Genetic Nature or Genetic Nurture? Quantifying Bias in Analyses Using Polygenic Scores | bioRxiv
> For complex, behavioral traits, the correlation between individual PGS and phenotype may contain bias alongside the causal effect of the individual's genes (due to geographic, ancestral, and/or socioeconomic confounding). We formalize the recent introduction of a different source of bias in regression models using PGSs: the effects of parental genes on offspring outcomes (i.e. genetic nurture). GWAS do not discriminate between the various pathways through which genes influence outcomes, meaning existing PGSs capture both direct genetic effects and genetic nurture effects
genetics  GWAS  polygenic  nurture 
Ceramic - Wikipedia
Turns out ceramics also involves vitrification, e.g. in the formation of glass.
3 days ago
Resilience and Hope through Human Connection – Stories in Medicine
> I will always cherish those times when, in a busy and sterile hospital environment, a group of humans gathered together to help each other deal with the challenges of this gift called life. Thank you, Jay.
brain_tumor  dave_carlson  medicine  dusty 
3 days ago
Effects of body mass index on relationship status, social contact, and socioeconomic position: Mendelian Randomization study in UK Biobank | bioRxiv
> Higher BMI was causally associated with higher deprivation, lower income, fewer years of education, lower odds of degree-level education and skilled employment. For example, a 1 SD higher genetically-determined BMI (4.8kg/m2 in UK Biobank) was associated with 1,660 UK pounds less income per annum [95%CI: 950, 2,380]. Non-linear Mendelian Randomization provided evidence that both low BMI (bottom decile, <22kg/m2) and high BMI (top seven deciles, >24.6kg/m2) can increase deprivation and reduce income. In men only, higher BMI was related to lower participation in leisure and social activities. There was no evidence of causal effects of BMI on visits from friends and family or in having someone to confide in. Non-linear Mendelian Randomization analysis showed that low BMI (bottom three deciles, <23.5kg/m2) reduces the odds of cohabiting with a partner or spouse for men, whereas high BMI (top two deciles, >30.7kg/m2) reduces the odds of cohabitation with a partner or spouse for women.
BMI  obesity  genetics  income 
3 days ago
Better Words for Better Deaths | NEJM
> “Withdrawal of care” would be an excellent name for a common medical mistake: turning away from the ongoing needs of dying patients and their families
death  language  medicine 
5 days ago
How Do People Communicate Before Death? - The Atlantic
> Many people die in such silence, particularly if they have advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s that robbed them of language years earlier. For those who do speak, it seems their vernacular is often banal. From a doctor I heard that people often say, “Oh fuck, oh fuck.” Often it’s the names of wives, husbands, children. “A nurse from the hospice told me that the last words of dying men often resembled each other,” wrote Hajo Schumacher in a September essay in Der Spiegel. “Almost everyone is calling for ‘Mommy’ or ‘Mama’ with the last breath.”
death  hospice  words  language 
5 days ago
Cryptic DNA sequences may help cells survive starvation
> The team concluded that in normal cells with introns, those introns repress ribosomal-protein genes when food is in short supply to conserve energy.

Abou Elela says that “70 to 80% of the introns have the same effect. We have found an entirely new way for the cell to regulate itself when nutrients are depleted.”
RNA  gene_expression 
5 days ago
Larissa MacFarquhar on Getting Inside Someone’s Head (Ep. 58)
> I’m so glad you asked that. I think that science fiction is full of heroic characters. So are romances. This is one of the things I concluded — that the absence of unambiguously altruistic heroic characters is almost one of the things that marks highbrow fiction as such.

Of course, there are many, many exceptions, and there are heroes in higher-brow fiction. Over the past 100 years, it has become noticeable that genre fiction is filled with far more heroism than higher culture. And it’s such a noticeable pattern that it’s almost as though there is something pushing against that kind of character.

When I started talking about this with people — I talked about this first with a novelist who shared a fellowship with me, so I saw him every day. I said, “What is wrong with you novelists? Why don’t you write about heroic characters who are moved by a sense of moral duty?” Because I find these people fascinating, and that’s one of the reasons I wrote my book, is that it was almost an advertisement to novelists: “You should write about these people. They’re not simple. They’re complex and fascinating.”
ethics  writing  fiction  hero  philosophy  effective_altruism 
6 days ago
David Foster Wallace in Recovery: An Excerpt From the New Biography | The New Yorker
> The four weeks Wallace spent at McLean in November 1989 changed his life. This was not his first or most serious crisis, but he felt now as if he had hit a new bottom or a different kind of bottom. From the ashes to which he had reduced postmodernism a new sort of fiction was meant to arise, as he’d recently laid out in the essay “Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young.” How else to understand the love note to the reader at the end of “Westward,” the last story he’d successfully written? But instead of rebirth, a prolonged dying had followed, and for the past year the corpse had moldered. Wallace hadn’t even been able to finish a nonfiction piece without help since 1987. Never before had he worked so hard with so little to show for it.
McLean  david_foster_wallace  psychiatry  addiction  alcohol 
6 days ago
Longevity defined as top 10% survivors and beyond is transmitted as a quantitative genetic trait
> Survival to extreme ages clusters within families. However, identifying genetic loci conferring longevity and low morbidity in such longevous families is challenging. There is debate concerning the survival percentile that best isolates the genetic component in longevity. Here, we use three-generational mortality data from two large datasets, UPDB (US) and LINKS (Netherlands). We study 20,360 unselected families containing index persons, their parents, siblings, spouses, and children, comprising 314,819 individuals. Our analyses provide strong evidence that longevity is transmitted as a quantitative genetic trait among survivors up to the top 10% of their birth cohort. We subsequently show a survival advantage, mounting to 31%, for individuals with top 10% surviving first and second-degree relatives in both databases and across generations, even in the presence of non-longevous parents. To guide future genetic studies, we suggest to base case selection on top 10% survivors of their birth cohort with equally long-lived family members.
aging  longevity  genetics 
6 days ago
Synaptotagmin-3 drives AMPA receptor endocytosis, depression of synapse strength, and forgetting | Science
> Forgetting is important. Without it, the relative importance of acquired memories in a changing environment is lost. We discovered that synaptotagmin-3 (Syt3) localizes to postsynaptic endocytic zones and removes AMPA receptors from synaptic plasma membranes in response to stimulation. AMPA receptor internalization, long-term depression (LTD), and decay of long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic strength required calcium-sensing by Syt3 and were abolished through Syt3 knockout. In spatial memory tasks, mice in which Syt3 was knocked out learned normally but exhibited a lack of forgetting
neuroscience  memory  forgetting  synapse  AMPA 
8 days ago
> Several apologies are in order: A number of topics and examples assume a
basic familiarity with deep-learning concepts and jargon, while much of the
content assumes familiarity with concerns regarding artificial general intelligence circa 2016–18; some sections directly address concepts and concerns
discussed in Superintelligence (Bostrom 2014). In this work, I have made little
effort to assign proper scholarly credit to ideas: Concepts that seem natural,
obvious, or familiar are best treated as latent community knowledge and very
likely have uncited antecedents. Ideas that can reasonably be attributed to
someone else probably should be. Finally, how I frame and describe basic
concepts has shifted over time, and in the interests of early completion, I
have made only a modest effort to harmonize terminology across the original
documents. I thought it best to share the content without months of further
eric_drexler  AI  tool_AI  AGI  books 
8 days ago
A philosophy professor argues kids should use more technology, not less : slatestarcodex
> Making fire changed our bodies and minds. Using spears changed our bodies and minds. Domesticating plants changed our bodies and minds. Inventing writing changed our bodies and minds.

