Posts

September 06, 2014

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1:30 PM | Back to school inspiration
The beginning of September marks the traditional start of a new school year, even if in reality, many start sooner or later. A few pieces of back-to-school inspiration: The first is a blog post, How to lean anything better by tweaking your mindset. The post describes a study in which two groups were taught the […]
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11:21 AM | Crystal histories and mysteries revealed
A new film tells the intricate tale of a 100 year old science that completely changed our view of the world A new and multifaceted gem of a film produced by one of Britains flashiest scientific facilities, the Diamond Light Source, explores the histories and mysteries of X-ray crystallography. The technique emerged from early 20th century physics but its power to reveal the inner atomic and molecular structures of matter has revolutionised mineralogy, chemistry and biology and remains a driving […]
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10:26 AM | “Cyranoids”: Stanley Milgram’s Creepiest Experiment
Imagine that someone else was controlling your actions. You would still look like you, and sound like you, but you wouldn’t be the one deciding what you did and what you said. Now consider: would anyone notice the difference? In this nightmarish scenario, you would be a “cyranoid” – in the terminology introduced by psychologist […]The post “Cyranoids”: Stanley Milgram’s Creepiest Experiment appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Corti K & Gillespie A (2014). Revisiting Milgram's Cyranoid Method: Experimenting With Hybrid Human Agents., The Journal of Social Psychology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25185802

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September 05, 2014

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5:10 PM | The Chocolate Diet? Eating chocolate may not be as unhealthy as...
The Chocolate Diet? Eating chocolate may not be as unhealthy as you think, as long as you don’t over do it. A new study at the University of California, San Diego, has found that subjects who ate single servings of chocolate, more frequently, were five to seven pounds lighter than those who ate none at all. The researchers could not explain precisely why something usually loaded with sugar, fat and calories would have a beneficial effect on weight. But they suspect that antioxidants and […]
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4:32 PM | In Illinois, Preschool Access is Worst for Latinos
How to break the vicious cycle of poverty and academic failure is one of the most troublesome questions of our time, but this much we know: High-quality preschool helps children from poor families prepare for kindergarten and beyond. Yet as the child poverty rate is climbing, those are the kids least likely to attend such programs. A new report by the research and advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children provides insight into the extent of the disparities in that state, along racial and […]
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4:06 PM | Open Science News – 5 September 2014
Some quick links  from this week’s news in Open Science: A Creative Commons guide to sharing your science. By Puneet Kishor of Creative Commons. How being online changes how we think about the traditional research paper. By Shauna Gordon-McKeon on OpenSource.com US agency updates rules on sharing genomic data. By Richard van [...]
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4:01 PM | Jerry Brown: Fighting Back on Vergara
Back in June Rolf M. Treu of the Los Angeles Superior Court, the judge in an education lawsuit, Vergara v. California, determined that the state’s policies on teacher tenure constituted a civil rights violation against students. The legal, and factual, validity of this thinking was a little questionable. Many argued that this was really an attempt to undermine labor protections, though even many pundits sympathetic to labor rights admitted that the state’s policy of granting […]
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2:52 PM | Memory and the Lack Thereof.
This past week, back in St. Louis, I attended two of my old meetings, my Sunday mixed and my Wednesday men’s. It was an interesting experience. I had a good time in St. Louis. I was able to see many old friends and show BB around my old haunts, and the home I still own […]
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12:13 PM | Meet the 2014 Arthropod Ecology Lab!
Welcome back to the new Academic term!  We had our first lab meeting yesterday, and made sure to run outside to get a “Start of year” lab photo: From left to right we are: Yifu Wang, Anne-Sophie Caron, Sarah Loboda, Shaun Turney, Chris Buddle, Elyssa Cameron, Jessica Turgeon, Crystal Ernst, Etienne Normandin, and Chris Cloutier. […]
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11:27 AM | Friday links: is ecology’s explanatory power really declining that much, John Harte vs. Tony Ives, and more
Also this week: the wisdom of Randall Munroe, banning students from emailing you, the benefits of active learning, and more. Oh, and buried in one of the entries is the story of how “functional groups” are a statistical artifact. From … Continue reading →
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10:58 AM | Miscellaneous research musings
In these valuable weeks before the new semester begins, I’ve been dividing my time between preparing new lectures and research, or at least research planning. In this post I’ll discuss my research plans for the coming year. I normally hope to get ideas for new research topics from conferences I’ve attended, and Eurodim 2014 certainly […]
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10:11 AM | F1000Research on the road
Did you know that F1000Research staff regularly attend conferences and visit universities? Our September schedule includes visits to institutes and meetings in Hong Kong/China, the UK, US, France, and Germany. Come say hello if you’re nearby! September 7-10: European Conference on Computational Biology, Strasbourg – Michaela Torkar (Editorial Director) September 8: Chinese University of [...]
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5:01 AM | When Diversity Is Absent from Science, We ALL Lose
Many of my posts and efforts actively work to get more diversity, particularly women and girls, into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). I’d like to take a moment in this post, however, to comment on a recent article in Scientific American that I find not only appalling as a scientist, but as a human being. […]

