Apr 16, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon


11Napping Linked to Declining Health, Early Death

Napping for more than an hour a day could take years off your life, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Cambridge.

Researchers studied 16,000 British adults over the course of 13 years.

Those who slept for an hour or more during the day were a third more likely to die early than those who napped less or not at all. Specifically, those who took longer naps were more likely to die from lung disease, leading researchers to believe that long naps contribute to respiratory ailments by triggering inflammation.

However, the researchers also noted that napping may not be the cause of early death, but rather an indication of declining health early on.

"It remains plausible that napping might be an early sign of system disregulation and a marker of future health problems," the report noted.

A study conducted in China last year found similar results. However, instead of increasing the chance of lung disease, those who napped longer than 30 minutes increased their risk for type two diabetes.

Sources: Newser, DailyMail

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11Beloved Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Projects (Video)

A science teacher at Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles was suspended because another teacher thought some of his students’ projects were dangerous.

Greg Schiller was suspended from the school because the other teacher believed that two projects looked like weapons. Schiller says that the one project was an air cannon and another was an electromagnetic coil gun, and by the time he was suspended, he hadn’t even gotten a chance to grade or look them over.

“I discussed with them scientific principals but the projects were removed before I had an opportunity to fully examine them,” said Schiller to KTLA.

Student Asa Ferguson, whose electromagnetic coil gun got Schiller in trouble, explains the function behind his project and why he believed it caused issues.

“It has appliances in roller coasters and spaceships. It’s been theorized to be able to launch spaceships in space for cheaper,” said Ferguson. “I think that if I had said it was an electromagnetic propulsion system it would not have been taken out.”

Now, Schiller’s students are protesting at the school, demanding that their beloved teacher be allowed back.

“We want Mr. Schiller back. We want him out of ‘teacher jail.’ We want him reinstated,” said Samantha Healey. “No one got hurt, no one was going to get hurt. He’s a really great teacher, and he really cares, he really wants to teach and he loves teaching.”

Most of the students placed duct tape on their mouths and wore signs that read, “I will not talk until Mr. Schiller is reinstated.”

While the school isn’t really commenting on the issue, they did say that they are simply following protocol.

“There is an ongoing investigation, therefore, we cannot comment,” said Tom Waldman, director of media and communication for the Los Angeles Unified School District, in a recent statement. “It is the practice of the Los Angeles Unified School District to reassign an employee to a non-classroom setting when there are allegations related to student safety.”

A Facebook page made by some of Schiller’s students has already garnered over 700 likes.

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11Critical Thinking Essays and Websites

If you want to see passion, watch a creation v evolution debate. In the Bill Nye v Ken Ham debate, the inventor of the MRI scanner was very passionate about special creation and a young earth. Watch almost any creation v evolution debate and you will see many very passionate people arguing for creation and against evolution. For even more passion, watch a pro-choice demonstration and observe the interaction between the pro-choicers and the anti-abortionists. Just as appeal to authority is a fallacy so is appeal to passion.

One thing that all sides should agree on is that humans are masters at rationalization. This was very evident in the Nye-Ham creation v evolution debate when Ken Ham was explaining a young earth that was specially created by Jehovah. Ham quoted many facts but then took the facts and distorted them to fit in to his predetermined beliefs. The audience at the debate was also skilled at rationalization. Critical thinkers can usually give many examples of fallacious reasoning such as appeal to authority and post hos ergo propter hoc that they have witnessed on any given day. The problem with critical thinking is applying it to oneself. In any given controversy, each side will say it has critical thinking on its side just as each will probably say it has science on its side. These are unsubstantiated claims and should be treated as such. The answer as to who is right lies in examining the evidence. Massimo Pigliucci addresses this:

A recurring theme of this book is that one cannot simply trust authority no matter how, well, authoritative it may appear to be. There is, unfortunately, no shortcut to using one's brain and critical sense and doing some background research before taking a position. [1] p90

Alan Sokal is Professor of Physics at New York University and Professor of Mathematics at University College London. He is also author of the 1996 article titled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” which was published in the cultural studies journal Social Text. The article was a nonsensical parody of certain aspects of Post-Modernism and exposed much of Post-Modernisms for its lack of meaning and irrelevancy.

