Hi Reddit, my name is Chris Ruff [https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/profiles/results/directory/profile/0000031/christopher-ruff], and I’m an anatomist and biological anthropologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. During my 35 years of teaching anatomy, I’ve seen many changes in how we introduce students to this subject. Anatomy forms the foundation for much of medicine, but can be difficult to learn, so finding the best ways to communicate that information is important. Dissection of cadavers has always been a key part of anatomical training, because of the realism and experience with the actual body that it involves. However, increasingly we also use computer software to reinforce or review anatomical structures or concepts. Recently, we have developed a new product that makes learning muscles and bones fun and interactive. It’s designed for both medical professionals and anatomy neophytes. [https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/articles/anatomy-app-offers-interactive-learning-from-johns-hopkins-expert] I’ll be back at 1 pm ET today to answer your questions.
Welcome to our new semi-regular Science Issues Discussion. This month, the discussion topic is net neutrality and potential impacts on science, science communication, education, and and informed citizenry. Some example concerns are: How will this impact scientists’ abilities to collaborate on projects? How will this impact citizen science initiatives? Will this exacerbate the relationship between income levels and access to scientific knowledge? How will this impact science communication and journals - especially open access journals? How will this impact start-ups and smaller private scientific enterprises? To guide us in this discussion we have invited Ryan Singel (u/ryansingel2) who is a Media and Strategy Fellow at Stanford Law School and represented start-ups at a meeting with then FCC chairman Tom Wheeler about net neutrality. Ryan Singel covered net neutrality (and more) for Wired from 2002 to 2012. He left Wired to found Contextly, an engagement platform for publishers. He’s now a Media and Strategy Fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society focussing on net neutrality and the CEO of Contextly. You are welcome to ask Ryan questions directly but we also invite him to engage with ongoing discussions where he can lend his expertise and share his thoughts. Science Issue Discussions are more relaxed formats than AMAs. We encourage you to bring your own personal experience - especially those of you who have flair in our sub and can speak to how this topic impacts your own field of study. Anecdotes and personal narratives are permitted. However, we still maintain strict rules about commenting and we do not permit rudeness, hateful or angry comments, bigotry, doxing, or witch hunts. Your comments should be related to the topic of the discussion and not jokes, memes, or pop culture references. No pseudoscience and this is not the place for grandstanding or big political arguments. Failure to adhere to these rules will have your comments removed and you risk being banned.
Hi Reddit, My name is Ke Lan and I am a professor and the Director of the State Key Laboratory of Virology at Wuhan University, Wuhan, P.R. China. My researches focus on the mechanism of latent infection and oncogenesis caused by Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus. Dr. Xing Wang and Mr. Zhe Zou who worked in my lab before will join me to answer questions. Dr. Xing Wang is now a professor at the Department of Gastroenterology, Xinqiao Hospital affiliated to the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, P.R. China. And, Mr. Zhe Zou is now a technician at the Department of Gastroenterology, Xinqiao Hospital affiliated to the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, P.R. China. We recently published an article titled “Male hormones activate EphA2 to facilitate Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection: Implications for gender disparity in Kaposi’s sarcoma” in PLOS Pathogens. Previous studies have shown that the incidence of Kaposi’s sarcoma is higher in males, however the reason has not been addressed. In our study, we found that male hormones and its receptor (AR) can promote KSHV infection by activating an important cellular signaling pathway. Our findings suggested that males are more vulnerable to infection of KSHV due to the male hormones, providing an explanation to the higher incidence of Kaposi’s sarcoma in males. We will be answering your questions at 1pm ET – Ask Us Anything!
