Monday, December 13, 2010

'Shattered old ideas' = TPT

A new way of saying TPT:

On August 1, 2010, an entire hemisphere of the sun erupted. Filaments of magnetism snapped and exploded, shock waves raced across the stellar surface, billion-ton clouds of hot gas billowed into space. Astronomers knew they had witnessed something big.

It was so big, it may have shattered old ideas about solar activity.

"The August 1st event really opened our eyes," says Karel Schrijver of Lockheed Martin’s Solar and Astrophysics Lab in Palo Alto, CA. "We see that solar storms can be global events, playing out on scales we scarcely imagined before." ...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Microbes in the Gulf May Eat More Gas TPT

The tiny microbes live in or near the seafloor and snack on gas leaks. “Entire communities have arisen on the seafloor that depend on these seeps. Our analysis shows that within these communities, some microbes consume methane 10 to 100 times faster than we’ve previously realized,” noted Peter R. Girguis, associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard University

Read more: Microbes in the Gulf May Eat More Gas than Previously Thought

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Research into the development and formation of babies' brains has shown that they are more advanced than previously thought, and that they may spend their time in ‘conscious introspection’.

"default mode network"
“The fact that we found it in newborn babies suggests that either being a fetus is a lot more fun than any of us can remember - lying there happily introspecting and thinking about the future - or that this theory is mistaken.

Read more:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dinosaurs taller TPT

From the article:

Researchers at the University of Missouri and Ohio University have found that dinosaurs had thick layers of cartilage in their joints, which means they may have been considerably taller than previously thought.

Cartilaginous Epiphyses in Extant Archosaurs and Their Implications for Reconstructing Limb Function in Dinosaurs

Reading the abstract might be a source of several new words. Here's my list from just one sentence:

archosaurs, condylar appendicular epiphyseal (articular)

In context I could figure them out but these are not in my normal vocabulary.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

...Greater uncertainty about future temperature increases TPS

TPS=than previously suggested
Link to the article.

FTA: Britain’s leading scientific institution has been forced to rewrite its guide to climate change and admit that there is greater uncertainty about future temperature increases than it had previously suggested.

The Royal Society is publishing a new document today after a rebellion by more than 40 of its fellows who questioned mankind’s contribution to rising temperatures.
Professor Anthony Kelly and Sir Alan Rudge are members of the academic advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. They were among 43 fellows who signed a petition sent to Lord Rees, the society’s president, asking for its statement on climate change to be rewritten to take more account of questions raised by sceptics.

Not yet on the Royal society website but confirmed in this link to the BBC.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fewer Extinctions TPT

Back from the dead: One third of 'extinct' animals turn up again

'Conservationists are overestimating the number of species that have been driven to extinction, scientists have said.

A study has found that a third of all mammal species declared extinct in the past few centuries have turned up alive and well....'

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cancer Stem Cells more complex TPT

Link to story

Not likley. Whoever thought this would be simple, wasn't thinking very far ahead.

Phantom limbs more common TPT

Link to news release:

Milan, Italy, 24 September 2010 – After the loss of a limb, most patients experience the feeling of a phantom limb – the vivid illusion that the amputated arm or leg is still present. Damage to the nervous system, such as stroke, may cause similar illusions in weakened limbs, whereby an arm or leg may feel as if it is in a completely different position or may even feel as if it is moving when it is not. Cases of phantom limbs in non-amputees have previously been considered rare events, but a new study published in the October 2010 issue of Elsevier's Cortex ( reports that more than half of patients recovering from stroke may in fact experience phantom limb sensations.

Neanderthals More Advanced TPT

Link to the story:

The findings by anthropologist Julien Riel-Salvatore challenge a half-century of conventional wisdom maintaining that Neanderthals were thick-skulled, primitive `cavemen' ...

"Basically, I am rehabilitating Neanderthals," said Riel-Salvatore, assistant professor of anthropology at UC Denver. "They were far more resourceful than we have given them credit for."

His research, to be published in December's Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, ...