Sokal has published three essays on the website Scientia Salon, which was founded by Massimo Pigliucci. 

If you are interested in critical thinking and science, I strongly recommend the three essays. They contain many points relevant to my position on animal models.

Also on the same website is an article titled: “The strange phenomenon of the cult of facts: three case studies,” by Massimo Pigliucci. I quote from many of Pigliucci’s books and articles and recommend pretty much anything he writes.

A related website is Clearer Thinking. From the website:

Our brains are incredible machines. By using our reason and intuition, we can process complex situations and make excellent decisions most of the time.

But our brains don’t work perfectly. From time to time we all make reasoning errors, and we all make decisions that aren’t the best for achieving our goals. In fact, it is now known that there are certain systematic biases built into the structure of all human brains. Disturbingly, most of the time they operate without us even being aware of them. To date, psychologists, neuroscientists and economists have discovered more than 30 of these biases that regularly occur in human thinking and decision-making.

In order to discuss animal models, from an ethical or scientific perspective, one needs to understand the concepts discussed on these and related websites (see here and here and here). I assure you most of the people that you will argue against do not understand these concepts or have never studied the issue.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons.


1.         Pigliucci, M., Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk. 2010, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 

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11Mouse Models Fail Again

The March 27, 2014 issue of Nature contains an article by Steve Perrin discussing why mouse models fail:

Mice take the blame for one of the most uncomfortable truths in translational research. Even after animal studies suggest that a treatment will be safe and effective, more than 80% of potential therapeutics fail when tested in people. Animal models of disease are frequently condemned as poor predictors of whether an experimental drug can become an effective treatment. Often, though, the real reason is that the preclinical experiments were not rigorously designed. . . . Over the past decade, about a dozen experimental treatments have made their way into human trials for ALS. All had been shown to ameliorate disease in an established animal model. All but one failed in the clinic, and the survival benefits of that one are marginal.

I discussed animal models of ALS here.

Perrin then discusses some of his research:

At the ALS Therapy Development Institute (TDI) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we have tested more than 100 potential drugs in an established mouse model of this disease (mostly unpublished work). Many of these drugs had been reported to slow down disease in that same mouse model; none was found to be beneficial in our experiments (see 'Due diligence, overdue'). Eight of these compounds ultimately failed in clinical trials, which together involved thousands of people. One needs to look no further than potential blockbuster indications such as Alzheimer's and cancer to see that the problem persists across diseases.

The sentiment that animal models have been misused is not unique to Perrin who further states: “It is astonishing how often such straightforward steps are overlooked. It is hard to find a publication, for example, in which a preclinical animal study is backed by statistical models to minimize experimental noise.” Macleod et al have been addressing this for years.[1-8]

Before I go any further, the above should prove once and for all that the animal model community is not that concerned about animals or humans. The refrain has always been that they would never use an animal if it were not necessary. We have known for some time now that the fundamentals of good research are usually lacking in animal-based research and this gives lie to any sentiment regarding how valuable the lives of animals are. If a scientist cannot even be bothered to fulfill the basic requirements of good research: such as dividing the animals in experimental and control groups, then he cannot be taken seriously when claiming to be doing good science much less when claiming to be saving human lives. (See [9-13] and Trouble In Basic Research Land)

After explaining that animal models have failed to be of predictive value for human response to drugs and disease, Perrin then proposes a solution: use better animal models. Such nonsense is why Andre Menache and I published an article titled: Systematic Reviews of Animal Models: Methodology versus Epistemology. The article, along with others on Trans-Species Modeling Theory [14] explains why animal models can never be of predictive value for human response to drugs and disease regardless of changes in genetics or methodology.

