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    1. #1
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      Top Scientific Discoveries of 2011 (Wired)

      Top Scientific Discoveries of 2011 | Wired Science | Wired.com

      How do you guys feel about the list? See anything that should be mentioned, that wasn't? Or anything that you don't feel should have been mentioned at all?
      http://i.imgur.com/Ke7qCcF.jpg
      (Or see the very best of my journal entries @ dreamwalkerchronicles.blogspot)

    2. #2
      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      Wow.... I didn't even hear about this one.
      Chimps Not Needed for Hepatitis C Research

      After two decades of dwindling chimpanzee usefulness in infectious disease research, only one disease remained to justify experiments that in humans would be considered unconscionable: Hepatitis C, which kills 340,000 people every year and infects no non-human animal except chimps.

      Hepatitis C thus became the main battleground for debates over the ethics and morality of invasive chimp testing, which is permitted nowhere but Gabon and the United States. At least scientifically, that battle now appears settled. In May, the FDA approved two new hepatitis C drugs, both far superior to the only existing treatment and both developed without chimp testing. In December, the Institute of Medicine formally declared chimps unnecessary for hepatitis C drug development, paving the way to treat the closest living relative to humans with humanity.
      That's great! Although they still do use other animals. But from what I hear, it won't be too long until that's unnecessary as well.


      Oh and I guess your question about whether viruses/bacteria have gotten out of the lab is answered in one of the links on that page too High-Containment Biosafety Laboratory Safety Breaches a Growing Concern
      Last edited by tommo; 01-04-2012 at 04:24 AM.

    3. #3
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      In 2008 and again in 2011, global food prices spiked massively and weirdly. There was no obvious reason: Demand didn't increase dramatically, nor did supplies fall. The price of meeting a basic human requirement no longer seemed connected to conventional economic logic.

      Many explanations were proposed, from bad weather to increased market sensitivity to the conversion of former food crops into biofuels. But when researchers from the New England Complex Systems Institute turned their mathematical models on global food markets, they found something else. Biofuel demand played a role in in nudging food prices up -- but the spikes, the sudden and socially disrupting fluctuations, seemed to be caused by commodity speculators who entered food markets after the late-1990s wave of financial industry deregulation. The same forces that fueled the 2008 mortgage meltdown and subsequent near-collapse of the global economy have been turned loose on food.
      'Nough Said.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    4. #4
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      It's probably the least important but the most interesting to me is the animal intelligence stuff. Counting pigeons - lol. I wish I could watch some of those experiments in progress.

    5. #5
      LD's this year: ~7 tommo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      'Nough Said.
      I was kind of surprised about that.
      I know you've mentioned it before, but I never saw any evidence.
      Its really, really fucking ridiculous....

      Oh, and there are videos of elephants counting apples dropped in buckets, choosing the one with the most apples dropped in it, by keeping track of how many were dropped in each one.
      They actually did better at it than the humans in the study.

      I'll try and find the video later. Or maybe someone else can.
      But yes, they should definitely film more of these studies.
      I think it is starting to become more common though.

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