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Posts

March 28, 2014

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4:06 PM | What we publish
The editors of a scientific journal have an editorial prerogative to publish articles that fall under the editorial scope of the journal as they see it. But defining this scope in a way that is clear to those outside the editorial team can be difficult and any definition can become dated as science and the journal evolve. Here we discuss the scope of Nature Methods.  Read more
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3:36 PM | Under the covers (Nature revealed) – 27 March 2014
In this week’s Under the covers (Nature revealed) blog, which features weekly interviews with the art team at Nature, Art Director Kelly Krause explains the decision behind this week’s front cover choice on Quantum Cryptography.  Read more
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3:30 PM | Bogus Western blots lead to retraction of cancer paper
A group of Italian researchers has retracted their 2013 paper on colorectal cancer because one of the authors, they, say, was tinkering with the data. The article, “PBOX-15 induces apoptosis and improves the efficacy of oxaliplatin in human colorectal cancer cell lines,” appeared in the European Journal of Pharmacology in August. The first author was […]
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1:46 PM | Clarifying NPG’s views on moral rights and institutional open access mandates
We would like to clarify NPG’s support for open access, and our position of the moral rights of authors, following some concerns raised by Kevin Smith, Duke University’s Scholarly Communications Officer.  Read more
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1:30 PM | Neurosurgery journal retracts spine paper for lack of attribution
A neurosurgeon in the UK has lost his 2013 paper on spinal surgery in the British Journal of Neurosurgery for doing what appears to have been an end-run around the folks that did the work. The article, “The management of spinal dural fistulas: a 13-year retrospective analysis,” was written by Denosshan Sri, of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, […]
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12:41 PM | Yet Another Round of Edible Water Bottles
It's often said that history repeats itself (although I tend to agree with Mark Twain that it rhymes), but I wouldn't expect it to occur on a 2 year interval. Yet that is what has happened. FastCoExist.com is reporting on another attempt to make edible containers for water. Just 2 years ago, a Harvard professor came up with such an item (more on that in a minute). The new invention uses calcium alginate to create soft spheres of water that can (messily) be used and then eaten.As much as people […]
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12:30 PM | Building Relationships for Success in Science – The Ben Franklin Effect
Contributor Joanne Kamens  … Read more
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12:15 AM | Detailing diversity of life in Booderee National Park
A new book detailing the rich diversity of life in one of Australia’s greatest and most popular national parks, the Booderee National Park, has been written in a unique collaboration between ANU researchers, Parks Australia managers and the Wreck Bay [...]testThe post Detailing diversity of life in Booderee National Park appeared first on Australian Science.

March 27, 2014

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5:30 PM | Communicating with Generation Y
This post was originally published at MassBioHQ on March 25th 2014  … Read more
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3:00 PM | “Unable to dispel the doubts,” authors lose protein structure paper
A suggestion: If you’re going to use the words “overestimated accuracy” in the title of your paper, you’d better make sure you aren’t guilty of the same yourself. A group of authors in China has lost their June 2013 paper in the European Biophysics Journal because they appear to have misinterpreted their data.  The paper, […]
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1:44 PM | One Beautiful Salt Mine
I've not had the chance to get into a salt mine yet, having to be content with gold and copper/nickel mines. A colleague used to work at one and they differ quite a bit from hard rock mines or coal mines. Typically they are under lakes. While that may make you more hesitant to go into such a mine (what if the lake leaks into the mine), it actually should comfort you quite a bit. In the US, salt mines are typically over 1000 feet underground, while even 100 feet of water makes for a pretty deep […]
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1:10 PM | Late resveratrol researcher Dipak Das up to 20 retractions
Dipak Das, the former University of Connecticut researcher found to have committed more than 100 counts of misconduct, and who passed away last year, has had another retraction appear. Here’s the notice, for “Dynamic Action of Carotenoids in Cardioprotection and Maintenance of Cardiac Health,” from Molecules: We were recently alerted by an anonymous tip that […]
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12:15 AM | Skills over Degrees
Universities in Australia should prepare themselves for a fundamental change in their relationship with employers, who increasingly want students with particular skills rather than degree qualifications. Employers were moving past the 20th-century model in which students removed themselves while they [...]testThe post Skills over Degrees appeared first on Australian Science.

