Posts

October 29, 2014

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7:00 PM | What Happens If You Just Pay Teachers a Hell of a Lot of Money?
One of the reform ideas proposed by education advocates—though not, admittedly, one of them that’s seen much implementation in policy—has been just paying teachers really well. Maybe if we paid teachers like small business executives they’d perform a lot better. Well the Equity Project (TEP) Charter School actually tried this. The results are pretty interesting. TEP is located in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood and enrolls mostly low-income, […]
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6:28 PM | Harnessing crowds to analyze clouds
Citizen scientists are helping to categorize 30 years' worth of tropical hurricane and cyclone data.
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4:13 PM | ucresearch: Piano playing cats An Animal Planet segment ponders...
Nora The Piano Catucresearch: Piano playing cats An Animal Planet segment ponders how and why this cat seems to be playing the piano.  Animal behaviorist and UC Davis alumna Dr. Sophia Lin says that cats can hear and understand different tones played on instruments such as the piano.  Additionally these animals are born imitators and so this cat could very well be trying to communicate to her piano teacher owner. Sophia researches animal behavior as a way for humans to better […]
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3:11 PM | F1000 Community Meet-up in Washington DC
For readers in the Washington, D.C. area: we’re coming to town and would like to invite you for a drink! F1000 Outreach Director Kinga Hosszu has more information about our meet-up on November 13 (Cross-posted from Naturally Selected). F1000 is holding its next meet-up event in Washington DC. Following on from the tradition of [...]
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3:05 PM | Visiting Scholar
My research laboratory will welcome his first visiting scholar next year! Indeed, Dr Ben Rattray, from University of Canberra, will be with us for a part of his sabbatical that will start in March 2015. We will most likely study cerebrovascular physiology… ;-) More details to come!Filed under: Uncategorized
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1:19 PM | Stuck in Acceptance.
One of the core elements of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is the Serenity Prayer. I’m sure everyone knows it, but for reference: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. It actually goes on from […]
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12:36 PM | Sorry you’ve missed us!
We’re back online, and we missed you! It’s with proud hearts that we can once again offer you a twice weekly dose of easily digestible science, and digital copies of the magazine so that you’re never too far from a copy of Au. A lot has happened since we’ve been away. Most importantly, Issue 11…
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11:38 AM | Marquet et al. on theory in ecology
Marquet et al. (2014) is a very interesting new paper on theory in ecology–what theories are, why they’re valuable, and what makes for a good one (or a bad one–we’ll get to that). It’s explicitly philosophical, which is great–scientists should … Continue reading →
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9:41 AM | Say “the rise of the age of mammals” again, I double dare you!
In biology and among biologists, we like to use terms that we know are not correct but that still come in handy when you’re confident that your interlocutor understands them the way you do. I’m thinking of terms such as “key adaptations”, “living fossils”, etc… However, among them, there is one that particularly bugs me and makes me feel like Samuel L. Jackson in the iconic Pulp Fiction scene and that is: “the rise of the age of mammals”. […]