Now, we've become entangled with the internet and turned it into an external mind. The author argues that the issue is that its poorly designed... designed to be addictive instead of designed to be an optimal external mind. But also that you can shape your external mind to be most beneficial to you if you can learn to be intentional about it.

I like the perspective that its both good and bad aspects mixed together, and that we're already hopelessly entangled with it and there's no going back.

You can't keep your kids from ending up as digitial natives in the modern world, IMO. And if you did somehow, I agree that it'd be setting them behind their peers in a number of ways.
parenting  internet  screen_time  intentionality 
10 days ago
Corpus Colossal: A Bibliometric Analysis of Neuroscience Abstracts and Impact Factor | bioRxiv
> Approximately 50,000 neuroscience abstracts were analyzed over the years 2014-2018. Several broad trends emerged from the analysis of which terms were biased towards high-impact journals. Generally speaking, high-impact journals tended to feature: genetic or psychiatric studies, use of the latest and most sophisticated methods, examinations of the orbitofrontal cortex or amygdala, and/or use of human or non-mammalian subjects. Medium-impact journals tended to feature motor or cardiovascular studies, use of older methods, examinations of caudal brain regions, and/or rats as subjects
neuroscience  publishing 
10 days ago
Mind May Trump DNA in Exercise and Eating Habits - The New York Times
> Just in time to befuddle people who received genetic testing kits for the holidays, a new study finds that if you tell people that they have a genetic predisposition to certain health characteristics, such as a low capacity for exercise or a tendency to overeat, their bodies start to respond accordingly. Even if their DNA does not actually contain the gene variants in question.

The study raises provocative questions about the extent to which our genes affect our physical well-being and whether, in some instances, our beliefs about our bodies, capabilities and limits might be even more influential.
exercise  genetics  appetite 
10 days ago
Obesity-Induced Cellular Senescence Drives Anxiety and Impairs Neurogenesis: Cell Metabolism
> Cellular senescence entails a stable cell-cycle arrest and a pro-inflammatory secretory phenotype, which contributes to aging and age-related diseases. Obesity is associated with increased senescent cell burden and neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression. To investigate the role of senescence in obesity-related neuropsychiatric dysfunction, we used the INK-ATTAC mouse model, from which p16Ink4a-expressing senescent cells can be eliminated, and senolytic drugs dasatinib and quercetin. We found that obesity results in the accumulation of senescent glial cells in proximity to the lateral ventricle, a region in which adult neurogenesis occurs. Furthermore, senescent glial cells exhibit excessive fat deposits, a phenotype we termed “accumulation of lipids in senescence.” Clearing senescent cells from high fat-fed or leptin receptor-deficient obese mice restored neurogenesis and alleviated anxiety-related behavior. Our study provides proof-of-concept evidence that senescent cells are major contributors to obesity-induced anxiety and that senolytics are a potential new therapeutic avenue for treating neuropsychiatric disorders.
aging  psychiatry 
11 days ago
Genetic risk for major depressive disorder and loneliness in gender-specific associations with coronary artery disease | bioRxiv
> Results: BioVU patients had a median EHR length of 9.91 years. In the phenome-wide association study, polygenic scores for MDD and loneliness were significantly associated with psychiatric and cardiac phenotypes. Targeted analyses of CAD in 3,893 cases and 4,197 controls in BioVU found odds ratios of 1.11 (95% CI, 1.04-1.18; P=8.43x10-4) and 1.13 (95% CI, 1.07-1.20; P=4.51x10-6) per 1-SD increase in the polygenic scores for MDD and loneliness, respectively. Comparable hazard ratios in ARIC were 1.07 (95% CI, 0.99-1.14; P=0.07) and 1.07 (1.01-1.15; P=0.03). Across both studies, the increased risk persisted in women after adjusting for multiple conventional risk factors, a polygenic score for CAD, and psychiatric symptoms (available in BioVU). Controlling for genetic risk factors shared between MDD and loneliness, the polygenic score for loneliness conditioned on MDD remained associated with CAD risk, but the polygenic score for MDD conditioned on loneliness did not.
loneliness  depression  gender  psychiatry  cardiology 
16 days ago
NYU to Launch Los Angeles Program – Variety
> More students come to NYU from California than any other state besides New York, and it’s also the second most popular destination for jobs after graduation. Currently, NYU has more than 14,000 alumni in the L.A. area alone. Other NYU campus locations include Shanghai and Abu Dhabi, as well as study-away sites in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Washington, D.C.
17 days ago
Association of Testosterone Treatment With Alleviation of Depressive Symptoms in Men: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. | Depressive Disorders | JAMA Psychiatry | JAMA Network
> Random-effects meta-analysis of 27 RCTs including 1890 men suggested that testosterone treatment is associated with a significant reduction in depressive symptoms compared with placebo (Hedges g, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.10-0.32), showing an efficacy of odds ratio (OR), 2.30 (95% CI, 1.30-4.06). There was no significant difference between acceptability of testosterone treatment and placebo (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.61-1.01). Meta-regression models suggested significant interactions for testosterone treatment with dosage and symptom variability at baseline. In the most conservative bias scenario, testosterone treatment remained significant whenever dosages greater than 0.5 g/wk were administered and symptom variability was kept low.
depression  meta_analysis  RCT  testosterone  aging 
17 days ago
Daddy, what did you do in the Great War? - Wikipedia
> The poster played on the guilt associated with not volunteering for wartime service.[3] Karyn Burman writes that propaganda posters of the time "presented a carefully crafted image of manhood defining 'real' men as those who fought for their families, for King and Country." She cites this poster as an example of an image that was "designed to question a man's sense of self-worth".[4]