Erika Check Hayden wrote an accompanying article titled: Misleading mouse studies waste medical resources. Hayden writes:

Neurobiologist Caterina Bendotti of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy, agrees that the issues Perrin describes are not unique to his field: “The poor reproducibility of preclinical results, particularly in animal models, goes beyond ALS,” she says.

Hayden continues stating: “Other researchers say they agree broadly with Perrin, but that they would also like to see the data from his group's experiments, and that it may not be necessary to find a positive animal result to progress to a human trial.” Note what is happening. Animal models have been sold to society as necessary in biomedical research in order to predict efficacy and toxicity before a drug goes to human trials. Now the animal model community is saying they need to conduct animal studies regardless of whether the studies are predictive. This is basic science research, which is not of predictive value by definition, and which society will not fund under these circumstances.[15]

The use of animal models is now being defended by a series of ad hoc arguments that are without a basis in evolutionary biology. And the educated, smart, people doing this criticize creationists and purveyors of complementary and alternative medicine (two groups noted for their lack of of education and critical thinking skills) for sloppy thinking. This reminds me of the verse in Matthew 7 of the Christian Bible that states:

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

To whom much is given, much will be required.

(Image courtesy of WikipediaCommons (PD-1923).


1.         Macleod, M., Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Experimental Stroke. International Journal of Neuroprotection and Neuroregeneration, 2004. 1: p. 9-12.

2.         Macleod, M.R., et al., Pooling of animal experimental data reveals influence of study design and publication bias. Stroke, 2004. 35(5): p. 1203-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=15060322

3.         Macleod, M.R., S. Ebrahim, and I. Roberts, Surveying the literature from animal experiments: systematic review and meta-analysis are important contributions. BMJ, 2005. 331(7508): p. 110. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16002897

4.         O'Collins, V.E., et al., 1,026 experimental treatments in acute stroke. Ann Neurol, 2006. 59(3): p. 467-77. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16453316

5.         Macleod, M., Why animal research needs to improve. Nature, 2011. 477(7366): p. 511. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21956292

6.         Landis, S.C., et al., A call for transparent reporting to optimize the predictive value of preclinical research. Nature, 2012. 490(7419): p. 187-191. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11556

7.         Tsilidis, K., et al., Evaluation of Excess Significance Bias in Animal Studies of Neurological Diseases. PLoS Biol, 2013. 11(7): p. e1001609. http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001609?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+plosbiology%2FNewArticles+(PLOS+Biology+-+New+Articles)

8.         van der Worp, H.B. and M.R. Macleod, Preclinical studies of human disease: Time to take methodological quality seriously. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 2011. 51(4): p. 449-50. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21549125

9.         Ioannidis, J.P., Why most published research findings are false. PLoS medicine, 2005. 2(8): p. e124. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16060722

10.       Prinz, F., T. Schlange, and K. Asadullah, Believe it or not: how much can we rely on published data on potential drug targets? Nature reviews. Drug discovery, 2011. 10(9): p. 712. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21892149

11.       Begley, C.G. and L.M. Ellis, Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research. Nature, 2012. 483(7391): p. 531-533. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/483531a

12.       Sarewitz, D., Beware the creeping cracks of bias. Nature, 2012. 485(7397): p. 149. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22575922

13.       Mobley, A., et al., A survey on data reproducibility in cancer research provides insights into our limited ability to translate findings from the laboratory to the clinic. PLoS One, 2013. 8(5): p. e63221. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23691000

14.       Greek, R. and L.A. Hansen, Questions regarding the predictive value of one evolved complex adaptive system for a second: exemplified by the SOD1 mouse Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 2013: p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2013.06.002. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079610713000539

15.       Greek, R. and J. Greek, Is the use of sentient animals in basic research justifiable? Philos Ethics Humanit Med, 2010. 5: p. 14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=20825676

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11Biochemist Claims She Cured Daughter's Autism With MSG-Free Diet

Biochemist Katherine Reid has claimed to have found the cure for autism, simply by removing MSG from a person’s diet.