EDIT 4:35 pm ET: Thank you all for your excellent questions. It’s been a lot of fun sharing our science with you. We’re signing off now. We have just published a study detailing “Steve,” an aurora-related dancing purple light first spotted – and named! – by amateur photographers. This new information about Steve comes from analyzing satellite data, all-sky cameras and additional citizen-scientist photographs. Steve’s scientific name is now Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (which can still be shortened to STEVE). STEVE appears as a faint purple ribbon of light in the sky and is often accompanied by a short-lived, green, picket fence structure. It looks much like an aurora but occurs at lower latitudes closer to the equator. After analyzing satellite data, we learned that STEVE is the visible side of something we were already familiar with: sub auroral ion drift (SAID), a fast moving stream of extremely hot particles. SAIDs appear in areas closer to the equator (like southern Canada) than where most auroras appear. Until now, we never knew SAIDs had a visual component! Studying STEVE can help us paint a better picture of how Earth’s magnetic fields function and interact with charged particles in space. You can help us learn more about STEVE by submitting your photographs and sightings of the phenomenon to a citizen science project called Aurorasaurus (online at aurorasaurus.org or on your device as iOS and Android apps). Check here for more details about how to spot STEVE. Answering your questions today are: Liz MacDonald, space scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and founder of Aurorasaurus Chris Ratzlaff, citizen scientist who first named Steve; runs the Alberta Aurora Chasers Facebook group Burcu Kosar, space scientist at NASA Goddard Matt Heavner, space scientist at the New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, New Mexico Bea Gallardo-Lacourt, space physicist at the University of Calgary, Canada Bill Archer, space scientist at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada Megan Gillies, space scientist at the University of Calgary, Canada We are now live. @NASASun on Twitter
Hello, we are Professor Tim Lenton and Dr Damien Mansell, climate scientists from the University of Exeter. Together, our research looks into the science of Climate Change. We’re also passionate educators and have, for the last 5 years, produced free online courses that look at the Challenges and Solutions of climate change. It can be easy to feel disillusioned by climate change and as if there is nothing we can do, but that’s not true and there are many ways we can take action into our own hands. Tim: My research has looked at the evolution of the Earth System and, in particular, tipping points in the climate system. I’ve recently begun focussing on detecting early warning signals for these tipping points. If we are able to detect when a system is close to tipping, we can better assess the solutions that can prevent catastrophic climate change or reduce the impacts. Damien: I study the contemporary cryosphere (the world’s ice) and how this is changing with recent climate warming. My research uses satellite data and the development of new remote sensing techniques to study cryosphere instabilities. I’m also interested in the use of technology in teaching and education, from developing virtual field trips to these online courses. Our new course ‘Climate Change: Solutions’ discusses and applies the theme of Climate Action to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We look at a range of solutions, from changing the way we produce energy to the way we farm, and explore where different options might be viable around the world. In particular, we’ll be focussing on the SDGs of Life below Water, Life on Land and Sustainable Cities and Communities. In this AMA, we will be joined by our facilitator team from the University of Exeter to help answer your burning questions about all things solutions! Ask us anything! We’ll be back at 11:00 am ET to answer your questions, Ask us anything!
Edit: Thanks everyone for the questions so far! I’ll be taking a break, but I will periodically check back throughout the rest of the day and tomorrow as well if there are any more questions! This was fun, thank you! I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics. My research involves using large computer simulations to model the growth and evolution of galaxies and their supermassive black holes. My recent work, where we predict that massive galaxies like our own should host several “wandering” supermassive black holes, has recently been the subject of a press release. Given that this work has generated some interest on reddit, I thought this would be a great opportunity to answer questions about this paper, as well as supermassive black holes in general. Why do we care about supermassive black holes and how does this study help change how we understand them? I’ll be back at 1 pm ET to answer your questions, AMA!
Tasmanian devils, the largest marsupial carnivores, have lived in relative isolation on the island of Tasmania. Consequently, there is limited genetic diversity within the devil population, reducing the population's overall fitness and making them more susceptible to the spread of infectious disease. In the past 30 years one such disease, a contagious cancer, has emerged posing an existential threat to the species. The cancer, devil tumor facial disease, is of non-viral origin and is spread by biting which has enabled it to disseminate throughout the devil population, in-and-between different geographic loci. Under this intense selective pressure an evolutionary arms race emerged between the contagious disease and the genetics of the devil host. Aided by the efforts of conscientious scientists there is now hope for the future of the Tasmanian devil population. Furthermore, the Tasmanian devil facial tumor has served as a case study in the value of interdisciplinary science, bringing together ecologists, immunologists, cell biologists, epidemiologists, and cancer biologist, all with the combined goal of saving the Tasmanian devil species.