War opponents of the time predictably scorned the poster and its shaming message. Robert Smillie, an Irish-born Scottish trade union leader, co-founder of the Scottish Labour Party, and a close friend of antiwar activist Keir Hardie, said that his reply to the question of the little girl in the poster would have been, "I tried to stop the bloody thing, my child."[5]
war  propaganda  masculinity 
17 days ago
The Rising Value of Time and the Origin of Urban Gentrification
> I estimate a spatial equilibrium model to show that the rising value of high-skilled workers’ time is an important driving force behind the gentrification of American central cities. I show that the increasing value of time raises the cost of commuting and exogenously increases the demand for central locations by high-skilled workers. While change in value of time is an initial force behind gentrification, its effect is substantially magnified by endogenous amenity improvement. The model implies that welfare inequality in the recent decades increases by more than the rise in earnings inequality if the forces behind gentrification are considered.
commute  cities  NYC  time 
17 days ago
Abdel Abdellaoui on Twitter: "I have an idea for a dating app. Non-Africans carry 1-2% Neanderthal DNA, but collectively they carry 40% of the Neanderthal genome. The app matches people with non-overlapping Neanderthal DNA. If this gets popular enough, we
> I have an idea for a dating app. Non-Africans carry 1-2% Neanderthal DNA, but collectively they carry 40% of the Neanderthal genome. The app matches people with non-overlapping Neanderthal DNA. If this gets popular enough, we could recreate 40% Neanderthal - 60% human persons!
DNA  evolution  neanderthal  dating 
19 days ago
Most distant world ever visited is shaped like a peanut
> Images of the rock, taken before the spacecraft's closest approach at 12:33 a.m. US Eastern time, show an elongated blob that resembles a spinning bowling pin. MU69 is roughly 32 kilometres long and 16 kilometres wide. The two lobes shown in the images could represent a peanut-shaped object or two smaller objects orbiting one another. The rock appears to be spinning almost directly face-on to Earth, either once every 15 hours or once every 30 hours.
21 days ago
Robert Fulton - Wikipedia
> Robert Fulton (November 14, 1765 – February 25, 1815) was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing a commercially successful steamboat; the first was called The North River Steamboat of Clermonts. In 1807 that steamboat traveled on the Hudson River with passengers from New York City to Albany and back again, a round trip of 300 miles, in 62 hours. The success of his steamboat changed river traffic and trade on major American rivers.

In 1800, Fulton had been commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte, leader of France, to attempt to design a submarine; he produced the Nautilus, the first practical submarine in history.[1] Fulton is also credited with inventing some of the world's earliest naval torpedoes for use by the British Royal Navy.[2]

Fulton became interested in steam engines and the idea of steamboats in 1777 when he was around age 12 and visited state delegate William Henry of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who was interested in this topic. Henry had learned about inventor James Watt and his Watt steam engine on an earlier visit to England.
pneumonia  history  invention  industry 
22 days ago
Judith Rich Harris - Wikipedia
> Harris graduated from Tucson High School and attended the University of Arizona, and then Brandeis University where she graduated magna cum laude in 1959.[2] Harris was dismissed from the Ph.D. program in psychology at Harvard University in 1960, because the 'originality and independence' of her work were not to Harvard's standards.[3][4][page needed] She was granted a master's degree in her field, before departing.
academia  biography 
23 days ago
Education for All? A Nationwide Audit Study of Schools of Choice
> School choice may allow schools to “cream skim” students perceived as easier to educate. To test this, we sent emails from fictitious parents to 6,452 schools in 29 states and Washington, D.C. The fictitious parent asked whether any student is eligible to apply to the school and how to apply. Each email signaled a randomly assigned attribute of the child. We find that schools are less likely to respond to inquiries from students with poor behavior, low achievement, or a special need. Lower response rates to students with a potentially significant special need are driven by charter schools. Otherwise, these results hold for traditional public schools in areas of school choice and high-value added schools.
charter_school  education  randomness 
23 days ago
Marijuana intoxication in a cat
> A 6-year-old Persian cat was brought to the veterinary clinic due to strong psychomotor agitation turning into aggression. During hospitalisation for 14 days, the cat behaved normally and had no further attacks of unwanted behaviour. It was returned to its home but shortly after it developed neurological signs again and was re-hospitalised. On presentation, the patient showed no neurological abnormalities except for symmetric mydriasis and scleral congestion. During the examination, the behaviour of the cat changed dramatically. It developed alternate states of agitation and apathy, each lasting several minutes. On interview it turned out that the cat had been exposed to marijuana smoke. Blood toxicology tests by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry revealed the presence of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at 5.5 ng/mL, 11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC at 1.2 ng/mL, and 11-carboxy-delta-9-THC at 13.8 ng/mL. The cat was given an isotonic solution of NaCl 2.5 and 2.5% glucose at a dose of 40 mL/kg/day parenterally and was hospitalised. After complete recovery, the cat was returned to it’s owner and future isolation of the animal from marijuana smoke was advised.
marijuana  cat 
24 days ago
Emergency Physician with Depression Chronicles Her 10-Year Fight to Keep Her License - ACEP Now
> During the investigation, which lasted nearly four months, the BME would not permit me to return to work. It required that I disclose intimate personal details of my psychological and psychiatric history to anybody at the BME who requested them. None of the BME staff who investigated me were psychiatrists or psychologists, and most of them were not even health care professionals. My only direct contact with the BME during that time was through an investigator with a background in law enforcement. This investigator successfully discouraged me from seeking legal assistance because of the potential for prolonging the BME investigation and further delaying my return to work. Despite numerous requests, BME staff would not allow me to appear in person or to testify in my own defense.