MSG is a chemical compound associated mainly with Chinese food, but it's also found in all but 5% of processed food, according to Reid.

Reid’s daughter, Brooke, first showed signs of autism at age 2. Tantrums, repetitive behavior, communication issues and digestive problems were all signs. When tests revealed that Brooke was moderately autistic, Reid began researching cures.

The biochemist first eliminated gluten and dairy from her daughter’s diet. However, when she read about MSG, she came to believe that too much of it can interfere with neural function.

Reid immediately wiped MSG from her daughter’s diet and found the symptoms to be “completely removed.”

Since her discovery, Reid has claimed that 99% of the autistic children treated at the Unblind My Mind foundation drastically improved within five weeks.

Sources: NY Daily News, Newser

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11Creationist Demands Airtime On 'Cosmos' For Balance (Audio)

Danny Faulkner, of Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum, recently called for equal time on astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s "Cosmos" TV series.

Faulkner told the Christian-based radio program "The Janet Mefferd Show" on Thursday that "Cosmos" does not have scientific balance because there is no one denying evolution, noted RightWingWatch.org (audio below).

“Creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all,” claimed Faulkner.

“Boy, but when you have so many scientists who simply do not accept Darwinian evolution, it seems to me that that might be something to throw in there, you know, the old, ‘some scientists say this, others disagree and think this,’ but that’s not even allowed,” added Mefferd.

“Consideration of special Creation is definitely not open for discussion it would seem,” Faulkner stated.

In a recent interview with CNN (video below), Tyson stated, “The media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but it doesn’t really apply in science..."

“You don’t talk about the spherical Earth with NASA, and then say let’s give equal time to the flat Earthers,” added Tyson. “Plus, science is not there for you to cherry pick.”

Sources: CNN and RightWingWatch.org

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11Trans-Species Modeling Theory and Dr Ringach

I try not to respond to nonsense from the vested interest groups as there is no end to it and most of it is just the same ol’ same ol’ that I have corrected many times before. I applaud bloggers who essentially deal with the same nonsense day after day seemingly never tiring of correcting the exact same nonsense. Although I disagree with some of them on the value of animal models, I nevertheless appreciate the energy they bring to whatever topic they are addressing.

That having been said, Speaking of research has been publishing a fair amount lately and as I have ignored most of it, I feel I should address the following. Most of what I say below is not new but apparently requires repeating.

Dr Dario Ringach has posted on the Speaking of research web site, an essay titled “Saving Life on Earth.” I suggest everyone read the essay before reading my response. I think reading the entire essay is important in order to appreciate the context of the comments I am going to address. I will ignore most of his comments either because I have addressed them before or because they are obviously immaterial, wrong, or a non sequitur.

Ringach begins with the myth that animal-based basic science research in the biomedical sciences is equal in value to basic research in chemistry and physics: “there is wide consensus that such fundamental knowledge is critical to enhance the health, lengthen life, and reduce the cost of illness and disability in both humans and non-human animals.” See the following for refutation of this [1-19]. The refutation revolves around two facts: 1) animals and humans are examples of complex systems and 2) animal-based basic research simply does not translate to humans empirically. Theory combined with empirical evidence is as good as it gets in science.

Ringach then employs the fallacy known as appeal to authority:

Unfortunately, at this point in time, our methods do not allow to pursue cellular and molecular-level questions non-invasively in human subjects, and this is why part of the work requires the use of animals in research. Accordingly, a recent poll by the journal Nature revealed that nearly 92% of scientists agree with the statement “animal research is essential to the advancement of biomedical science.” (Emphasis in the Ringach essay.)

How many people agree with you and what their qualifications are is immaterial to whether the claim is true. Moreover, there is a difference between a modality being necessary to advance science and the same modality being necessary in terms of finding cures. Science advances every day. Cures are not discovered every day or even every year. References 1-19 explain why this is the case.

