Posts

October 10, 2014

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3:35 PM | Cell line switch sinks PLoS ONE cancer paper
We’ve written before about how common cell line mix ups are in cancer research; according to a 2012 Wall Street Journal article (paywalled), between a fifth and a third of cancer cell lines tested by suspicious researchers turned out to be misidentified. Obviously, mistakenly studying the wrong kind of cancer is a waste of precious resources, […]
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1:30 PM | Yet another study of widely touted cancer “cure” retracted
A third study of GcMAF, a protein being used to treat a variety of conditions from AIDS to autism to cancer, all without the blessing of health agencies, has been retracted. Here’s the notice in Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy for “Immunotherapy of metastatic colorectal cancer with vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage-activating factor, GcMAF:” This article has been retracted […]
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3:00 AM | A Revolution in the Making: 3D Printing, Robots and the Future
By Guy Rundle Synopsis: Just as you were getting comfortable with a digital world, here comes the material revolution, a transformation in the production and distribution, of, well, everything. 3D printing has broken out of its […]
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12:15 AM | Microbiota and us – we feed our bacteria even when we are sick!
There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. For millennia, we humans never made a distinction: bacteria were associated with diseases and death, no exception. It was known that we are carrying along a large assortment of microbes in our gut, […]test The post Microbiota and us – we feed our bacteria even when we are sick! appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Andrea Menotti and Yancey Labat
Special thanks to Andrea Menotti and Yancey Labat for answering 5 questions about their recently featured book – How Many Jelly Beans? Andrea Menotti: I grew up in Maryland and have lived in Singapore, New York City, San […]

October 09, 2014

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11:00 PM | #flashbackfriday: Dune
#flashbackfriday this week was featured on August 31, 2013. Dune is a classic of science fiction, written by Frank Herbert. It won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards in 1966 and tells the story of Paul Atreides […]
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3:56 PM | An Ironic Effort from Greenpeace
Here's today's newest example of irony:Greenpeace succeeded in pressuring Lego into cancelling a toy give away with Shell. (Fill up with at least 30 liters and get a free Lego toy). Greenpeace was going after Shell because of Shell's efforts to extract oil from Arctic regions, but the irony is that Lego toys are all made from petroleum-based plastic (ABS). So does this change anything? Anything?Previous YearsOctober 9, 2013 - Preventing Oxygen Inhibition during PolymerizationsOctober 9, 2012 -
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3:52 PM | Scientific American Science in Action Winner Kenneth Shinozuka
It’s no secret to Scientific American readers that we feel a special obligation to support the next generation of science enthusiasts, whom we hope to inspire both with our science coverage and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:00 PM | Should papers be retracted if one of the authors is a total asshole?
When science writer Vito Tartamella noticed a physics paper co-authored by Stronzo Bestiale (which means “total asshole” in Italian) he did what anyone who’s written a book on surnames would do: He looked it up in the phonebook. What he found was a lot more complicated than a funny name. It turns out Stronzo Bestiale doesn’t […]
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1:30 PM | U. Illinois chancellor earns mega-correction for duplicate publication
Phyllis Wise, the chancellor of the University of Illinois and an obstetrics researcher, has called for a massive correction of a 2006 paper in Neuroscience for work she appears to have tried to pass off as having been previously unpublished — but which wasn’t. The article, “Estrogen therapy: Does it help or hurt the adult […]
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3:00 AM | Antisense
By RP Marshall Synopsis: What if you could evolve in a moment? What if you had the power to change the genetic future of your loved ones and the people they become – simply by the […]
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12:15 AM | Longform’s New, Free App Lets You Read Great Journalism from Your Favorite Publishers
Let us introduce you a great educational tool, which name is Longform’s New.  If you have managed to keep your attention span intact during this distracting information age, then you’re almost certainly familiar with Longform.org, a web site that makes […]test The post Longform’s New, Free App Lets You Read Great Journalism from Your Favorite Publishers appeared first on Australian Science.

