Vegetarians should think twice

Vegetarians should think twice

IMPORTANCE The giant panda, an endangered mammalian species endemic to western China, is well known for its unique bamboo diet. Unlike other herbivores that have successfully evolved anatomically specialized digestive systems to efficiently deconstruct fibrous plant matter, the giant panda still retains a gastrointestinal tract typical of carnivores. We characterized the fecal bacterial communities from a giant panda population to determine whether this animal relies on its symbiotic gut microbiota to cope with the complex carbohydrates that dominate its diet, as is common in other herbivores. We found that the giant panda gut microbiota is low in diversity and highly variable across seasons. It also shows an overall composition typical of bears and entirely differentiated from other herbivores, with low levels of putative cellulose-digesting bacteria. The gut microbiota of this herbivore, therefore, may not have well adapted to its highly fibrous diet, suggesting a potential link with its poor digestive efficiency.

The Bamboo-Eating Giant Panda Harbors a Carnivore-Like Gut Microbiota

Insecticide Phobias by the loony left

Insecticide Phobias by the loony left

It looks like the White House is finally going to announce policy recommendations from the Pollinator Task Force it appointed a year ago. The lengthy delay appears to result from inconvenient facts getting in the way of its “bee apocalypse” and “dangerous pesticides” narrative. A growing body of research has found that the honeybees which pollinate so many crops have recovered from the various diseases that had been decimating some colonies … and are actually doing quite well now. Other research demonstrates that the neonicotinoid pesticides are actually very safe to use – for honeybees and other beneficial insects, as well as for humans and the environment, though not for harmful insects that feed on food crops.

But environmentalist have been clamoring and campaigning for years to get tough restrictions, or an outright ban, on using neonics. They are not about to let facts get in the way of their agenda. So they have invented a new “looming crisis.” Now they claim the pesticides could be a threat to WILD bees. This con might work, because there is so little data about population trends among the many species of wild bees, though what information is available suggests that wild bees are doing OK too.




Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We present a nonpharmacological approach for removing Aβ and restoring memory function in a mouse model of AD in which Aβ is deposited in the brain. We used repeated scanning ultrasound (SUS) treatments of the mouse brain to remove Aβ, without the need for any additional therapeutic agent such as anti-Aβ antibody. Spinning disk confocal microscopy and high-resolution three-dimensional reconstruction revealed extensive internalization of Aβ into the lysosomes of activated microglia in mouse brains subjected to SUS, with no concomitant increase observed in the number of microglia. Plaque burden was reduced in SUS-treated AD mice compared to sham-treated animals, and cleared plaques were observed in 75% of SUS-treated mice. Treated AD mice also displayed improved performance on three memory tasks: the Y-maze, the novel object recognition test, and the active place avoidance task. Our findings suggest that repeated SUS is useful for removing Aβ in the mouse brain without causing overt damage, and should be explored further as a noninvasive method with therapeutic potential in AD.


saving mankind from a bleak future …

to good a solution so no Armageddon inspired human mind will accept it. Evidently they believe to be masters of our destiny, and our destiny seems to be to regress to caveman stature.


[…] Thorium molten salt reactors, without the need for all the backup safety systems that U235 nuclear plants have, should be no more expensive to build than coal-fired plants. This is an overnight capital cost of $3,246/kW as opposed to U235 nuclear at $5,530/kW. At that rate, a 250 MWe plant would cost about $800 million. Building 300 per annum would provide a revenue of $240 billion per annum.

The gullible left one day will find out how wrong they are about solar and wind power, guaranteed to send us all back to the dark ages. People like Ehrlich and Holdren tried that a few decades ago, yet there are now billions more of us, and poverty is much less, but still a long way to go. Never if you rely on that Green agenda.

David Archibald sets this case out for thorium very well. An added bonus…

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Aspartame Won’t Kill You or Make You Fat

Aspartame Won’t Kill You or Make You Fat

Recently, Pepsi announced that they were going to remove aspartame from from Diet Pepsi and replace it with sucralose and acesulfame potassium, AKA Ace K. Sucralose is derived from sugar, and Ace K is the sweetener used in Coke Zero that gives it that “real sugar” flavor. Internet-based fears about aspartame are sweeping. Quacks and conspiracy theorists say it’s the most dangerous substance in food, that it causes MS like symptoms and, my personal favorite, that it killed Heath Ledger.

So with all these fears, was removing aspartame from Diet Pepsi necessary for safety or health? Science says no.

Aspartame is one of the most-studied food additives ever. It’s been shown, time after time, to be safe. No links to cancer, MS, ADHD, the NY Yankees, premature ejaculation, your dog sniffing the litter box, or any other random thing you want to blame on this. It just tastes sweet.

It’s not even making you fat. I’m sure you’ve heard that diet soda with aspartame can cause weight gain. I drank Diet Coke when I was overweight, I drank Diet Coke all through my 90lb-weight loss, and I still drink Diet Coke. The difference is that I eat a lot more fruits and vegetables now and fewer french fries. An excess of calories will make you gain weight, not carbonated water with caffeine. Studies linking diet soda to weight gain are, at best, corollary, and haven’t closely enough examined the other behaviors of the people in the study.


A few models wandered over the pause…

A few models wandered over the pause…

hilarious caption on the graph. Made me chuckle.

Watts Up With That?


Dana Nuccitelli has written a defence of climate models, in which he appears to claim that a few models randomly replicating the pause should be considered evidence that climate modelling is producing valid results.

According to The Guardian;

… There’s also no evidence that our expectations of future global warming are inaccurate. For example, a paper published in Nature Climate Change last week by a team from the University of New South Wales led by Matthew England showed that climate models that accurately captured the surface warming slowdown (dark red & blue in the figure below) project essentially the same amount of warming by the end of the century as those that didn’t (lighter red & blue).

There’s also been substantial climate research examining the causes behind the short-term surface warming slowdown. Essentially it boils down to a combination of natural variability storing more heat in the deep oceans, and…

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