Posts

December 22, 2014

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3:00 AM | Question Everything: 132 science questions – and their unexpected answers
Edited by Mick O’Hare Synopsis: The latest in the bestselling New Scientist Last Word series All science begins with questions… - Why is the night sky black, even though it’s full of stars? – How do […]
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12:09 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Paul Fleischman
Special thanks to Paul Fleischman for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines Paul Fleischman is an American writer of children’s books. For his contribution as a […]

December 21, 2014

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3:14 AM | Patently Contestable: Electrical Technologies and Inventor Identities on Trial in Britain
By Stathis Arapostathis and Graeme Gooday Synopsis: Late nineteenth-century Britain saw an extraordinary surge in patent disputes over the new technologies of electrical power, lighting, telephony, and radio. These battles played out in the twin tribunals of […]

December 20, 2014

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2:30 PM | Weekend reads: Authorship for sale, STAP stem cell scandal finally over?
This was a week of stem cell retractions, fake peer reviews, legal threats, and we announced that we’ve been awarded a $400,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Want to be an author on a paper? Just write a check. Is the STAP stem cell mess over? Haruko Obokata was unable […]The post Weekend reads: Authorship for sale, STAP stem cell scandal finally over? appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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3:00 AM | Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
By Jon Agar Synopsis: A compelling history of science from 1900 to the present day, this is the first book to survey modern developments in science during a century of unprecedented change, conflict and uncertainty. The […]

December 19, 2014

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4:00 PM | Elsevier retracting 16 papers for faked peer review
Fake peer reviews: They’re all the rage. Sixteen papers are being retracted across three Elsevier journals after the publisher discovered that one of the authors, Khalid Zaman, orchestrated fake peer reviews by submitting false contact information for his suggested reviewers. This particular kind of scam has been haunting online peer review for a few year now, as loyal Retraction […]The post Elsevier retracting 16 papers for faked peer review appeared first on […]
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12:37 PM | Are companies selling fake peer reviews to help papers get published?
Faked peer reviews — a subject about which we’ve been writing more and more recently — are concerning enough to a number of publishers that they’ve approached the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) to work together on a solution. In the past, we have reported on a number of cases in which authors were able […]The post Are companies selling fake peer reviews to help papers get published? appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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3:00 AM | Zobi and the Zoox
By Ailsa Wild, Aviva Reed, Briony Barr and Gregory Crocetti Synopsis:  This book is about a symbiotic relationship. It tells the story of the microscopic friends living in a tiny coral polyp. With her home under threat from a […]
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews James Lu Dunbar
Special thanks to James Lu Dunbar for answering 8 questions about his recently featured book – The Universe Verse James “Jamie” Lu Dunbar lives in Oakland, CA where he helps manage the Sirius Puppy Training School, James & Kenneth Publishers and Dog Star […]

December 18, 2014

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11:00 PM | #flashbackfriday: Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II
#flashbackfriday this week was featured on March 19, 2014. Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II by Ben H Winters won the 2014 Philip K Dick Award. The book is a science fiction that follows Detective Hank Palace […]
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8:30 PM | That new beetle? Actually, it’s really an old beetle
A team of entomologists in India had to put their new species celebration on hold last year, when they found out their discovery had already been discovered. The Journal of Insect Science paper, initially published in December 2012, was retracted in October 2013, after several entomologists confirmed that the beetle was actually a previously identified species called Acanthophorus serraticornis. (The […]The post That new beetle? Actually, it’s really an old […]
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4:54 PM | Some Unusual, Non-UV Photochemistry
Recent articles have highlighted a couple of unusual photochemical phenomena in living animals. While your thoughts might be that the photochemistry is UV-induced, neither one does in fact depend on UV radiation.The first was a report from a few weeks ago (Original article ($) - C & E News coverage (open access)) regarding humans that can see near-infrared (NIR) light. The researchers found that what was occurring was 2-photon absorption, a phenomenon I've discussed before (1 and 2), where […]
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2:30 PM | Stem cell researcher retracts neuron paper for “image aberrations”
Jens Christian Schwamborn, a stem cell researcher at the University of Luxembourg, is retracting a 2007 paper on how to grow brain cells. The paper, “Ubiquitination of the GTPase Rap1B by the ubiquitin ligase Smurf2 is required for the establishment of neuronal polarity,” was published while Schwamborn was at Westfälische Wilhelms‐Universität Münster in Germany. An anonymous […]The post Stem cell researcher retracts neuron paper for “image […]
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3:00 AM | Under the Microscope
By Earl Owen Synopsis: Under the Microscope is the story of an extraordinary man, his many life-changing inventions, and his exceptional life and special friendships. Born into a family of doctors – on the paternal and maternal […]

