This article is actually about two years old now, but I don’t recall stumbling across it before now. Basically, the idea is that researchers have come up with a new physics model for the universe that applies quantum correction terms alongside Einstein’s theory of general relativity. This same model might also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.
Everyone is familiar with the Big Bang (visualized above), and estimates with this theory are that the universe is around 13.7 billion years old. However, this new theory suggests that the universe might have always existed, and will always exist, with no beginning or end. The Big Bang theory can mathematically only trace the universe back to the singularity, but no further. The new model suggests that the universe may not have actually originated from a single point, and accounts for expansion and movements of galaxies and stars through quantum principles, combining elements from quantum theory and general relativity.
With this model, singularities are not applicable, because unlike geometric (3-dimensional) trajectories – which can collide, “Bohmian” trajectories never actually cross, and without matter fighting to be in the same space at the same time, singularities don’t actually happen.
The whole thing is a slight bit over my head, but at the same time, it kind of makes me wish I’d gone into physics just so I could understand – and thus explain – it a bit better. The researchers who presented this early model are confident it will hold up even if/when a full theory of quantum gravity comes along. Two years along, I wonder if it’s still holding up? If so, it could mean that Einstein was still right in his own theories, but that he’d only uncovered a piece of the big puzzle that is physics, and the universe might be just a tad older than we currently imagine. Infinity is older than 13.7 billion years, right?
As far back as I can remember really studying anything about science in school, I remember learning that bone marrow makes blood. However, a new discovery by scientists at University of California, San Francisco has shown that part of your blood may actually manufactured by your lungs. Experiments on mice found that lung tissue contained blood stem cells that prompt lung cells to manufacture platelets – a key component of blood.
There has apparently been some knowledge that a few platelets were sometimes created in the lungs already, but this new discovery finds that most of the platelets actually come from cells in the lungs. The reason this hasn’t really been detected before now is that these scientists used a relatively new process that modifies the mouse genes with a protein responsible for bioluminescence in animals, but is harmless to living cells. This caused the cells to produce platelets that emitted a bright green fluorescence as they circulated. This same procedure also recently helped an entirely different group of researchers determine that the cerebellum plays a significant role in reward response – something previously unknown.
Recognizing that blood production may not necessarily be handed exclusively in bone marrow may actually change the way we treat various diseases involving blood and the lungs. However, first, scientists will need to study whether this same system exists in humans as well.
Homeopathy and naturopathy have become pretty big things the past several years as more and more people have lost trust in “big pharma” and traditional medicine. There is a belief that traditional medicine exists primarily to keep people sick, and thereby keep them dependent on drugs, paying loads of money to support the pharmaceutical industry.
While there may be some elements of truth here or there to such home or natural remedies, much of it is little more than placebo, and the majority of these treatments are medically unproven. And even natural treatments that are known to work can be used in unproven or inappropriate ways. This seems to be what happened when a naturopathic doctor in California provided a patient with an IV drip containing curcumin, an extract from turmeric. The patient suffered an acute reaction to the treatment, and died due to cardiopulmonary arrest – her heart and lungs stopped working.
Turmeric does have well proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been used for medical purposes for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions, and studies have shown that turmeric may help reduce inflammation, treat some types of digestive problems, and may help fight infections and even some cancers. However, turmeric is usually taken orally. It’s a popular spice, especially in Indian cuisine.
More recently, some people have been extracting the active substance from turmeric – curcumin – and trying it out as an injectable. This method of treatment has not been well studied, much less proven, and studies that do exist tend to present conflicting evidence. While most naturopathic doctors administer turmeric orally, a few have taken to the practice of injecting the extract directly into patients’ veins, despite the unproven effectiveness or safety of doing so.
An investigation is being conducted in this patient’s death, although the preliminary finding is apparently that the death was accidental. Naturopathic doctors are licensed and regulated in California, so there will definitely be questions whether this doctor was operating within regulation to administer the extract intravenously. Much of what naturopathic doctors are licensed to do are explicitly stated as “in collaboration with a medical doctor,” pretty clearly indicating that although they are licensed, naturopathic doctors don’t have free reign and are not qualified as medical doctors. Even if he is cleared of any malpractice though, I don’t suspect this case will do much to reduce the impressions that homeopathy and naturopathy are more “quack science” than legitimate medicine.