At its 2018 meeting in September, the ACEP Council voted to adopt a resolution on reducing physician barriers to mental health care.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the BME issued a non-disciplinary public “corrective action order,” effectively announcing my mental illness to the general public. This order required that I continue psychiatric care, that I maintain a physician-patient relationship
psychiatry  medicine  2018  depression  confidentiality 
24 days ago
A Second Opinion Becomes a Guilty Verdict : medicine
> This is a huge problem in the world of screening and public health/intervention. He found a "problem" which would have likely never clinically manifested or caused the patient any actual issue. He told the patient this problem would kill them if untreated, so he intervened.

Thus the patient feels as if their life was saved, when in reality they have gained no benefit and been exposed to risk of harm
medicine  trade_offs  surgery 
24 days ago
Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report | CDC
So far most of the flu this year is sensitive to tamiflu.
influenza  disease  2019 
24 days ago
Brain banking in low and middle-income countries: Raison D'être for the Ibadan Brain Ageing, Dementia And Neurodegeneration (IBADAN) Brain Bank Project - ScienceDirect
> Brain banks have become important global resources in the last three decades  The Ibadan Brain Ageing, Dementia And Neurodegeneration (IBADAN) Brain Bank is the first organized brain tissue biorepository in sub - Saharan Africa,  It is set up to accrue, process and store unique brain tissues for future research into a broad spectrum of neurological and psychiatric disorders
brain_banking  nigeria 
26 days ago
Charity Overhead Is Not Evil | Thing of Things
> If charities are focusing on getting their overhead expenses as low as possible, it can lead to the charity actually being less efficient. For example, the office staff at a domestic violence shelter might use computers from 2008 because replacing the computers would count as overhead. Or they might underpay their managers, which means the managers burn out, quit, and take a bunch of institutional knowledge with them. Or they might avoid hiring an administrative assistant, which means that social workers spend time filling out forms instead of helping people.

Imagine that you were trying to buy a pair of shoes. You might look at how expensive the shoes are, or how well-made they are, or how good the conditions in the factory were for the employees, or whether they are fashionable; these are all reasonable things to take into account when you’re buying shoes. What you would not do is say “wow, I’m going to buy these shoes, the CEO only makes $13,000 a year and all the HR was done by unpaid interns and the office staff are all using out-of-date computers.” That is just totally uncorrelated with whether the shoes are good. Maybe it means the shoes are worse, because HR is actually kind of important in making a good pair of shoes, and you are unlikely to get good HR from a bunch of unpaid interns.
charity  non_profit 
26 days ago
Does ECT alter brain structure? - PubMed - NCBI
> In animal ECS studies that used a stimulus intensity and frequency comparable to human ECT, no neuronal loss was seen when appropriate control animals, blind ratings, and perfusion fixation techniques were employed. Controlled studies using quantitative cell counts have failed to show neuronal loss even after prolonged courses of ECS. Several well-controlled studies have demonstrated that neuronal loss occurs only after 1.5 to 2 hours of continuous seizure activity in primates, and adequate muscle paralysis and oxygenation further delay these changes. These conditions are not approached during ECT. Other findings indicate that the passage of electricity, thermal effects, and the transient disruption of the blood-brain barrier during ECS do not result in structural brain damage.

There is no credible evidence that ECT causes structural brain damage.
ECT  psychiatry  neuroscience 
27 days ago
Identity Noise and Adipogenic Traits Characterize Dermal Fibroblast Aging: Cell
> We show that the identity of old fibroblasts becomes undefined, with the fibroblast states present in young skin no longer clearly demarcated. In addition, old fibroblasts not only reduce the expression of genes involved in the formation of the extracellular matrix, but also gain adipogenic traits, paradoxically becoming more similar to neonatal pro-adipogenic fibroblasts. These alterations are sensitive to systemic metabolic changes: long-term caloric restriction reversibly prevents them, whereas a high-fat diet potentiates them. Our results therefore highlight loss of cell identity and the acquisition of adipogenic traits as a mechanism underlying cellular aging, which is influenced by systemic metabolism.
aging  fibroblast  cells  adipogenic 
27 days ago
Computation and the Future of the Human Condition
> You know, from a really practical point of view, I'm guessing the first dramatic thing that's going to happen is successful cryonics.

It's a bit like cloning. For years I remember asking people about cloning mammals, and people gave all kinds of arguments about why it couldn't be done.

But then Dolly the sheep arrived—the result of discovering a weird, weird process.

Well, I'm strongly guessing it'll be the same with cryonics. That there's some weird process that'll make it just work.