March 26, 2014

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6:04 PM | Scholar in Sweden appears to face inquiry for plagiarism retraction
The Nordic Journal of Migration Research has retracted a 2012 paper by a Swedish researcher who lifted text from another author. The article, “Swedish Employers and Trade Unions, Varieties of Capitalism and Labour Migration Policies,” was written by Jesper Johansson, of Linnaeus University in Växjö. It’s available as a PDF here, but not on the […]
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3:22 PM | Post publication peer-review: Everything changes, and everything stays the same
In the early days of scientific societies (i.e. the 17th century), scientists would share their experimental results with each other at meetings, and receive feedback about their experiments in... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:03 PM | Plastic Coins
The US is behind much of the world in having plastic currency. Ours is still printed on a cotton/linen blend. They only way we can pay with "plastic" in the US is by using a credit card (or charge card or debit card) and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. Speaking just for myself, I really don't care either way whether our currency is printed on plastic or not - it's just not something that I feel strongly about.A new proposal in India is now taking the idea of plastic currency […]
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3:00 PM | A matter of degree: M. Theol loses a paper
Evidently the editors of the Journal of Religion and Health were a tad distracted when they published a paper earlier this year by Australian theologian Joseph Lee and his “colleague,” M. Theol. M. Theol, of course, is a degree, not a person — as a correction notice explains: In the original publication, the author Mr. […]
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1:30 PM | Pro tip: Don’t use “facts and fiction” in your title if you plan to plagiarize
Here’s a suggestion: If you’re going to plagiarize someone else’s work, don’t draw attention to it by including “fiction” in your title. That lesson was brought home to us by a recent retraction in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics for “Infantile colic, facts and fiction:” This article has been retracted by the author due to […]
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11:12 AM | CARMEN, reproducible research and push-button papers
Researchers release a treasure trove of data on the developing retina, pushing the boundaries of neuroscience publishing by presenting it dynamically and reproducibly. A new paper in GigaScience today demonstrates a major step forward for reproducible research and public data-sharing in the neurosciences with the publication and release of a huge cache of electrophysiology data resources. Important for studying visual development, many groups have been using multielectrode array recordings to […]
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8:56 AM | Women in science: Leak in the pipeline
A new study by UNESCO outlining the involvement of women in science has some stark figures for India. The Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS) has put together an interactive infographic on women in science to highlight the global gender gap in higher education and scientific research. They aptly call it the “leaky pipeline”.  Read more
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12:15 AM | Digital tools hold promise for Australia’s bill of health spending
Robots on hospital wards, smart apps on mobile devices and home-monitoring systems will transform our health system a report released by CSIRO has revealed. The report A Digitally-enabled Health System looks at how the Australian health system can reduce costs and deliver quality care. [...]testThe post Digital tools hold promise for Australia’s bill of health spending appeared first on Australian Science.

March 25, 2014

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6:10 PM | “The Chrysalis Effect: How Ugly Initial Results Metamorphosize Into Beautiful Articles”
The headline of this post is the title of a fascinating new paper in the Journal of Management suggesting that if the road to publication is paved with good intentions, it may also be paved with bad scientific practice. Ernest Hugh O’Boyle and colleagues tracked 142 management and applied psychology PhD theses to publication, and […]
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4:26 PM | WHO doubles estimates of air pollution’s health toll
The World Health Organization has singled out air pollution as the number one environmental health risk in the world. In 2012, more than 7 million people worldwide died as result of exposure to either indoor or outdoor air pollution — one of every eight deaths — the Geneva-based organization warns in a report released today.  Read more
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2:41 PM | March Madness? Harvard profs take shots at controversial studies, request retractions
In the wake of Harvard’s gritty performance in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament — they were eliminated Saturday — a pair of faculty members at the Ivy League institution are calling foul on two controversial journal articles that have already been corrected. Walter Willett, an oft-quoted Harvard nutrition expert, is calling for the retraction of […]
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2:03 PM | More Exaggerations about Ocean Trash
Plastic waste has no place being in the ocean. Environmentalists are upset about the problem of that trash, but they have a problem of their own: the trash, and in particular the famed "Gyres" aren't readily visible to the human eye (or even satellites, but more about that in a minute).A photo such as this one on the right, taken by Scripps Institute researchers, shows what plastic in a gyre looks like. There aren't large items in the gyres, just mostly tiny specks of plastic and that's just […]
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1:30 PM | Psychiatric Times reinstates retracted essay on “satanic ritual abuse”
Last month, we brought readers the story of a retraction in December from Psychiatric Times, of an essay by Richard Noll that included this passage: Despite the discomfort it brings, we owe it to the current generation of clinicians to remember that an elite minority within the American psychiatric profession played a small but ultimately […]
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11:04 AM | Chemistry cover up
Occasionally our cover art ends up in nice frames and adorns office or corridor walls at various universities. The Leigh group at the University of Manchester took a different approach, however. Take a look at the curtains for their safety showers!  Read more
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12:58 AM | The Problem with Greece
Greece’s economic crisis that started at the end of 2009 – which has increased unemployment from 10% (2009) to 27.5% (last quarter of 2013), and decreased GDP in millions of euros from 231.081 (2009) to 182.054 (2013) – has had a moderate negative impact on the country’s R&D and its ability to innovate, compared to other sectors. Spending on research and innovation is stuck at around 0.5%. Given that most research money in Greece comes from the public purse, the […]
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12:09 AM | International Conference on Digital Discrimination and Social Networks Online
Recently, I had a chance to attend and participate at the ICUD International Conference: Digital Discrimination and Social Networks that took place takes on March 13 and 14, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The ICUD Project aims to Creatively Unveil hidden [...]testThe post International Conference on Digital Discrimination and Social Networks Online appeared first on Australian Science.

March 24, 2014

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7:46 PM | WMO: “No standstill in global warming”
The past year was the six-warmest year on record since temperature records began in 1850. Global average surface temperature in 2013 was 14.5 °C – 0.50 °C above the 1961–1990 average and 0.03 °C above the 2001–2010 average – the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports in its latest statement of the status of the global climate, released today.  Read more
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