Posts

April 18, 2015

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2:46 PM | Weekend reads: Aussie scientists bend rules; how to fix peer review once and for all; crazy structure alert
The week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction of 11 papers by a controversial researcher in Italy, and a look at the controversy over lead in the water supply. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: “How Australian scientists are bending the rules to get research funding.” “[S]ome current attempts to upgrade or otherwise modify the peer-review […]The post Weekend reads: Aussie scientists bend rules; how to fix peer review once and for all; crazy structure […]
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4:00 AM | The Dark Between the Stars (Saga of Shadows)
by Kevin J. Anderson Synopsis: Twenty years after the elemental conflict that nearly tore apart the cosmos in The Saga of Seven Suns, a new threat emerges from the darkness. The human race must set aside […]

April 17, 2015

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7:10 PM | Revisión por pares: mala con ella, peor sin ella
La revisión por pares se considera como uno de los pilares – si no el más importante – de la comunicación científica. A pesar de las dificultades de pasar por el proceso de revisión, los autores son de la opinión de que el proceso mejora la calidad del manuscrito, y desean publicar en revistas arbitradas y que tengan un mecanismo sólido de evaluación. Casos recientes de manipulación del proceso a través de […]

Kennedy D. (2004). Intelligence Science: Reverse Peer Review?, Science, 303 (5666) 1945-1945. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.303.5666.1945

Nicholas D., Hamid R. Jamali, Eti Herman, Carol Tenopir, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard & Kenneth Levine (2015). Peer review: still king in the digital age, Learned Publishing, 28 (1) 15-21. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1087/20150104

Citation
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7:09 PM | Peer review: bad with it, worse without it
Peer review is seen as one of the pillars - if not the most important - of scientific communication. Despite the difficulties in going through the review process, the authors believe that the process improves the quality of the manuscript, and they want to be published on refereed journals that have a sound evaluation mechanism. Recent cases of attempted manipulation of the peer review process by fake reviews concern the international scientific community, however, it does not undermine its […]

Kennedy D. (2004). Intelligence Science: Reverse Peer Review?, Science, 303 (5666) 1945-1945. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.303.5666.1945

Nicholas D., Hamid R. Jamali, Eti Herman, Carol Tenopir, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard & Kenneth Levine (2015). Peer review: still king in the digital age, Learned Publishing, 28 (1) 15-21. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1087/20150104

Citation
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7:09 PM | Avaliação por pares: ruim com ela, pior sem ela
A avaliação por pares é tida como um dos pilares – senão o mais importante – da comunicação científica. Apesar das dificuldades em passar pelo processo de revisão, os autores são da opinião de que o processo melhora a qualidade do manuscrito e desejam publicar em periódicos arbitrados e que possuam um sólido mecanismo de avaliação. Casos recentes de manipulação do processo […]

Nicholas D., Hamid R. Jamali, Eti Herman, Carol Tenopir, Rachel Volentine, Suzie Allard & Kenneth Levine (2015). Peer review: still king in the digital age, Learned Publishing, 28 (1) 15-21. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1087/20150104

Kennedy D. (2004). Intelligence Science: Reverse Peer Review?, Science, 303 (5666) 1945-1945. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.303.5666.1945

Citation
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3:30 PM | Cancer team loses two papers for image manipulation
A team spread across multiple institutions in China and McGill University in Canada has retracted two cancer papers over “inaccurate and inappropriately processed Western Blots.” Some of the figures were also reused between the two articles, both in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta General Subjects. The articles both tested the cancer-fighting properties of a derivative of […]The post Cancer team loses two papers for image manipulation appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:44 PM | Don't be a Rheology Fool
'Nuff said.Previous YearsApril 17, 2013 - Polymers from Elemental SulfurApril 17, 2012 - Some Novel Polymer Chemistry ReactionsApril 17, 2007 - Rapid announcements across a campus - the Tragedy at VTU
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1:30 PM | Citation manipulation the last straw for modified rice straw paper
The Journal of Nanomaterials has retracted a paper on modified rice straw over citation manipulation. Rice straw, which makes up nearly half of the biomass in rice plants, is generally considered agricultural waste. However, in recent years scientists have discovered ways to modify the raw material to make it capable of absorbing heavy metal ions, making it […]The post Citation manipulation the last straw for modified rice straw paper appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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4:00 AM | Animal Architecture
By Ingo Arndt (Photographer) and Jurgen Tautz (Author) Synopsis: Every day, all over the world, animals and insects set about the purposeful tasks of designing their homes, catching their prey, and attracting their mates. In the process […]
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1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Dennis Meredith
Special thanks to Dennis Meredith for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – Solomon’s Freedom Dennis Meredith’s career as a science communicator has included service at some of the country’s leading research universities, including […]
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12:00 AM | #flashbackfriday: The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind
#flashbackfriday this week was featured on April 24, 2014. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. The inspiring story of a young boy who saw a way to provide electricity for […]