It's a shame more people don't take that field more seriously. There's a breakthrough out there to be had.
stephen_wolfram  cryonics 
27 days ago
The evaluation of the transport medium for extracted premolars prior to cryopreservation: an in vitro study | SpringerLink
Cryopreservation as decontamination; cryopreserving teeth for eventually transplanting them back the same person's mouth.
dentist  cryopreservation  teeth 
4 weeks ago
Unity Biotechnology - Wikipedia
> Unity Biotechnology is a startup biotechnology company that develops drugs which target senescent cells.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

The company's products in development include UBX0101, targeting knee osteoarthritis (in Phase I clinical trials as of June 2018), and UBX1967, a preclinical product targeting ophthalmologic diseases.[8] [9] Both are senolytic medicines.

On May 3, 2018, the company went public on the Nasdaq exchange, raising $85 million at a market capitalization of $700 million. [10] [9]
aging  senescence  senolytics 
4 weeks ago
The emergence and pitfalls of international tissue banking | SpringerLink
> As the years progressed industrialisation, led by the USA, improved the quality of tissue allografts but led higher costs and consolidation within the developing industry. The growth of litigation more than kept pace with the industrial progress. One landmark case is described, the outcome of which could revolutionise the current practices now applied to eliminate possible viral contamination of implanted tissue grafts.
tissue_banking  law  medicine 
4 weeks ago
Dream Market - Wikipedia
> Following the seizures and shutdowns of the AlphaBay and Hansa markets in July 2017 as part of Operation Bayonet, there was much speculation that Dream Market would become the predominant darknet marketplace. Formerly, Dream Market had been considered the second-largest darknet marketplace, with AlphaBay being the largest and Hansa the third-largest. Many vendors and buyers from AlphaBay and Hansa communities registered on Dream Market in the aftermath of Operation Bayonet. Rumors at the time suggested that Dream Market was under law enforcement control.[3][4]

At the time, Dream Market was reported to have "57,000 listings for drugs and 4,000 listings for opioids".[5]

Dream Administrator and prolific vendor Gal Vallerius was arrested in August 2017, after a border search of his laptop confirmed his identity as online drug kingpin OxyMonster. The equivalent of $500,000 USD in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin was also discovered on this device. Vallerius is the subject of an ongoing investigation regarding large online narcotics purchases which began in February 2016.[6]
darkweb  2018 
4 weeks ago
Lawyers of reddit around the globe, what countries do you think have the best/worst judicial system? Why so? : AskReddit
> I think the Commonwealth countries (particularly England, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) have the best judicial systems, for the following reasons:

In my view there's a lot to be said for the adversarial system. I think arguments can be really rigorously tested by independent advocates advancing each side of a controversy before an essentially passive judge. I prefer that approach to one in which the course and focus of inquiry is more directed by the judge. It seems more even-handed, and less susceptible to judicial whim than an inquisitorial system. This essentially narrows me down to the common law jurisdictions. I am probably biased on this point.

Of the great common law, adversarial judicial systems, I think the US system is deeply flawed because its judiciary is overtly politicised. From what I've seen this affects all levels of the judiciary, from Supreme Court appointees to local judges (some of whom are elected, which seems insane to me - you might as well select surgeons by popular vote).
law  global  adversarial 
4 weeks ago
Why you can’t blame mass incarceration on the war on drugs - Vox
> Local and state prosecutors are enormously powerful in the US criminal justice system, in large part because they are given so much discretion to prosecute however they see fit. For example, former Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson in 2014 announced that he would no longer enforce low-level marijuana arrests. Think about how this works: Pot is still very much illegal in New York state, but Brooklyn’s district attorney flat-out said that he would ignore an aspect of the law — and it’s completely within his discretion to do so.
law  crime  prison  violence  drugs  race  2018 
4 weeks ago
Medieval archaeology - Wikipedia
Such an interesting field. > Medieval archaeology is the study of humankind through its material culture, specialising in the period of the European Middle Ages. At its broadest, the period stretches from the 5th to the 16th century and refers to post-Roman but pre-modern remains. The period covers the upheaval caused by the fall of the Roman Empire and cultures such as the Vikings, Saxons, and Franks. Archaeologists often specialise in studying either the Early Middle Ages (Migration Period) or the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages, although many projects and professionals move across these chronological boundaries. The rich nature of the medieval written record has meant that archaeology has often been seen as the "handmaiden to history",[1] especially in the later medieval period. Analysis of material culture may enrich or call into question written evidence from the medieval period and the two sources of evidence need to be used together. Medieval archaeology has examined the development of medieval settlements, particularly the development of medieval towns and castles. It has also contributed to understanding of the spread and development of Christian monasticism during the medieval period.
archaeology  history 
4 weeks ago
Why Radioactive Waste Is Being Melted into Glass
"This successful test confirms the science and engineering approach," Eaton said in the statement. "Seeing actual Hanford low-activity waste being converted to glass is really exciting. It ties together 20 years of work from the design and construction of the Waste Treatment Plant to the research and testing that has supported that effort."

If the glass breaks, as it did in the test, "then you have multiple pieces of glass," Eaton told Live Science in an email. "The waste components are chemically bound and are a part of the glass material. The dissolution of the glass over time (which happens very slowly) depends of surface area, so some minor cracking has a very small effect on leaching into the environment."
vitrification  nuclear_physics  radioactivity 
4 weeks ago
Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet - History for Atheists
> The first words presented as being spoken by Jesus in the first chapter of the earliest gospel are:

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in this good news.”

Mark 1:15
The writer of gMark does not depict Jesus explaining what he means and expects his audience to understand – here Jesus is proclaiming that the expected end time had come, that the kingship of God was close and that those who believed this and repented would join the righteous when the imminent apocalypse arrived. Far from being a prophet of doom, Jesus is depicted proclaiming this imminent event as “good news” – the relief from oppression, both human and demonic, was almost here. And this succinct summary is effectively the whole of his message in this and in the other two synoptic gospels (gMatt and gLuke); the word “gospel” literally means “[the] good news”.
apocalypse  news  christianity  history  religion  judaism 
4 weeks ago
Why a postdoc might not advance your career
> One study, published online on 8 October in Research Policy, explored the ‘mismatch’ between the skills sought by employers and the skills learned in postdoctoral positions at five institutes, including four top US universities. Another study published in the December issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Management investigated the postdoc recruitment and hiring process at four European universities — a process, the authors argue, that undermines long-term employability and job security.

