Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Wait a sec (Score 4, Informative) 279

I'm coming from the medical science field, but generally at a conference you are presenting an abstract, which is not the same as the full manuscript that you're sending to a journal. That being said, sometimes you need to just tell the journal that an abstract of the work was presented at such and such conference. I've never heard of it being turned down because of that.

Other than that, finding the right journal is usually the hard part. Read up on impact ratings (how "prestigious" a publication is, if you will) and read what else is getting published in there. Often there are multiple fields where the work might be relevant (my work applies to neurosurgical, spinal, and pain related publications for example).

Once you have the journal, they give very explicit instructions on how they want it presented. Follow them exactly, and you're 9/10ths of the way there.

Comment Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (Score 1) 507

Similar warning signs but a different test. Diabetes is generally diagnosed by testing the amount of sugar in your blood. Too much is pretty clearly diabetes, but too little doesn't always mean hypoglycemia. It could mean you're really hungry. Hypoglycemia is generally diagnosed by watching the rate and size of the changes in your blood sugar after you consume a known quantity of sugar. Generally, in someone with hypoglycemia, the insulin response is too large, so the blood sugar reduces to a very low number too quickly afterward.

The thing is, the diet you describe that you feel best with is just what a good doctor would recommend to help control hypoglycemia anyhow. If a good diet makes you feel well, I hesitate to call that a disease, really. Crappy food makes people feel crappy.

Comment Re:That happens when its BOTH high-fat and high-ca (Score 1) 507

I'm usually all for things being opt-in, but any reasonably skilled cook will tell you that adding salt after the fact will not get you the same results in some cases. Some things need a little salt right at the beginning, so it's there to be absorbed during cooking, and no amount of salt added at the table will get you the same finished result. I honestly don't care if you limit the allowable amount of sodium in processed foods, but telling a good restaurant that your can't lightly salt water before cooking dried beans or pasta, or that you can't sprinkle a steak with some salt while it rests before you sear it, or that you can't put salt in a batch of brownies.... that's just WRONG. None of those foods would qualify as high-sodium even with the added salt, and all of them will suck without it.

Comment Re:Show me the receptors (Score 1) 210

While it will be interesting if and when such receptors are identified, the first logical step (before attempting to screen every single expressed receptor present in taste buds) is to test to see if it is possible to detect very small quantities of fat. If it isn't, you just saved a few million dollars of grant money. Curiosity is great, but don't be impatient. This is still neat.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 2, Interesting) 276

I suspect that that may be some part of it, but I would guess that a larger part of it is ads.


Apparently, there is also no correlation to weight gain and watching TV if you are watching DVDs or movies. The correlation does not exist between TV and being fat, only TV with ads. Similarly, playing on a computer has minimal ads, like watching a DVD, and shockingly, neither activity relates to obesity.

Also, typing one handed is useful for more than just fapping... Also good for holding your booze, a smoke, and a shovel for food.

Comment Re:I think Georges Lemaitre would disagree (Score 2, Insightful) 33

Yes, a literal interpretation of any religious book usually can't coexist with reason and rationality. But taking religion as a moral tradition, it really doesn't have to have any issue with science.

And please remember, no matter how many single instances of intelligent conservative religious sluts you want to break out, it doesn't change the data of a large pool or respondents like this. That isn't how statistics work. You average them in. And the fact that they achieved statistically significant results means that when you average in ALL the numbers (including the people who don't fit the pattern) the pattern will remain. That's what significant means: that it isn't just random chance, dependent on how you chose your samples.

And a friendly science reminder: to say that smart people are more likely to be liberal is inaccurate, as it assumes that the high IQ causes the liberal thoughts. Maybe being liberal MAKES you smarter. So maybe if that guy wasn't a priest he would have been even smarter. But realistically, you just don't have to read that much into it. Every group has outliers.

Comment Re:No citation available (Score 1) 33

I happen to agree with the sentiment that the farther out on the bell curve, the less categorizable you are. But that surely has to work both ways. Maybe the reason that the average is 6 points apart is because everyone in the bell curve shakes out even, but more people with genius level IQ tend to fit "liberal", or maybe more people with numbers below 70 fit "non-liberal". Without the actual data, it's impossible to say. However, no matter how it shakes out, I don't think it effects the fact that the numbers manage to be statistically significant at the end of the day.