Ringach then assumes that animals and humans are simple systems not complex systems:

Any reasonable person would agree a mechanic would be in a better position to fix a car if s/he actually knows the role each part plays, how they fit together, and what can happen if one of them fails.  Similarly, any reasonable person must agree that we would be in a better position to develop therapies and cures if we knew exactly how living organisms work in health, and what happens to our cells and other organs in disease.

The only systems humans can learn exactly how they work are simple systems. Little things like emergence and the whole being greater than the parts place constraints on ascertaining the total knowledge of complex systems. If the level of examination of a complex system can be explained in terms of a simple system, then organisms can also be so studied. But animals and humans, the systems we are interested in studying, are complex systems and the properties we wish to evaluate are located at the level of complex systems. Organisms by definition are complex systems!

Moreover, parts of a simple system , for example pistons in auto engines, are not equivalent to genes. [[20]p39]  This is another difference between complex and simple systems. The way a piston functions does not vary that much between engines but the function of genes vary considerably. [21-31]  Knowing how a mouse cell functions in health and disease is of no predictive value for human cells beyond what can be described in terms of a simple system. We passed that level of understanding decades ago. (For more on complex systems and animal models see:

·      More Misrepresentations, Fallacies, and Other Lies. Part II

·      Complexity and Animal Models

·      Brute Science

·      My article introducing Trans-Species Modeling Theory. (Indeed, Dr Ringach’s entire essay can be dismissed based on what I addressed in the article on Trans-Species Modeling Theory)

Ringach then correctly points out that Trans-Species Modeling Theory has not yet been widely read by the scientific community. Since it was published less than a year ago and contradicts major vested interest groups, this should not come as a surprise to any adult. Ringach follows up on this piece of non-information with an ad hominem stating that the writers of the Trans-Species Modeling Theory article are animal rights activists. The writers could have been aliens, nevertheless Trans-Species Modeling Theory has to stand on its scientific merits, which Ringach does not address, regardless of who wrote it. (Note how many critical thinkers will point this out—zero. Hard to keep a job in academia teaching philosophy if you correct the people bringing in the money.)

Ditto for Shanks and my book Animal Models in Light of Evolution. The book is very technical and I doubt a system based on animal modeling is going to be citing it frequently in their literature. By the way, as I have pointed out many times, I am an animal rightist philosophically but am not currently engaged in any activism, nor have I been so engaged for over a decade. Trans-Species Modeling Theory is a theory in the scientific sense of the word. How many people realize that is immaterial to its ultimate value. I justify why Trans-Species Modeling Theory is a theory in the article. Widespread acceptance is not a criterion.

Those are the main points from my perspective but Ringach goes on and I again suggest you read the entire essay. He also links to an essay by Dr Gorski titled Animal rights activism: Petitions aren’t science. I addressed Dr Gorski’s comments in  Science-Based Medicine Is Having A Little Trouble With Critical Thinking (And Due Diligence).

The petition that For Life On Earth (FLOE) is circulating revolves around a debate between a recognized, well-qualified, spokesperson from the vivisection community and myself. My rules for such a debate can be found here, in the same essay as my response to Dr Gorski. As vivisection activists will not debate me in the scientific literature, a debate with rules such as outlined in that essay are probably as close as society will ever come to seeing the positions of both sides presented and then evaluated by experts. Debates are important because, as Dr Steven Novella wrote: “During a live debate we can see how the candidates think and what they know and believe about scientific issues. They can also be pushed on specific points if they give evasive answers.”

Vivisection activists thrive in a world of limited information and fallacious reasoning. Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to participate in an event where they will be forced to plainly state, supported by references, their position and then have experts in the disputed areas of science judge those positions.

