W bosons, elementary particles that carry the weak force, one of the four fundamental forces. have been observed in pairs from photon collisions in the ATLAS experiment of the LHC. It confirms one of the main predictions of electroweak theory, that force carriers can interact with themselves, and, since the LHC has been used a high-energy photon collider directly probing electroweak interactions, provides new ways to probe it. According to the laws of classical electrodynamics, two intersecting light beams would not deflect, absorb or disrupt one another. However, effects of quantum…
Robert Owen did so well under capitalism that he had the money to reject it, so the wealthy Scottish textile magnate devised a financial system around labor itself and "justice." The National Equitable Labour Exchange sought to use prices based on the time it took workers to produce it. As you might imagine, it didn't take off. How do you measure the labor it takes to grow an ear of corn? And that is why it failed. The Exchange allowed workers to trade products using notes representing hours of work, but disputes over the value of products occurred quickly. If food takes months to grow and is…
Data for the continuum of care for the numbers of Hepatitis B and C diagnoses and those in treatment and care are lacking in most countries but what data are in show one thing clearly; 80 percent of people living with hepatitis B and C infections appear to be undiagnosed and that many of those who have been diagnosed with hepatitis B and C infection are not receiving life-saving treatment. Available evidence also indicates that those at high risk of infection, including people who inject drugs and people in prison, are not being effectively targeted for testing. Thanks to recent advances,…
The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires organisations to certify that they protect individuals in their organisations and supply chains from slavery anywhere along their supply chain, from raw material extraction to the final customer, for the purpose of service provision or production.The UK government claims this protects companies and institutions from reputational damage and promotes sustainability but even universities, which should have the easiest time complying, are unable to keep up with the bureaucratic demands.  Government believed that by creating a regulatory requirement, the…
A new study seeks to understand why Russian women only make up 26 percent of students in Engineering, Technology and Technical Sciences undergraduate courses, 27 percent in Computer and Information Sciences courses, 31 percent of Mathematics and Mechanics, and 32 percent in Physics and Astronomy.  Gender representation is different in Europe as well, but it goes both ways. The social sciences and education fields are dominated by women and men have around the representation women have in engineering above. In Russia, a new paper notes, the reason may be more stereotypes, some worry; women are…
Between 23 and 30 April 2020, one month after the lockdown was introduced in the United Kingdom, 17,452 people responded to the online survey out of a total study population of 42,330 used the 12-item General Health Questionnaire, which is a validated tool for measuring levels of mental distress, and a new paper details the non-immunological effects of government lockdown. The study reveals that some mental health inequalities that were present before the pandemic have widened. The increase in mental distress was greater among women than men (women: average adjusted increase of 0.92/36, men:…
Europeans are about to get a lot less coffee from Africa, because the company imported it will now be liable for any environmental damage claims made by environmental NGOs about the farming practices in Africa. That is the problem with Germany's new Supply Chain Act, warn critics. By making corporations liable for health and environmental damages caused along the entire supply chain, companies will be open to unlimited financial risk if they can't force their suppliers to use only pesticides that Germany likes. Or refuse to fill out more paperwork for foreign governments.  While the public…
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have found ourselves in the middle of a nostalgia frenzy. It seemed to permeate everything: nostalgia playlists on music streaming platforms outperformed new music, and old albums by Madonna, Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey topped the iTunes charts. On TV, we’ve been treated to memorable football matches, Wimbledon finals and favourite dramas as broadcasters played their part in providing comfort television. Most notably perhaps, has been the huge surge in nostalgic hobbies such as knitting, crochet and DIY fashion, an ongoing obsession with baking bread…
Extreme shortages of toilet paper, pasta and other pantry products defined the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic for many shoppers around the world. Availability of most these goods has returned to normal. But not for baking goods – flour in particular. In Britain the flour shortage has led to the thousand-year-old Sturminster Newton Mill, established in 1016, cranking back into production. Sales by small artisan outfits – such as the Shipton Mill, mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 – have surged. It’s the same in France. So why are there flour shortages from Europe to the United…
On World Bee Day, May 20th,the European Green Deal was released and few are happy with its final committee iteration but most unhappy will be conventional farmers. The European Commission's Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies endorses the organic industry and calls for their share of the market to increase to 25 percent while other vested interests criticize that it does not do enough to reduce use of meat. Farmers are worried about lack of guidance around a call to reduce pesticide usage by 50 percent when BASF is so concerned about Europe's undermining of science they have begun…
