Posts

April 03, 2015

+
9:03 AM | Mixed Messages, Pesticide Pestilence and Pollinator Populations
“We’re getting mixed messages from scientists about the effects of neonicotinoids on bees” – I have heard this from several sources, including a very senior civil servant in the UK and from an intensive tillage farmer in Ireland. A recent article in the US media says pretty much the same thing. An article in the Guardian last week entitled “UK drew wrong conclusion from its neonicotinoids study, scientist says”, reports on Dave Goulson’s reanalysis of […]
+
3:23 AM | Why Atlanta Teachers Cheat
Earlier this week 11 former teachers and administrators in the Atlanta school system were convicted of racketeering for widespread efforts to cheat on the standardized tests administered by the state of Georgia to determine school effectiveness and reward and punish teachers. This is the problem with too much reliance on testing to determine school effectiveness. According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The alleged cheating was discovered when The Atlanta […]
+
2:39 AM | Why Are 57 Percent of Borrows in Income-Based Plans Getting Kicked Out?
One of the promising developments in student loan policy has been income-based repayment, which allows borrowers to pay back their loans based on their income. It's a potentially great program, but it turns out it's not working so well. Former students pay no more than 15 percent of their annual household incomes toward their debt. After 25-years, any remaining debt is forgiven. Borrowers have to certify that rate every year. This makes sense. It would be a gigantic problem if borrowers kept […]

April 02, 2015

+
8:43 PM | A New Question about Old Coins
I want to come back to a middle-school Olympiad problem I posted a while ago. Streamline School Olympiad 2000 (8th grade). You have six bags of coins that look the same. Each bag has an infinite number of coins and all the coins in the same bag weigh the same amount. Each different bag contains […]
+
8:18 PM | Using Labguru to facilitate better research collaboration
Scientific research is a team sport. You’d be hard pressed to find a scientist who doesn’t actively collaborate with at least one other lab. There are clear benefits. Within and across specialties, researchers that work together leverage knowledge sharing, expertise and facilities generating better and more interesting publications. It’s happening across sectors as well. Pharma and academia are welcoming collaborations which speed up discoveries and provide fresh ideas […]
+
8:17 PM | It's All About Economic Inequality
One of the major policy issues in higher education today is President Barack Obama’s plan to rate American colleges on factors including tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of lower-income students who attend. Recently, we spoke with Catharine Bond Hill, economist and president of Vassar College, about at the challenges facing higher education. In recent years Vassar's efforts to transition from the quintessential school for the wealthy to one […]
+
8:08 PM | On the Shannon Centennial
I found in my snail mail mailbox my paper copy of the IEEE Information Theory Society Newsletter.  First, I was delighted by the news that Michelle Effros (of Cal Tech) is the new President of the IEEE Information Theory Society.   Michelle has a long history of service (as well as, it goes without saying, outstanding research) in the information theory community, and is a great selection for the job.In her opening column, Michelle discusses the importance of letting people outside of […]
+
6:13 PM | Plutonian craters to be named after Star Trek characters
In July of this year (2015), NASA's New Horizons mission will fly past Pluto and its moons. It will map the surface of the Plutonian system in unprecedented detail, revealing craters and other surface features for the first time. In preparation for the deluge of newly discovered craters, mountains, crevasses and other surface features, Mamajek et al. discuss a naming system for Pluto and its moons.
+
5:51 PM | 51 Shades of Grey: Misuse, Misunderstanding and Misinformation of the Concepts of “Dominance” and “Punishment”
Guest post by: Simon Gadbois, PhD, of the Canid Behaviour Research Laboratory at Dalhousie University (@GadboisSimon & Facebook). Simon Gadbois at SPARCS 2014Ha the 80’s… So nostalgic of the eighties. Finishing High School, starting University, the best and the worst music of the past 50 years. Speaking of the things we are not missing: mullets and pony tails (I am so sorry mother, everybody was doing it…), parachute pants and stonewashed jeans (please don’t tell […]
+
4:35 PM | Adult Education Needs More 'Passion' and Investment From Technology Entrepreneurs, Report Says
Adult education could be improved through the use of educational technology, but there is not enough investment in it, according to two reports released this week. Millions of adults seeking new workforce skills say they need better educational opportunities, but little of the recent cash infusion into educational technology has gone toward addressing those needs, according to the first of two research reports, based on a national survey and study from Tyton Partners, a firm that provides […]
+
3:10 PM | How One Scientist Is Helping Plants Survive California’s...
How One Scientist Is Helping Plants Survive California’s Worst DroughtEvery living thing has its own natural responses to stress. When critical nutrients are in short supply, our bodies, for example, find ways to maintain normal function until those nutrients are replenished. Plants do the same. In drought conditions, natural processes kick in to keep them alive until they can be watered again.When faced with a water shortage, plants produce a stress hormone known as abscisic acid […]
+
2:54 PM | Open Science News – 2 April 2015
A day early this week because of the bank holiday tomorrow, but there was still plenty of news from the open science community. This Friday (April 3) you can tune in to a webinar on “Gaining Tenure as an Open Scientist”, hosted by OpenCon with Titus Brown as guest. One of the fears people [...]
+
1:49 PM | Concealing Our Illnesses.
I’ve been thinking about the Germanwings flight. Everyone has. How horrifying. A pilot, apparently suffering from some kind of chronic mental illness, chooses mid-flight to take this opportunity to end his own life and the lives of 149 other people. He seems to have implacably locked the other pilot out of the cockpit, set the autopilot […]
+
12:26 PM | Tunes for your Thursday morning
No summary available for this post.
+
12:08 PM | Student for a day (Part 3): operation dissection
This is the third and final post about going back to the classroom: you can find the first post here and the second one here. We rushed from the lecture hall to the basement of the main teaching complex on campus. I walked down the hall towards the lab, that old familiar smell was in […]
+
11:01 AM | A Safer Way to Deal with Raw Sewage in the Developing World
In 2011, an engineering student came up with an idea to save lives by help people in the developing world deal with raw sewage. Four years and several countries later, the technology is beginning to come into focus.
+
10:32 AM | Cafeteria Politics
As the election campaign advances, I am seeing more and more instances of what I call ‘Cafeteria Politics’. Before explaining what I mean, I should give some background. In my experience, most people’s political views align with a particular party, be it Labour, LibDem, Conservative, Green, or one of the nationalist parties. And yet, the … Continue reading Cafeteria Politics →
+
10:25 AM | Did A Soviet Psychiatrist Discover Autism In 1925?
Who discovered autism? Traditionally, the priority has been ascribed to two psychiatrists, Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, who both published independent but remarkably similar descriptions of the syndrome in 1943 - 44 (although Asperger had released a preliminary description in 1938.) But according to a new paper in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, both Kanner and Asperger were scooped by nearly two decades - by a Soviet child psychiatrist, Grunya Efimovna Sukhareva. She described a syn

