine it may not have been heavily publicized at first due to the American preference at the time for paper-filtered drip coffee. Methods that retain more of the oils or the grounds themselves in the finished coffee, like boiled coffee or French press tend to have much higher concentrations.

This paper and this paper have some more information.

Comment: Re:No water processing plant (Score 2) 274

Apples to apples? Hanford Site cleans 1.4 billion gallons of groundwater a year, which is about 14.5 million liters a day. I'm sure you'll object that the levels of contamination are lower (though there's a lot of nasty stuff there), and yes, it's quite possible that nothing exists exactly like what is needed at Fukushima, in large part because the other massive radioactive material cleanups were different sorts of situations. However, the quote was , "You can't filter that much. Nobody can." A statement of possibility, not of existence. Do you really believe this to be physically impossible, rather than merely unfeasible, or just very expensive?

Comment: Re:No water processing plant (Score 2) 274

400 tonnes of water is 400000 liters. From the link in the GP, the two treatment plants (at a Superfund site that used to process thorium into lantern mantles) process 60.5 million liters of water a year, for an average of 165000 liters a day. Building treatment plants with 400000 liter/day capacity doesn't seem like that much of a stretch.

Comment: Re:This can't end well (Score 1) 492

by reverseengineer (#44643241) Attached to: New Drug Mimics the Beneficial Effects of Exercise

I did mention the "for research purposes" part, but yes, I should have emphasized that means analytical chemistry methods and in vitro testing, not running your own clinical trial. Honestly, I didn't mean for the sales quote to be taken seriously- the poster I replied to speculated on the properties of this mysterious compound, and I just thought it was funny that with a little Googling, I found it not only identified, but available for sale. I can't imagine anyone actually ordered some based on my post, but yeah, this stuff is not in any way meant for human use. Up to 4% impurities, and it's likely that those impurities, like SR9009 itself, can cross the blood-brain barrier. And many carbamates are cholinesterase inhibitors, which is to say, nerve agents.

Comment: Re:Might not work for healthy people (Score 1) 492

by reverseengineer (#44636175) Attached to: New Drug Mimics the Beneficial Effects of Exercise

The same group did a study last year that used unmodified mice (well, largely unmodified- they had been put on a diet that promoted obesity, but they were not transgenic).

Based on the alterations in energy metabolism and gene expression we observed in normal C57BL6 and Balb/c mice, we sought to examine whether a REV-ERB alpha/beta agonist would be efficacious in a rodent model of obesity. We initiated the study with 20-week old C57BL6 mice (average weight = 41g) that had been maintained on a high fat diet for 14 weeks (20% carbohydrate 60% fat). The mice continued on the HF diet and we initiated twice per day dosing (i.p.) of SR9009. While the stress of handling and twice-daily injections caused weight loss in vehicle-treated controls, weight loss of SR9009-treated animals was 60% greater (Fig. 5a). During the treatment period, there was no significant difference in the food intake of SR9009 and vehicle treated animals, although handling itself reduced food intake explaining the weight loss observed in the controls. SR9009 treated mice exhibited a more severe reduction in adiposity (Fig. 5b). In addition to the decrease in fat mass we also observed a 12% decrease in plasma triglycerides (TGs) and a 47% decrease in plasma total cholesterol (Chol) (Fig. 5c). Plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) were also reduced (23%) along with plasma glucose (19%) in the SR9009 treated animals (Fig. 5c). There was also a trend toward a decrease in plasma insulin levels (35%).

Comment: Re:This can't end well (Score 4, Informative) 492

by reverseengineer (#44635939) Attached to: New Drug Mimics the Beneficial Effects of Exercise

SR9009 is available for research purposes, $150 for 25 mg. From the structure, I would say it's likely to be only slightly soluble in water; also, the only solubility data given is in DMSO. It requires storage by refrigeration or freezing, and comes packaged under inert gas, so I would say its environmental persistence would be rather low. I don't know if a molecule like this would be stable enough for oral administration, actually. In their mouse study, injections were made.

Although the moon is smaller than the earth, it is farther away.