Of the 97 postdocs interviewed in 2016 and early 2017 for the Research Policy paper, 84 had originally planned to go on to an academic career. At the time of publication, five of those postdocs, or 6%, had in fact landed tenure-track positions, but many of the rest will eventually have to pursue other options, says lead author Christopher Hayter, a higher-education researcher at Arizona State University in Tempe. “It’s shocking when a postdoc at a top research institution can’t find a job in academia,” he says, “but that’s par for the course.”
postdoc  academia  post_mdphd 
4 weeks ago
Consistent success in life-supporting porcine cardiac xenotransplantation | Nature
Here we show that α1,3-galactosyltransferase-knockout pig hearts that express human CD46 and thrombomodulin require non-ischaemic preservation with continuous perfusion and control of post-transplantation growth to ensure long-term orthotopic function of the xenograft in baboons, the most stringent preclinical xenotransplantation model. Consistent life-supporting function of xenografted hearts for up to 195 days is a milestone on the way to clinical cardiac xenotransplantation7.
xenotransplant  cardiac_system 
4 weeks ago
First sun-dimming experiment will test a way to cool Earth
> The idea is simple: spray a bunch of particles into the stratosphere, and they will cool the planet by reflecting some of the Sun’s rays back into space. Scientists have already witnessed the principle in action. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it injected an estimated 20 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere — the atmospheric layer that stretches from about 10 to 50 kilometres above Earth's surface. The eruption created a haze of sulfate particles that cooled the planet by around 0.5 °C. For about 18 months, Earth’s average temperature returned to what it was before the arrival of the steam engine.
geoengineering  climate_change 
4 weeks ago
Juggling research and family life: honest reflections from scientist dads
> People have occasionally said they chose my research group because of the respect I try to foster for work–life balance. I have a reputation for my out-of-office messages, which I use to communicate clearly (and humorously) that life outside work can sometimes take priority, and that family holidays are something I enjoy. I started getting congratulatory e-mails about them. Now I face pressure to come up with a funnier one whenever we go away. My last one read: “A long hot summer, epic collapse of global political discourse, impending Brexit chaos, new NSS scores, creeping REF preparation and a crescendo of short-notice UKRI deadlines. This can mean only one thing — it’s time to go on vacation! I’ve gone with my wife and children to play, talk, swim, read, eat, drink, think, snooze and relax. And you should too — it’s August, after all!”
humor  children  science  parenting  email 
4 weeks ago
Spatiotemporal transcriptomic divergence across human and macaque brain development | Science
> However, the transcriptomic trajectories associated with oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination exhibited a prominent temporal shift (asynchrony) across neocortical areas in both species (fig. S17). Between species, myelination and, to a lesser extent, synaptogenesis exhibited species differences in the shapes of these trajectories; the myelination transcriptomic signature progressively increased in the human NCX beginning from late fetal development through adulthood without reaching an obvious plateau until 40 PY, but in the macaque NCX the myelination signature reached a plateau around the first postnatal year
nenad_sestan  oligodendrocytes  myelin 
4 weeks ago
Increasing Evidence for the Limited Role of Opioids to Treat Chronic Noncancer Pain. | Substance Use and Addiction | JAMA | JAMA Network
> In 2017, an estimated 11 to 12 million people in the United States (4.2% of the total population) misused opioids (including heroin).1 What most physicians do not recognize is that 92% of people who misuse opioids do so by taking prescription opioids,1 and that 75% of individuals who use heroin report that they started misusing opioids through the misuse of prescription opioids.2
4 weeks ago
The E-Coli Test for AI Alignment - LessWrong 2.0 viewer
> Go prep a slide with some e-coli, put it un­der a micro­scope, and zoom in un­til you can see four or five cells. Your mis­sion: satisfy the val­ues of those par­tic­u­lar e-coli. In par­tic­u­lar, walk through what­ever method you have in mind for AI al­ign­ment. You get to play the role of the AI; with your so­phis­ti­cated brain, mas­sive com­put­ing power, and large-scale re­sources, hope­fully you can satisfy the val­ues of a few sim­ple e-coli cells.

Per­haps you say “this is sim­ple, they just want to max­i­mize re­pro­duc­tion rate.” Ah, but that’s not quite right. That’s op­ti­miz­ing for the goals of the pro­cess of evolu­tion, not op­ti­miz­ing for the goals of the god­shat­ter it­self. The e-coli has some frozen-in val­ues which have evolved to ap­prox­i­mate evolu­tion­ary fit­ness max­i­miza­tion in some en­vi­ron­ments; your job is op­ti­mize for the frozen-in ap­prox­i­ma­tion, even in new en­vi­ron­ments. After all, we don’t want a strong AI op­ti­miz­ing for the re­pro­duc­tive fit­ness of hu­
e_coli  AI  bacteria  values 
4 weeks ago
Human brain samples yield a genomic trove | Science
> Neurogeneticist Kevin Mitchell of Trinity College Dublin echoes some of Graur's concerns. “I'm not fully convinced that we know more today than we did yesterday,” he says. He doubts that a profile of gene expression can define disorders as heterogeneous as schizophrenia or autism—or give new insights into how to treat them. “It's a huge amount of work, very well intended and very well done,” he says, “but there are some limits to what you can do with genomics.”