"It is likely that Neanderthals were absorbed by modern humans," he said. "My research suggests that they were a different kind of human, but humans nonetheless. We are more brothers than distant cousins."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Population of Asia's rarest waterbird 30% higher TPT

Here is the link.

FTA: A record-breaking 429 White-shouldered Ibis (Pseudibis davisoni) were recorded in a new survey in Cambodia, dramatically expanding the known global population of the critically endangered bird species

Monday, September 13, 2010

Average Life Expectancy worse TWT

Imagine when you use data collected for one purpose to calculate results and make conclusions for an entirely different purpose. Original article.

FTA: [In Japan] More than 77,000 people aged 120 or over – 884 aged 150 or higher – are listed on government records as still alive.

As blogged at Watt's Up with That:
1,000′s of Japans Centenarians Died Decades Ago, Average Life Expectancy “worse than we thought”…

This happens when people in charge are spending 'other peoples money'.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Challenge of Feeding 9 billion in 2050 [different TPT]

Brazillian Agriculture.

FTA: ” If we see anything like what happened in Brazil itself, feeding the world in 2050 will not look like the uphill struggle it appears to be now.

The increase in Brazil’s farm production has been stunning....

Brazil increased its beef exports tenfold in a decade [1996-2006], overtaking Australia as the world’s largest exporter.

...Moreover, Brazil supplies a quarter of the world’s soyabean trade on just 6% of the country’s arable land....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Everything may be different TPT

When your fundamental assumptions are wrong, there will be a lot of rethinking to do.

Interesting article in the Stanford University News

...a scientific detective investigation that could end up protecting the lives of space-walking astronauts and maybe rewriting some of the assumptions of physics....

...The story begins, in a sense, in classrooms around the world, where students are taught that the rate of decay of a specific radioactive material is a constant. This concept is relied upon, for example, when anthropologists use carbon-14 to date ancient artifacts and when doctors determine the proper dose of radioactivity to treat a cancer patient.


But that assumption was challenged in an unexpected way by a group of researchers from Purdue University...

...It's an effect that no one yet understands," agreed Sturrock. "Theorists are starting to say, 'What's going on?' But that's what the evidence points to. It's a challenge for the physicists and a challenge for the solar people too."

From an area of physics where one really would expect that the 'science is settled'.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Solar System Older TPT

Solar system may be 2 million years older than thought.

FTA: Researchers studying bits of a meteorite discovered that the space rock was 4.5682 billion years old, predating previous estimates of the solar system's age by up to 1.9 million years.

Actually, I doubt many people think about millions of years when the subject is in the billions.

*** Here is a link to a new article which connects to the finally published scientific report.

Friday, August 20, 2010

San Andreas Fault more overdue TPT

A new study suggests the San Andreas Fault may be more overdue for a big earthquake than scientists previously thought.

[I live within a mile or two of the SAF, but this study is about a segment far away in southern California]

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Poorer TPT

From the WSJ:
Americans say they are underwhelmed by the economic recovery,...

...Yesterday's report also contained the government's annual historic GDP revisions, and growth was revised downward for the last three years. This means the U.S. is $130 billion, or 1%, poorer than previously thought and that growth will have to be that much faster to catch up...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Americans Cut Back on Visits to Doctor

From an article in the WSJ:
"People just aren't using health-care like they have," said Wayne DeVeydt, WellPoint Inc.'s chief financial officer, in an interview Wednesday. "Utilization is lower than we expected, and it's unusual."

But from a reader comment:
"Wow - it is shocking that when a consumer has to pay more for a service or all of the cost that the usage would go down. Remember Econ 101 in College? Supply & demand curves - price goes up and demand declines. It is easy to spend someone else's money."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

White Matter Matters More TOT

TOT= Than Once Thought

From 2007 but still interesting.

FTA: Two research groups have turned the conventional wisdom about glial cells—that they do not form synapses with neurons—on its head, opening up new avenues of scientific exploration directed at glia. ...

