April 15, 2014

12:01 AM | A Secret Code to the Cosmos is Hidden in the Light
Are you watching the new Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – the scientific documentary television series? I am, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it! The series is a follow-up to the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was presented by [...]testThe post A Secret Code to the Cosmos is Hidden in the Light appeared first on Australian Science.

April 14, 2014

3:30 PM | Anonymous blog comment suggests lack of confidentiality in peer review — and plays role in a new paper
A new paper in Intelligence is offering some, well, intel into the peer review process at one prestigious neuroscience journal. The new paper is about another paper, a December 2012 study, “Fractionating Human Intelligence,” published in Neuron by Adam Hampshire and colleagues in December 2012. The Neuron study has been cited 16 times, according to Thomson […]
2:03 PM | Ketchup Rheology Video
I've discussed ketchup rheology a couple of times in the past (1, 2), but a new TedEd video really does a great job of visually showing the rheology and also getting into some of the details.Early in the project I had a few emails back and forth with George Zaidan, one of the creators. He's has a great talent for writing scripts, so much so that I have forever sworn off even attempting to ever write one. You can read his writing and easily imagine the finished product - that's quite a skill. […]
1:30 PM | Nature corrects a correction
Last year, we reported on a Nature correction of a paper for what a McGill University committee had earlier called “intentionally contrived and falsified” figures. It turns out that the correction — like the original paper — left some Nature readers puzzled, so the journal has run a correction of the correction: Owing to an […]
11:30 AM | Trouble in Haven: Resolving conflicts in academia
Sharing a laboratory with others is typically rewarding – peers in close quarters become a sounding post for new ideas and a support network for the highs and lows of research life. But you don’t choose your desk mates and things can go wrong. Regular Naturejobs contributor Shimi Rii recently experienced how small disagreements can escalate quickly. Finding the right way to deal with conflict is not easy but necessary in order to ensure a harmonious work environment.  Read more
12:15 AM | Years of Living Dangerously – the New Series on Climate Change
Ever since Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth came out to critical accolades, Conservative scorn and a handful of Oscars, there has been no shortage of well meaning documentaries about the perils of climate change. Most feature a Hollywood celebrity or [...]testThe post Years of Living Dangerously – the New Series on Climate Change appeared first on Australian Science.

April 13, 2014

3:42 PM | IPCC report calls for climate mitigation action now, not later
The world is heading towards possibly dangerous levels of global warming despite increasing efforts to promote the transition to a low-carbon economy, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns in its latest report today.  Read more
6:46 AM | Weekly Science Picks
Well, it’s Sunday again. It’s our time to recapitulate all the scientific contributions, ideas, events and discoveries that have occurred in this week. To be honest, the job was quite challenging, since the science and technology market is highly competitive [...]testThe post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

April 12, 2014

2:59 PM | Weekend reads: Problems with a Science paper, how to cite properly (and improperly)
Another super-busy week at Retraction Watch. Here’s what was happening in around the web in scientific publishing, misconduct, and related issues: Derek Lowe takes a look at a paper in Science, and finds an awful lot of problems. Science says it’s looking into the study. A guide to proper citation — and how to respond […]
12:15 AM | The Science behind Architecture
Architecture, in various forms, dates back to early man. But it wasn’t until the late Renaissance period that modern architecture that we know today came about; when engineers, artists and architects separated and formal architecture training began in the 19th [...]testThe post The Science behind Architecture appeared first on Australian Science.

April 11, 2014

5:25 PM | “[W]e did not succeed:” Frontiers editor on handling of controversial retraction
Controversy continues to swirl around the retraction of a Frontiers paper linking climate skepticism to conspiratorial ideation, with three editors resigning from various Frontiers journals, and competing narratives. The authors say the journal retracted the paper because of a fear of legal threats, while the journal, and critics of the study, has said it was […]
3:46 PM | Shorter list for gamma-ray telescope sites, but no home yet
Where will host the world’s next generation ground-based γ-ray detector, the Cherenkov Telescope Array? The answer is, still no one knows. But a panel of funders have narrowed the field following a meeting in Munich, Germany, this week.  Read more
2:57 PM | Fraud fells Alzheimer’s “made to order” neurons paper in Cell
In 2011, a group of researchers at Columbia University reported in Cell that they had been able to convert skin cells from patients with Alzheimer’s disease into functioning neurons — a finding that raised the exciting prospect of “made to order” brain cells for patients with the degenerative disease. As one researcher not involved with […]
1:19 PM | World Wildlife Fund’s Dr Brendan Fisher on improving fish diversity and conservation agriculture in Mozambique
Dr. Brendan Fisher is a research scientist at the World Wildlife Fund. His research and fieldwork lie at the nexus of conservation, development, and natural resource economics. Brendan is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles on topics such as poverty, human welfare, ecosystem services and biological conservation, and the co-author of two books, Valuing Ecosystem Services (Earthscan, London, 2008) and A Field Guide to Economics for Conservationists (Forthcoming, Roberts and […]
12:23 PM | Away from home: Collaboration in a global organisation
The ‘Away from home‘ blogging series features Indian postdocs working in foreign labs recounting their experience of working there, the triumphs and challenges, the cultural differences and what they miss about India. They also offer useful tips for their Indian postdocs headed abroad. You can join in the online conversation using the #postdochat hashtag.  Read more
10:44 AM | Harvard-Brigham heart researcher under investigation earns Lancet Expression of Concern
On Tuesday, we broke the news of the retraction in Circulation of a paper on cardiac stem cells by a group of researchers being investigated by Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Today, The Lancet has issued an Expression of Concern about another paper led by Piero Anversa, the last author of […]
10:06 AM | Under the covers (Nature revealed) – 10 April 2014
In the latest Under the covers (Nature revealed) blog, Nature’s Art Director Kelly Krause discusses the inspiration behind this week’s front cover choice on brain-wide axonal projection patterns.  Read more
12:15 AM | Market Research: Science vs. Art
Market research – it’s the essential step that every business needs to take to maximise their chance of success. It’s a hugely complex study area, and market research companies are constantly trying to find new ways to get the best [...]testThe post Market Research: Science vs. Art appeared first on Australian Science.

