Category Archives: Science

The Biggest Psychological Experiment in History Is Running Now – Scientific American

The impact of ­COVID-19 on the physical health of the world’s citizens is extraordinary. By mid-May there were upward of four million cases spread across more than 180 countries. The pandemic’s effect on mental health could be even more far-reaching. At one point roughly one third of the planet’s population was under orders to stay home. That means 2.6 billion people–more than were alive during World War II–were experiencing the emotional and financial reverberations of this new coronavirus. “[The lockdown] is arguably the largest psychological experiment ever conducted,” wrote health psychologist Elke Van Hoof of Free University of Brussels-VUB in Belgium. The results of this unwitting experiment are only beginning to be calculated.

The science of resilience, which investigates how people weather adversity, offers some clues. A resilient individual, wrote Harvard University psychiatrist George Vaillant, resembles a twig with a fresh, green living core. “When twisted out of shape, such a twig bends, but it does not break; instead it springs back and continues growing.” The metaphor describes a surprising number of people: As many as two thirds of individuals recover from difficult experiences without prolonged psychological effects, even when they have lived through events such as violent crime or being a prisoner of war. Some even go on to grow and learn from what happened to them. But the other third suffers real psychological distress–some people for a few months, others for years.

— Read on www.scientificamerican.com/interactive/the-biggest-psychological-experiment-in-history-is-running-now/

Why Sleep Deprivation Kills | Quanta Magazine

Going without sleep for too long kills animals but scientists haven’t known why. Newly published work suggests that the answer lies in an unexpected part of the body.
— Read on www.quantamagazine.org/why-sleep-deprivation-kills-20200604/

#TeamNoSleep

Funerals in space: The people who send their ashes into orbit

Services such as Celestis and Aura Flights send remains to the skies in an epic final journey.

Even in the freezing cold, Steven Schnider would often drag his wife Christine outside to look up at the night sky. He’d point out everything from planets to comets to satellites he’d tracked down using an app called Heavens Above.

“He’d say, ‘Do you see it?’ It’s right there. And it would be the faintest little piece of light going across the sky,” Christine recalls. “He was just so excited about it.”

When Steven was close to death in 2017, there was a consensus among family members that a space burial would be the best way to send him off. Their daughter took out her phone, did a quick search and pulled up a company called Celestis.

See More (CNET)

www.cnet.com/features/space-funerals-the-people-who-want-their-ashes-scattered-into-orbit/

Check out this article from USA TODAY:

Apple Watch, Fitbit as first line of defense? Tests expand on whether wearables could predict coronavirus

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/05/27/coronavirus-tracking-apple-watch-fitbit-studies-aim-detect-covid-19/5270949002/

Smartphone data shows America’s cautious comeback

Data from millions of mobile phones shows varying behavior across the United States in May as people responded to the loosening of stay-at-home orders, a Reuters analysis shows.

Americans returned to parks, restaurants and gas stations first. In most of the country, though, people continued to stay away from bars, fitness centers and religious institutions, which remain closed in many areas, according to the analysis of anonymized smartphone data from SafeGraph.
— Read on www.oann.com/smartphone-data-shows-americas-cautious-comeback/

Contact Tracing Explained

The most complete article @Forbes I’ve seen on #ContactTracing. Balanced, includes history, technology, future. Great job @JoeHarpaz @ModMed!

Apple i OS 13.5 Is Ready For Covid-19 Contact Tracing —Are You?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/joeharpaz/2020/05/21/apple-ios-135-is-ready-for-covid-19-contact-tracing/

Science behind sanitizing airplane cabin air has advanced but was too late for coronavirus – The Washington Post

Industry assurances have blurred the science of cabin air. Biology, physics and pure proximity are all at play.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/scientists-think-they-know-ways-to-combat-viruses-on-airplanes-theyre-too-late-for-this-pandemic/2020/04/20/83279318-76ab-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html