''Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you''
A spellbinding case of justified paranoia is documented this week in the New Yorker. Researcher Tyrone Hayes upset the manufacturer of the second most popular herbicide in the US (since banned in the EU), when he published and promoted research suggesting atrazine causes growth defects in frogs. Hayes was well known for his paranoia, for example advising his students to listen for clicks on telephone calls that might indicate someone listening in - but it seems his paranoia was justified.
Syngenta, the manufacturer of atrazine allegedly began a character assassination campaign against Hayes. Adverts were purchased for web searches of Hayes' name and research - a search for Tyrone Hayes still brings up a google ad titled: “Tyrone Hayes Not Credible.” According to the New Yorker, Syngenta's communications manager Sherry Ford devised a list of methods for discrediting Hayes including: “ask journals to retract,” “set trap to entice him to sue,” “investigate funding,” “investigate wife." The tactics did not stop with the alleged smear campaign but also allegedly extended to “systematic rebuttals of all TH appearances” - a measure that seems to be backed up by numerous reports of strange figures appearing at the back of Hayes' lectures asking continuous questions apparently designed to embarrass Hayes. In the words of one of Hayes' former students quoted in the New Yorker: “everywhere Tyrone went there was this guy asking questions that made a mockery of him. We called him the Axe Man.”
I'm going to end my summary there - but head over to the New Yorker to read the full piece, if you read one article this week, make it this one.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/136766561-Marcin Balcerzak
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
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- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
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- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
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- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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