September 04, 2014

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7:30 PM | The Apprenticeship Solution
It’s long been a sort of minor worry among American policymakers that we don’t have much of an apprenticeship system in this country. Unlike in many other industrialized nations, here in the U.S. most students are tracked toward college. At least policy is designed largely to get people there. If college isn’t a possibility, students mostly flounder around toward high school graduation, and then flounder around for years thereafter until they find something that works. But […]
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5:17 PM | The mysterious sailing stones at Racetrack Playa How does a big...
The mysterious sailing stones at Racetrack Playa How does a big heavy rock move on its own across the desert?  The reason is partially due to ice. Researchers have investigated this question since the 1940s, but no one has seen the process in action — until now. Because the stones can sit for a decade or more without moving, the UC San Diego researchers did not originally expect to see motion in person. Instead, they decided to monitor the rocks remotely by installing a […]
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1:00 PM | Interview with James Coker
To find life outside of Earth, we need to know under what sort of extreme conditions organisms are still able to thrive. When it comes to halophilic archaea, James Coker and Aida Moran-Reyna have now shown the effects of extreme pH levels on the archaea’s transcriptome. Coker shares more about the research in the [...]
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12:59 PM | Universities are Highly Responsive to Very Rich People
As a kind of side-note to Corey’s most recent post, most people, including, I suspect, most academics, don’t realize how important rich people are to the running of universities. Some months back, I was able to listen in on a conversation including a college president (not my own), and was startled to discover how much time the president spent managing relations with the Board of Trustees. Being a board member usually involves a two way relationship. As a trustee, you get some […]
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12:00 PM | Efficient teaching: Doing active learning an easy way
Here are a few difficult facts about education in college classrooms: Lectures don’t work well. People just don’t really learn much from hour-long lectures. People learn when they discover ideas on their own. People learn best when working with peers. It’s a hell of a lot easier to just explain something to someone than to set…
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11:42 AM | Start-of-the-year advice for everyone!
Over the years we’ve done lots of advice posts on all sorts of things, aimed at everyone from prospective grad students to postdocs to faculty. Here are links to some advice posts that are relevant for the start of the … Continue reading →
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8:07 AM | Men are Parents Too
Another shocking headline graced the pages of the Daily Telegraph this week, albeit apparently only temporarily before removal. ‘Mother of 3 poised to lead the BBC’ it shrieked, a sentence curiously reminiscent of the way Dorothy Hodgkin’s Nobel Prize was … Continue reading →
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6:25 AM | Mental illness and sexual abuse: the shocking link | Richard P Grant
Violence perpetrated on the mentally ill shows that victim-blaming is nothing more than a cover-up for subhuman behaviourSome years ago, the Mufti of Australia got into hot water when he likened women who failed to wear the hijab to uncovered meat, at risk of being devoured by cats. In other words, if a woman who dressed immodestly were to be raped then she should share, if not take all, the blame. Sadly, despite the outcry that followed, this attitude that of blaming the victim is still […]
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1:46 AM | Can We Take the Fighting Out of Education Reform?
Maybe the education debate in this country has gotten too ugly. Maybe we’d all be better off if we just took a step back, remembered what’s really at stake, and tried to focus on facts and evidence, not our own ideology. That sure sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? And so one group of education reformers is going to try to make this happen. According to an article in the Washington Post: Into the fray steps Education Post, a nonprofit group that plans to launch Tuesday […]