Their work is the latest chapter in a succession of unanticipated results that are challenging the long-held view of glia as the necessary but unremarkable supporting cast to the reigning star of the nervous system, the neuron. ...

and finally MRIN: “Like any good study, this one raises many more questions than it answers,”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Twice as Many Grizzlies ...APT

...the hair that grizzlies leave behind when they rub up against tree trunks and branches works as a genetic name tag, allowing researchers to count bears and track trends in the populations. It also turns out, that the new method is showing there are about 2.5 times more grizzlies than thought, which brings into question its status as endangered.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Black tea contains more fluoride TPT

according to a new study cited in a press release by Medical College of Geogia.

...the new study showed fluoride in black tea can be up to 9 milligrams per liter, almost doubling the early estimate. ...

However, serious bone health [problems] can result from ingesting about 20 milligrams a day over a period of 10 or more years....

The findings came after Dr. Whitford examined four patients who suffered advanced skeletal fluorosis - ... These patients had one thing in common: they drank 1 to 2 gallons of tea every day for 10 to 30 years.

A corollary: Some people drink more tea TPT possible.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hanford nuclear waste mess worse TYT

TYT= than you thought.

The amount of plutonium at the Hanford nuclear waste site near Richland, Wash., is almost twice what was last reported ...

...The cancer-causing material is migrating at a faster-than-anticipated rate toward the site’s subterranean groundwater,...

Power ... beneath Yellowstone National Park is much greater TPT

From Science 2.0 in Mar 2007

A 17-year University of Utah study of ground movements shows that the power of the huge volcanic hotspot beneath Yellowstone National Park is much greater than previously thought during times when the giant volcano is slumbering.

Yet 17 years of GPS measurements show "the textbook model for a normal fault is not what’s happening at the Teton fault," Smith says. "The mountains are going down relative to the valley going up. That’s a total surprise."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Asian Water Shortages May Not Be as Bad as PT

This post is part of a special National Geographic News series on global water issues.

FTA: It's rare to get good news on climate change--but if the study's predictions come true, China and much of India could be better off than many scientists had expected.

[Lots of AGW slant despite noting retractions of previous scaremongering.]

In their blogging they don't quite get the connection between bad data and bad conclusions. Otherwise known as GIGO.

Fundamental Questions about the nature of the Universe

Big Bang data errors larger TPT

Astronomers' Doubts About the Dark Side:

...The two scientists find evidence that the errors in its data may be much larger than previously thought, which in turn makes the standard model of the Universe open to question. ...

and of course MRIN:

Prof. Shanks concludes "Odds are that the standard model with its enigmatic dark energy and dark matter will survive -- but more tests are needed. The European PLANCK satellite, currently out there collecting more CMB data will provide vital new information and help us answer these fundamental questions about the nature of the Universe we live in."

Greenland ice melt not as scary as PT

... or as hyped.

Thread from Watt's up with that(WUWT) blog.

News report in Science.
"glaciologists reported at the American Geophysical Union meeting that Greenland ice’s Armageddon has come to an end."

and in fact was worse 80-90 years ago.

From WUWT blog:
"Every good citizen knows that the poles are melting – because they have been fed a continuous stream of gross misinformation. The press loves to print this stuff, but never makes any serious attempt to set the record straight later."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Scientists discover [ten] new marine species

Story Link and Pictures

Professor Monty Priede, director of the University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab, said: "This expedition has revolutionized our thinking about deep-sea life in the Atlantic Ocean. "... Using new technology and precise navigation, we can access these regions and discover things we never suspected existed"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Movable sequences of DNA are more common TPT

Link: 29 June 2010

...retrotransposons: DNA sequences which can 'copy and paste' their genetic code around the genome.

"This tells us that active human retrotransposons are much more common than we expected. Individual active L1 retrotransposons are quite rare - but there are a lot of them."

Original study in Cell.

FTA: Therefore, these results suggest that hot L1s are more abundant in the human population than previously appreciated, and that ongoing L1 retrotransposition continues to be a major source of interindividual genetic variation.

Another impetus to rethink 'genetic clocks'

p.s. after reading this link I'd say 'Molecular clock dating is even more uncertain TPT'.

