Posts

October 25, 2014

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12:15 AM | Physicists build reversible tractor beam
Laser physicists have built a tractor beam that can repel and attract objects, using a hollow laser beam that is bright around the edges and dark in its centre. It is the first long-distance optical tractor beam and moved particles […]test The post Physicists build reversible tractor beam appeared first on Australian Science.

October 24, 2014

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3:30 PM | Heart paper will go on, but only in the first of two journals it was published in
A cardiovascular group has retracted a conference proceeding abstract, because it too closely resembled a paper they published prior to the conference. The last author is baffled as to why the journal couldn’t have made that call before they published the abstract. Here’s the notice for “Increased beta-adrenergic inotropy in ventricular myocardium from Trpm4 knockout […]
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1:30 PM | Failure to disclose drug company sponsor among litany of reasons for cancer retraction
This one’s a real mess. In June, a paper in Tumor Biology was retracted for at least four reasons, including bad data and hiding a trial sponsor (Merck). Some people who contributed work weren’t cited; at least one author had no idea his name would be on it. And that’s just what they tell us in the notice. Here’s the […]
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3:00 AM | The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and the Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix
By Kersten T Hall Synopsis: Sir Isaac Newton once declared that his momentous discoveries were only made thanks to having ‘stood on the shoulders of giants’. The same might also be said of the scientists James […]
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12:15 AM | CSIRO produces 3D heel in world first surgery
CSIRO, St Vincent’s Hospital and Victorian biotech company Anatomics have joined together to carry out world-first surgery to implant a titanium-printed heel bone into a Melbourne man. Printed using CSIRO’s state-of-the-art Arcam 3D printer, the heel bone was implanted into […]test The post CSIRO produces 3D heel in world first surgery appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Amanda Gefter
Special thanks to Amanda Gefter for answering 6 questions about her recently featured book – Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything I am a writer […]

October 23, 2014

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11:00 PM | #flashbackfriday: The Big Snow
#flashbackfriday this week was featured on October 27, 2013. The Big Snow is a classic kid’s book that won the Caldecott Medal of Illustration in 1949. Written by Berta and Elmer Hader, it was one of […]
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2:30 PM | Authors retract PNAS paper questioned on PubPeer after original films can’t be found
PubPeer leads the way again: The authors of a paper about Parkinson’s disease in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) have retracted it, several months after a commenter highlighted the exact issue that led to the article’s demise. The paper, originally published in September 2013, was called into question by a commenter on […]
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1:57 PM | Who put the "plastic" in plastic surgery?
"Plastic Surgery" is the hot topic of the day (especially as it relates to Renee Zellweger) and so the question arises as to what plastic is used in plastic surgery. The word "plastic" is an old word that is used in many diverse settings. In materials science, there is plastic deformation. You also have the macromolecules that are the subject of most of the posts on this blog and you have the surgery. It may be surprising, but these uses are all based on the same meaning that the word "plastic" […]
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12:24 PM | Dr. Oz: Following green coffee bean diet retraction, site scrubbed, “further study is needed”
On Monday, we were first to report that a study of green coffee bean extract for weight loss touted on the Dr. Oz Show had been retracted. That story has been widely picked up by the media, including The Washington Post, which yesterday reported that the show had posted a statement about the development: In […]
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3:10 AM | Margie Beilharz Reviews At the edge of uncertainty: 11 discoveries taking science by surprise
Review by Margie Beilharz At the edge of uncertainty: 11 discoveries taking science by surprise By Michael Brooks Author’s Homepage: http://www.michaelbrooks.org Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrMichaelBrooks Just as explorers today can’t expect to find new continents, much of modern […]
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3:00 AM | At the Edge of Uncertainty: 11 Discoveries Taking Science by Surprise
By Michael Brooks Synopsis: The atom. The Big Bang. DNA. Natural selection. All ideas that have revolutionised science – and that were dismissed out of hand when they first appeared. The surprises haven’t stopped: here, Michael […]
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12:15 AM | Lynda Barry, Cartoonist Turned Professor, Gives Her Old Fashioned Take on the Future of Education
With college tuitions ballooning to the point of implosion, and free educational content proliferating online, the future of education is a scorching hot topic. So where are we heading? Coursera and Khan Academy? Video game-based curricula? Experience-driven microlearning? Or school […]test The post Lynda Barry, Cartoonist Turned Professor, Gives Her Old Fashioned Take on the Future of Education appeared first on Australian Science.

October 22, 2014

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3:30 PM | Doing the right thing: Authors retract PNAS paper when new experiments show “conclusion was incorrect”
Researchers in Sweden and Australia have retracted a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) after follow-up experiments disproved their conclusions. Here’s the notice for “Dominant suppression of inflammation by glycan-hydrolyzed IgG,” which is signed by all nine of the paper’s authors: The authors wish to note the following: “Using studies […]
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1:30 PM | “Editors are pleased to receive death threats on the third Thursday of the month:” A new journal launches
There’s a new journal in town. Inference’s first issue includes a lengthy review of a laboratory by a tennis instructor, a set of caricatures, and an exchange of emails from 1996 that is “perhaps, less remarkable for what it says than for the fact that it took place at all.” In short, its editors — […]
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1:07 PM | Dow Chemical's Earnings Keep Improving
Dow Chemical has announced their 3rd quarter earnings and as passed along by the Urethane Blog, they are up nicely."EBITDA(3) grew to $2.3 billion, up 24 percent versus the prior year, driven by ongoing productivity actions and improved market fundamentals. Performance Plastics achieved record quarterly adjusted EBITDA results (up 31 percent versus the year-ago period). Performance Materials EBITDA grew 61 percent with increases in most businesses, notably in Polyurethanes and PO/PG. Electronic […]
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3:00 AM | The Control of Nature
By John McPhee Synopsis: While John McPhee was working on his previous book, Rising from the Plains, he happened to walk by the engineering building at the University of Wyoming, where words etched in limestone said: “Strive […]
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12:15 AM | Australian volcanic mystery explained
Scientists have solved a long-standing mystery surrounding Australia’s only active volcanic area, in the country’s southeast. The research explains a volcanic region that has seen more than 400 volcanic events in the past four million years. The 500 kilometre long […]test The post Australian volcanic mystery explained appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Phyllis Root
Special thanks to Phyllis Root for answering 5 questions about her recently featured book – Kiss the Cow! I was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Valentine’s Day, 1949, and grew up among green grass, […]

October 21, 2014

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3:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: More stem cell questions; “is the hassle of a correction really needed?”
Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: The authors of an ACS Nano paper that earned an In the Pipeline headline of “Electromagnetic Production of Stem Cells? Really?” respond to criticism. “If it’s an innocent mistake that truly does not impact any of the findings of the study, is the hassle of a correction really needed?” […]
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1:30 PM | Article using tin foil, cling wrap to debunk ocean warming retracted after urgent peer review
A conference proceedings paper that attempted to debunk ocean warming due to climate change using tin foil and cling wrap has been retracted by the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) Press. The paper, “A Comparison Of The Efficacy Of Greenhouse Gas Forcing And Solar Forcing,” was published as part of the proceedings of a July 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 […]
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