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Tech advances mean that bone marrow aspirates are no longer necessary most of the time, they can take a regular blood donation from a vein and then extract the desired cells from that in the majority of cases today

I've heard this, and it's a great thing. Even the old type of donation is not too bad considering the upside of the potential outcome.

Thanks for adding it, people need to know this can be as simple as hooking up an I.V.


I had the wonderful opportunity to donate this way earlier this month. It was totally painless (modulo a couple of needle pricks) and just required some time hooked up to the machine (~6 hours) and a course of drugs beforehand to boost stem cell production for a few days.

For the benefit it can bring someone it is a total no-brainer decision, and I'd do it again without a second's hesitation if necessary.


That the current thinking and evidence on abiogenesis says that this all happened very very early in the earths history would lead me to believe that abiogenesis is probably quite common. The existence of only DNA based life forms, given we now have good evidence that other chemical elements could have become the bases of dna (as opted to g c t and a) would also tend to indicate that it was probably just the 'winner' of that early evolutionary arms race, i.e. What chemical formula can reproduce the fastest under those early conditions

We're not going to find out by not continuing to invest in manned missions though

That is Internet of Toasters, not Internet of Things. It appears to be a beautiful and inspired piss-take that may perhaps find value

Could someone with some knowledge please elaborate on the potential implications on a project such as this, for example, if we found ourselves with clusters of low earth satellites streaming high-bandwith internet to the entire planet?

Yes, satellites are a problem. However they transmit in narrow frequency windows so you deal with this by simply notching out those frequency channels. You do need to make sure that there isn't so much power in the intereference that it does nasty things like send amplifiers into compression.

(source: I am a radio astronomer)


An educated guess, but I suppose LEO is far enough for them to be able to filter out the signal in software.

Kind of would block out a whole range of frequencies though, right? Dozens of transiting satellites, transmitting at a fairly constant volume, but of random data?

Not necessarily. From what I heard, with an array antenna you can actually separate the scalar and vector (directional) component of incoming signals and ignore those coming from particular direction. So you could either track (in software) and ignore signals from particular points (satellite), or pretty much configure your array to be directional.

That's fascinating. But then also makes you wonder why they have gone to such extents to extinguish any radio signals in the vicinity of the project

If I were to guess, here are several reasons:

- radio signal power goes down with square of the distance, so closer sources are much stronger than far ones

- any (be it software or hardware) filtering is not perfect, so a strong enough signal will probably still drown the weak ones

- it may be tad more difficult to filter out a close source because you can't assume it radiates in parallel lines, which to some extent you can with far ones (like for most practical purposes here on Earth we assume that sun rays are parallel)

- strong signals close to the ground means lots of reflections, which means more strong signals coming from random directions

- it's probably cheaper to make an exclusion zone in the middle of a desert rather than shielding yourself and upgrading the tech even more to filter out all the surrounding RF noise


We can't talk specifically to brain-training for alzheimer's, and we know, for instance, that brain-training doesn't work for actually making you smarter.

But the biggest protective effect against Alzheimers is years of education (ie >13 years of education is protective and it goes up from there). So it's plausible


Seconded

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I guess the logical conclusion of your line of thinking is that you should stop using the Internet altogether, as there is no telling which sites are using google analytics or are hosted on the app engine, all of which will do the same thing

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Please don’t be silly. Just because a person tries to cut down on salt doesn’t mean that the “logical conclusion” is that they should cut out salt completely, or indeed completely eschew all forms of spices or flavorings.

(Also, I block Google Analytics, and as I understand it, relatively few people use the Google app engine compared to other hosting solutions.)

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Make sure and stay away from anyone who might be using Google's JS or font CDN's too.

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I didn't realize how prevalent Google's JS and font CDNs were until I ran uMatrix for a while. It seems between GA, jQuery, and fonts, 80% of web sites I visit are tied into Google in some fashion.

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That is not practical advice. Also, it is disingenous and belittling.

Please don’t belittle someone who just tries to avoid something which they percieve to be harmful in large doses. Do you similarly make fun of vegetarians with comments like “Make sure and stay away from red beets and blood oranges, haw haw!” or “But what if you swallowed a fly by accident? And what about the myriads of microorganisms that exist in everything?

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... So they're back where they started?

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Biochemically, once you have not consumed anything for around 12 hours you are fasting (ie your liver is out of sugar and you are shifting to ketosis). So really it depends on your definition of fast, but scientifically skipping breakfast pushes you to the definition.

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