Posts

March 09, 2015

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5:50 PM | In Rural Mississippi, Social Studies Gets a Common Core Makeover
Fourth Grader Lakiya works on a writing assignment during social studies. This year marks the first time that all math and English teachers in Mississippi are teaching the new Common Core standards. But the words Common Core aren’t used here anymore — the state has renamed them the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards. While lawmakers continue to debate the standards at the Capitol, big changes are happening in the classroom. Jackie Mader has been following the […]
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4:48 PM | A Eulogy for Hybrid OA
you weren’t much loved in your short existence you weren’t much use to readers or text-miners because we often couldn’t find where you were – hiding amongst shadows. you were significantly more expensive than your ‘full’ open access cousins   In March, 2015 ‘hybrid OA’ died after a short-life of neglect. Elsevier put the final nail … Read more →
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4:10 PM | UC Berkeley unveils first-of-its-kind, 3-D-printed cement...
UC Berkeley unveils first-of-its-kind, 3-D-printed cement structureThe freestanding pavilion, “Bloom,” is 9 ft high and has a footprint that measures about 12 ft x 12 ft. It is composed of 840 customized blocks that were 3-D-printed using a new type of iron oxide-free Portland cement polymer formulation developed by Ronald Rael.The debut of this groundbreaking project is a demonstration of the architectural potential of 3-D printing.
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12:30 PM | So what is it that I do anyway?
I think I have mentioned this before, but I work in fundamental science, which is to say, my research has no direct application. So I try to find the "how this thing happens" so that someone might eventually work on "how can we use this thing that happens". I work with cells called macrophages, literally big eaters. They get their name because they engulf ("eat") large particles, including other cells, particles and, off course, microbes. We all have them, in different numbers. They make part […]
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11:21 AM | Is it worse to admit a paper was rejected than to not acknowledge helpful anonymous reviews?
Thanks to being on research leave this semester, I am currently working on several manuscripts. Most of these are manuscripts that we are preparing to submit for the first time, but one is a manuscript that was previously reviewed and … Continue reading →
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11:12 AM | iOS Update – iPhone 6 Plus & more
Mendeley for iOS has just been updated featuring a flexible interface that can adapt to any iPhone or iPad size and screen orientation, allowing you to fully utilise the beautiful 5.5 inch screen of the iPhone 6 Plus. All iOS users benefit from this upgrade though. iPhones of any type can now use the entire application in landscape mode. Icons […]
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8:59 AM | Report: Community Colleges are Slowly Improving Student Support
Pressed to stop a steady trickle of dropouts that has kept their graduation rates low, community colleges are getting more up close and personal with their students, a new report says. Students say they’re able to speak more often with advisors and instructors about their career plans, and that they’re being called upon more frequently to make presentations in class, according to the Community College Survey of Student Engagement. Those kinds of things make students feel more […]
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8:39 AM | Radio skills for scientists
The Irish Academy of Public Relations recently hosted a free event, “Radio Skills – A Special Evening for the Science Community” at the FOCAS Research Institute in DIT. The points raised and ensuing discussions provided interesting insights into relationships between scientists and journalists. Ellen Gunning, director of the Academy, chaired the evening. From her experience of teaching public relations and interview skills, she described how many scientists are like […]

March 08, 2015

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6:01 PM | New book by Dr. Seuss coming this summerOver 2 decades since his...
New book by Dr. Seuss coming this summerOver 2 decades since his death, a new book by Dr. Seuss will be released this July. The book comes from a discovery in 2013 of a collection of manuscripts and sketches.Much of Dr. Seuss’s work resides at UC San Diego in their Special Collections Library. The work is accessible to scholars and on display so that members of the general public can also enjoy his work.Watch the video that explores the Dr. Seuss archive
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11:52 AM | On the importance of being negative
The ‘publish or perish’ culture within science skews the research literature towards positive results. But negative findings matter too and new open access publications are helping researchers to give a fuller account of themselves The latest paper from my group, published just over a week ago in the open access journal PeerJ, reports an unusual result. It was not the result we were looking for because it was negative: our experiment failed.Nevertheless I am pleased with the paper […]