[via 10 News (warning – autoplay)]
It’s no secret that Trump gets a great majority of his “real” news from Fox News – I mean, the fact that he live tweets random crap within minutes of it airing on Fox News makes it pretty easy to deduce. Plus, he has basically nothing but praise for them as he criticizes all the others (CNN in particular) as being “fake news.”
Well, even Fox News itself is in some serious turmoil right now regarding facts vs. “facts.” Some of the actual news anchors, such as Shepard Smith, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier, have some big problems with the sort of false fluff being presented as “news” by Fox commentators like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson. The outrageous claims Trump is attracted to like a moth to flame all tend to come from the commentators’ shows, not actual news segments. Apparently, this is really starting to bother the actual news reporters, who seem to feel (and rightly so, I’d say) that Fox is losing credibility as a reliable news source. Ya think?
An unnamed insider from Fox News pointed out in an interview with Vanity Fair that since Megyn Kelly left and Rupert Murdoch took direct control of the network himself, installing a 100% white male panel of commentators during the 8-11 p.m. prime time slots, Fox has begun to feel much more like “state broadcasting” than it ever did under Roger Ailes. And they’re talking “state broadcasting” in a China, Russia, and North Korea sense. These commentators and their guests are spewing out nonsense that Trump is just gobbling up, and then regurgitating as fact, and since it comes from the president, lots of people are actually believing it much more than they would have otherwise.
So it does sound like there’s a sort of civil war brewing at Fox – the actual news broadcasters are having big issues with the drivel the commentators put out. Shepard Smith even took public issue with Fox’s spreading of the idea that “the Brits did it,” insisting that Fox News “knew of no evidence of any kind” to support these wiretapping claims. In fact, he outright said that they knew of no proof whatsoever that Trump “was surveilled at any time, in any way. Full stop.”
THAT is actual Fox News speaking. Trump’s little alternative fact cronies aren’t actually news, regardless of the fact Trump treats them as such. Of course, with Rupert Murdoch at the reins right now, I have to wonder how long these guys standing up for reporting facts and NOT supporting this fictional crap are going to have jobs at Fox. I still can’t for the life of me though figure out how utterly fake bullshit (excuse my French) could ever gain the momentum and power it has in the mainstream media though. I recognize no news agency has been entirely trustworthy, but when we’re to the point that we have a president who in one breath condemns real news as fake, while continuously promoting a make-believe alternate reality as factual news, we have gone seriously, seriously wrong somewhere.
So most of the time when you think about collision avoidance systems, you think about cars scanning ahead of you, ready to brake if the car in front of you suddenly stops or changes lanes, if a person walks out in front of you, etc. Tesla’s collision avoidance watches more than just the front though. This particular instance above, the Tesla Model X detected the sudden acceleration of the car behind it after it was hit, and used the instant torque of its electric wheels to launch it forward a bit, avoiding being hit from the back while still preventing it from running into the car in front.
This is a pretty cool feature, but now I’m curious how it would handle a similar situation at a red light, for instance, where nothing is immediately in front of the car, but cross traffic is coming at the time it accelerates to avoid a crash. It might still work pretty well, but I’m still curious. The collision avoidance system is already more capable than most real drivers, as you can see in this other video here:
In this one, taken from inside a Model X, you can hear the emergency braking warning sound before you really notice anything might be wrong – the Model X scanned far enough ahead it was able to detect a potential accident/obstacle past the car in front of it, and just before the accident happened, it sounded the alert and immediately began braking. That’s pretty friggin’ cool in my opinion.
And in both of these cases, reports say the Teslas were under manual control, and autopilot was not engaged. A follow-up from the owner of the Tesla in the first video indicated that the car behind him actually did make contact with his, just enough to leave two small screw indentations in part of his bumper. Damage would have been much worse if his car hadn’t accelerated out of the way though.
During parts of this video, I felt like I was watching a chase scene from an old Scooby Doo cartoon or something – kitten runs in a door down the hall, then immediately back out from under the couch, and just chaos every which way.