April 16, 2015

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7:26 PM | Controversial Italian scientist loses 11 papers from journal he used to edit
Alberto Carpinteri is something of a Renaissance man. Along with championing a highly controversial form of energy generation called “piezonuclear fission,” which involves crushing rocks, the engineer has argued that the Shroud of Turin really is as old as Jesus, but carbon dating was thrown off by an earthquake. Not everyone agrees with his ideas: In […]The post Controversial Italian scientist loses 11 papers from journal he used to edit appeared first on Retraction […]
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3:30 PM | Teflon toxicity paper fails to stick
An advanced online paper on prenatal toxicity of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), an industrial chemical used to make waterproof coatings and Teflon, is being retracted due to “some minor errors.” High blood levels of PFOA have been tied to kidney disease in humans, as well as several cancers in animal models. The majority of the U.S. […]The post Teflon toxicity paper fails to stick appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:47 PM | Nature retracts epigenetics paper by author who lost two Science papers last year
Frank Sauer, formerly of the University of California, Riverside, has had a 2002 letter on epigenetics retracted from Nature due to “inappropriate image manipulation.” Sauer had two papers retracted from Science last year following a university investigation. Here’s the Nature notice for “Histone methylation by the Drosophila epigenetic transcriptional regulator Ash1:” The authors and the […]The post Nature retracts epigenetics paper by author who lost two […]
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4:00 AM | The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics
By Roger Penrose Synopsis: For decades, proponents of artificial intelligence have argued that computers will soon be doing everything that a human mind can do. Admittedly, computers now play chess at the grandmaster level, but do […]
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1:00 AM | Julia Cleghorn Reviews Solomon’s Freedom
Review by Julia Cleghorn Solomon’s Freedom By Dennis Meredith From cover to cover, this novel races from one drama-filled moment to another. With the likes of private investigators, money-hungry lawyers and a dangerously eccentric multi-billionaire, there […]

April 15, 2015

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3:59 PM | So just how many polymer chemists are there?
While polymers have touched just about all aspects of our lives, you might be tempted to think that most chemists work with them. While it is true that all working chemists do to some degree, i.e., they wear plastic safety glasses and rubber gloves, I want to probe the subject just a little more deeply and ask: what percentage of chemists work in the development and/or manufacturing of polymers?This is surprisingly difficult to answer. My own personal perspective sans data is that very few do. […]
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3:30 PM | Gynecologic cancer researcher earns eighth retraction
Noriyuki Takai, a gynecologic cancer researcher in Japan, has notched one more retraction — bringing the total to eight — due to figures that were “processed inappropriately” and did “not accurately report the original data.” According to the notice, Takai alone put the figures together in the 2006 Oncology paper, which tested a histone deacetylase […]The post Gynecologic cancer researcher earns eighth retraction appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Expression of concern opens floodgates of controversy over lead in water supply
An expression of concern has been published on a paper that taps into a decades-long fight over how to remove lead from the water supply. The paper in question, published in the Journal American Water Works Association, supports the safety of a common but frequently criticized way of incrementally removing lead pipes. The expression of concern came after years of […]The post Expression of concern opens floodgates of controversy over lead in water supply appeared […]
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4:00 AM | Solomon’s Freedom
By Dennis Meredith Synopsis: Can they take his heart if he has a soul? Solomon is an extraordinary chimpanzee, taught by primatologist Abigail Philips to understand and use language. But her research center is under a […]
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1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Jennifer O’Connell
Special thanks to Jennifer O’Connell for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – The Eye of the Whale: A Rescue Story Jennifer O’Connell grew up in Darien, Connecticut and received her BFA degree in illustration from […]