Friday, July 9, 2010

'Aliens cause Global Warming'

From Michael Crichton in a talk given at Caltech in 2003 and linked to from 'Wattsupwiththat'. read the whole article.

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.


[Note: The article was scrubbed from the original website but is available via a version. Something fishy going on with the deletion?]

The Staffordshire Hoard

The Staffordshire Hoard: found in July 2009

"This is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England… as radically, if not more so, as the Sutton Hoo discoveries. Absolutely the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells."

Leslie Webster, Former Keeper, Department of Prehistory and Europe, British Museum

In the picture: The suitably warlike inscription, mis-spelt in places, is probably from the Book of Numbers Ch. 10 v 35 and reads:
Surge domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua ~ "Rise up, o Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face"

...previously unrecognized genetic substructure...

One of my current interests. Population dynamics.

The genome-wide structure of the Jewish people

FTA: In contrast, Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel) and Indian Jews (Bene Israel and Cochini) cluster with neighbouring autochthonous populations in Ethiopia and western India, respectively, despite a clear paternal link between the Bene Israel and the Levant.

...molecular interactions between proteins are very different TPT

London, July 9 (ANI): Scientists have discovered a previously unknown mechanism by which cells direct gene expression, ...

..."This discovery opens new doors in genome biology research, and has broad implications in the field of epigenetics of human biology of health and disease," said Martin Walsh, ...

The study has been published in the July 8th issue of Nature. (ANI)

Ebola vaccine found better than thought

BETHESDA, Md., May 24 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say an experimental Ebola vaccine protects monkeys against not only the two most lethal Ebola virus species, but also a new Ebola virus. ...
The research is reported in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up

Here is an interesting article that doesn't contain the words TPT. But its interesting in the same light.

FTA: "The problem with science, then, isn’t that most experiments fail — it’s
that most failures are ignored."

When something doesn't meet our 'PT', perhaps that is a great opportunity. Creativity comes from recognizing those chances.

Penguin DNA changes faster TPT

This one is from November 2009 but illustrates the concept of TPT.

FTA: "...scientists may have miscalculated the rates at which genetic clocks tick off evolutionary time..."

Of course, that's the good thing about 'science'. New experiments cause us to reinterpret old understandings. Anyone who tells you the 'science is settled' isn't a scientist.

NEET problem worse TPT

So what is NEET?. I guess it's backwards for TEEN and refers to those Not Employed or in Education or Training.

Useful economics lesson. Raise the minimum wage and fewer people get hired. Raise taxes and more people are out of jobs, etc. This story is from England but the same problem exists in the US.

Protons are smaller TPT

PARIS — Scientists lobbed a bombshell into the world of sub-atomic theory on Wednesday by reporting that a primary building block of the visible Universe, the proton, is smaller than previously thought...

from comments on my facebook:

Larry FTA: ...Either way, physicists still have some serious explaining to do.

Danimal: very cool article. what do "TPT" and "FTA" mean?

TPT= than previously thought... see my earlier post about this.
FTA= from the article.
and another abbreviation that I'll start using..
MRIN= more research is needed.

Danimal: MRIAlwaysN -- looking forward to the follow-ups on this one, could be exciting

Larry: So far TPT and MRIN are almost always in the same story.

TPT= 'Than Previously Thought'

'Than previously thought' is an interesting phrase in a lot of news reports. Google gives 22 million hits... Bing gives 70 million. Here are some examples. Just replace the ... with TPT.

Huntington's disease more common...
Earth and Moon formed later...
Universe to end sooner...
Dinosaurs may have been smaller...
Dinosaurs might be older...
BP oil leak worse...
Penguin DNA evolving faster ...
Human genome more variable...
...southern Greenland was warmer...
Placebo treatments stronger...
Stone age medicine more advanced ...
Incidence of AIDS in US higher...
Oprah's impact on book sales bigger...
Fewer kids dying...
The universe has more stuff...

I guess a lot of this depends on what was 'previously thought'.

The world is a big place. There are lots of new things to learn and old things to unlearn. This blog will link the ones I find interesting.