I would also guess that this guy had a task force of post docs checking every variable they could come up with against average IQ to find these three factors that correlated amongst the hundreds that showed no correlation. Some people see that as a stretch. I happen to think it's just thorough science.

The problem with any personally selected experimental group is the personally selected part. Maybe you just attract brilliant libertarians. I know *I* tend to...

Comment Re:Yep, and really smart people choose for themsel (Score 1) 33

So, if he wants to establish some equivalence between higher IQ scores and higher "liberalness" he fails because people that score higher than the stated 103 will not classify themselves in such a simple minded manner. This is probably why he did not include any stats about people that score 120, 130, or even more. Unfortunately for him, they don't fit his vision.

Citation needed.

You might be brilliant and have personally decided upon many values. But it doesn't mean that those values don't tend to follow the patterns generally accepted as being called "liberal" or "conservative". This report says the participants self-identified as liberal. That does not translate to 'They checked the box marked liberal". I would hope that anyone with a published paper would have a better study design than that.

You claim that he does not report trends with people with higher IQs: have you see an advanced copy of the publication? I can't find anything other than news reports about an upcoming paper, but not the paper itself. I doubt he excluded these people. I think he just grouped all of the participants by different factors and averaged. I might be possible to collect data on ONLY people who have certain IQs and see what patterns of values are common to them, but I will guarantee that that study would be a lot more problematic.

I see what you're getting at, overall, but it doesn't negate the trends they found. Which is that the average IQ of people classified as liberals is higher than non liberals, the average IQ of sexually exclusive men is higher than non sexually exclusive men (but not true for women), and the average IQ of atheists is higher than non-atheists. The end.

They hypothesize by extrapolating that all of those traits are only more recently salient in terms of reproductive fitness and survival. This you can take as much issue with as you want. I personally can't see how being intelligent makes you more likely to reproduce in a first world country, so I have trouble with the idea that intelligence is a positive selection factor at all right now.

Comment Re:Why most scientists and engineers screw up (Score 1) 190

But polar bears and black bears are separate species. "Races" are not. Races are more like breeds of cats, although significantly less distinct. So maybe more like gray squirrels.

Gray squirrels live all over North America, but don't look the same. Gray squirrels where I live are small and in fact, gray. Gray squirrels where my parents live are reddish brown and sort of chubby, and gray squirrels in Canada are huge and very dark, almost black. All the same species. They just look different. So maybe Canadian squirrels have fat storing genes that are, on average, 1% more efficient than the eastern American squirrels to deal with the cold. So now imagine that gray squirrels have developed air travel and boats and cars and the internet, and started meeting squirrels who looked different than they did. Now you can easily imagine some large, black squirrels who developed a fetish for tiny, gray, New England squirrels. They have babies and move here to RI, and now the eastern US has a lot of black squirrels, because black fur is a strong gene compared to light gray. But they do not share much more genetic heritage with big, black, Canadian squirrels than with midwestern squirrels.

Are the black squirrels in my back yard still the same race as the black squirrels in Canada? It depends a lot on what the word race means. If you define is "do they have black fur?" then, yes. If you define it as "do they have the same percentages of the telltale gene clusters as the black squirrels in Canada?" then, no. Maybe some of these squirrels have that more efficient fat storing gene, but only a few, since not does it not hinder their survival if they lack it, it's been watered down with the normal fat genes of the New England squirrels.

I think the issue really is that the way we define our race as individuals has very little bearing on anything other than appearance, which is a poor indicator of all but a small handful of genes, none of which relate to anything OTHER than things like hair , eye color or shape, skin color... yes, you are more likely to have a gene for sickle cell anemia if you have dark skin, but the frequency of the gene does not replicate the frequency found in most native African populations.There probably was a time in human history where there were populations which could more easily be genetically defined, but it would have to have been a time before there was any considerable interaction between cultures from different geographical areas. Which was clearly long before we knew we were made of cells, or that there was such a thing as DNA.

I plan on listening very closely when a study comes out of trying to link something like IQ to race in populations that have not had a lot of external genetic influence, but good luck designing that study. It would not be possible in the US, and good luck designing a reliable IQ testing method that will work on , say, aboriginals, isolated pockets of native Africans, and a small community deep in the Appalachian mountains. And good luck finding enough subjects to make statistical significance.