March 07, 2015

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3:21 PM | Is Neuroscience Based On Biology?
There is a popular view that all of the natural sciences can be arranged in a chain or ladder according to the complexity of their subjects. On this view, physics forms the base of the ladder because it deals with the simplest building-blocks of matter, atoms and subatomic particles. Chemistry is next up because it studies interacting atoms i.e. molecules. Biology studies complex collections of molecules, i.e. cells. Then comes neuroscience which deals with a complex collection of interacting
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9:56 AM | Another day, another Elsevier website illegally selling articles
Elsevier seem to have responded to my criticism yesterday and have stopped selling the article “HIV infection en route to endogenization: two cases” from their ScienceDirect website. Take what you will from that change, but I infer that they have realised that they are in the wrong. Actually, they are still selling it from the … Read more →

March 06, 2015

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9:09 PM | Elsevier illegally sold me a Creative Commons non-commercial licensed article
Today, Elsevier (RELX Group) illegally sold me a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licensed article: Colson, P. et al. HIV infection en route to endogenization: two cases. Clin Microbiol Infect 20, 1280-1288 (2014). I’m really not happy about it. I don’t think the research funders will be happy about it either. Especially not the authors (who are … Read more →
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8:20 PM | Are Extrasolar Worlds More Likely to Be Water-rich?
Earth's oceans may have originated mainly from accreted impactors. But do planets in other systems experience the same water delivery mechanism? Or do they even get more water than our world? Find out why you would want to think about this and what the consequences might be.
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8:00 PM | The Profit in Becoming Nonprofit
Back in 2011, Florida’s Keiser University, a for-profit college under investigation by the Florida Attorney General, managed to save face, and avoid punishment, by becoming a nonprofit institution. Arthur Keiser, the school’s “chancellor” (and founder and owner) sold the college to Everglades College Inc., a nonprofit entity that also operated Everglades University. Keiser, understandably, didn’t reveal how much he was paid for offloading the school, but it […]
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6:48 PM | Adventures in the Nature of MatterDr. Darleane Hoffman is among...
Adventures in the Nature of MatterDr. Darleane Hoffman is among the researchers who confirmed the existence of Seaborgium — aka element 106. She also made a key discovery about nuclear fission.In the 1950s, women were often faced with stark choices: “At that time, women teachers in the U.S. at all levels were expected to resign if they married, so I proclaimed boldly that I would never teach,” she said. “I vowed to follow Marie Curie’s model, to marry if I wanted […]
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6:42 PM | Nothing Fishy About This Surgery
Veterinary surgeons from North Carolina State University have successfully removed a cataract from a sunfish’s eye, utilizing the same surgical techniques that your local ophthalmologist would use on your grandparents.
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6:00 PM | Why Your Fancy Neighborhood Still Has Bad Schools
We’re all familiar with gentrification, the process whereby affluent professionals move into economically depressed neighborhoods, fix up houses, open stores devoted to yoga studios and overpriced coffee, and gradually make these places the sort of neighborhoods where only rich people can afford to live. The impact of this process (which admittedly might be a little overstated) on the people who originally lived in these neighborhoods is debatable. It might make rent higher but […]
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5:12 PM | Do Financial Responsibility Scores Reflect Colleges' Financial Strength?
In spite of the vast majority of federal government operations being closed on Thursday due to snow (it’s been a rough end to winter in this part of the country), the U.S. Department of Education released financial responsibility scores for private nonprofit and for-profit colleges and universities based on 2012-2013 data. These scores are based on calculations designed to measure a college’s financial strength in three key areas: primary reserve ratio (liquidity), equity ratio […]
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3:40 PM | Avoiding Research Pitfalls: Kristen Marhaver Talks@Mendeley
Last week we welcomed Dr Kristen Marhaver to Talks@Mendeley. She travelled all the way from the Carmabi Research Institute in Curacao – one of the oldest research centres in the Caribbean where she studies coral reefs – to discuss how researchers can communicate their work more effectively, and what pitfalls they are likely to encounter along the […]
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3:00 PM | Open Science News – 6 March 2015
Science communication is broken, let’s fix it. Vip Sitaraman writes on the Huffington Post. He offers severa; open access solutions. Monday’s Open Data Hong Kong meeting is all about open science. Right now in Rome, there’s a free Open Science meeting happening at Sapienza University. It’s on until tomorrow. Open Access [...]
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1:57 PM | Choosing the Right Criteria
A year ago Cambridge University launched its book ‘The Meaning of Success’ and published a letter calling on the HE community to consider what the sector values and should be promoting, figuratively and, when it comes to people, literally. This … Continue reading →
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1:38 PM | Postdoc position available with me in plant-pollintor networks
PDF version here. We are currently seeking applicants for a 18 month Postdoc position at Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC) in Sevilla to conduct synthesis work on the effect of landscape structure and mass-flowering crops on pollinator function to native plants, … Continue reading →
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11:41 AM | Friday links: leaky pipeline leaking less, against exhaustion, slurpee waves, and more
Also this week: zombie ideas, ideas about zombies, airport ecology, life as a black graduate student, the “Silwood Circle”, and more. Oh, and Robert Boyle called; he wants his debate about reproducibility back. From Meg: This is a powerful piece … Continue reading →
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10:23 AM | Guide to Open Science Publishing
We recently published the Guide to Open Science Publishing – a PDF that you can download, print, and share with your colleagues. It contains information about open access, open peer review, post-publication peer review, open data, and other aspects of open science, and it was based on a series of blog posts we [...]
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12:08 AM | An obituary to Leonard Nimoy
Being a Trekkie for as long as I can remember, Friday’s news of the passing of Leonard Nimoy certainly saddened me. Even though I have moved on and haven’t really followed Star Trek since the original airing of Deep Space Nine back in the late nineties, it had a profound impact on my life, including my decision to go into science. Nimoy’s most famous role, Mr. Spock, probably was the most iconic of the original, if not all, Enterprise crew. His impact on modern science can be […]

