Posts

October 21, 2014

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3:00 AM | Seven Modern Plagues: and How We Are Causing Them
By Mark Jerome Walters Synopsis: Epidemiologists are braced for the big one: the strain of flu that rivals the pandemic of 1918-1919, which killed at least 20 million people worldwide. In recent years, we have experienced […]
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12:15 AM | WHO tobacco treaty makes significant progress despite mounting pressure from tobacco industry
The sixth session of the Conference of the parties (COP6) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) concluded recently in Moscow. Several landmark decisions were adopted in the course of the six-day session, regarded as one of the […]test The post WHO tobacco treaty makes significant progress despite mounting pressure from tobacco industry appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | 2015 Finalists for the AAAS/Subary SB&F Prize in the Young Adult Category
The AAAS/Subaru SB&F finalists for the Young Adult Category were announced last week. The prizes were create to celebrate outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. Here are the 4 finalists, which […]

October 20, 2014

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3:30 PM | Authors retract green coffee bean diet paper touted by Dr. Oz
Two authors of a 2012 paper sponsored by a company that made grand claims about green coffee bean extract’s abilities to help people lose weight have retracted it. The study was cited by The Dr. Oz Show, and last month it cost the company a $3.5 million settlement with the Feds. Here’s the notice for […]
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1:45 PM | Martin Sheen and His Hypocritical Hate of Plastics
Last Friday I wrote of Lindsay Lohan's love of plastics. Her feelings are not shared by all of Hollywood however. Martin Sheen is a good example. On Saturday, he had a new boat christened after him. The boat is a research vessel for studying ocean plastics. While I've written many times that plastics have no business being in the ocean (or polluting any other part of the natural environment for that matter), the importance of ocean to plastics to mankind's survival is...open to debate. Sheen […]
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1:30 PM | Journal of Neuroscience still won’t explain author-initiated retractions
The Journal of Neuroscience hasn’t changed its policy of not explaining retractions if authors don’t want to, as this October 8 notice attests. Here’s the notice for “Coordinated Regulation of Hepatic Energy Stores by Leptin and Hypothalamic Agouti-Related Protein:” At the request of the authors, The Journal of Neuroscience is retracting “Coordinated Regulation of Hepatic Energy Stores by […]
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3:00 AM | Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen
By Philip Ball Synopsis: The invisible is one of the most enduringly seductive ideas in human history. This is its biography. If you could be invisible, what would you do? The chances are that it would have something […]
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12:15 AM | The ancient mountains that fed early life
Scientists have found evidence for a huge mountain range that sustained an explosion of life on Earth 600 million years ago. The mountain range was similar in scale to the Himalayas and spanned at least 2,500 kilometres of modern west […]test The post The ancient mountains that fed early life appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Tony Angell and John Marzluff
Special thanks to Tony Angell and John Marzluff for answering 5 questions about their recently featured book – Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans Author, illustrator and […]

October 19, 2014

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9:50 PM | Guest Blog: Challenges and opportunities with sharing neuroimaging data
Here we present a guest blog by our Editorial Board Member Russell Poldrack, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, who highlights the challenges and opportunities surrounding imaging data to enable the neuroscience community to “stand on the shoulders of giants”. The sharing of neuroimaging data is an idea whose time has finally come, but many challenges remain.  Foremost is the incentive problem: Why should a researcher take the time to organize their data for […]
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3:00 AM | In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America
By Maureen Ogle Synopsis: The untold story of how meat made America: a tale of the self-made magnates, pragmatic farmers, and impassioned activists who shaped us into the greatest eaters and providers of meat in history. […]
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12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
New Sunday, new editor’s choices! In comparison with the previous one, which brought us heaps of Nobel awards, this one seems as quite peaceful and usual. But, is it? Throughout today’s selection, we will hear more about the future of […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

October 18, 2014

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1:30 PM | Weekend reads: “Too good to be true” results; the paper as an “artificial landmark”
The week at Retraction Watch kicked off with news of the European Science Foundation threatening to sue a scientist for calling a review process “flawed.” Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Now that’s self-awareness: Nature calls the peer-reviewed paper an “artificial landmark.” Are the findings in an epigenetics paper “too good to be true?“ Please congratulate […]
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3:00 AM | Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris
By Christopher Kemp Synopsis: “Preternaturally hardened whale dung” is not the first image that comes to mind when we think of perfume, otherwise a symbol of glamour and allure. But the key ingredient that makes the […]
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12:15 AM | What Happens When You Take a Nobel Prize Through Airport Security
Winning a Nobel Prize has its perks. When you talk, people listen. And you end up doing a lot of talking. And travelling. Reflecting on how the Nobel Prize changed his life, Walter Gilbert (1980 winner in Chemistry) commented, “You […]test The post What Happens When You Take a Nobel Prize Through Airport Security appeared first on Australian Science.