Comment Re:Humans (Score 1) 232

But that's the point isn't it? Cancer isn't an organism. It's your own body cells malfunctioning. An organism (like a virus) can cause cancer, but the infection doesn't kill you at all. And on a viral timescale, you dying of cancer 20 years from now is meaningless. In that time you may have been able to infect hundreds of other hosts. Sounds like a fantastic strategy.

Cancer is not subject to evolutionary pressure the way an individual organism is because it's just a part of your body working abnormally. If you want to get even more specific, the genes that cancer cells are over expressing are the same genes that allow you to grow, heal, and use cell receptor only when appropriate (as opposed to all the time). All of these functions are so important to you as an individual that the risk that they will break and stop working right and give you cancer are minute compared to the advantage of having them. And until the last few thousand years, you were so likely to be killed by something else (like starvation, war, infectious disease, childbirth, etc.) that the cancer risk manifested so rarely as to be almost non-existent. You can blame modern medicine for letting you live long enough to develop cancer.

Comment Re:The body does not repair cells. (Score 3, Interesting) 385

It's true that it usually doesn't, but it sometimes CAN. A cell that has minor damage will most certainly be repaired. A cell that has major damage will lyse and hopefully be replaced by new cells. But when all of the cells lyse at once, there is no way to replace them fast enough. If you can keep most of the cells alive long enough for some non-damaged cells to proliferate, then you could theoretically have viable organs at the end.

Normally, it's more energy efficient to convert a damaged cell into basic components that can be reused than repair the cell, but the repair mechanisms do exist. Apoptosis can be halted, and things will go on relatively normally. The damaged cells might not work all correctly, but if faced with the option of 'die' or 'maybe die', I'll choose 'maybe die'. Plus, if the dangerous part of radiation therapy can be averted, the cancer I'm liable to get later is a lot easier to deal with.

The Military

Submission + - Military Robot Feeds Off Dead Bodies

RobotRunAmok writes: A Maryland company under contract to the Pentagon is working on a steam-powered robot that would fuel itself by gobbling up whatever organic material it can find — grass, wood, old furniture, even dead bodies. It's called — wait for it — EATR, for Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot. The manufacturer, Robotic Technology, Inc., describes EATR's edge as "engaging in biologically-inspired, organism-like, energy-harvesting behavior." The diagram on the website's accompanying presentation show that the robot comes equipped with a gripping claw and a chainsaw. No, seriously.

Submission + - Wikipedia debates Rorschach censorship (wikipedia.org) 2

GigsVT writes: Editors on Wikipedia are engaged in an epic battle, over a few piece of paper smeared with ink. The 10 inkblot images that form the classic Rorschach test have fallen into the public domain, so including them on Wikipedia would seem to be a simple choice. However, some editors have cited the APA's statement that exposure of the images to the public is an unethical act, since prior exposure to the images could render them ineffective as a psychological test. Is the censorship of material appropriate, when the public exposure to that material may render that material useless?

Comment Re:Existing lines (Score 1) 249

I always thought that this argument was so backward. It's the same with stray cats. There are too many cats. We can keep some of them alive and find people to adopt some of them, but there are always more cats that cat adopters, so it consumes net resources. The cats will die, either through being stray (disease, starvation, hit by a car, poisoned with rat poison...) or when the available resources run out for the shelter while they await adoption (either starving or euthanasia, which seems less cruel to me).

Most people can agree that it would be better to not need to kill cats. But unless there are not too many cats, then we need to. And to minimize the number we need to kill, it takes resources. So if resources can be gained after the animals are euthanized, say by selling them to a high school for the advanced biology students to dissect, then the money can go to save more animals later. That's less net cats killed. That's GOOD, right?

It isn't meaningless to say that we shouldn't euthanize cats (or homeless people). But what you're really saying is that we shouldn't get anything good out of it. Which isn't the same. Work to stop the cause: there are too many homeless people, stray cats, unused embryos. Convince people to solve the original problem, not focus in on something unrelated that arises out of the current solution to the problem.

Why the hell do people need IVF to begin with. How about adopting some of the extra babies? There are a lot of extra babies. If people weren't inefficiently making more through IVF, there wouldn't be extra embryos do make stem cell lines out of, and it would be a moot point.

If you oppose euthanasia for homeless people, then oppose that. If you oppose using organs for research, then oppose that (although I hope you don't). But don't oppose using organs for research because you oppose euthanasia for homeless people. That's misguided.

Slashdot Top Deals

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin