Posts

February 17, 2015

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10:00 PM | The Life Of A Star Explained In 1 Minute
The Life Of A Star Explained In 1 Minute
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7:20 PM | 2014 Major NSERC Prizes continue to under-represent women
I’ve written before about the massive gender imbalance in NSERC’s “Big Prizes”.  Well, the 2014 awardees have been announced, so let’s see how things look: Hamer Prize: 0/1 recipients women Brockhouse Prize: 1/6 recipients women Steacie Fellowship: 1/6 recipients women Polyani … Continue reading →
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6:00 PM | The Post PhD Blues
This post is written by Brian Flemming, a mathematician working as a Systems Engineer in Edinburgh.  He has recently completed an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) as a mature student at Heriot Watt University, which he found an intensive and enjoyable experience, and which he credits with greatly increasing the effectiveness and authority of his work.  He […]
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5:44 PM | Don’t you just love hummingbirds?Now, UC Riverside...
Don’t you just love hummingbirds?Now, UC Riverside researchers have discovered what could be a new species of hummingbird in the Bahamas. The Bahama Woodstar comprises of two subspecies: Calliphlox evelynae evelynae, found throughout the islands of the Bahamas and Calliphlox evelynae lyrura (“lyrura” for lyre-tailed, refers to the forked tail of males that resembles a classical lyre harp). This lovely creature is only found among the southern Inaguan islands of the Bahama […]
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1:53 PM | Holding on to the slippery nipple of productivity
Today is Fachingsdienstag. Also known as Mardi Gras, Carnival, or if you’re British, like me, Pancake Day! At any rate not a day for seriousness. Serious starts tomorrow (if you’re Christian). I thought today I’d share an inspirational diagram that has gotten me through some difficult moments of lab life. I call it the nipple […]
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1:15 PM | In praise of slow science
Its a rush rush world out there. We expect to be able to talk (or text) anybody anytime anywhere. When we order something from half a continent away we expect it on our doorstep in a day or two. We’re … Continue reading →
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12:54 PM | Community College Online
Since American community college students are more likely to be older, commute to school, work part-time, and care for dependents than their public four-year and private nonprofit counterparts, they need access to more flexible pathways that meet their needs and move them toward a credential. Community College Online, a new report released today by New America’s Education Policy Program, shows that information technology has the potential to support community college students through […]
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12:48 PM | Why We Need to Smash Up the Concept of the Achievement Gap in Tiny Little Pieces
It’s time for researchers to stop using terms like the achievement gap and student success. The sobering data on men of color in colleges is a reflection of college and university performance - so take the scrutiny off of student achievement. Ryan Brown of Deptford, NJ, and other seniors wait in anticipation for President Barack Obama to addresses the 1,200 graduates of Hampton University, a historically black university, at the school’s Armstrong Stadium, in Hampton, Va., Sunday, […]
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12:38 PM | A School Where Students, Teachers Remix Their Schedules Every Week
MILLBRAE, Calif. - A set schedule for the semester is a thing of the past at Design Tech High School in this community in the San Francisco suburbs. Teachers create a new plan every week, based on the students’ progress in class. And, importantly, the day’s work isn’t a top-down mandate. Students decide for themselves how to spend certain segments of their day. “It’s that balance of giving them ownership, asking them to be self-directed,” said Ken Montgomery, […]
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12:13 PM | Music and Disease
When one is the parent of a small child it is well-known one catches every bug going, as their own uninitiated immune systems succumb to one cold after another which they can transmit, often with more serious diseases mixed in. … Continue reading →
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11:16 AM | AstraZeneca Licences Labguru
We are very pleased and excited to announce that AstraZeneca have licensed Labguru for use in their organization. Scientists will use the Labguru platform across multiple AstraZeneca sites in North America and Europe, replacing and consolidating several legacy systems spanning several scientific disciplines. Its modular web-based system offers an easy means of tracking projects, protocols, biological collections and materials, as well as streamlining collaboration between members of the lab […]
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12:11 AM | Editorial Misbehaviour in Autism Journals?
A remarkable scandal has erupted concerning the editorial standards of two scientific journals. The journals are called Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (RASD) and Research in Developmental Disabilities (RIDD). Both publications are owned by Elsevier, and they have the same Editor-in-Chief, Johnny L. Matson. Or at least they did until recently. Matson may have been removed - although it's not clear if there is a replacement for him. The scandal began some weeks ago after Oxfor

