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Comment Re:Doesn't add up (Score 1) 378

You need to normalize to the percent of the total work force that was female to get a more meaningful picture.

Or, for a shortcut, you could compare to the percentage of teachers that were women at the time.

My guess is that those were pretty high numbers for a field at the time.

And of course, the juvenile comments from some of the slashdotters on this thread is amply demonstrating why many women find these fields unwelcoming.

Comment Re:It wouldn't be so much a big deal... (Score 1) 368

So here's one for you: Why can't you fight that misinformation before the patient even steps foot in the exam room? Why don't doctors create peer-reviewed, well-written websites to counter all of the confusion and pseudo-science currently available online? Won't patients gravitate to the more prestigious sites, especially if doctors point them there?

But I don't think that doctors want patients to ever try to self-diagnose, so they won't ever put this information online. Whether or not the doctors have the patient's best interests in mind, this creates a rift between the two parties, and does little to advance patient-centered health care.

There ARE websites with reliable medical info on the internet. WebMD and the Mayo Clinic's site come to mind.


Japanese Company Turns Diapers Into Energy Source 65

greenrainbow writes "A Japanese company called Super Faith has developed a new machine that turns used adult diapers into a clean fuel source in about 24 hours. You simply place the bag of dirty diapers in the machine, and once set it motion it pulverizes, sanitizes and dries the material in the diapers and then forms it into small pellets that contain 5000 kcal of heat per kilogram and are meant to be used in biomass heating and electricity systems. Super Faith has reportedly installed two SFD systems at a hospital in Tokyo's Machida area. Each is capable of turning 700 pounds of used diapers — and everything they hold — into fuel every day."

Comment Re:Blame the Lancet (Score 1) 416

Oh, I'm sorry... from your original comment I thought you would be unswayed by scientific evidence.

I'll post the same link that I posted further up the thread:

This has a run down of the numbers of infections and deaths, before and after vaccines.

For a vaccine to be approved to go on the market, rigorous scientific tests demonstrated efficacy (i.e., that they work) and safety (i.e. that there are not unacceptable side effects) are required. I suspect you could even request to see the data submitted to the FDA via the Freedom of Information act. Certainly, you can search in PubMed and find the published, peer-reviewed papers describing the studies that showed efficacy. There really is no doubt that vaccines work.

Comment Re:Blame the Lancet (Score 1) 416

Because the diseases are coming back in populations with excellent nutrition, modern sanitation, and clean water... but an unfortunately tendency to believe that the government and large pharmaceutical companies are out to get them.

We had a measles outbreak in my (really rather wealthy) neighborhood a couple of years ago, caused by a family who chose not to vaccinate their kids, and then traveled to Switzerland (not exactly a third world country) and came back with the measles, which they then spread around amongst similarly deluded people who did not vaccinate and a few innocent bystanders with children too young to have gotten the vaccine yet. My daughter was too young to have been vaccinated at that point. It was frankly a bit scary.

Comment Re:Vaccines aren't as simple as people think (Score 1) 416

You aren't as educated about vaccines as you think.

Go read this to learn a little bit about the diseases that the childhood vaccine prevent:

That site will give you the cold hard numbers about how many children used to die from these illnesses and the actual, documented side effects (and their frequencies) of vaccines.

Then go to this site to get a more human view of what happens to OTHER PEOPLE'S BABIES when you choose not to vaccinate:

No one should have to bury their 4 week old baby because someone else believes conspiracy theories.

Now, if you don't want to get your daughter the HPV vaccine, that is no skin off of my nose. But do not lump that vaccine in with the vaccines that prevent diptheria, pertussis, measles, and the like. The ethics of decided to refuse the HPV vaccine and deciding to refuse the DPT vaccine aren't evenly remotely similar.


Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Protein ... and Now Fat 210

ral writes "The human tongue can taste more than sweet, sour, salty, bitter and protein. Researchers have added fat to that list. Dr. Russell Keast, an exercise and nutrition sciences professor at Deakin University in Melbourne, told Slashfood, 'This makes logical sense. We have sweet to identify carbohydrate/sugars, and umami to identify protein/amino acids, so we could expect a taste to identify the other macronutrient: fat.' In the Deakin study, which appears in the latest issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, Dr. Keast and his team gave a group of 33 people fatty acids found in common foods, mixed in with nonfat milk to disguise the telltale fat texture. All 33 could detect the fatty acids to at least a small degree."

