Skeptics with a K: Episode #128


Spanish flu, visiting psychics, and flying to London. Plus children packing shopping, Miss Piggy, cholera toxin and the ravages of time. Getting out of chair 11% faster, it’s Skeptics with a K.

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  1. #1 by Topher Mendoza on August 15, 2014 - 19:42

    Hey, just a couple things about the virology part of this episode… I could be wrong, but I remember hearing an interview with this reasercher on the flu strain in question and he and another influenza researcher stated that the modeling for these is done in mice and in ferrets, and for most (if not all) of these gain of function expiraments the viruses themselves require receptirs for entry into the cells that humans don’t even have. Which may explain why these were done in BSL-2 labs.
    For more on virology topics, before you have a segment, see what the podcast TWiV (this week in virology) has covered, Vincent abd the rest on the show are PHD’s and Alan Dove in particular sounds like a skeptic and has even noted articles on Science Based Medicine… They are virologist and microbiologists who cover papers in virology and break them down and explain them, and they often share concerns with skeptics like concerns over the anti-vax movement and HIV/AIDS denialists. Over all they are purely a science podcast and go into more depth on some of these issues than the average skeptical podcast…

  2. #2 by Topher Mendoza on August 15, 2014 - 21:06

    For a discussion of a published paper discussing these Kowaoka gain of function experiments see TWiV episode 287 they discuss it a little over halfway into the episode…

  3. #3 by Chris on August 15, 2014 - 23:56

    The wanting to do the packing yourself reminded me of the “how to load a dishwasher” issues in our household, which is well illustrated here:
    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/dishwasher

    Also about the dangerous viruses studies, here is a video of a not quite open BSL-4 lab:
    http://www.twiv.tv/threading-the-neidl/

  4. #4 by Peter Hewitt on August 16, 2014 - 13:44

    Hi Mike, Marsh and Alice
    Just listened to the Podcast excellent as usual

    On the subject of Stage Psychics have you tried to interview Tom Binns who has an act as a comic fake psychic Ian D. Montfort as part of the act the audience write down questions they’re put into a glass bowl and then he gets the spirits to answer them, Not sure how he does it but not only does he appear to read them whilst they are in this glass bowl he also identifies who wrote it i.e he picks someone out of the audience and answers their question, it is surprisingly effective even if you now it is all a joke/fake

  5. #5 by Carla on August 19, 2014 - 05:18

    You pointed out many flaws in the study on whether 2 minutes of exercise twice a week benefits the elderly. I think it’s greatest flaw is that it is exercise for the elderly to even get to the location where they were monitored while exercising. Depending on their lifestyle, the twice a week trip may significantly increase the number of times they get out of their homes and are walking any significant distance. Just by participating in the study, the study is changing their baseline activity level.

  6. #6 by Olivia on October 30, 2014 - 23:59

    Hi all,
    They mentioned “speech by the geeks” when discussing the woo/claims on women’s products/soap. I’m trying to look “speech by the geeks” so I can either read it or listen to it (if it’s a podcast). Any chance someone can send me a link?
    Thanks!!!

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