February 16, 2015

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11:30 PM | The emotional sensitivity geneSerotonin is one of the major...
The emotional sensitivity geneSerotonin is one of the major neurotransmitters (i.e. chemicals) in the brain. It’s very connected to our emotions and so it’s not a coincidence that a lot of the drugs that are used to treat depression and anxiety act on the serotonin system in the brain. This is clearly a very important chemical for determining the nature of our emotional lives.The serotonin transporter gene regulates serotonin in the brain. People are born with variations of this […]
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10:05 PM | Laughing at 225
It is time to report on my weight loss progress. Unfortunately, the report is very boring; I am still stuck at the same weight: 225. What can I do? Let’s laugh about it. Here are some jokes on the subject. * * * After the holidays I stepped on my scale. After an hour I […]
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9:59 PM | Nothing is on Hold by the arXiv
I wrote a paper with my son, Alexey Radul, titled (Not so) Much Ado About Nothing. As the title indicates, nothing is discussed in this paper. It’s a silly, humorous paper full of puns about “nothing.” We submitted the paper to the arXiv two months ago, and it has been on hold since then. This […]
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9:47 PM | In which I invite them in
Although engaging with the public about science is famously not about – heaven forbid – ‘teaching’ it, the two endeavors do share some common strategies. I’ve been organizing and executing a lot of undergraduate educational sessions these past few terms, … Continue reading →
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3:45 PM | Sticking women with the office houseworkProfessor Joan C....
Sticking women with the office houseworkProfessor Joan C. Williams, from UC Hastings College of Law, writes about some of the patterns that occur for women in the workplace:Whether it’s called the second shift or the double burden, research has long shown that the unpaid housework women are traditionally expected to do at home can hold them back in their careers, leaving them with fewer hours to devote to their jobs or to their own well-being.But housework isn’t just something women […]
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1:18 PM | How Many Already Attend Community College for Free?
Graphic by Jill Barshay. Data from NPSAS 2012 and the Community College Research Center When President Barack Obama proposed making two years of community college free, during his State of the Union speech last month, it seemed like a way to give more Americans, especially those at the bottom of the economic ladder, a start at college or a technical degree that could lead to a good job. The White House estimated in its February budget that it would cost $6 billion a year […]
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1:10 PM | What do job applications and conference papers have in common?
Today, over at Small Pond Science, I discuss the surprising (or maybe not-so-surprising) connection between job applications and conference papers. Head on over and join the conversation!Filed under: job search, research Tagged: communication, job search, publishing, small pond science
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1:00 PM | The importance of storytelling
Much of my time lately has been consumed with two seemingly unrelated activities: reading job applications and reviewing conference papers. Reading job applications requires me to evaluate a person’s credentials, teaching and research experience, letters of recommendation, and countless other intangibles—all on paper—to determine whether this person might “fit” what we are looking for in…
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11:58 AM | Science is hard: culturing problems edition
Science is hard. That’s not exactly a newsflash to any of the readers of this blog, but it’s a point that Science has been reminding me of recently. This has been reminding me of an earlier Science Is Hard episode … Continue reading →
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11:57 AM | New on F1000Research – 16 February 2015
A selection of new content on F1000Research from the past week. To receive notification of all new articles, sign up for our table of contents alerts. Featured article Characterizing alpha helical properties of Ebola viral proteins as potential targets for inhibition of alpha-helix mediated protein-protein interactions [v3; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/50u] [...]
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11:31 AM | Welcome Lisa!
We're very pleased to welcome Professor Lisa Moore from the University of Southern Maine, who is visiting us on sabbatical for four months. Lisa's visit is supported by a prestigious Endeavour Foundation Fellowship. Lisa is an expert on the physiology of Prochlorococcus, a photosynthetic marine cyanobacterium that is one of the key primary producers underlying the entire marine food web.Fun fact- there are an estimated 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Prochlorococcus cells in the world's […]
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9:34 AM | The importance of being Earnest – The case of climate change
In Oscar Wilde’s comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest”, Cecily and Gwendolen want to marry a man named Ernest simply because of the name’s connotations. They are so fixated on the name that they would not consider marrying a man who was not named Ernest. The name, sounding like “earnest”, shows uprightness, inspires “absolute confidence”, implies that its bearer truly is honest and responsible. A name can truly be very important when it […]
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7:42 AM | How To Avoid PhD Burnout In 10 Minutes
Last week I was close to a PhD burnout. I knew that if another shitty thing was to happen, I would snap. Have you ever put more on your plate than you could chew? And then, when you feel your mind is 100% busy with work projects, life decides to add more troubles to your [...]
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7:28 AM | Seven Years.
Today I have seven years of continuous sobriety. I’m in Spain at the moment, but I’ll have more thoughts another time.
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5:22 AM | Stop on heart
Heart attack at BGC!

February 15, 2015

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7:45 PM | Happy Microbial Valentines Day---In Words of Living Light!
Well, time is flying, yet again!  I am beginning to get a better handle on my time, but still feel like I am swimming upstream.But blog posts are not going to happen unless I...um...write and post them.  There is a great deal that is going on for me professionally that I hope to announce soon, but in the meantime, here is a short post.Valentines Day is fun for many people.  I certainly have enjoyed it a great deal over the years.  So why not mix it up with microbiology?Most […]
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7:12 PM | laughingsquid: How Author Dr. Seuss Created the Classic 1960...
laughingsquid: How Author Dr. Seuss Created the Classic 1960 Children’s Book ‘Green Eggs and Ham’
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7:01 PM | neuromorphogenesis:Forever Young: Meditation Might Slow The...
neuromorphogenesis:Forever Young: Meditation Might Slow The Age-Related Loss Of Gray Matter In The BrainSince 1970, life expectancy around the world has risen dramatically, with people living more than 10 years longer. That’s the good news.The bad news is that starting when people are in their mid-to-late-20s, the brain begins to wither — its volume and weight begin to decrease. As this occurs, the brain can begin to lose some of its functional abilities.So although people might be […]
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