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jack_McCall.jpg)


1.         Alini, M., et al., Are animal models useful for studying human disc disorders/degeneration? Eur Spine J, 2008. 17(1): p. 2-19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=17632738

2.         Begley, S., Physician-Researchers Needed To Get Cures Out of Rat's Cage. Wall Street Journal, 2003.

3.         Crowley, W.F., Jr., Translation of basic research into useful treatments: how often does it occur? Am J Med, 2003. 114(6): p. 503-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12727585

4.         Editorial, Hope in translation. Nature, 2010. 467(7315): p. 499. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=20881968

5.         Editorial, Must try harder. Nature, 2012. 483(7391): p. 509-509. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/483509a

6.         Geerts, H., Of mice and men: bridging the translational disconnect in CNS drug discovery. CNS drugs, 2009. 23(11): p. 915-26. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19845413

7.         Grant, J., L. Green, and B. Mason, From Bedside to Bench: Comroe and Dripps Revisited, in HERG Research Report No. 30 2003, Health Economics Research Group. Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK.

8.         Hackam, D.G. and D.A. Redelmeier, Translation of research evidence from animals to humans. JAMA, 2006. 296(14): p. 1731-2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=17032985

9.         Hampton, T., Targeted cancer therapies lagging: better trial design could boost success rate. JAMA, 2006. 296(16): p. 1951-2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=17062851

10.       Hurko, O. and J.L. Ryan, Translational research in central nervous system drug discovery. NeuroRx, 2005. 2(4): p. 671-82. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16489374

11.       Ioannidis, J.P., Materializing research promises: opportunities, priorities and conflicts in translational medicine. J Transl Med, 2004. 2(1): p. 5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=14754464

12.       Johnston, S.C., Translation: case study in failure. Ann Neurol, 2006. 59(3): p. 447-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16489618

13.       Kaste, M., Use of animal models has not contributed to development of acute stroke therapies: pro. Stroke, 2005. 36(10): p. 2323-4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16141431

14.       Leslie, M., Biomedical research. Immunology uncaged. Science, 2010. 327(5973): p. 1573. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=20339046

15.       Mankoff, S.P., et al., Lost in Translation: Obstacles to Translational Medicine. J Transl Med, 2004. 2(1): p. 14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=15149545

16.       Rothwell, P.M., Funding for practice-oriented clinical research. Lancet, 2006. 368(9532): p. 262-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16860680

17.       Smith, R., Comroe and Dripps revisited. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed), 1987. 295(6610): p. 1404-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=3690250

18.       Zerhouni, E.A., Translational and clinical science--time for a new vision. N Engl J Med, 2005. 353(15): p. 1621-3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16221788

19.       Greek, R. and J. Greek, Is the use of sentient animals in basic research justifiable? Philos Ethics Humanit Med, 2010. 5: p. 14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=20825676

20.       Cairns-Smith, A.G., Seven Clues to the Origin of Life: A Scientific Detective Story. 1986, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

21.       Belmaker, R., Y. Bersudsky, and G. Agam, Individual differences and evidence-based psychopharmacology. BMC Medicine, 2012. 10(1): p. 110. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23016518

22.       Durrant, C., et al., Collaborative Cross mice and their power to map host susceptibility to Aspergillus fumigatus infection. Genome Research, 2011. 21(8): p. 1239-1248. http://genome.cshlp.org/content/21/8/1239.abstract

23.       Hunter, K., D.R. Welch, and E.T. Liu, Genetic background is an important determinant of metastatic potential. Nat Genet, 2003. 34(1): p. 23-4; author reply 25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12721549

24.       LeCouter, J.E., et al., Strain-dependent embryonic lethality in mice lacking the retinoblastoma-related p130 gene. Development, 1998. 125(23): p. 4669-4679. http://dev.biologists.org/content/125/23/4669.abstract

25.       Miklos, G.L.G., The human cancer genome project--one more misstep in the war on cancer. Nat Biotechnol, 2005. 23(5): p. 535-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=15877064

26.       Morange, M., A successful form for reductionism. The Biochemist, 2001. 23: p. 37-39.

27.       Nijhout, H.F., The Importance of Context in Genetics. American Scientist, 2003. 91(5): p. 416-23.

28.       Pearson, H., Surviving a knockout blow. Nature, 2002. 415(6867): p. 8-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=11780081

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11The Five-Second Rule For Dropped Food Is Backed By Science

Your mom was on to something when she taught you the five-second rule all those years ago.

new study from Aston University in Birmingham, England, found that picking up your food within a few seconds of its hitting the floor is a legitimate way to prevent food contamination.