April 14, 2015

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5:21 PM | “Super-surgeon” Macchiarini not guilty of misconduct, per one Karolinska investigation
Surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who is under investigation for allegedly downplaying dangers of an experimental surgery, has been cleared of some misconduct allegations by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Macchiarini, a thoracic surgeon, has made headlines for repairing damaged airways using tracheas from cadavers and even synthetic tracheas, both treated with the patients’ own stem cells to […]The post “Super-surgeon” Macchiarini not guilty of misconduct, per […]
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3:49 PM | Will recent articles countering the Food Babe do any good?
Taking a whack at the "The Food Babe" has been very popular the last few weeks. There is one by the ScienceBabe, another one by Science Based Medicine and a third by Violent Metaphors. There are plenty more as well. (Heck, I even a satirized her myself a few weeks ago.) While I applaud the efforts of those people to spend a lot of time in providing factual rebuttals to the Food Babe's errors, I really question whether it will do any good at all.It all comes down to the concept of […]
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3:30 PM | Molecular mixup burns chemistry paper
Chemists at Lanzhou University in China did the right thing last month, retracting a paper in Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis because of issues with a reactant that could only be corrected by changing “all the text and quantities.” When the scientists were adding what was labeled Reactant 1 to the mix, they believed it was […]The post Molecular mixup burns chemistry paper appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Bigfoot paper corrected because it doesn’t exist — the author’s institution, that is
A paper on the genetics of mythical creatures — yeti and bigfoot — is being corrected after the journal discovered the first author, Bryan Sykes, listed a mythical institution. The Proceedings of the Royal Society B paper, “Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates,” examined 30 samples from “museum […]The post Bigfoot paper corrected because it doesn’t exist — the author’s institution, that […]
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4:00 AM | The Green Glass Sea
By Ellen Klages Synopsis: It’s 1943, and eleven-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is en route to New Mexico to live with her mathematician father. Soon she arrives at a town that, officially, doesn’t exist. It is called Los […]
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1:00 AM | 10 Great Books on Scienctific Illustration
I would like to thank Tessa Koumoundouros who put together this great list of books on Scientific Illustration for us. Check out the titles and I aim to feature the books over the coming weeks. […]
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12:00 AM | 2015 Arthur C Clarke Award Nominees Announced
The 2015 Arthur C Clarke Award Nominees have been recently announced! Some great sci-fi books are on the list with the winner announced on May 6th, 2015. Award’s Homepage: http://www.clarkeaward.com The Girl With All The Gifts by […]
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12:00 AM | Food Traceability Market by Technology (RFID, GPS, Barcode, Infrared, Biometric), End User (Manufacturer, Warehouse, Retailer, Government), Application (Fresh food Produce, Meat & Poultry, Seafood, Dairy, Beverage) & Region - Global Trend & Forecast to 2019..., Market Research Report: MarketsandMarkets
Traceability enables to track the movement of a food product through the various stages of production, processing, and distribution. It helps to identify the sources, recipients, and transporters of the food products. The market for food traceability is projected to reach 14 billion by 2019, with advancements in technology and rising opportunities in emerging markets such as India, China, and Brazil. In 2013, the North American market was the largest for food traceability. The market in […]
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12:00 AM | Chromatography Resins Market in Drug Discovery by Technique (Ion Exchange, Affinity (Protein A, G & L), Hydrophobic Interaction, Size Exclusion, Multi Modal and Others) & Geography - Global Market Trends & Forecasts to 2019..., Market Research Report: MarketsandMarkets
Chromatography resins are used as stationary matrices in the chromatography column. The different techniques of chromatography are ion exchange, affinity, hydrophobic interaction, size exclusion, multi-modal, and others. The global chromatography resins market in drug discovery is estimated at $283.07 Million in 2014 to $359.88 Million by 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% from 2015 to 2020. North America dominates the market in terms of value. The large number of biopharmaceutical […]
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