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A reply to "Open letter ...to the WHO on the issue of vaccine safety"

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A reply to "Open letter ...to the WHO on the issue of vaccine safety" In a Dutch Facebook group titled "To Vaccinate: Yes or No?" (literal translation), someone posted this "Open letter to the WHO on the issue of vaccine safety", asking us what questions we think should have priority. A number of members were quick to comment that it's unclear what questions she means, calling it a bit of a word salad.
I'd like to take you through the open letter, posted by the European Forum for Vaccine Vigilance (EFVV) here. I'll try to provide both scientific papers and human-readable articles as sources and mark them as such.
My response to the letterBy sharing science and joining efforts towards better health, your organisation has improved the lives of millions of people, and we are grateful for this. Providing better nutrition, clean water, improved hygiene, and access to medical care, mortality and infectious disease have been drastically reduced. You…

How are your devices kept cool?

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How are your devices kept cool? In our pockets, we carry around devices that used to take the space of an entire room.  They stay cool, or sufficiently cool to operate, even though we are processing massive amounts of data at our fingertips.
But how? How are computers, laptops, tablets and phones kept cool? I found myself discussing this with a friend and decided it would make for an interesting blog post.
Over the last year, I've developed PC building as a hobby and cooling is one of the more interesting topics. Cooling a computer touches on a lot of topics in physics, particularly fluid flow and thermodynamics.
I'll discuss the cooling of computers first, then move through laptops, tablets and phones. Rather than explain the principles first, I'd like to discuss them in passing.
Computer cooling: Heat sinks and Fans
A computer generally has two components that need to be actively cooled. The first is the Central Processing Unit (CPU) which is present in all modern day c…

Let's talk about GMOs, part three: What will we use them for?

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Introduction
In my first post, I discussed what DNA is and how it relates to phenotypical (outward) change through the central dogma of molecular biology. In the second post I discussed the techniques of genetic engineering, including the novel and prodigal technique called Crispr/Cas9. In the third and previous post we discussed current uses of the technology.


In this post, we will look at the future uses of the technology.  I can not promise to cover all possible future and research purposes, simply because it is too extensive. I will discuss three good examples, one for research, one for medicine and one for food. We will leave the issue of designer babies for the next part in the series.

Wide-field Fluorescence microscopy Wide-field fluorescence microscopy is a research technique to investigate how things work on a microscopic scale. We'll need a short discussion on how the microscopy part works. Fluorophores are molecules that can be activated by (laser) light, after which t…

A new logical fallacy

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Fallacy: Hoc posset esse praemium. Ergo hoc est iam solvit.
Introduction For the last seven years, I've been participating in online discussions of various science related subjects. It all started when, towards my second year of university, I decided to answer some physics questions on science-related facebook pages (e.g. I Fucking Love Science).

Shortly into that endeavor, I started to encounter dishonest people. People that framed a question, but then aggressively started to attack your simplified explanation because they didn't agree with some part of science. This happened for all sorts of topics, such as evolution, climate change, Einstein's gravity (general relativity), genetic engineering, the list goes on.
I've seen a lot of online discussion. When I started, I had one foot firmly planted in the 'all natural' camp. Due to my participation in medieval fantasy fairs, I was surrounded by various people in that camp. I was perhaps not against, but sceptica…

Commentary to the International Monsanto Tribunal verdict

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Introduction
Daimonie (Facebook) blogs about science and scepticism. In October 2016, I wrote a post just before the International Monsanto Tribunal. Since then, I also started on my series regarding GMOs in general. But back in October 2016, I concluded:
As expected, the entire Fake Tribunal is a theatre. This is not a scientific conference, nor a court of law. It is quite literally a gathering of people that use pseudo-science to promote "natural" and "organic" alternatives to conventional and contemporary agriculture. Their most important part is in no way their data, their science, or the interests they represent; rather, it is their ability to form incomprehensive gish gallop combined with fear-mongering.
By doing so, they cast doubt on the credibility of science and technology. Worse, they negatively influence public opinion on contemporary agricultural technology that has the potential to greatly improve upon agricultural practises, in ways that benefit health…