Quickies

Quickies: Niki Massey, Unreliable Diet Studies in Mice, and Viruses That Made Us Human

  • For Niki – Niki Massey, blogger at The Orbit and all-around great person and activist, passed away this weekend, so here is a tribute for her.
  • Searching for the Black Trump Supporter – “The black Trump supporter is likely to be a working-class or lower-middle-class black man, over the age of 35, and interested in alternative approaches to addressing what ails black America. While Trump is only winning over a very small number of such men, there is a reason that the majority of his black support comes from this segment of the electorate. These voters tend to be more receptive to core messages of self-determination, financial success as a function of hard work, and personal responsibility, especially when conveyed in a plainspoken, hypermasculine manner.”
  • Why Diet Studies Performed on Mice Are Often Unreliable – “A big criticism is that some researchers are ignoring (or not reporting) how even the most subtle environmental factors can influence the mice’s biology, and thus, the experimental findings. And the thing is, experimental outcomes from one mice study cannot be reproduced and do not even work in other mice. “
  • This Historian Wants You To Know The Real Story Of Southern Food – “Michael Twitty wants you to know where Southern food really comes from. And he wants the enslaved African-Americans who were part of its creation to get credit. That’s why Twitty goes to places like Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s grand estate in Charlottesville, Va. — to cook meals that slaves would have eaten and put their stories back into American history.”
  • The Viruses That Made Us Human – “Unlike most viruses, which infect, replicate, and then leave their host, retroviruses elbow their way into their host’s genome where they are copied and passed on to daughter cells for the life of the host. This retrovirus, however, managed to sneak its way into one of our ancestor’s sperm or egg cells, able to be passed on to every cell in every subsequent generation. Virus and host had become one.”
  • This Graphic Explains Unusual Pasta Shapes and How to Use Them – “This super helpful chart not only explains what the various pasta names mean, but provides an illustration and tells you how you should be eating them. But the fun doesn’t end there. Once you’ve worked your way through all the options on this graphic, continue your pasta education with this encyclopedia-like chart of pasta shapes.” I’ve *always* wanted to know this, even though I generally just eat whatever with red sauce and meatballs.

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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1 Comment

  1. October 4, 2016 at 5:22 pm —

    Hell, the black Trump supporter is my neighbor.

    I’m not sure why everyone thinks lower-class voters are more likely to support Trump. I mean, the banking and tech industries are overrun with alt right types. (Hell, if you read the literature of MRAs, pickup artists, and sundry other misogynists, those seem to be their favorite industries for alphas.)

    My biggest concern is, for a few minutes in last week’s debate, Trump credibly attacked Clinton from the left on trade. (tl;dr: Bill Clinton’s economic policy was basically “Let’s all get tech and finance jobs!” It turns out single-sector economies work exactly as well as single-biome planets à la Star Wars would.)

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