But many researchers defend the project's value. “I'm sure there are researchers out there who will look at these first papers and say, … ‘Where is our paradigm-shifting finding?’” says Alexander Nord, a neurogeneticist at UC Davis who was not in the consortium. “That's a bit of a straw man, expecting us to find that in one set of analyses.” The data set will grow richer as researchers work to interpret it, he says. “It's not going to go out of style.”
gene_expression  kevin_mitchell  psychiatry 
5 weeks ago
For Difficult-to-Model Brain Diseases, Brain Organoids Come to the Rescue | Neurology | JAMA | JAMA Network
> “I made some mistakes and I ended up not being able to get my cells to stick to the [culture] dishes,” she recalled. “[T]hese cells floated off and formed these three-dimensional aggregates that then started to take on really interesting morphologies and started to generate neurons.”
science  organoids  brain 
5 weeks ago
Discovery of the first genome-wide significant risk loci for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder | Nature Genetics
> Strong concordance with GWAS of quantitative population measures of ADHD symptoms supports that clinical diagnosis of ADHD is an extreme expression of continuous heritable traits.
ADHD  spectrum  GWAS 
5 weeks ago
Large and fast human pyramidal neurons associate with intelligence | bioRxiv
> Finally, we find that human pyramidal neurons of individuals with higher IQ scores sustain faster action potentials during repeated firing. These findings provide first evidence that human intelligence is associated with neuronal complexity, action potential speed and efficient information transfer in cortical neurons.
intelligence  neuroscience  speed_accuracy 
5 weeks ago
Education, intelligence and Alzheimer's disease: Evidence from a multivariable two-sample Mendelian randomization study | bioRxiv
> There was little evidence from the multivariable MR analysis that educational attainment affected AD risk once intelligence was taken into account, but intelligence affected AD risk independently of educational attainment to a similar magnitude observed in the univariate analysis
alzheimers  genetics  education  intelligence  mendelian_randomization 
5 weeks ago
Genetic Attributions: Sign of Intolerance or Acceptance? | The Journal of Politics: Vol 80, No 3
> We test these expectations with original data from two nationally representative samples that allow us to identify the American public’s attributional patterns across 18 diverse traits. Key findings are (1) genetic attributions are actually more likely to be made by liberals, not conservatives; (2) genetic attributions are associated with higher, not lower, levels of tolerance of vulnerable individuals; and (3) genetic attributions do not correlate with unseemly racial attitudes.
genetics  causation  psychology  US 
5 weeks ago
Laser cooling of solids: latest achievements and prospects
> The main technique of laser cooling of RE doped solids based on anti-Stokes fluorescence is presented in this paper. The new approach to optical refrigeration based on the Raman cooling is also considered. It is shown that the future prospects of the research are connected with laser cooling of μm- and nm-sized samples, are in their applications in biophysics in the fundamental studies of low-temperature physics.
lasers  cooling  physics 
5 weeks ago
Tsinghua University may soon top the world league in science research - Seizing the laurels
> Money is the lever. The funding system motivates universities to produce top-class research. Universities, in turn, give their academics an incentive to do so. A study by three Chinese researchers, published last year, noted that payments for getting a paper published had risen steadily from the $25 that was offered nearly 30 years ago by Nanjing University, the first university to give such rewards. Now such bonuses range up to $165,000—20 times the annual salary of an average academic—for a paper in Nature, depending on the institution. The system has responded. China’s share of stempapers in Scopus, the world’s biggest catalogue of abstracts and citations, rose from 4% in 2000 to 19% in 2016, more than America’s contribution.

Tsinghua creams off the best researchers. And, like China itself, when it comes to scoring, it benefits from its size. phd students are the workforce of the research business. In 2017 the university awarded 1,385 doctorates (some recipients are pictured), compared with 645 conferred by mit. But numbers are not the main reason for Tsinghua’s success. Yang Bin, its vice-president, says “the most important moment in the development of Tsinghua” was in 1978, when Deng Xiaoping said China would send larger numbers of students abroad. “We need to send tens of thousands,” Deng said. “This is one of the key ways of…improving our level of scientific education.” Officials worried that few of them would return, but Deng insisted that enough would. He was right.
Tsinghua  china  publishing  incentives 
5 weeks ago
Chamber music - Wikipedia
> Throughout the Baroque era, the harpsichord was one of the main instruments used in chamber music. The harpsichord used quills to pluck strings, and it had a delicate sound. Due to the design of the harpsichord, the attack or weight with which the performer played the keyboard did not change the volume or tone. In between about 1750 and the late 1700s, the harpsichord gradually fell out of use. By the late 1700s, the pianoforte became more popular as an instrument for performance. Even though the pianoforte was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori at the beginning of the 1700s, it did not become widely used until the end of that century, when technical improvements in its construction made it a more effective instrument. Unlike the harpsichord, the pianoforte could play soft or loud dynamics and sharp sforzando attacks depending on how hard or soft the performer played the keys.[19] The improved pianoforte was adopted by Mozart and other composers, who began composing chamber ensembles with the piano playing a leading role. The piano was to become more and more dominant through the 19th century, so much so that many composers, such as Franz Liszt and Frédéric Chopin, wrote almost exclusively for solo piano (or solo piano with orchestra).
music  history 
5 weeks ago
Lund professor freed student from Islamic State war zone - The Local
> He and his family were, he told her, hiding out in a disused bleach factory, with the sounds of gunshots from Isis warriors roaming the town reverberating around them. Jumaah, who is from Iraq, is a member of the ethno-religious group Yazidi hated by Isis.