The study, according to the researchers, “monitored the transfer of the common bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus from a variety of indoor floor types (carpet, laminate and tiled surfaces) to toast, pasta, biscuit and a sticky sweet when contact was made from 3 to 30 seconds.”

Sure enough, they report, “time is a significant factor in the transfer of bacteria from a floor surface to a piece of food.”

Lead researcher Anthony Hilton commented on the study’s findings.

“Consuming food dropped on the floor still carries an infection risk as it very much depends on which bacteria are present on the floor at the time,” he said. “However, the findings of this study will bring some light relief to those who have been employing the five-second rule for years, despite a general consensus that it is purely a myth.”

It’s a good thing there’s some truth to the rule, because everyone apparently loves eating food off the floor. The researchers found that 87 percent of people who drop food on the floor said they would still eat it.

“Our study showed that a surprisingly large majority of people are happy to consume dropped food, with women the most likely to do so,” Hilton said. “But they are also more likely to follow the five-second rule, which our research has shown to be much more than an old wives' tale.” 

Source: Aston University

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11Rafael Cruz Blames California Drought on UN Agenda 21, Earth Worship (Video)

Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) father Rafael Cruz is well-known for making outrageous claims.

Rafael kept his streak alive when he addressed a church in Longview, Texas last Saturday (video below).

He claimed the United Nations' "Agenda 21" was causing California’s worst drought in a century, noted RawStory.com.

“Have any of you heard of Agenda 21? Agenda 21 is all about confiscation of private property," claimed Rafael. "It’s all about the worship of Mother Earth. You know, in California they are trying to tear down all the dams to let the rivers flow freely. They’ve created a drought in southern California to save a little fish, a little minnow.”

Rafael was likely referring to the delta smelt, a small fish in California's Central Valley, which was getting caught in water pumps, reported KCRA.

In response, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service diverted some water to keep the endangered fish alive, which was reversed by California Governor Jerry Brown (D) in January.

However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's action was upheld today in court by Bush-appointee Federal Judge Jay Bybee, noted Reuters.

"Agenda 21" is not a plot to steal land, but rather a non-binding plan by the United Nations to help sustain human existence.

However, right wing conspiracy groups have long warned against Agenda 21, which they see as a "New World Order" with an one world government.

Sources: Reuters, RawStory.com, KCRA

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11Six Colorado Republican Candidates Deny Global Warming (Video)

Six Colorado Republican candidates recently denied that man-made global warming exists.

The Republicans are running for the GOP nomination to face Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) in November, notes ThinkProgress.org (video below).

The GOP hopefuls (Mark Aspiri, Ken Buck, Owen Hill, Tom Janich, Amy Stephens, Floyd Trujillo) all denied climate change science during a debate yesterday hosted by the Denver Post.

The candidates were asked by the moderator, "Do you believe our planet is being impacted by man-made global warming?”

Each candidate answered "no."

If the candidates were trolling for votes, they answered incorrectly as a poll by the  Yale Project on Climate Change Communication in 2013 stated, "Most Coloradans (70%) believe global warming is happening. Relatively few — only 19% — believe it is not. • Nearly half (48%) believe global warming is caused mostly by human activities."

Sen. Udall believes that man-made climate change is real, as do most scientists.

In 2009, CNN reported that 90 percent of the scientists agreed that global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels and 82 percent said human activity has been a significant factor.

In addition to denying man-made global warming, all six GOPers opposed Obamacare, same-sex marriage and raising the minimum wage, noted the Associated Press.

Sources: CNN, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, ThinkProgress.org, Denver Post, Associated Press

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