Global warming may lead to an increase in kidney stones disease.

Rising global temperatures could lead to an increase in kidney stones, according to research presented at the 103rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). Dehydration has been linked to stone disease, particularly in warmer climates, and global warming will exacerbate this effect. As a result, the prevalence of stone disease may increase, along with the costs of treating the condition.

Objective science at its best.

My Tamed Fox Spot

July 25, 2007

I wonder if the Russian researchers that tamed the silver fox had ever read about The Little Prince and his tame fox?

‘What does “tame” mean?’

‘It is something which is too often forgotten,’ said the fox. ‘It means to establish ties…’
‘”To establish ties”?’

‘That’s right,’ said the fox. ‘To me, you are still just a little boy like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you have no need of me, either. To you, I am just a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, we shall need one another. To me, you will be unique. And I shall be unique to you.’

‘I’m beginning to understand,’ said the little prince.
‘There is a flower… I think she has tamed me…’

As I continue to read Storm World and Evolution for Everyone one theme keeps popping up: science funding. In Storm World there is bickering between the warring science factions and funding, or lack thereof, is used as a sign of political interference. In Evolution for Everyone, the question of funding comes up in the chapter about Tame Fox Research in Russia.

Is science best when funded publicly or privately? Do we think of science research as a public good, infrastructure for human capital, or maybe semi-open sourced intellectual property?

Press Release Science

April 19, 2007

I use the term Press-Release-Ware to describe software that makes for a great press release but serves no other real purpose. I think science studies are now treading in the same waters. Consider Ethanol Vehicles Pose Significant Risk to Health.

“In our study, E85 increased ozone-related mortalities in the United States by about 200 deaths per year compared to gasoline, with about 120 of those deaths occurring in Los Angeles,” Jacobson said. “These mortality rates represent an increase of about 4 percent in the U.S. and 9 percent in Los Angeles above the projected ozone-related death rates for gasoline-fueled vehicles in 2020.”

The study uses a computer model to project the impact of E85 fuel (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) in 2020 and they come up with an increase of 200 “ozone-related” deaths in the U.S., more than half from heavily ozone polluted Los Angeles (think smog here). This is the “Significant Risk to Health”. Sheesh.

Newspapers are all over this stuff though.