Manouilenko I & Bejerot S (2015). Sukhareva - Prior to Asperger and Kanner., Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 1-4. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25826582

Citation
+
3:50 AM | Mystery of Mars’ Missing Ocean: Revealed
For years we have observed the compelling fluvial features on the Martian surface. How did they get there? Was there a large ocean? Check out the very first measurements of how much water once flowed on Mars 4.5 billion years ago.
+
3:48 AM | OYM71: SAD for SORLosers
If you will be in Montreal on April 17th and are interested in NeuroEthics, check out this conference!  OYM will be there alongside some impressive young neuroethicists, and registration is free! Another week has gone by, and Kat and Liam are back to catch up over some science.  Liam’s got the proof of his review ...read more The post OYM71: SAD for SORLosers appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.
+
12:00 AM | Don't enforce R as a standard
Yesterday, I received the reviews for a paper of mine. It was rejected with an invitation to resubmit, so far, so good. In this paper, we present a lot of new measures to work on probabilistic networks, and it’s all in the preprint if you really want to read more about that. To do the paper, as in, to produce the figures and do the analysis, I wrote a package in Julia. I’m proud of this package. It’s fast, defensively programmed, well tested, already parallelized if you use […]

April 01, 2015

+
11:00 PM | Academics are humans with human emotions and problems
When I wrote my post on crying in science, I never imagined that it would receive such an overwhelming and positive response. It apparently struck a nerve, in a way that I did not anticipate. The response to that post … Continue reading →
+
3:03 PM | Strapped Schools Turn to Online Fundraising Sites for Support
This weekend I was reminded again of how much digital tools have changed fundraising for schools. The ping came to me on social media, so bonus points for a double-dose of technology. A school leader I met nearly five years ago, Principal Salome Thomas-EL, sent me a note on Twitter. The charter school he leads has an award-winning chess team. They also happen to be in a low-income neighborhood, so the school raises the money to send them to competitions. These days, they use a website to […]
+
1:55 PM | When A Norovirus Expert Got Norovirus
Norovirus affects millions of people each year, costing the U.S. billions of dollars. This year, one of those people was a norovirus researcher.
+
11:56 AM | Not an April Fool’s joke: PI success rates at NSF are not dropping (much) (CORRECTED and UPDATED)
If you’ve saw this post in the first few hours after it went up, there’ve since been some major updates and corrections! ********************************* The title of this post is not a joke (I’ll cop to deliberate provocation…), but it does … Continue reading →
+
11:05 AM | Student for a day (Part 2): the lecture hall
This is the second of a three-part series on going back to the classroom: check out the first part here. So far I was enjoying shadowing students for a day: I was excited after my exposure to the research project course, and was fuelled up on coffee as I checked the schedule, wolfed down my […]
+
11:00 AM | Tubus tubulus
  Labs are usually ‘crawling’ with tubes – ranging from the larger, more common Tubus eppendorfis spp. microcentrifungus to the smaller Tubus pcr spp. flatlid and the closely related spp.roundlid (see Figure(d), above). The former has a remarkably varied diet and will sustain itself on many everyday lab solutions such as NaCl, buffers, BSA protein, and sometimes even DNA and RNA. The latter, […]
+
11:00 AM | NSF Graduate Fellowships are a part of the problem
I started this morning with tremendous news: a student of mine, who left my lab for a PhD program last year, let me know that his NSF Graduate Research Fellowship was funded! I had two other former students who put in applications. I downloaded the big list from NSF, and — alas — they did not…
+
7:44 AM | In which the forest emerges
The clocks have gone forward, the crocuses wither, the tulips unfurl. The students have dispersed for Easter, full of dread about the immunology exam that will pounce on their return. Budding life forms I put one grant application to bed … Continue reading →
+
6:00 AM | I'll never fall in love again – citation needed | Richard P Grant
Inadequately referenced, badly designed and poorly executed studies are perverting the course of scienceScience is built upon what has gone before. Scientists publish their findings to make them known. Increasingly, how they do this is changing – some claim that the days of the traditional scientific journal, of traditional peer review, are numbered. Even if this turns out to be true at some point in the future, it is highly unlikely that Newton’s famous claim of only being able to […]
3456789
256 Results