Posts

August 27, 2014

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6:53 PM | Journal takes down autism-vaccine paper pending investigation
An article purporting to find that black children are at substantially increased risk for autism after early exposure to the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine has been shelved. Although we don’t know if the events are related, the move comes amid claims that a CDC whistleblower has accused health officials of suppressing information about the link. Not surprisingly, […]
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3:30 PM | This retraction has teeth: Journal changes publication policy after discovering misconduct
The Indian Society of Periodontology has changed their editorial policy as the result of an author who had “neither taken adequate permission from nor given due acknowledgement to all authors concerned.” Now, any authors will be required to sign a contract acknowledging accountability for the content of the submitted paper, as well as be able […]
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2:11 PM | A Response to the NY Times: "Choking the Oceans with Plastic"
The New York Times had an editorial on Monday by Captain Charles S. Moore, a long-time, outspoken advocate for raising awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean gyres. The editorial tells of the plastic pollution that he observed during his latest trip in the Pacific. While I do not doubt the veracity of his anecdotes, Moore uses a small subset of his observations to portray a wholly inaccurate image of what the pollution is like in the gyres in the Pacific and other oceans.Throughout the […]
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1:30 PM | Language of a liar named Stapel: Can word choice be used to identify scientific fraud?
A pair of Cornell researchers have analyzed the works of fraudster Diederik Stapel and found linguistic tics that stand out in his fabricated articles. David Markowitz and Jeffrey Hancock looked at 49 of the Dutch social psychologist’s papers — 24 of which included falsified data. (Stapel has lost 54 papers so far.) According to the […]
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4:00 AM | Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries
By Sharon Bertsch McGrayne Synopsis: Since 1901 there have been over three hundred recipients of the Nobel Prize in the sciences. Only ten of them — about 3 percent — have been women. Why? In this updated […]
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1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Steve Jenkins
Special thanks to Steve Jenkins for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest–and Most Surprising–Animals on Earth My interest in science led […]
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12:15 AM | Water and sunlight the formula for sustainable fuel
An ANU team has successfully replicated one of the crucial steps in photosynthesis, opening the way for biological systems powered by sunlight which could manufacture hydrogen as a fuel. “Water is abundant and so is sunlight. It is an exciting […]test The post Water and sunlight the formula for sustainable fuel appeared first on Australian Science.

August 26, 2014

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3:30 PM | “Our jaws hit the floor!!” Researchers say authors doctored images for rebuttal letter
Try to follow along on this one. We think it’s worth it. The authors of a letter replying to a comment in a urology journal have retracted their response because it contained inappropriate figures. At least, that’s the official story. The original paper, “Effect of a Risk-stratified Grade of Nerve-sparing Technique on Early Return of […]
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3:18 PM | The Ebola outbreak would be so much worse without plastics
There are a lot of dangerous jobs in the Ebola hot zone right now, but the possible worse job would be that of handling the bodies of those that have just died. Despite the general recommendation to avoid touching people with the disease, these bodies do need to be handled in order to dispose of them without furthering the spread of the disease. And the only safe way to do that is by using plastics and polymeric materials to encase the corpse and protect the workers. A recent Buzzfeed article […]
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1:30 PM | Incomplete reference helps editor find duplicate paper — and retract article
Pro-tip: If you’re going to try to publish your work twice, don’t give editors a reason to go searching the internet for your previous work. Here’s case in point, a retraction notice from the Botswana Journal of Agriculture & Applied Sciences: Below is the letter written to the author(s) of the article “Mabe, R. Capacity […]
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4:00 AM | The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Isaac Newton’s Manuscripts
By Sarah Dry Synopsis: When Isaac Newton died in 1727 without a will, he left behind a wealth of papers that, when examined, gave his followers and his family a deep sense of unease. Some of […]
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1:41 AM | A Hangout with Google Science Fair in Swaziland
You know what’s awesome? Seeing a bunch of young people at work on changing the world to make it a better place for all. Today, I hosted a Google Science Fair Hangout On Air on Sustainability... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:15 AM | How Rockets Really Work
The chemistry of ridable explosions. In recounting the riveting experience of what it’s like to launch on a Space Shuttle, pioneering astronaut Sally Ride vividly recalled how “the shuttle leaps off the launch pad in a cloud of steam and […]test The post How Rockets Really Work appeared first on Australian Science.

