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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I founded Science 2.0® in 2006 and since then it has become the world's largest independent science communications site, with over 300,000,000 direct readers and reach approaching one billion. Read More »

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The war in Ukraine has driven oil prices to their highest levels since 2008. As crude oil is the main component of gasoline, the first place Americans encounter price pain is at the pump, with 56% of every gallon of gas reflecting the cost of crude, followed by spikes in home climate control.

When a giant chunk of the work force is told to stay home, and even paid to do it, the results can be felt for years. The US is facing supply chain issues due to conflicting stances like politicians demanding prices be kept low while workers must be paid more. Few areas have felt the pinch like agriculture. Food is simultaneously a strategic resource, a commodity, a values issue, and a commodity.

Labor costs have gone up across the spectrum, including fertilizer and crop protection tools, while politicians in states like California say if farmers, processors, and stores raise prices they are price gouging and will face lawsuits.
Random violence is obviously a psychological problem. Every mass shooting has a link to psychiatric medication but medicine doesn't cause shootings any more than guns do. Yet we know that together there may be warning signs because number one in firearm deaths is not mass gun shootings, those are so rare they are big news, it is suicide. (1)

Discouraging gun purchases among people with major depressive symptoms may be an opportunity to diminish suicide risk while help is obtained. A new cross-sectional survey found that people with moderate depressive symptoms were more likely to have recently purchased a first firearm.
I make macaroni and cheese quite a lot. I like to eat it on Fridays and for friends and family on holidays. I have sampled mac and cheese all across the country. I am no Guy Fieri, but I have gotten around, and I can tell you with a great deal of confidence that most elite - which is to say costly - macaroni and cheese uses Velveeta. Or at least a key chemical in it.

The reason is not flavor. It is science. 
COVID-19 vaccines have shown to be effective at preventing vaccines but the big win for public health is reduced effects if you get it anyway. If you don't have co-morbidities your relative risk is very low but if you do have them, every precaution is worth taking.

The vaccines come in many forms but two of note are the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S) and Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2), distinct because Janssen only requires one dose.  And the latter made "mRNA" part of the cultural lexicon. 

Which one led to fewer hospitalizations? They were both outstanding but there is a winner.
In the quest to create more social justice and equity, a lot of economic common sense leaves the discussion first. If I become a politician by promising you that you'll get your own personal doctor, for example, you aren't getting a real doctor - you are getting someone handed a doctor title but is really a naturopath, homeopath or whatever else that can be found cheap.