Planet Nine Just Got Weirder

‘If Planet 9 exists, it’s been through one hell of an ordeal. That’s the takeaway from a series of new studies that ask how in the name of Uranus a planet could have gotten itself into such a whacked-out orbit. This in turn might help explain the unlikely orbits of half a dozen Kuiper Belt objects.

Planet 9 is a hypothetical world roughly the mass of Neptune that orbits our Sun in a giant ellipse, at a distance of 40 to over 100 billion miles. Although astronomers have proposed hidden ninth planets for years, this latest version—the brainchild of Caltech’s Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin—has gained quite a bit of traction since it was announced in January. The potential planet is so compelling that many astronomers have penned follow-up papers describing how we might find it and what it could look like…’

Source: Gizmodo


Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US

You will never see it listed on a death certificate as the cause of death, however.

‘Abstract: The annual list of the most common causes of death in the United States, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), informs public awareness and national research priorities each year. The list is created using death certificates filled out by physicians, funeral directors, medical examiners, and coroners. However, a major limitation of the death certificate is that it relies on assigning an International Classification of Disease (ICD) code to the cause of death.1 As a result, causes of death not associated with an ICD code, such as human and system factors, are not captured. The science of safety has matured to describe how communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor judgment, and inadequate skill can directly result in patient harm and death. We analyzed the scientific literature on medical error to identify its contribution to US deaths in relation to causes listed by the CDC…’

Source: Martin Makary and Michael Daniel, BMJ