Hot answers tagged

154

A qualified doctor challenging the Germ Theory of Disease after 1900? Wow. This is just a smattering - just a random tasting - of the thousands - or perhaps millions - of studies showing that contagious diseases are contagious. Dog to dog transmission of a novel influenza virus (H5N2) isolated from a canine To determine whether the novel H5N2 was ...


90

Generally true. Some nuance applies, plus exceptions. It is generally true that eyes of predators are different than eyes of prey. Not only are the pupils sometimes different in the way suggested in the claim, but eye placement and some other factors are different as well. The general theory accepted by biologists is that predators tend to fixate on their ...


87

A summary of recent evidence suggests: In children with initial low calcium intake, an increase in milk/dairy intake is associated with an increase in bone density. In adults, milk/dairy consumption is not or only weakly associated with lower risk of bone fractures. Basic explanation: 90% of peak bone mineral density (the amount of calcium and phosphorus ...


59

We cannot be sure exactly what happened 7 centuries ago; we only have the one account. However something akin to this experiment did occur, albeit without the controlled conditions. In Romania during Communism thousands of children were consigned to orphanages where they were grossly neglected (warning: the linked article contains distressing details). Many ...


26

As the top answer to this related question states, plants in general are oxygen neutral. In other words, whatever oxygen is emitted today will be emitted as CO2 later. So what really matters from a climate perspective is CO2 storage, not oxygen emission. That said, short-term oxygen emission is apparently difficult to measure, but it is largely a function ...


20

Not directly related to your source(s), but see the article pit of despair on Wikipedia. Warning, the article and the experiment itself can be rather disturbing. Harlow's first experiments involved isolating a monkey in a cage surrounded by steel walls with a small one-way mirror, so the experimenters could look in, but the monkey could not look out. The ...


16

In addition to the other answers I would like to clarify that Salimbene indeed described an experiment in which the children died of social isolation. Here is the original excerpt1: Secunda eius superstitio fuit quia voluit experiri, cuiusmodi linguam et loquelam haberent pueri, cum adolevissent, si cum nemine loquerentur. Et ideo precepit baiulis et ...


14

There is little doubt that the cold water was deadly to many of the victims in the Titanic desaster. The figure given in the Wikipedia article, that "most people who entered the −2°C (28°F) water died in 15–30 minutes" is certainly plausible. However, note the word "most": the quote doesn't state how many lived longer than 30 minutes, but there must have ...


14

The claim that we share 50% of our DNA is likely a misquote of an older claim, that we share 50% of our genes with bananas. Both claims, as best I can tell, are false. I'll address each claim in turn. 50% of our DNA? The idea that we share 50% of our DNA is, by most obvious definitions of what that might mean, completely false, and trivially so. Per ...


13

Some University of California scientists suspect the eye shape to be highly related with the animal's lifestyle. When they pulled everything together, a clear pattern emerged. In the journal Science Advances, the scientists report that there's a strong link between the shape of an animal's pupil and its way of life. "If you have a vertical slit, ...


9

I've been served pomegranate seeds by our canteen contractor on a regular basis, as a "special extra" on burgers... They are definitely edible (and high in fiber!). They contain anthocyanins, which contribute to their color (also contained in black currant, raspberries, cherries etc.), but are — despite the "cyan" in there — harmless.


8

This article is about goldfish, not sharks, but it's the same urban legend: Goldfish Only Grow to the Size of Their Enclosure There is an element of truth to this, but it is not as innocent as it sounds and is related more to water quality than tank size. When properly cared for, goldfish will not stop growing. Most fishes are in fact what are ...


8

While it is certainly not obvious to the eye, the fact that the closest relatives of crocodiles are birds appears to be well-established. These two clades are the only living members of a group known as archosaurs (Green et al. 2014): Crocodilians, birds, dinosaurs, and pterosaurs are a monophyletic group known as the archosaurs. Crocodilians and birds ...


7

Yes. They can. And many if not most or the vast majority will. Technically and practically they are not very suitable to begin with. That is yes for many brands out there and yes for many possible applications if a homemade mask is made out of them. Because there are so many possible combinations out there, finding one such bag is difficult if that bag ...


7

People vary a lot and there is some evidence that the human ability to withstand cold varies with the behaviour of said people. A famous example is Wim Hof who discovered that a cycle of hyperventilation and holding your breath greatly improves the human resistance to hypothermia. he has held many records for cold resistance over the years. The current ...


7

According to The micropenis and the giant clitoris Salon 12 December 1999: In Baltimore, intersexual Kiira Triea, 35, claims her genitalia "look like crap" because doctors treated her like an "exotic lab rat." Born with in-between organs, she was raised as a boy until doctors decided to feminize her at puberty. To accomplish this, they hacked off her ...


5

It seems that Fabre's original claim has been greatly exaggerated by subsequent writers, and that the wasps are not nearly as stereotyped as those subsequent authors have claimed; Fabre's own description noted that not all wasps of the species showed this rigid behavior, and later studies have not supported it. The Sphex story is an anecdote about a ...


5

Summary The estimation of prevalence of lactose intolerance may be too high because of: surveys in which they included individuals with self-diagnosed and not just officially diagnozed lactose intolerance false positive diagnostic tests (up to 20% according to American Family Physician) due to other problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, sensitivity ...


5

First I want to be clear that the headline claim of the question is not directly stated in the quotation by Dr. Campbell. The quote in the question states two separate things, one about "what is quite possible to do" and the other about the fact that "there exists viruses contained within biological warfare laboratories". He does not directly claim that the ...


4

For a slightly more extensive summary that doesn't require someone to read 20-page paper... Jeffrey Lockwood (who also wrote a book on the topic of entomological warfare, writes in a 2012 paper broader in scope: Yellow fever became the mainstay of the Camp Detrick’s entomological program, when it was discovered that mosquito larvae would uptake the ...


4

The word "standardized" seems like an over-statement to me. The US certainly did investigate the possibility of using yellow fever as a bioweapon during the Cold War, according to Hay (1999): The literature obtained under the Freedom of Information Act provides some insight into the working of the United States biological weapons programme. [...] The ...


3

You mention a number of closely related, but different, concepts in your question. The answer is still yes, because every concept you listed does exist in nature; Evolution is pretty good at coming up with any example you can think of. However, they are distinct and separate concepts, so let's address each of them individually. Parthenogenesis You didn't ...


3

As discussed by Brian the claim is somewhat vague in that it states the theoretical possibility of something and then asserts the existence of something else. But if take the claim to be existence of such viruses with on-purpose [GoF] enhanced transmissibility, it is true, although the claim (interpreted that way) exaggerates the deadliness of the actual ...


3

Hesitant to answer this given the preliminary nature of the knowledge, but there is one paper that proposed to use the Diamond Princess (since it's a "finished" natural experiment) as a proxy to calibrate the CFR (case fatality ratio) in other populations/countries. One needs to be careful to adjust for the different age-structure of populations/samples when ...


2

The precise question being asked here is not that clear to me, but here is a brief and accessible article from The Lancet a few weeks ago which outlined the challenges of calculating COVID-19s general CFR (Case Fatality Rate). It concludes: Although highly transmissible, the CFR of COVID-19 appears to be lower than that of SARS (9.5%) and Middle East ...


1

Brooklinen has now removed the claim (which now redirects to Brooklinen's home page). An archived version of the claim is here.


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