Articles to 2017-05-14

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


Doctors and nurses seem to become infected surprisingly rarely themselves. Li et al. describe the mechanism by which health care workers can become partially immune to tuberculosis. If that result can be generalized it explains a large part of the remarkable resilience of health professionals.


For some time now I’ve warned about how indiscriminate squandering of precious natural gas in large electricity plants, where coal could be used just as well and where cleaning up flue gases is easy and cost efficient, would inevitably lead to a resurgence of coal gasification. As it happens China has now begun doing just that. From Qin et al. it seems efficiency has massively improved since WW II times but still, resources are being used up and carbon dioxide emitted at a far larger rate than they would have been with direct use of the fuel best suited to the task.


When archaeologists invoke theory, what they really mean is meta-theory or navel gazing. Specifically their term does not convey theory inside and as part of archeology, like the theory I learnt in physics, but deliberation about archeology as seen from outside. I don’t see this as helpful to anyone working inside the field. Adding to the one cited last week, Smith has just published a new article, again explaining the conditions a meaningfully theoretical consideration has to fulfil to be helpful and to further progress.

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