December 17, 2014

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11:53 PM | Stem cell researchers sue Harvard, claiming faulty investigation lost them job offers
Piero Anversa, a stem cell researcher at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and a colleague, Annarosa Leri, have sued Harvard over an investigation into their work that they claim has cost them millions in a forfeited sale of their company, and job offers. The team has had a paper in Circulation retracted, and a paper in […]The post Stem cell researchers sue Harvard, claiming faulty investigation lost them job offers appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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6:00 PM | Stem cell researcher Hanna “working…to correct the unfortunate and inadvertent mistakes” in papers
Jacob Hanna of Israel’s Weizmann Institute has been a media darling for years, including as a member of the 2010 Technology Review 30 under 35 for his work with stem cells. However, questions have been mounting about his research, both on PubPeer (which has critical comments for 15 papers he’s an author on) and in other stem cell labs, who have […]The post Stem cell researcher Hanna “working…to correct the unfortunate and inadvertent […]
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4:30 PM | Mix-and-match text topples microbiome paper
A group of gastroenterology researchers in Italy has lost their 2010 paper in Internal and Emergency Medicine, the journal of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine, for plagiarizing and duplicate publication. The article, “Gut microbiota and related diseases: clinical features,” was published as a supplement by a team from the University of Bologna. Its conclusions: […]The post Mix-and-match text topples microbiome paper appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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2:30 PM | Shingles-stroke connection paper earns expression of concern for “errors in data presentation”
The journal Neurology has issued an expression of concern for a paper linking shingles and stroke, which got press attention when it was published. The journal’s note refers to “errors of data presentation,” which author Judith Breuer more narrowly defined as mistakes during transcription of a table. It’s unclear whether the results themselves – that herpes zoster, the virus […]The post Shingles-stroke connection paper earns expression of […]
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6:19 AM | Assessing the Asteroid Impact Threat: Are We Doomed Yet?
“Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour,” could be still an actual description of our ability to predict asteroid threats to Earth. The sentence from the Bible (Matthew 25:13) sound like a reminder of a vast […]test The post Assessing the Asteroid Impact Threat: Are We Doomed Yet? appeared first on Australian Science.
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3:00 AM | The Universe Verse
By James Lu Dunbar Synopsis: The Universe Verse is a scientifically-accurate rhyming comic book about the origins of the universe, life on Earth and the human race. It introduces and illuminates the most fundamental features of our […]
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Tom Uhlman
Special thanks to photographer, Tom Uhlman, for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – Eruption!: Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives Tom Uhlman has been a freelance photographer for more than twenty years. […]

December 16, 2014

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5:32 PM | Former postdoc threatens Retraction Watch with lawsuit over vague defamation claims
In April 2012, we wrote about a case of disputed authorship and misused data involving one Varun Kesherwani, a former postdoc at the University of Nebraska. As we reported then, Kesherwani was first author of a paper in Cytokine. The second author, Ajit Sodhi, of Banaras Hindu University, claimed to have had no knowledge of […]The post Former postdoc threatens Retraction Watch with lawsuit over vague defamation claims appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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5:16 PM | About that Night I Spent in Jail...
Ah yes, Christmas break in 1983. I remember it well. But the story starts well before that.Some 17,000 years ago when the glaciers retreated from Minnesota for good, they had scrapped the Canadian Shield pretty thoroughly, leaving a tremendous number of lakes in the Northeastern part of Minnesota and also the Southwestern parts of Ontario. The Ojibway discovered that the area was fabulous for canoeing. Since the distances between lakes were short it was easy to carry canoes and such between […]
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2:30 PM | What do studies of retractions tell us?
The Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education has published a special issue on scientific ethics, and it includes an invited piece from us. In “What Studies of Retractions Tell Us,” we decided to do a literature review of the small but growing field of retraction studies. Five years ago, this would have been a very short […]The post What do studies of retractions tell us? appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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3:00 AM | Complexity: A Guided Tour
By Melanie Mitchell Synopsis: What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? In this remarkably […]

December 15, 2014

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7:00 PM | “You don’t retract a paper, you retract the results within:” Why one scientist still displays one of his mistakes
And now, one from the archives. In 1989, then MIT grad student Lance Fortnow (he’s now chair of the computer science department at Georgia Tech) wrote a mathematical proof and published it as conference proceedings. He later went to publish the proof in a journal. But he then discovered “unexpected technical challenges” and published a retraction […]The post “You don’t retract a paper, you retract the results within:” Why one scientist still […]
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2:30 PM | Retraction Watch is growing, thanks to a $400,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation
Dear Retraction Watch readers, we have some exciting news to share. After more than four years, 2,000 posts, and incredible responses from the scientific community, we are thrilled to announce that The Center For Scientific Integrity, a not-for-profit corporation we’ve established, has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to expand the work […]The post Retraction Watch is growing, thanks to a $400,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation appeared first on […]
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1:34 PM | So long, Scientific American, and thanks for all the fish
The editors at Scientific American have decided to go in another direction with their blog network. As a result, our Information Culture blog will no longer be hosted on this network. We will... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:00 PM | A New Vision For Scientific American’s Blog Network
Blogs have been part of the media ecosystem for more than a decade now, but news outlets are still wrestling with how to best incorporate them into their operations. Dave Winer, one of the medium’s... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:00 AM | The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning
By Marcelo Gleiser Synopsis: Do all questions have answers? How much can we know about the world? Is there such a thing as an ultimate truth? To be human is to want to know, but what […]
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