The deeper layers of the ocean are warming at a slower pace than the surface but animals living in the deep ocean are more exposed to climate warming and will face increasing challenges to maintain their preferred thermal habitats in the future, according to a new model in Nature Climate Change which analyzed contemporary and future global patterns of the velocity of climate change across the depths of the ocean.  Despite rapid surface warming, the team found that global mean climate velocities in the deepest layers of the ocean, greater than half a mile below the surface, have been 2X to…
The European Patent Office may have hoped to put an end to its chaotic decision-making, because they have written an opinion that "plants and animals exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes are not patentable," and environmentalists opposed to science are cheering, but that may be because they don't realize how confusing the G 3/19 "Pepper" decision really is. Activists say an inability to patent means that companies have less incentive to optimize plants, but they ignore that it is also an indication that there is no scientific foundation for beliefs that products like GMOs…
Should you wear a face mask when you leave your house? It’s the question no one seems to agree on. In France, the government originally said masks were unnecessary, but this week has made it mandatory to wear them on public transport and in secondary schools and is distributing masks through supermarkets and pharmacies. The UK government says it is still considering evidence on mask-wearing and is holding out on a recommendation, yet Scotland has already recommended that people cover their faces when in public spaces. Meanwhile, in Michigan, a security guard has been shot and killed in a…
European organic industry activists have been hoping their March Against Bayer & Syngenta "virtual" events would gain traction but the only people talking about it on social media are paid allies and Russian propaganda sites such as Russia Today and Sputnik. So they are pivoting to the less educated population in Brazil, whom they hope can be exploited with more success, so they are targeting European agriculture companies that way. Campanha Permanente Contra os Agrotóxicos e Pela Vida has been using identical "highly hazardous pesticides" advocacy messaging in efforts to worry indigenous…
Australia has completed its move toward modern approaches to agriculture. South Australian has lifted its ban on modern genetic engineering (older mutagenesis engineered foods were still allowed) and councils can continue to adhere to the organic industry manufacturing process but it will no longer be illegal to use modern approaches to farming there.  Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone announced the change and noted the Government made multiple attempts to lift the ban without engaging in the kind of mandate South Australia was using against farmers. He said they had compromised in…
While some will lay the spread of coronavirus at the feet of the World Health Organisation (for protecting China from criticism in its refusal to accept that they had a deadly virus) others will try to claim it was caused by 5G cellular service or vaccines. Almost all Europeans will be skeptical of those claims. What about blaming agriculture? On that topic, many Europeans do believe it is a problem, and some are willing to consider that it led to more COVID-19. When the crisis is over, instead of being more suspicious of environmental NGOs that have spread misinformation about SARS-CoV-2,…
The Arctic is predicted to warm faster than anywhere else in the world this century, perhaps by as much as 7°C. These rising temperatures threaten one of the largest long-term stores of carbon on land: permafrost. Permafrost is permanently frozen soil. The generally cold temperatures in the Arctic keep soils there frozen year-on-year. Plants grow in the uppermost soil layers during the short summers and then decay into soil, which freezes when the winter snow arrives. Over thousands of years, carbon has built up in these frozen soils, and they’re now estimated to contain twice the carbon…
European advocacy groups are getting help from avowed communists such as Rob Wallace, Marxist conspiracy theorist and author of Big Farms Make Big Flu, in their fight against science. It may be a losing battle since coronavirus shows how important science and medicine are to the modern world. Italy is at 11,591 deaths and Spain has 7,340 but that is a tiny fraction of 100 years ago during the Spanish Flu. Groups like Greenpeace and Corporate Europe Observatory are concerned that just when they had Europe convinced it should continue to reject GMOs and more effective pesticides, consumers have…
Airplanes have a reputation for spreading germs and it makes sense when there are 150 people in a small tube with recirculating air 16 inches from each other for extended periods. But some risks are more than others. The tray table you eat on likely has more risk of disease than the bathroom. It's a SARS-CoV-2 world so people are thinking about an increased risk for contagions in a way few did during previous recent coronavirus pandemics like SARS or MERS. A new paper tackles the problem using pedestrian dynamics.  Scientists have long used the SPED (Self Propelled Entity Dynamics) model, a…
Disease has afflicted humans ever since there have been human. Malaria and tuberculosis are thought to have ravaged Ancient Egypt more than 5,000 years ago. From 541 to 542 CE the global pandemic known as “the Plague of Justinian” is estimated to have killed 15–25% of the world’s 200-million population. Following the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the native population dropped from around 30 million in 1519 to just three million 50 years later. Today we are battling to control the COVID-19 virus which has the potential to cause the most deadly pandemic in human history. There is, however, a…