Science and Technology links (September 15th, 2018)

  1. I was told repeatedly throughout my life that the normal body temperature was 37.5°C. This estimate is over a hundred years old and flawed. It is off by one degree: a better “normal” is 36.5°C.
  2. According to Malhotra et al., heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition (meaning that it is related to a dysfunction of your immune system), not something caused by saturated fat clogging the arteries.
  3. Apple has released a watch with government-approved ECG (heart monitoring) capabilities.
  4. Could Alzheimer’s be an infectious disease?
  5. Drinking beer does not lead to weight gains in obese people.
  6. Boys tend to be both the lowest and the highest performers in terms of their reasoning abilities.
  7. Technological progress does not require better understanding, but is maybe more likely the result of the accumulation of many small improvments. That is, technological progress is more about evolution than about science and knowledge gathering.
  8. Higher personal and corporate income taxes negatively affect the quantity, quality, and location of inventive activity.
  9. The latest iPhone processor (the A12) has 6.9 billion transistors.
  10. Many researchers publish at least one paper every five days. They are described as being hyperprolific. Several of them have published hundreds of articles in the same two journals. Some of them work under a system where the more you publish, the more you get paid.

    Einstein published about 300 papers in his (relatively long) life. These people publish as much as Einstein did every five years.

    To be fair, if Einstein were alive today and had access to the Internet and to computers, he might publish 300 papers a year.

3 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (September 15th, 2018)”

  1. 2) is really controversial. And it is based on a meta-analysis of observational studies, while there are tons of evidence through real clinical studies that reducing LDL reduces risk of heart disease. For instance, a meta-analysis (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2556125) of clinical trials comprising more than 300,000 patients shows that, whatever the mean used to reduce LDL (statins, other non-statin drugs that lower cholesterol, diet, exercice), reduction of LDL is linked to reduced risk of major vascular events.

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