DAILY DOSE: The reproducibility problem rears its head again; Jimmy Fallon, Ariana Grande, and Megan Thee Stallion stump for boosters.


Reproducibility is a major tenet of the modern scientific method. It’s also proving to be a major bugbear. Every now and again, something hits the news about a group trying to reproduce past experiments. It’s that time again and once again, the findings are pretty grim. Per the Associated Press, “For the project, the researchers tried to repeat experiments from cancer biology papers published from 2010 to 2012 in major journals such as Cell, Science and Nature. Overall, 54% of the original findings failed to measure up to statistical criteria set ahead of time by the Reproducibility Project, according to the team’s study published online Tuesday by eLife. The nonprofit eLife receives funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which also supports The Associated Press Health and Science Department.” What makes this more disappointing is that the research in question focuses on cancer. https://bit.ly/3rJvPl2


New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio has enacted the most stringent Covid-19 vaccine mandate in the U.S. and probably the world at this point. Per NBC 4 New York, “All private-sector workers in New York City will be subject to the mayor’s vaccine mandate starting Dec. 27, affecting 184,000 businesses, while vaccine proof for indoor dining, fitness and entertainment will be required for children ages 5 to 11, according to a toughened vaccine mandate announced by Bill de Blasio Monday. The current rule will also expand to require two vaccine doses instead of proof of only one as far as people age 12 and older are concerned, the mayor said. That excludes people who were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot. Kids aged 5 to 11 only need to show proof of one dose when the requirement for them kicks in on Dec. 14, considering they only first became eligible for their initial doses in early November and must wait at least 21 days between Pfizer’s doses.” The outgoing mayor has less than a month left in his tenure and many view this as a play for a future gubernatorial run. https://bit.ly/3owBN79

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Europe continues to feel its way through the Covid-19 booster maze. Mixing and matching seems to be the major theme. Per the Associated Press, “The European Union drug regulator gave its backing Tuesday to mixing different types of vaccines in initial vaccination and booster campaigns to battle the coronavirus. The European Medicines Agency said in a statement that using different types of vaccines together, known as heterologous vaccination, can provide protection against COVID-19. The announcement comes as much of Europe is facing rising infection and hospital rates and concerns about the new omicron variant.” https://bit.ly/3rNy5YD


Cities get a bum rap sometimes. They’re congested. Miles and miles of concrete. Very little green space. Grumpy and aggressive citizens. It’s all very depressing. At least that’s how the narrative goes. Apparently, it’s not entirely true, especially the depression part. A recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences investigated whether city-dwellers really are more depressed than their country-living counterparts. According to the authors, “It is commonly assumed that cities are detrimental to mental health. However, the evidence remains inconsistent and at most, makes the case for differences between rural and urban environments as a whole. Here, we propose a model of depression driven by an individual’s accumulated experience mediated by social networks. The connection between observed systematic variations in socioeconomic networks and built environments with city size provides a link between urbanization and mental health. Surprisingly, this model predicts lower depression rates in larger cities.” So there you have it. Everyone can move back to the city now. https://bit.ly/3GdLugG


The entertainment industry can make definite contributions to public health. Look no futher than the Tonight Show and its host. Per Rolling Stone, “Jimmy Fallon is bringing on the Christmas season with Ariana Grande and Megan Thee Stallion on their new track ‘It Was a Masked Christmas,’ accompanied by a music video directed by Dan Opsal. ‘It Was a Masked Christmas’ and the new video unsurprisingly lean into the experiences of the pandemic holiday seasons of the past two years. Fallon sings about covering noses and mouths and only getting Wi-Fi for Zoom calls from the laundry room, while Meg raps about putting Purell on everything from the Turkey to the egg nog and candy canes. Grande meanwhile, goes for a more typical theme of longing for someone during the winter months, singing of needing ‘someone to hold at night, because it’s gonna snow.’” Take a minute to give the song a listen. https://bit.ly/3Ivf9ng

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.


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