The United States is currently experiencing an opioid crisis. The CDC website has some chilling facts: The majority of drug overdose deaths (66%) involve an opioid. In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids was 5 times higher than in 1999. From 2000 to 2016, more than 600,000 people died from drug overdoses. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Despite all this, opioids remain an effective treatment for post-operative pain. Surgeons struggle with adequately treating their patients’ pain needs while being mindful of the risks of opioids. Not enough is known about the risks of treating patients with longer durations and stronger doses of opioids. In our paper published in the BMJ, we quantified the association between the amount of opioids patients received directly after surgery and the rate of misusing opioids (including overdose, abuse, and dependence) in more than 500,000 surgery patients enrolled in commercial medical insurance who received opioids. We found that each additional refill a patient received was associated with a more than 40% increase in the rate of misuse and each additional week of opioids with a 20% increase. The dose of opioids had a much smaller impact and only seemed to become important among patients who used opioids for an extended period. Those numbers are based on statistical models that take into many factors about the patients, including their surgery type, age, sex, and certain diagnoses that they might have received before surgery like tobacco use disorder or depression. To give you a sense of some related unadjusted data, 0.18% of patients with no refills experienced a misuse event within one year after surgery. That number doubles to 0.37% among those who filled just one additional opioid prescription after surgery. And it jumps all the way to 1.1% among those with more than 5 refills. Our main analysis included all misuse events (not just those that happened within one year after surgery) and showed very similar results. AMA! We are: Gabriel Brat, instructor in surgery and in biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School and a trauma surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Denis Agniel, associate statistician at the RAND Corporation and part-time lecturer at Harvard Medical School Postsurgical prescriptions for opioid naive patients and association with overdose and misuse: retrospective cohort study BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5790 Edit: Thanks everyone for all the questions. We are signing off now, but we will check in later to participate in further discussion.
Neuropsychiatric disorders are a huge cause of global disability. Despite decades of research little progress has been made on effective treatments for many of these disorders. Brain-computer interfacing (BCI) is a method that allows for a close integration between computer interfaces and functional brain activation. It is currently under investigation to work as a neuroprosthetic to restore vision, hearing and muscle movement. Further development of BCI technologies have the potential to alter the approach taken with regard to the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, and may greatly improve the quality of life for many individuals suffering from currently untreatable disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or treatment resistant depression. This article will address what criteria are of importance for effective implementation of BCI in the treatment of different neuropsychiatric disorders, and will provide an overview of the different types of brain computer interfaces that are under development. It will conclude with an overview of limitations and future directions of BCI technologies.
See the eLife flyer and this post for pictures! Daniel Himmelstein (@dhimmel on Reddit, Steem, and Twitter) – Hi Reddit! I’m a data scientist in Casey Greene’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Before this, I got my PhD in Biological & Medical Informatics at the University of California, San Francisco. One reason I took the job at Penn (watch me accept the job on YouTube) was because I wanted to continue advancing open science – the idea that science will progress most quickly if research is immediately open without barriers to reuse and collaboration. Sci-Hub is a website that brands itself as the first pirate website in the world to provide mass and public access to tens of millions of research papers. It is a controversial form of open science, because it infringes upon the copyright of publishers. However, it’s interesting because we think it will push scholarly publishing towards more open business models. Therefore, when Sci-Hub tweeted the list of every article in its database in March 2017, we began analyzing it openly on GitHub. Fast-forward almost a year and, after the publication of three preprint articles, we published our findings in the journal eLife with the title Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature. We also created a Stats Browser to help anyone explore the data. Casey Greene (@greenescientist on Reddit, Steem, and Twitter) – My research lab is in the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania. Our primary focus is on developing machine learning methods to better understand human health and disease. I also run the Childhood Cancer Data Lab for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which is focused on integrating large-scale data to accelerate the pace of discovery. In addition to our research, I have an interest in the process of scientific communication, including our work studying Sci-Hub, our efforts to write a review paper entirely in the open via GitHub, and our biOverlay effort to launch an overlay for the life sciences. We’re here to answer questions about our eLife paper, or our work more broadly. We’ll start answering questions at 2pm EDT. AMA!