October 08, 2014

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4:30 PM | Is it better to retract a paper, or publish a letter calling the conclusions “unphysical?”
Sometimes publishers and authors decide it’s easier to retract a paper than leave it up for discussion by other scientists. That seems to be the case here: The authors of a paper in Langmuir retracted it in September for a math mistake, but not before the journal refused to publish a comment criticizing the publication. […]
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2:19 PM | Diederik Stapel loses teaching post, admits he was sockpuppeting on Retraction Watch
Diederik Stapel’s reinvention as a teacher at a college in the Netherlands has proven to be short-lived. According to the NRC Handelsblad, Stapel resigned from the job at Fontys in solidarity with Anton Dautzenberg, whose contract at Fontys was terminated and with whom Stapel had co-authored a play. A performance of that play was cancelled […]
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1:18 PM | "Let's Get Rid of the Mole"
Being called one-dimensional is usually not a good thing. But a recent letter to the editor published in C & E News (hat tip to Chemjobber) is proposing that we all take one step closer to that state by getting rid of the mole, the counting unit used in chemistry. The proposed alternative is we use the yotta (= 1024) instead since it is pretty close to Avogadro's number (6.022 x 1023). And after all, learning about the mole is so difficult for high school students and we should all adopt to […]
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3:00 AM | Night School: The Hidden Science of Sleep and Dreams
By Richard Wiseman Synopsis: We think of sleep as a waste of time. A time when we are literally doing nothing. Yet every human on the planet spends several hours each day asleep. We are not […]
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12:15 AM | Smartphone app a life saver for heart attack patients
Patients recovering from heart attacks are far more likely to complete life-saving rehabilitation if they have access to a new smartphone app developed by CSIRO, research has shown. A clinical trial found that cardiac patients who undertook rehabilitation in their […]test The post Smartphone app a life saver for heart attack patients appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:15 AM | Science Book a Day Celebrates 150 Interviews!
Congratulations to Gavin Pretor-Pinney, who has become the 150th interview we’ve conducted on Science Book a Day. We’ve had a great response to the interviews since the blog began and I thank every author/editor/illustrator that we’ve […]
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Special thanks to Gavin Pretor-Pinney for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – The Wavewatcher’s Companion Gavin Pretor-Pinney is a renowned journalist and cofounder of The Idler magazine in England. A former science nerd and […]

October 07, 2014

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3:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: PubPeer comments prompt investigation; Memory of water returns?
Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: “Based on your posts and comments I decided that these questions need to be fully clarified and requested an independent investigation according to the rules of our university, which will review all primary raw data,” writes one of the authors of a paper featured last week in PubPeer Selections. […]
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1:40 PM | A New Plastics-to-Oil Operation - In Syria?
I written in the past 1, 2 about "Plastics-to-Oil" (PTO), the process for anaerobic pyrolysis of plastics which ends up creating a sweet, crude oil. There are a few smallish operations here in the US but at this point in time, it does not play a critical role in our economy. And with gas prices continuing to fall (I saw $2.99/gallon yesterday for the first time in about 5 years!), that won't change soon.But is Syria, the story is different. There, all fuels are at a premium and so PTO suddenly […]
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1:30 PM | Blatant plagiarism sinks paper (and earns a sabbatical!) for mathematician
You know it’s a good one when it makes it onto the Wikipedia page for “scientific misconduct.” On April 21, the International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics retracted two 2008 papers by scientist Alexander Spivak of Holon Institute of Technology in Israel. In September, the journal updated the notice to explain why: The papers both […]
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3:00 AM | I am Albert Einstein (Ordinary People Change World)
By Brad Meltzer Synopsis: Even when he was a kid, Albert Einstein did things his own way. He thought in pictures instead of words, and his special way of thinking helped him understand big ideas like […]
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12:15 AM | Jane Goodall on Empathy and How to Reach Our Highest Human Potential
“Only when our clever brain and our human heart work together in harmony can we achieve our true potential.” The question of what sets us apart from other animals has occupied humanity for millennia, but only in the last few […]test The post Jane Goodall on Empathy and How to Reach Our Highest Human Potential appeared first on Australian Science.

October 06, 2014

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10:15 PM | I did a Nobel thing…
It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future – so said Niels Bohr (or maybe Yogi Berra, or Mark Twain or… boy, it’s hard to track down who *really* said something…). Anyway, @carmendrahl and @laurenkwolf from @cenmag were kind enough … Continue reading →
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3:00 PM | Oxford group reverses authorship requirements for sharing data after questions from Retraction Watch
It seemed like an egregious violation of academic standards. A researcher forwarded us a data access agreement from the University of Oxford, in which Schedule 4 read as follows: Data Users who make use of Licensed Data must cite the relevant primary original publications (Fairfax BP et al. 2012 Genetics of gene expression in primary […]
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1:30 PM | Networking paper retracted for “overlap” with author’s prior publication
Here at Retraction Watch, we have a lot of fun exploring all the different kinds of science that cross our paths. Some, though, we’re just not qualified to understand, like this retracted paper in the Journal of Management Studies, which according to the abstract “demonstrates that the persistence of brokerage positions decreases broker performance.” What is clear is […]
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3:00 AM | Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
By Caitlin Doughty Synopsis: A young mortician goes behind the scenes, unafraid of the gruesome (and fascinating) details of her curious profession. Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree […]
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12:15 AM | A sexless union to bear great fruit
We have received a $14.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa. This five year humanitarian project will develop tools to generate self-reproducing hybrid cowpea and […]test The post A sexless union to bear great fruit appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews danah boyd
Special thanks to danah boyd for answering 5 questions about her recently featured book – It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens My name is danah boyd and I’m a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a […]
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