August 25, 2014

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6:21 PM | “I am not a monster and I am not unreasonable:” Student attacks professor with axe after grant is cut
A physics graduate student at the University of Coimbra in Portugal attacked a professor with an axe earlier this month after losing a grant. The student, Colin Paul Gloster, attacked physics lecturer Maria Filomena Santos, who according to the Irish Mirror will “require reconstructive surgery as the axe cut very close to the tendons.” Speaking of […]
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3:30 PM | Wasted breath: Cribbing earns retraction of anesthesia paper
The authors of a paper on anesthetic waste gases in the operating room have pulled the article for plagiarism. The paper, titled “Further Pieces of Evidence to the Pulmonary Origin of Sevoflurane Escaping to the Operating Room During General Anaesthesia,” appeared in Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics and came from a group at various institutions in […]
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1:30 PM | New method sinks newish paper…or does it?
The timing on a recent retraction of a paper from Biotechnology and Bioengineering makes it a bit difficult to figure out what happened, but here’s a try. An article first published online May 16th by a group of researchers at Brown University was retracted on June 1st, apparently because a new and better method for […]
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4:00 AM | So It’s Cancer: Now What?
By Ranjana Srivastava Synopsis: ‘You have cancer.’ These three small words have the power to dramatically change your existence.  They can set in motion events that leave you – the patient – feeling out of control of […]
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1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews James Kaufman, Oshin Vartanian, and Adam Bristol
Special thanks to Oshin Vartanian, Adam S Bristol and James C Kaufman for answering 5 questions about their recently featured book – Neuroscience and Creativity Oshin Vartanian is Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University […]
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12:15 AM | Neanderthals and Modern Humans coexisted
Neanderthal groups lived alongside modern humans for several thousand years, an international team of scientists has found, overturning previous theories about the extinction of Neanderthals. The team applied a new radiocarbon dating method which revealed that Neanderthals across Europe did […]test The post Neanderthals and Modern Humans coexisted appeared first on Australian Science.

August 24, 2014

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4:00 AM | Feeding the Ten Billion, Plants and Population Growth
By L T Evans Synopsis: At the current rate of increase, the world’s population is likely to reach ten billion by the middle of the twenty-first century. What will be the challenges posed by feeding this […]
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12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
It seems we are around one more Sunday in this month. We left behind us one more fascinating and promising week and now, with the full confidence, we would like to recapitulate what have happened during the last 7 days. […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

August 23, 2014

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3:05 PM | A Hangout IN Air–Off a Cliff Face–for Science
When I last did a Google Science Fair Hangout On Air with Jason Osborne and Aaron Alford, founders of Paleo Quest, they were diving in a swamp looking for fossils. Yesterday, they took their fossil... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:30 PM | Weekend reads: Peer review abuse, a journal that will print anything for $1,200, PubPeer faces legal threats
Another busy week at Retraction Watch. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: “This is an outrageous abuse of the peer review process,” says Peter Brown of the publication of a paper in PNAS claiming that the “hobbit man” was actually a modern human with Down’s syndrome. A respected cardiology journal has changed owners, and now “they’ll […]
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4:00 AM | Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live
By Marlene Zuk Synopsis: An exposé of pseudoscientific myths about our evolutionary past and how we should live today. We evolved to eat berries rather than bagels, to live in mud huts rather than condos, to […]
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12:15 AM | Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalised medicine
Medical researchers have used DNA sequencing to identify a gene variant responsible for causing lupus in a young patient. The development shows that for the first time, it is feasible for researchers to identify the individual causes of lupus in […]test The post Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalised medicine appeared first on Australian Science.

August 22, 2014

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3:10 PM | Journal that “suffered” from plagiarism purges itself
When Pharmacy Practice found out it had been victimized by plagiarists, it apparently took the news personally — and to heart. In an elaborate statement with more than a dozen references — but not one to the plagiarizing work — the journal lashed out against the behavior of word thieves, and described the discovery as […]
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1:30 PM | Diabetes researchers retract, correct and republish study on mortality rates
A diabetes paper that received quite a bit of media attention when it was published in June 2013 was retracted and reissued to fix data errors shortly after publication. The paper, which showed a steep decline in mortality rates for diabetics in Ontario, Canada, and the UK between 1996 and 2009, was republished in December 2013, […]
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8:38 AM | Ain’t No Party like a Bring Your Own Data Party!
Data Club is Gonna Show You HowAs science is supposed to be about “standing on the shoulders of giants”, we all know sharing scientific data should be a good thing, but there are obviously large technical and cultural challenges holding things back. Things are a long way from the Jimmy Wales “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge” utopian dream, but some research fields (e.g. genomics) have done […]
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4:00 AM | A Rough Ride To The Future
By James Lovelock Synopsis: James Lovelock, who has been hailed as ‘the man who conceived the first wholly new way of looking at life on earth since Charles Darwin’ (Independent) and ‘the most profound scientific thinker […]
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