Posts

September 22, 2014

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4:29 PM | Do you know your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers?
This past summer I spent a few weeks in Israel and then in Iceland (with brief visits to the Oxford workshop on Biological Sequence Analysis and Probabilistic Models, and to IST Austria). This is the first of two posts about my travels. I have been a regular visitor to Iceland during the past 12 years, and […]
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3:42 PM | Interesting letter on EMF and cell phones
Also from this week's issue, a chemist writes in about a Rudy Baum editorial: Rudy Baum hit a sore spot with his editorial “Menacing Cell Phone Towers” on whether cell phone towers and the microwaves they emit are hazardous (C&EN, July 14, page 3). He presents his opinion as editor-in-chief, but the editorial then has an ACS disclaimer. That’s been one of my disappointments with ACS over 60 years: It’s gutless. If ACS isn’t an “authority” on […]
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3:30 PM | Solvent paper dissolves under heat of institutional investigation
A chemical engineering paper published in February has been retracted for data and authorship problems. According to the retraction notice, the authors’ institutions investigated and found that not only was the data not reproducible, but “not all co-authors on the manuscript were aware of or agreed to the content and scientific conclusions in the article.” […]
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3:15 PM | This week's C&EN
A variety of interesting tidbits:C&EN's Andrea Widener covers the NSF physical scientist unemployment numbers, which show that doctoral physical scientist have a 2.1% unemployment rate in 2013; perhaps we should not be comparing a group of 100% Ph.D.s to a labor force that has some members without bachelors or even high school degrees? I see ACS CEO Madeleine Jacobs will have a new position as head of the society of scientific societies. (article by Susan Ainsworth)This potential […]
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3:12 PM | Is Pluto a planet? The votes are in
What is a planet? For generations of kids the answer was easy. A big ball of rock or gas that orbited our Sun, and there […] The post Is Pluto a planet? The votes are in appeared first on Smithsonian Science.
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2:58 PM | Interview with Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt
I recently spoke with Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt about the current research scene in Europe in an interview for Lab Times. We discussed topics such as research funding, gender inequality in academia and the publishing system. Below is a summary of his career and the full interview.Sir Tim Hunt started his research career in 1964 at the University of Cambridge (UK) working on haemoglobulin synthesis under the supervision of Asher Korner. After obtaining his PhD in 1968, he spent a few years at […]
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2:43 PM | New ‘star’ shaped molecule breakthrough
Scientists at The University of Manchester have generated a new […]
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2:41 PM | Brief intervention may prevent increased risk of depression in teens  
A low-cost, one-time intervention that educates teens about the changeable […]
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2:40 PM | Finding hints of gravitational waves in the stars
New model describes overlooked prediction of Einstein’s theory of relativity, […]
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2:39 PM | From light into matter, nothing seems to stop quantum teleportation
Physicists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have succeeded in […]
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2:39 PM | Scientists discover an on/off switch for aging cells
The switch controls the growth of telomeres, the timekeepers of […]
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2:36 PM | Arctic sea ice helps remove CO2 from the atmosphere
Climate change is a fact, and most of the warming […]
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2:35 PM | Evidence supports deep brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder
Bilateral stimulation is effective for OCD that doesn’t respond to […]
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2:34 PM | Involving female offenders in release planning can increase reintegration success
Women who are about to be released from prison need […]
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2:32 PM | Fungi Eyed to Tackle Weedy Menace of American West
Beneficial fungi could become microbial marshals tasked with wrangling a […]
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2:30 PM | First study examines lifetime health of college athletes
USC’s investigation reflects the modern landscape of sports, including the […]
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2:14 PM | Pearl Hart, the Last Lady Outlaw
Life on the frontier has always had a romantic air. Where civilisation ends, and wilderness begins, then there is room for tales of people we can relate to; having adventures we can only dream of. Still, every frontier comes to an end, and every list of tales has a last one. So it was with […] The post Pearl Hart, the Last Lady Outlaw appeared first on HeadStuff.
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2:09 PM | The Veterinary Prejudice for Spay and Neuter: a shifting paradigm?