"I had no hope then at all," Jumaah told Lund's University Magazine LUM. "I was desperate. I just wanted to tell my supervisor what was happening. I had no idea that a professor would be able to do anything for us."
Lund  Sweden  ISIS  rescue  phd 
5 weeks ago
Machine Friendly Machine Learning: Interpretation of Computed Tomography Without Image Reconstruction
> Our proposed SinoNet performed favorably compared to conventional reconstructed image-space-based systems for both tasks, regardless of scanning geometries in terms of projections or detectors. Further, SinoNet performed significantly better when using sparsely sampled sinograms than conventional networks operating in image-space. As a result, sinogram-space algorithms could be used in field settings for binary diagnosis testing, triage, and in clinical settings where low radiation dose is desired. These findings also demonstrate another strength of deep learning where it can analyze and interpret sinograms that are virtually impossible for human experts.
CT  radiology  machine_learning 
6 weeks ago
Nanoscale tweezers for single-cell biopsies | Nature Nanotechnology
> Here we describe minimally invasive nanotweezers that can be spatially controlled to extract samples from living cells with single-molecule precision. They consist of two closely spaced electrodes with gaps as small as 10–20 nm, which can be used for the dielectrophoretic trapping of DNA and proteins. Aside from trapping single molecules, we also extract nucleic acids for gene expression analysis from living cells without affecting their viability. Finally, we report on the trapping and extraction of a single mitochondrion
nanotechnology  tweezers  single_cell  molecule 
6 weeks ago
Incidence of Dementia over Three Decades in the Framingham Heart Study | NEJM
> The 5-year age- and sex-adjusted cumulative hazard rates for dementia were 3.6 per 100 persons during the first epoch (late 1970s and early 1980s), 2.8 per 100 persons during the second epoch (late 1980s and early 1990s), 2.2 per 100 persons during the third epoch (late 1990s and early 2000s), and 2.0 per 100 persons during the fourth epoch (late 2000s and early 2010s). Relative to the incidence during the first epoch, the incidence declined by 22%, 38%, and 44% during the second, third, and fourth epochs, respectively. This risk reduction was observed only among persons who had at least a high school diploma (hazard ratio, 0.77; 95% confidence interval, 0.67 to 0.88). The prevalence of most vascular risk factors (except obesity and diabetes) and the risk of dementia associated with stroke, atrial fibrillation, or heart failure have decreased over time, but none of these trends completely explain the decrease in the incidence of dementia.
dementia  cardiovascular 
6 weeks ago
Chinchorro mummies - Wikipedia
> The artificial mummies of Chinchorro are believed to have first appeared around 5000 BC and reached a peak around 3000 BC. Often Chinchorro mummies were elaborately prepared by removing the internal organs and replacing them with vegetable fibers or animal hair. In some cases an embalmer would remove the skin and flesh from the dead body and replace them with clay. Radiocarbon dating reveals that the oldest discovered anthropogenically modified Chinchorro mummy was that of a child from a site in the Camarones Valley, about 60 miles (97 km) south of Arica in Chile and dates from around 5050 BC. The mummies continued to be made until about 1800 BC, making them contemporary with Las Vegas culture and Valdivia culture in Ecuador and the Norte Chico civilization in Peru.
mummy  history  chile 
6 weeks ago
Xin Zhui - Wikipedia
> In Western Han Dynasty, elaborate and lavish burials were common practice. One reason was the notion of imperishability of the soul: it was believed that another world existed for the dead, and they needed food and accommodation just like the living. Therefore, the consecration for the dead should be the same as what was provided for the living, and all the necessities in life should be brought into the grave for use in the afterlife. The other was the emphasis on filial piety during that time. In Han Dynasty, filial piety had become an important approach to become an official, and elaborate and lavish burials are a significant way to show filial piety to one's deceased parents. These were among the main reasons why there were so many precious artifacts in Xin Zhui's tomb.[9]
preservation  death  china  history 
6 weeks ago
Marie François Xavier Bichat - Wikipedia
> Bichat's main contribution to medicine and physiology was his perception that the diverse body of organs contain particular tissues or membranes, and he described 21 such membranes, including connective, muscle, and nerve tissue.[8] Bichat did not use a microscope because he distrusted it; therefore his analyses did not include any acknowledgement of cellular structure.[8] Nonetheless, he formed an important bridge between the organ pathology of Giovanni Battista Morgagni and the cell pathology of Rudolf Ludwig Carl Virchow.
histology  history 
6 weeks ago
[1812.01647] Rigorous Agent Evaluation: An Adversarial Approach to Uncover Catastrophic Failures
> The key difficulty is in identifying these adversarial situations -- since failures are rare there is little signal to drive optimization. To solve this we propose a continuation approach that learns failure modes in related but less robust agents. Our approach also allows reuse of data already collected for training the agent. We demonstrate the efficacy of adversarial evaluation on two standard domains: humanoid control and simulated driving. Experimental results show that our methods can find catastrophic failures and estimate failures rates of agents multiple orders of magnitude faster than standard evaluation schemes, in minutes to hours rather than days.
reinforcement_learning  AI 
6 weeks ago
World's First Baby Born Via Uterus Transplant From Deceased Donor | HuffPost
> A woman in Brazil who was born without a uterus successfully gave birth to a healthy baby girl in 2017 following the transplant, researchers said.
uterus  pregnancy  donor 
6 weeks ago
Suicide Rate is Up 1.2 Percent According to Most Recent CDC Data (Year 2016) — AFSP
> Men die by suicide 3.57 more times than women
White males account for seven out of ten suicides
Among people in middle age (45-54) the rate of suicide slightly decreased
In the second highest risk age category of those 85 years old and older, there was a small decrease in the suicide rate
All other age groups increased slightly (except 45-54 and 85 and older)
Related to race, Caucasian people have the highest rate of suicide
The suicide rate among Caucasian people decreased slightly
There was an increase in the suicide rate among Alaska Native and American Indian people
More than half of suicide deaths were by firearms, 51 percent (from just under 50 percent last year)
suicide  gender  race  age 
6 weeks ago
Methotrexate Chemotherapy Induces Persistent Tri-glial Dysregulation that Underlies Chemotherapy-Related Cognitive Impairment: Cell
> Developing a mouse model of methotrexate chemotherapy-induced neurological dysfunction, we find a similar depletion of white matter OPCs, increased but incomplete OPC differentiation, and a persistent deficit in myelination.
methotrexate  myelin  oligodendrocytes  michelle_monje  OPC 
6 weeks ago
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