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Comment Re:Terrible article (Score 1) 425

And there is no indication why that efficiency should NOT be individual.

Given that we are all the same species, it is not a bad assumption that we process food in roughly the same way. It might be wrong, it should be tested, but to say that there is no indication why it should not be individual is misleading.

Comment Re:Not the Calories fault? (Score 1) 425

we can't say how much of the available energy (and here the calories are indeed fine) are actually processed and absorbed by the human body as this varies. (Hint: it's not 100% as there is still energy left in the digestive waste products)

The fact that it is not 100% is well known. The method you decry as "piss poor" explicitly takes this into account by measuring the energy content of the faeces. It might still be a piss poor method due to inter-personal variation, or even variation over time in the same person.

Comment Re:Related? (Score 1) 138

The form of radiation that causes the most cancers, year after year, remains sunlight.

That's a good point

Really? w

In the aftermath of the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness (ARS), of whom 31 died within the first three months (...) over 6000 cases of thyroid cancer have been reported

So, 6000 cases of cancer over 30 years, which is around 200 per year. Are you saying that there are less then 200 cases of skin cancer per year worldwide? Even if all of those 6000 cases where in the same year, the number of skin cancer cases, most of which are caused by the sun, would dwarf that number.

Comment Re:Related? (Score 2) 138

You also need to take into account random variability. It seems* that you need to have above 8 cases per year for it to be statistically significant for a single year, but if it is a persistent pattern, less will do.

*Unless I have made a mistake in my statistics, which is really likely. To get a conservative estimate, I used the binomial distribution with 45000 trials and a change of success in each at 0.0001, and then checked at what number of successes the cumulative probability of getting more successes was below 0.05. Please correct me if I am in error :-)

Comment Re: Be fair (Score 3, Informative) 179

Why is there a stigma about being cautious about introducing GMOs the the ecosystem if we don't have an untouched backup of the ecosystem that sustains us. It's not as if we can un-introduce GMOs to the ecosystem once they are there so what is the problem with having strict controls over their deployment?

Because, if it was reasonable, the same caution would be applied to all new cultivars. Because we have tested quite a lot of them for quite a long time, and they don't seem to yield catastrophic results, yet it doesn't seem to change anybodies minds. Because people oppose golden rice, where most of the concerns people claim are their reason to oppose GMO does not apply. Because many of the groups opposing GMO are misrepresenting reasearch in order to make GMO seem more dangerous.

In short, because people opposing GMO does not act as they would if they had reasonable cautions about the ecosystem. In stead, they act as if they are dogmatically opposing a new technology for no other reason then it being new. That tends to draw a stigma.

Comment Re: Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

Like anything else: We set up an experiment so that, whenever we do A, B happened before we decided to do A. We then replicate the experiment while trying to make sure that there is no way B happening can affect the experiment. Ideally, other researchers then do different variations of the experiment toake sure we have not missed anything.

Comment Re:Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

Not the GPP, but here goes (copy of my post further up): Faster than light communication is not strictly forbidden. However, FTL communication is equivalent to time travel in special relativity. This means that it breaks causality. Since we haven't observed any breaks in causality, and special relativity is an extremely well tested theory, we assume that FTL communication is not possible.

Comment Re:Sweet F A (Score 2) 576

FTL travel, or even FTL communication, is forbidden by the laws of physics.

It's not strictly forbidden. However, FTL communication is equivalent to time travel in special relativity. This means that it breaks causality. Since we haven't observed any breaks in causality, and special relativity is an extremely well tested theory, we assume that FTL communication can not exist.

Comment Re:No clue? (Score 4, Informative) 237

While I haven't been following European politics lately, I would think that this is part of the power struggle between the European Parliament (elected directly by the European voters) and the commission (members are selected by the governments of the member states, though I think the parliament have to approve the final result). Traditionally, the parliament have had very little power, and has been getting more power (primarily at the expense of the commission) a little at a time. This kind of votes are usually held to highlight who has what power in the hopes that it will help them change it (so basically telling the people "See? If we had more power, we would do something about this issue.").

Comment Re:Link to the study. (Score 1) 422

Without having delved into the study, those p-values are awfully close to the cutoff of 0.05 (or, alternatively put, the CI nearly encompasses 0). Given how hard it is to control for external factors in epidemiological studies, I would put this in the "probably nothing" category, especially since the effects of two sugar categories have opposite signs.

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