Hi Reddit, I am Michaeleen Doucleff, a global health reporter for NPR, and I am joined by Rick Ostfeld and Felicia Keesing – disease ecologists from the Cary Institute in New York and Bard College, respectively, who have worked on Lyme disease for more than 20 years. In March, I reported a story for NPR on Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases in the U.S. The premise: Ostfeld and Keesing predict that 2017 will be a particularly bad year for Lyme. But they’re testing a way to stop it. Lyme is already on the upswing. From 2001 to 2015, cases in the U.S. have more than doubled, and they’ve spread around the Northeast and northern Midwest. Ask us anything. We’ll be here from 1PM to 3PM ET to answer your questions about how tick-borne diseases spread, why they’re spreading and what scientists are doing to stop it. Looking forward to hearing from you!
As transportation emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have decreased due to stricter controls on air pollution, the relative importance of chemical products such as pesticides, coatings, printing inks, adhesives, cleaning agents, and personal care products has increased correspondingly. In a recent study we published in Science Magazine, we show that these volatile chemical products now contribute fully one half of emitted VOCs from petrochemical sources in Los Angeles. We hope these results will spur additional research and inform decisions about mitigating sources of ground-level ozone, fine particulate pollution, and air toxics. If you want to know more about how paints, pesticides, and perfumes contribute to pollution - ask us anything! Dr. Brian McDonald is an atmospheric scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder who works at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and whose expertise is on air quality models and emission inventories Dr. Chris Cappa is a professor at the University of California, Davis in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, whose work centers on the sources, fate and impacts of small particles in the atmosphere Dr. Jessica Gilman is a Research Chemist at NOAA and specializes in the measurement and chemistry of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere. Dr. Joost de Gouw is a senior research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. His expertise is in the sources and transformations of organic compounds in the atmosphere.
Our recent publication was recently posted here: https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/6xs76y/duke_university_scientists_have_created_a_lethal/. We’ve been working on this project for three years now and would love to answer any related questions. This project is a combination of global health and biomedical engineering. We’re really excited by our most recent proof-of-concept and are planning more exciting experiments. Feel free to just generally ask about anything biology-related as well. Answering questions will be: Robert Morhard, Robert obtained a BS in Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012. In 2014 He received an MS in Biomedical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology - Zurich At Duke he works on developing a low-cost ablative tumor therapy for use in resource-limited settings. Corrine Nief Corrine obtained a BSc in Engineering with minors in Math and Chemistry from Baylor University. She was a summer researcher at Oak Ridge National Lab studying protein structure dynamics with super-computing. Later, she studied mitochondrial protein energetics at The National Institutes of Health. Now at Duke, her research is focused on developing low-cost cancer treatments for cervical and breast cancer. Carlos Barrero Castedo Undergraduate researcher, Duke University Jenna MuellerJenna received a B.S. degree in bioengineering with a minor in global health technologies from Rice University, and completed both an M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Duke University. Currently, Jenna is a postdoctoral researcher, who is interested in the intersection of biomedical engineering and global health. Specifically, she is interested in developing low cost optical devices and therapies to diagnose and treat cervical cancer in resource limited settings. Here is a direct link to our paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-09371-2 Here is a summary of the paper: https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/09/03/ethanol-lethal-injection-tumors-11779 We will be back at 1 pm Et to answer your questions, ask us anything!
Quantum theory has found that elementary particles in addition to the classic field quantity have also quantum-mechanical degree of freedom. This research paper defines another hypothetical intrinsic degree of freedom which has a topological nature. A topological quantum field theory is constructed to this hypothetical degree of freedom.
Effective and accurate communication is of critical importance when transferring patients between healthcare providers. The accuracy of handover information transmission during these encounters has not been well studied. From August 2010 to April 2011, a pilot study was completed to examine physician satisfaction and physician accuracy regarding the performance of prehospital interventions by paramedics. Our findings suggest that physician overall satisfaction (3/5 Likert score) and accuracy (16-44%) were low in our local milieu, suggesting the need for improvement processes.