Posts

November 27, 2014

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3:57 AM | Getting Techy With It: GigaScience Technology Update 2014
When it comes to technology, GigaScience has always been open and willing to embrace new ways of integrating technology in its publishing processes, with the ultimate goal of working towards more reproducible, interactive and executable papers. So far, 2014 has been an extremely busy year for Team Giga with regards to various technical developments as the journal continues to push the boundaries of reproducible research and open data. Our team have been busy working on our technical platforms, […]
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3:00 AM | Survival of the Nicest: How Altruism Made Us Human and Why It Pays to Get Along
By Stefan Klein Synopsis: This revelatory tour de force by an acclaimed and internationally bestselling science writer upends our understanding of “survival of the fittest”—and invites us all to think and act more altruistically. The phrase […]
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12:15 AM | New research centre to investigate how language works
A new national research centre based at ANU will investigate how language works and how it makes us who we are. Based at the University, the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language draws together the nation’s top […]test The post New research centre to investigate how language works appeared first on Australian Science.

November 26, 2014

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8:15 PM | Is this peer reviewed? Predatory journals and the transparency of peer review.
A few days ago, we learned that another spoof paper (PDF) had been accepted to an ostensibly peer reviewed journal. The paper was a simple repetition of the words “Get me off your f***ing mailing... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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4:11 PM | Plastics and Thanksgiving
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the US and so it will be pretty quiet on the interwebs. Friday won't be much better as many people have that day off too. Last year at this time I blogged about the netting around turkeys and how much underappreciated that product is. If you didn't read it last year, I would suggest you take a look.This year, I'll keep it short and just mention that the American Chemical Council's blog has a great overview of how polyurethane is used in creating the giant […]
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3:30 PM | The Peer Review Scam: How authors are reviewing their own papers
Yesterday, we reported on the discovery by BioMed Central that there were about 50 papers in their editorial system whose authors had recommended fake peer reviewers. Those “reviewers” had submitted reviews of a number of manuscripts, and five of the papers had been published. (BMC posted a blog examining the case this morning.) For some […]
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2:00 PM | “Super-surgeon” who created artificial tracheas facing new misconduct allegations
A one-time media favorite is being accused of serious misconduct in three cases where he inserted artificial windpipes into patients and treated them with stem cells. Two of the patients have died; one survives, but needs her airway cleaned every four hours by hospital staff to keep her alive. A little over two years ago, thoracic […]
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3:00 AM | The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting
By Alfie Kohn Synopsis: Somehow, a set of deeply conservative assumptions about children–what they’re like and how they should be raised–have congealed into the conventional wisdom in our society. Parents are accused of being both permissive […]
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12:15 AM | Worldwide action needed to address hidden crisis of violence against women and girls
Current efforts to prevent violence against women and girls are inadequate, according to a new Series published in The Lancet. Estimates suggest that globally, 1 in 3 women has experienced either physical or sexual violence from their partner, and that […]test The post Worldwide action needed to address hidden crisis of violence against women and girls appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Michael Brooks
Special thanks to Michael Brooks for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – At the Edge of Uncertainty: 11 Discoveries Taking Science by Surprise Michael Brooks, who holds a PhD in quantum physics, is an […]

November 25, 2014

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6:05 PM | Publisher discovers 50 manuscripts involving fake peer reviewers
BioMed Central has uncovered about fifty manuscripts in their editorial system that involved fake peer reviewers, Retraction Watch has learned. Most of the cases were not published because they were discovered by a manuscript editor on a final pre-publication check. The five or so that have been published will go through some sort of re-review, […]
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5:02 PM | Controversial editor and patient safety expert had undisclosed COIs in 9 of 10 papers
A new editorial in the Journal of Patient Safety accuses former editor and patient safety expert Charles Denham of having undeclared conflicts of interest in nine out of ten articles he published in the journal. Denham was at the center of massive controversy earlier this year, when the government accused him of taking more than $11 million in […]
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2:30 PM | Nanoparticle paper earns retraction for lack of reproducibility
A nanoparticle article published earlier this year has been retracted by RSC Advances for lack of reproducibility, although we haven’t been able to get more details about what happened. Here’s the notice for “Sonochemical synthesis of poly(methyl methacrylate) core–surfactin shell nanoparticles for recyclable removal of heavy metal ions and its cytotoxicity” (freely available but requires sign-in): We, the named […]
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3:00 AM | The Road
By Cormac McCarthy Synopsis: A searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. […]
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12:15 AM | A Cyber Disaster Somehow Occurred… What to Do the Next?
It’s not that rare case that some person or organisation holds very sensitive and confidential information as their data storage within their cyber system. The main headache to such an institution is not to lose its valuable content. Some studies […]test The post A Cyber Disaster Somehow Occurred… What to Do the Next? appeared first on Australian Science.