March 05, 2015

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11:30 PM | University writing requirements are a joke
When your undergraduates leave campus with a Bachelor’s degree, can they write well? I wish I could say that about our student body as a whole, but I’d be lying. And it appears to me that this condition extends far beyond my own campus. I’m not going to claim that university students could all write…
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9:15 PM | Three-legged dog to get 3-D-printed limb from UC Davis...
Three-legged dog to get 3-D-printed limb from UC Davis studentsHobbes the terrier mix can do a lot, for a dog with three legs. He can climb stairs, graze the backyard and jump roughly 4 feet in the air – more than high enough to clamber onto the bed with his owner, Andrea Bledsoe.Fortunately for Hobbes, his owner’s friends Randy Carney and Holly Abney have a knack for materials science and animal anatomy, respectively. The two put their heads together to find a way to help their […]
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9:12 PM | Opponents of Common Core Open New Fronts in Battle Against Standards After a Series of Defeats
Janet Barresi, state superintendent, gestures as she speaks during a State Board of Education meeting in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki Fiery anti-Common Core campaign rhetoric hasn’t translated into many victories for those seeking to repeal the standards. Legislators in 19 states introduced bills to repeal the Common Core this session. So far none have succeeded. Repeal bills in even the reddest states - states like Mississippi, Arizona, and both Dakotas […]
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8:55 PM | Tuning random lasing in photonic glasses
We have just published a new theoretical model including frequency interaction and mode competition in random lasing which allows to predict resonance-driven tuning of random lasing.   As it builds on solid previous models, we believe that it could be of practical use to predict the behavior of your random lasing system. If you are interested in the code […]
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