Do you have a dog? Has she or he been spayed or neutered? If yes, are you confident that you did the right thing for your pet and for the greater population of dogs in the US? You probably heard just exactly that from your veterinarian when you did so. Here comes the bad news—maybe you didn’t actually ensure your dog would live a longer and healthier life. Maybe you introduced a risk for joint disease, obesity or even cancer.... Read more
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1:37 PM | Can Public Relations Be Science Communication?
In its most recent issue, the Journal of Science Communication raises the question of whether public communication efforts from research institutions are public relations or science communication. To address the question, the journal has published five commentaries, each of which covers a specific aspect of the issue and takes a different position. I wrote one of the commentaries. The commentaries (all of which are open access and can be found here) include an introductory piece by Rebecca […]
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1:30 PM | Researcher who broke into lab up to nine retractions
Karel Bezouška, a researcher who broke into a lab refrigerator to tamper with an investigation into his work, has nine retractions. Here’s the retraction notice in Biochemistry for 2010’s “Cooperation between Subunits Is Essential for High-Affinity Binding of N-Acetyl-d-hexosamines to Dimeric Soluble and Dimeric Cellular Forms of Human CD69:” We wish to retract this article […]
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1:28 PM | Back from Vacation
I just got back from a week's vacation so this will be pretty short as the email box is quite full as so is the calendar. But it is worth it. Consider the alternative, which is what I tried this past summer - taking Friday afternoons off. What a failure. While it did avoid the overstuffed email box and calendar, what it really did was shorten the workweek, but not anyone's expectations of what I would/could/should accomplish.So no more of that approach. This week was different. Everyone knew I […]
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1:22 PM | Rare disease tweetchat: September 29
To mark the upcoming launch of our Rare Diseases article collection, we will be talking with three researchers in a special rare disease themed tweetchat next week. Join us September 29 to discuss the challenges of rare disease research. We’ll start at 1PM EST. Follow the #F1000Talks hashtag, or our @F1000Research Twitter [...]
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1:01 PM | It’s not over till it’s over. And it’s over.
I get some flak for criticizing biomedicine. But science is not–and should not be–a sacred cow. Withstanding criticism and becoming stronger for it is one of the qualities that unites scholarship and science. My critique of science is about hype, oversell, and corporatization, not evidence. When it’s a matter of evidence vs. politics or superstition, I stand arm-in-arm […]
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1:00 PM | Sexism, Transphobia and Arguments from Biology
Categories: Feminism ScienceTags: brainbrain genderestrogen vibegender differencesam harrissex differencesexismsexual dimorphismtransgenderA lot of you have probably seen the comment by Sam Harris quoted in the Washington Post where he claims “there’s something about that critical posture that is to some ...(Read more...)
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1:00 PM | Quickies: Trans TV Show, GoFundMe Bans Abortion-Related Funds, and Wonder Woman
Categories: QuickiesIn ‘Transparent,’ Transgender Issues Are A Family Affair – “Transparent is a comedy-drama that centers on a family and their lives following the discovery that their father, whom they’d known ...(Read more...)
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12:05 PM | Autism and related disorders: from bench to bedside (Part 2)
This is the second blog (see first part at http://bit.ly/1uDnJ7H) of a recent international meeting celebrated in La Ciotat, France. I have taken the liberty of summarizing some of the […]
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12:00 PM | Maintenance of plant species cohesion despite ongoing hybridization
When species cohesion is maintained despite ongoing natural hybridisation.
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11:52 AM | Theory vs. models in ecology
Katie Koelle delivered the opening talk in the Ignite session on “theory vs. empiricism” at the ESA meeting.* I thought she raised several interesting issues that weren’t really touched on in the rest of the session. I was struck by … Continue reading →
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11:30 AM | Dust in the Wind
Discoveries that weren’t Discoveries that vanish into dust, or rather “background” as the technical term has it, are of course nothing new in physics.
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11:00 AM | 10 inspiring quotes from the #HLF14 opening program
Anna Valmero, participant #hlf14: The opening program offered a glimpse of the promising lectures from this year’s event and the celebration of a new tradition that will cement the fruitful exchange of knowledge and meaningful dialogue among senior and young experts. Here’s a recap of the inspiring quotes and some challenges posed by the speakers:   1. Speak understandably. If you talk about something not yet known, it is highly advisable to speak slowly. - Dr. Klaus Tschira, […]
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