November 24, 2014

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6:11 PM | Me? An Invited Speaker? Oh, never mind
There isn't much to report yet on the job search front yet, other than this invite I received via LinkedIn:The email was entitled Plenary Speaker Invitation: Green Chemistry-2015. Gee, that's nice, but then I read the body of the email: "Dear John S, We certainly don’t know each other; still, I would like to contacts [sic] you and open a dialogue about, "2nd International Conference on Past and Present Research Systems of Green Chemistry" (Green Chemistry-2015), scheduled on September […]
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4:30 PM | “I’m so done with it”: Conservationist speaks out against sexism in science
Last week, we wrote about conservationist Stuart Pimm receiving criticism for casual sexism in a recent book review. The journal did not retract the review, but it released an editor’s note condemning the language Pimm used, including quoting a movie scene in which a man told a woman “I don’t take whores in taxis.” Some […]
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2:30 PM | Are lawyers ruining science?
Regular Retraction Watch readers may have noticed that legal issues seem to be popping up more often in the cases we cover. There has been a lawsuit filed against PubPeer commenters, for example, and Nature last month blamed lawyers for delayed and opaque retraction notices. It was those cases and others that prompted us to […]
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3:00 AM | The Glass Cage: Automation and Us
By Nicholas Carr Synopsis: At once a celebration of technology and a warning about its misuse, The Glass Cage will change the way you think about the tools you use every day. In The Glass Cage, best-selling author Nicholas […]
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12:15 AM | Life – Evolved
What is a life form? Most of us, if asked, will think of an animal or a human being-in other words, a multicellular organism. However, life itself evolved in cells, single cells of various types that existed and propagated independently. […]test The post Life – Evolved appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Will Hillenbrand
Special thanks to Will Hillenbrand for answering 5 questions about the book he illustrated, which was recently featured – Kiss the Cow! I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where my family owned a barbershop. During the […]

November 23, 2014

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8:55 PM | Colon cancer study embargo lifted early after “gremlin in the machinery” leads to break
The embargo on a colon cancer presentation at a Barcelona conference was lifted early Thursday after inadvertent breaks. On Thursday morning, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) media consultant Emma Mason sent the following message to her press list: Due to an embargo break by Spanish language media, we are lifting the embargo […]
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3:00 AM | Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines
By Paul Fleischman Synopsis: Paul Fleischman offers teens an environmental wake-up call and a tool kit for decoding the barrage of conflicting information confronting them. We’re living in an Ah-Ha moment. Take 250 years of human […]
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12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
Here we are at the end of one more exciting and fascinating week. It’s our time to summarise what have happened during the previous 7 days. The focus of today’s editor’s selection would be on psychology, neuropsychological and medical research. […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

November 22, 2014

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2:48 PM | Weekend reads: Novartis fires scientist for faking data; journal accepts F-bomb-laden spam paper
The week at Retraction Watch began with a case of a South Korean engineer who had to retract ten studies at once. Here’s what was happening elsewhere, along with an update on a story we covered a few days ago: We have an update on the case of a former Vanderbilt scientist found to have […]
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3:00 AM | The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery
By Sandra Markle Synopsis: Honeybees are a crucial part of our food chain. As they gather nectar from flowers to make sweet honey, these bees also play an important role in pollination, helping some plants produce […]
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12:15 AM | Finding new ways to make drugs
Chemists have developed a revolutionary new way to manufacture natural chemicals and used it to assemble a scarce anti-inflammatory drug with potential to treat cancer and malaria. The breakthrough could lead to new and cheaper ways to produce rare drugs […]test The post Finding new ways to make drugs appeared first on Australian Science.

November 21, 2014

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4:40 PM | ‘‘I don’t take whores in taxis”: Casual sexism in scientific journal leads to editor’s note
The Elsevier journal Biological Conservation has put out an apology, but not a retraction, after outcry over a bizarre, misogynistic non sequitur in a book review by Duke conservation biologist Stuart Pimm. Here’s the introduction to Pimm’s review of Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth, which went online in October ahead of its December print publication: I confess […]
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4:21 PM | Dow Chemical and Third Point reach a ceasefire
The Polyurethane Blog is reporting that Dow Chemical and Dan Loeb, the activist investor and operator of Third Point LLC., have reached a ceasefire. Loeb will lay down his weapons for a full year including taking down his flashy website [1]. On the other side, Dow will add to the Board of Directors the two candidates that Loeb wanted plus two more directors. Since the current Board of Directors is the CEO Liveris and 9 others, there will now be a 14 directors total. If Loeb had won the proxy […]
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2:30 PM | Can you hear me now? Neuroscience paper sunk by audio stimulus error
Have you ever noticed that hearing something read aloud as you follow along helps you remember what you’re reading better? Two bioengineers at Trinity College Dublin, Michael Crosse and Edmund Lalor, decided to investigate the underlying reason for the phenomenon. Unfortunately, after they published their findings in the Journal of Neurophysiology earlier this year, they tried […]
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