October 17, 2014

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4:00 PM | “This situation left me ashamed and infuriated with myself:” Scientist retracts two papers
A Portuguese group has retracted two papers in the Journal of Bacteriology after mislabeled computer files led to the wrong images being used. And, we’ve learned in a heartfelt email, the first author was devastated. Here’s the notice for “MtvR Is a Global Small Noncoding Regulatory RNA in Burkholderia cenocepacia”: A number of problems related to images […]
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1:41 PM | Linday Lohan and plastic bags
I last wrote about Lindsay Lohan in April of 2013. Since that time, she has kept a pretty low profile as far as the plastics industry is concerned. But that all changed this morning when the Daily Mail published photos of her and a plastic bag:That's her behind the bag, leaving for home(?) after performing onstage in London last night. (The article has more photographs that show that it is indeed Lindsay.)She can get away with this in London, but pulling the plastic bag stunt in California is […]
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1:30 PM | At a snail’s pace: Species rediscovered, but paper on its disappearance remains
A few weeks ago, in Weekend Reads, we highlighted the story of a snail species, thought to have gone extinct thanks to global warming, that had been rediscovered. Now, as first reported by The Scientist, the journal in question has addressed the issue. Here’s the story: In 2007, Biology Letters published a paper by Justin […]
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3:00 AM | Planet of the Bugs: Evolution and the Rise of Insects
By Scott Richard Shaw Synopsis: Dinosaurs, however toothy, did not rule the earth—and neither do humans. But what were and are the true potentates of our planet? Insects, says Scott Richard Shaw—millions and millions of insect species. Starting in […]
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12:15 AM | Foodborne illness on the decline
New Australian National University research has found the incidence of foodborne illness has declined slightly and that one quarter of the 16 million cases of gastroenteritis each year are caused by food contamination. The research tracked the changes in foodborne […]test The post Foodborne illness on the decline appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Sarah Dry
Special thanks to Sarah Dry for answering 5 questions about her recently featured book – The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Isaac Newton’s Manuscripts I am an independent scholar with a weakness for the history […]

October 16, 2014

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11:00 PM | #flashbackfriday Storm Kings: The Untold History of America’s First Tornado Chasers
#flashbackfriday this week was featured on September 16, 2013. Storm Kings: The Untold History of America’s First Tornado Chasers is an engaging story about the history of the first storm chasers, written by Lee Sandlin. Make sure you […]
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3:00 PM | Journal expresses concerns over “possible data irregularities” in paper from Army medical center docs
The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has issued an expression of concern about a 2012 article reporting the experience of military burn unit treating a rare ailment called toxic epidermal necrolysis. According to the notice, which is behind a paywall (for shame!), the paper appears to have overstated the number of cases the […]
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1:00 PM | Neuroscientist who threatened to sue Science-Fraud.org, retracted two papers is out at Tufts
Gizem Donmez, a neuroscientist who has retracted two papers from Cell and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is no longer in her position at Tufts University, Retraction Watch has learned. A Tufts spokesperson confirmed the news for us yesterday: Dr. Donmez is no longer employed by Tufts University. We don’t, as a rule, comment on […]
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3:00 AM | Seventeen Equations that Changed the World
By Ian Stewart Other title: In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World Synopsis: From Newton’s Law of Gravity to the Black-Scholes model used by bankers to predict the markets, equations, are everywhere […]
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12:15 AM | Take Big History: A Free Short Course on 13.8 Billion Years of History, Funded by Bill Gates
Last month, The New York Times Magazine published a long piece called “So Bill Gates Has This Idea for a History Class …”, which begins with these very words: In 2008, shortly after Bill Gates stepped down from his executive […]test The post Take Big History: A Free Short Course on 13.8 Billion Years of History, Funded by Bill Gates appeared first on Australian Science.

October 15, 2014

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9:00 PM | Not that Noble
From Justus Liebigs Annalen der Chemie in 1856… Either this chap was publishing under a not-terribly-creative pseudonym, or someone at the editorial office got a bit confused…
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3:30 PM | Authors retract HER-2 endometrial cancer paper for 2x publication
File this one under strange excuses. A cancer paper was retracted on September 17 for a double publication. According to the notice in which the authors admit to duplicating the “opening to the readers,” which we assume is the introduction, there was no need to cite the article “because it had not yet been printed […]
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1:30 PM | “Several scientific errors” sink physics paper after rewrite opportunity
We don’t love this somewhat incoherent retraction for a paper on coherent states, although luckily the publisher was prompt with telling us a little more about what happened. On October 2, a 2008 physics paper, “Generation of a superposition of coherent states in a resonant cavity and its nonclassicality and decoherence,” was retracted for “several scientific […]
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1:24 PM | Polyethylene Production coming to North Dakota
While my homestate of Minnesota remains a frack-free zone (due to Mother Nature's choice to stock us with iron, copper and other minerals rather than even a drop of petroleum), our neighboring state of North Dakota is pretty much ground zero for the effort. And we hear about it a lot since many people have taken the day's drive out there for the good paying jobs. Western North Dakota is not highly populated, so manpower is short. If you can pass a drug test and supply your own housing, you can […]
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