September 03, 2014

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6:55 PM | Compulsive Poetry In Epilepsy
The case of a woman who began compulsively writing poems after being treated for epilepsy offers a rare glimpse into the ‘inner’ dimension of a neurological disorder. Here’s the paper in Neurocase from British neurologists Woollacott and colleagues. The story in a nutshell: the patient, age 76, had been suffering from memory lapses and episodic […]The post Compulsive Poetry In Epilepsy appeared first on Neuroskeptic.
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5:14 PM | OYM 47: Shooting the Science Shit
Calling all McGill Neuroscientists!  Come talk shop with the OYM team at this year’s IPN retreat September 18 – 19! We’re slightly abridged this week, with two out of three hosts in the process of moving.  Adel’s warming up to the idea of moving across the pond to start life as a med student, but ...read more The post OYM 47: Shooting the Science Shit appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.
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5:11 PM | "Examining mechanisms that provide an insect with a sense of smell isn’t as glamorous as..."
“Examining mechanisms that provide an insect with a sense of smell isn’t as glamorous as developing a mobile app that could be worth billions of dollars. But such research might lead to fighting mosquito-borne diseases like malaria - saving lives and generating billions of dollars.” - Thomas Lee on the power of basic research (and Janet Napolitano’s message at the OpenSDx Summit): As Napolitano correctly noted, the private sector has pretty much outsourced basic […]
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3:52 PM | http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/2014/09/03/1284/
Top scientific publisher chooses not to advance open access By Erin McKiernan, independent, and Jon Tennant, Imperial College London Access to research is limited worldwide by the high cost of subscription journals, which force readers to pay for their content. The use of scientific research in new studies, educational material and news is often restricted by […]
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3:35 PM | Active Learning Halves Black-White Achievement Gap in Bio Classes, Say STEM Ed Researchers in LSE Paper
"Active-learning interventions," in which passive lectures are replaced with interactive activities, moving lecture materials to homework and outside readings, have been shown by STEM education researchers in recent years to be strikingly effective, but a new study published on September 2 in CBE—Life Sciences Education, published by ASCB, reveals that this strategy is especially powerful for black and first-generation college students. An active-learning strategy in an introductory […]
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2:09 PM | Bobby Jindal and the (Common Core) Morning After
Politicians love ideas. They can talk about them for years. Politicians are somewhat less enamored of implementing ideas, since concrete actions can have (electoral) consequences. Look no further than Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s erstwhile embrace of the Common Core State Standards. Or rather, look no further than my just-published column at Talking Points Memo for a discussion of his efforts to terminate the standards he helped bring to Louisiana: it’s particularly tough if […]
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1:59 PM | Reaching out to China – interview with Jia Shen
Jia Shen is a Chinese researcher in Los Angeles, who is currently helping F1000Research to reach out to the Chinese research community. Among other things, she has translated various materials for us, and you can see some of her translation work if you access the F1000Research homepage from China. In the interview below, Jia [...]
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11:55 AM | Prioritizing rest
Earlier this year, in a YOLO/carpe diem moment (or possibly a moment of insanity), I decided to sign up for a marathon. I’d been contemplating the marathon for a while as something I’d do “someday”. But I’d been running injury-free for over a year, completed a few half-marathons and was enjoying running longer distances, and […]
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