Daily Dose: Did humans cause a period of global cooling? Will Elsevier tear down that wall?

Ethics? What’s that?: An Australian study published in the medical journal, BMJ Open, has rocked the field of transplant organ research. According to the paper’s author, Wendy Rogers, many of the organs were procured unethically from Chinese prisoners. She went so far as to label the researcher who used the specimens as complicit in “barbaric” methods. Up to 400 studies are estimated to be involved. http://bit.ly/2UJUKkX

Under Pressure: In President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, he urged lawmakers to work to put new limits on abortion, a divisive issue in American politics. With his appointment of two conservative judges to the Supreme Court, it appears that paring back abortion rights is not so much a question of if, but when. https://reut.rs/2tbzRTQ

Global Cooling: A paper soon to be published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews makes the case that when European colonists began flooding into North and South America, they not only brought death and disease but also a period of global cooling. The authors make the case that pestilence had wiped out 90% of the indigenous populations. This then allowed forests and grasslands to reclaim land the decimated populations left behind. And that led to an overall cooling due to the new vegetation pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and land. https://nyti.ms/2UFO33k

Tear Down That Wall: The brokenness of the scientific journal paywall is on full display. Many libraries in Germans have allowed their Elsevier subscriptions to expire, locking researchers out of high impact journals like the Lancet and Cell. This means that scientists cannot access important research necessary for them to do their jobs well. Some institutions claim that they are making huge savings in the process. The libraries would like their print subscriptions to also cover pay-walled journals. Seems fair enough. Just not to the people at Elsevier who just want money… and more money… https://go.nature.com/2t9racP

Honeybees are Smart: Forget the birds and the bees. If anything the insects should be known for their ability to understand maths. A recent report claims that honeybees have the ability perform numerical calculations. Previously the same group claimed to have discovered that bees understood the concept of zero and understand how to discern larger from smaller groups. http://bit.ly/2UIjYjB

Wizard of Oz FTW: And lastly, a paper in the journal Applied Network Science analyzed data regarding past and present movies then proposed a novel ranking method based on four well known centrality indices: in-degree, closeness, harmonic, and PageRank. They wanted to measure the success of a movie by how much it influenced other films. The top ten films, in order, were: The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Psycho, King Kong, 2001: a space odyssey, Metropolis, Citizen Kane, Birth of a Nation, Frankenstein, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. http://bit.ly/2t7snkR

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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