October 28, 2014

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10:50 PM | Announcing… PLoS Neuroskeptic!
I’m excited (and proud) to announce that I’m now a Contributing Editor at the new PLoS Neuro Community (neuro.plos.org). I’ll be contributing interviews with neuroscientists, and my first post is up now: A Neuroscience Correlate of Consciousness: Neuroskeptic goes in-depth with Srivas Chennu. If you have any suggestions, requests or ideas for future interviews, please […]The post Announcing… PLoS Neuroskeptic! appeared first on Neuroskeptic.
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8:00 PM | Education Doesn't Matter in the 2014 Election
Despite the fact that education issues matter a great deal in policy discussions lately, and despite the fact that, as a reader of this blog, you’re probably pretty interested in education reform, it turns out politicians mostly don't care. An article in the Washington Post explains that candidates for election mostly aren’t saying much about education. This shouldn’t really surprise us, however. According to the piece: A systematic analysis of campaign Web sites for the 139 […]
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7:38 PM | Cerebrovascular physiology – article alert #87
Sepsis and the brain 436- Transcranial Doppler to assess sepsis-associated encephalopathy in critically ill patients – Pierrakos et al. Cardiovascular disease and the brain 437- The Synergistic Effects of Anxiety and Cerebral Hypoperfusion on Cognitive Dysfunction in Older Adults With Cardiovascular Disease – Alosco et al. Brain monitoring 438- Cerebral blood flow velocity underestimates cerebral […]
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7:00 PM | How do you structure a job talk?
Many people applying for academic jobs this season are well into the process. Interviews are happening across the country and more are on the way. If you're putting together a talk for an on campus interview, you'll want to make sure you're communicating to your audience the information they'll need to make a decision. Obviously, […]
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5:12 PM | "Viruses are not just these threatening or annoying parasitic agents. They’re the creative front of..."
“Viruses are not just these threatening or annoying parasitic agents. They’re the creative front of biology, where things get figured out.” - UC Irvine’s Luis P. Villarreal talking about the theory that the cell’s very existence can be attributed to viruses
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5:00 PM | Our research topic is almost ready to become an e-book!
Somewhere in 2013, I had the opportunity to organize a Frontiers Research Topic of my choice, which became the topic entitled Cerebral oxygenation in health and disease states. Regular readers followed my updates regarding that research topic. I am happy to announce that 18 papers (original research, opinion and review papers) will be included in […]
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3:46 PM | Rankings Everywhere
Like many (theoretical) computer scientists, I spent far, far too much time this weekend thinking about rankings.  Well, really, it was more that I was being far, far too amused by the various posts and comments on the novel ranking site "Ranking of CS Departments based on the Number of Papers in Theoretical Computer Science",  which led to posts at the Computational Complexity blog and in theory, the first of which shut down the comments rather quickly, and the second of which is at […]
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1:50 PM | Tristan Adventure 3: Mice predation causes devastating Tristan Albatross breeding success
The third installment of my Tristan Adventure series is over at the RSPB Saving Species blog:   “One of the most important tasks during takeover is the Tristan Albatross (Diomedea dabbenena) chick count. These wanderer-type albatrosses breed only on Gough (with one pair on Inaccessible Island; they were extirpated from Tristan over 100 years ago) […]
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12:52 PM | Our People: David Burgess and Renato Aguilera Named as PIs in Sweeping NIH Workforce Diversity Initiative
Two longtime ASCB members and longtime advocates for bringing underrepresented minorities into bioscience have been named as PIs in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under its wide-ranging "Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce" program. Renato Aguilera (third from left) shown with his fellow BUILD program PIs at the University of Texas El Paso. Photo credit: J.R. Hernandez, UTEP News ServiceTwo longtime ASCB members and longtime advocates for bringing […]
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12:00 PM | The statistics of busy, or the management of approachability
In one Seinfeld episode, George puts on an annoyed busy-all-the-time act at work. Consequently, nobody bothered him with work. Academia is a cult of busy. We all are very busy, and often complain about it when we shouldn’t. However, being busy is part of becoming more efficient. Here are a couple claims: In academia, the…
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12:00 PM | This Is What Science Looks Like At NC State: Elsa Youngsteadt
Elsa Youngsteadt talks about what drew her to become an entomology researcher at NC State.
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11:32 AM | Terrors transcended
On balance, I prefer laughing to crying but I am not afraid to let my tears flow. Powerful drama can do it, so can stirring music. I may cry when I recall events or times in my life when I have been sad. … Continue reading →
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9:38 AM | Oh brave new world that has such doctors in it!
I’m a writer, and like many writers I’ve got what a friend of mine calls “text hunger” – if it’s there, I’ll read it. One such recent encounter was with one of those little leaflets that come with medicines. Two things struck me about this text. The first, of course, was the bizarre range of […]
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8:42 AM | Impact of Open Data Movement on Data Management and Publishing
“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” The open access movement predates the Internet (to about the 1950's), and various models were proposed to increase access to academic research. Self-archiving (the act of depositing a free copy of an electronic document on the Internet in order to provide open access to it) has been common for computer scientists since at least the 1980s. In physics, it has become the norm and some sub-areas like […]
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4:38 AM | Summarizing the Research on Dual Language Learners
It’s impossible to have a conversation about dual language learners in the United States without being drawn into questions about their “difference,” and just how much it should be taken into account at school. For years, English-only advocates have argued that these differences should be ignored or erased, that we need to educate DLLs much as we educate monolingual English students — with English instruction. Others have suggested that we should treat the instruction of […]

October 27, 2014

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9:27 PM | In which I enjoy a Northern sojourn
I spend a lot of my time these days up at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, helping out with undergraduate teaching. It’s marked a new phase of traipsing up and down on the Northern Line to my lab on … Continue reading →
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8:45 PM | Crowdsourced dating Have you ever been on that awkward date...
Crowdsourced dating Have you ever been on that awkward date where you weren’t sure what to do or say next? What if you had real-time advice from an online audience? Artist and UCLA alum Lauren McCarthy decided to try this out in her latest project. The idea was to see if she could become more aware of her relationships by getting input from others as the interactions take place. McCarthy setup an online platform where users can tune in to the dates she was going on. Each user can weigh in […]
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7:46 PM | Welcome, Attorneys!
You might wonder why I am welcoming attorneys to the blog.  Well, I happen to know that some attorneys read my blog.  I know this because recently, as an expert witness, while I was testifying in court, the attorney on the other side during my cross-examination specifically asked me about my blog.  Based on their questions, I am reasonably sure they had downloaded all the posts.  I imagine some poor associate attorney low on the totem pole had to read through it all to see […]
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7:10 PM | All in for AcWriMo 2014
November is just around the corner, which means once again it’s time for AcWriMo! For those who don’t know, AcWriMo is the academic’s version of NaNoWriMo (in which people pledge to write a novel during the month of November). The academic version is a bit more fluid—participants set their own academic writing goals for the month, […]
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5:44 PM | Biofuel Breakthroughs
The biggest barrier to better biofuels is small but stubborn. NC State biotechnology experts explain the challenges of breaking down the plant cell wall.
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2:45 PM | New on F1000Research – 27 October 2014
Featured article Back to the drawing board: Re-thinking the role of GLI1 in pancreatic carcinogenesis [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/4du] Tara Hogenson, Matthias Lauth, Marina Pasca diMagliano, Martin Fernandez-Zapico The protein GLI1, is a well conserved transcriptional mediator of Hedgehog (HH) signaling, and regulates multiple cellular processes such as cell fate determination, tissue [...]
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