Science and Technology links (March 7th 2020)

  1. The benefits of flu vaccines in healthy adults is modest. They do not reduce neonatal death, hospitalisations, or working day lost. It does not seem more helpful in older adults.
  2. While in 1970, only 1% of the American population was severely obese, the percentage of obesity is now at 9%.
  3. Older adults who volunteer and stay active maintain a larger brain.
  4. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 lead to slightly fewer baby boys in Canada. Stress tends to favor female births.
  5. The plague is still killing people in Madagascar. The disease is carried by rats.
  6. The social cost of carbon has been estimated to be as high as $60 a tonne, meaning that if we spent $60 to remove the production of a tonne of carbon, we would be even. Some of the latest recent estimates are much lower: between $0.60 and $3. These new estimates take into account the benefits of CO2 such as higher plant productivity.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

3 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (March 7th 2020)”

  1. Flu: Not the first Cochrane study that I’ve doubted. It also doesn’t seem to talk about herd immunity benefits.

    SCC: That estimate seems to not take into account decreasing nutritional content due to higher CO2, and more importantly, seems to declare disasters totally out of scope.

  2. “While in 1970, only 1% of the American population was obese”. Not true, the article says: “A half-century ago, about 1 in 100 American adults were severely obese” (the corresponding figure for 2020 is “more than 9%”).

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