Comment Re:Moral but not necessarily practical problem (Score 3, Insightful) 349

Yeah the bit about not being able to cite your own work is just wrong. In fact, journals compete partially on impact scores, which are based on how many citations their papers get. The would have no motive to go after people citing papers they published, even if they had some legal basis to do so- which I don't think they do.

Copyright on academic papers is to provide some financial reward for those who edit and publish the paper, not the person who created the paper. There are other models emerging to pay for this work (e.g., PLoS), but it is real work and it won't get done for free. Just abolishing copyright is unlikely to be a productive approach.

Comment Re:Wrong-o on the male-o (Score 1) 834

I doubt absolute height is really important for whether a man is considered attractive or not. I suspect it is relative height- as in, he's a little taller than most of the women living in the same time period.

The difference in height between medieval times and now is largely due to better nutrition now. Pretty much everyone was shorter then.

Comment Re:What is it with meetings? (Score 1) 274

I agree, and have been trying to get my company to use some reporting methods vs. doing everything in meetings. There are too many meetings that could have been replaced by a halfway decent status report.

The problem is, a lot of people can't be bothered to read emails.

I am in charge of IT at a small company. If I want to get a message out, I have to (1) send an email, (2) show up at a couple of big meetings and tell people in person, and (3) post an announcement on our intranet. For really important things, I even post a sign in the break room.

Despite all of this, I find that I have to tell some people the same information in a personal one-on-one conversation within a few days.

Some people won't read. Some people won't listen.

Comment Re:It's Simple (Score 1) 129

That's not what I'm talking about.I'm not talking about letting the identity of your advertisers influence your content. I'm talking about being paid directly to produce content- which is what a lot of bloggers are doing. In the old school media, that is called advertising. On blogs, it is not even disclosed.

I think, but I am not sure (and don't care enough to go look it up), that if a magazine takes money to include content, it is required by law to label that content advertising. This is why many articles in scientific journals are labeled "advertising"- the authors pay page fees.

Comment Re:It's Simple (Score 1) 129

Are you sure that old media isn't legally required to disclose when they have been paid to put up certain content? I am not. In fact, I think they probably are- why else would news magazines label those "infomercial" sections they sometimes print as advertising?

If you take money or free product to produce a blog post, you should disclose that fact. I hang out on some mommyblogs from time to time, and there was a big uproar on one blog over the fact that another blogger took money from 23andMe to post about her experiences with their community aimed at pregnant women and new moms. In her post, the second blogger included some statements of questionable scientific validity that, if made directly by 23andMe in their advertising, probably would have brought the FDA and the FTC down on them. But it is fine to spread this disinformation in a blogpost- reader beware, etc. The problem was, the second blogger did NOT disclose her relationship with 23andMe in the post itself, although apparently most of her regular readers were aware of the relationship.

So- should that be legal? What if someone read her scientifically questionable opinions and acted on them, resulting in injury or even death (the opinions dealt with preeclampsia, which can be quite serious)? Sure, they shouldn't have taken medical advice from a blog. But do the blog writer and her sponsors have some sort of legal requirement not to spread false/unproven info? Are you ready for pharma companies to use blogs as a way to make an end run around direct to consumer marketing restrictions?

I'm not saying that the FTC's proposed rule is perfect, or even right. But I do think there is more to it than you imply. Ethical breaches in the marketing of computers is maybe not a big deal worth of laws. Ethical breaches in the marketing of drugs and diagnostics are a different story.


Frog Species Discovered Living In Elephant Dung 56

rhettb writes "Three different species of frogs have been discovered living in the dung of the Asian elephant in southeastern Sri Lanka. The discovery — the first time anyone has recorded frogs living in elephant droppings — has widespread conservation implications both for frogs and Asian elephants, which are in decline. Apparently the frogs feed on the many invertebrates present in elephant dung."

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