April 10, 2014

9:47 PM | Former NIH stem-cell chief joins New York foundation
Stem-cell biologist Mahendra Rao, who resigned last week as director of the US National Institutes of Health’s Center for Regenerative Medicine (CRM), has a new job. On April 9, he was appointed vice-president for regenerative medicine at the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF), a non-profit organization that funds embryonic stem cell research.  Read more
5:52 PM | Following “personal attacks and threats,” Elsevier plant journal makes author persona non grata
An Elsevier journal has taken “the exceptional step of ceasing to communicate” with a scientist-critic after a series of “unfounded personal attacks and threats.” The move means that the journal, Scientia Horticulturae, will not review any papers that include the critic, Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, as an author. Here is the text of the letter […]
2:00 PM | As gene therapy technologies blossom, ddRNAi tries to take root
Before there was Twitter, there was Facebook, and before that, Friendster. And who can forget MySpace? There’s a similar trend of successive usurping technologies in the fast-moving quest to develop therapeutics capable of modifying the genome. Since the late nineties, we’ve witnessed the rise of several gene-silencing approaches, from “antisense” oligonucleotides and RNA interference (RNAi) to the latest targeted genome-editing techniques, such as those based on zinc […]
1:30 PM | Lack of citation prompts correction in Nature journal
It’s not unusual to hear authors bemoan the fact that a new paper doesn’t cite their work that set the stage for a scientific advance. “The journal limited me to [a seemingly abitrary number of] references,” authors sometimes shrug, with or without apology. This week, however, we found a case of that which seems to […]
1:15 PM | Entrepreneurship with Steve Blank
In this month’s Windback Wednesday series, we’re exploring entrepreneurship: how to brush up on your business skills, where to get venture capital funding and more. In this podcast, I speak to Steve Blank, an associate professor at Stanford University engineering school, a lecturer at UC Berkeley Haas Business School, Columbia Business School and the University of California in San Fransisco (UCSF). On top of all of that, he is also a thought leader of […]
12:44 PM | Tell Me What You Really Feel
Brutal honesty makes for shocking conversation, and even more so when it comes from a politician (after all, they are permanently running for re-election). Diane Savino, a state senator from New York recently let loose on a proposal in New York City to charge 10 cents for plastic bags at the checkout, with people on public assistance being exempt from the charge. And she did it on Facebook for all the world to see."i have already called my councilman and told him to vote NO. it is not the 10 […]
11:16 AM | Retraction four appears for Dirk Smeesters
Dirk Smeesters, the former psychology professor at Erasmus University found to have committed misconduct, has had another paper retracted. Here’s the notice: The following article has been retracted by the Editor and publishers of Psychological Science: Liu, J. (E.), Vohs, K. D., & Smeesters, D. (2011). Money and mimicry: When being mimicked makes people feel […]
12:15 AM | Media Studies: new media and new literacies
Many commentators agree that the field of media studies will become more and more important in the coming years. The European Science Foundation (ESF) publication “Media studies: new media and new literacies” aims to meet the needs of research initiatives [...]testThe post Media Studies: new media and new literacies appeared first on Australian Science.

April 09, 2014

8:03 PM | Frustration of the day: unclear article numbers
Over the past couple of days, I have been reviewing some citations for student projects.  Several of the students submitted citations in which they expressed confusion over what page numbers to... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
5:55 PM | Acid-bath stem cell scientist apologizes and appeals
Haruko Obokata, the Japanese scientist at the centre of a controversy over studies purporting to turn mature cells to stem cells simply by bathing them in acid or subjecting them to mechanical stress, today apologized for her errors in the work.  Read more
2:12 PM | Those Rich Petroleum Engineers
The Wall Street Journal yesterday had a poorly written opinion piece that was a mix of odds and ends that never really seemed to find its stride. The overall message is something of the following: petroleum engineering jobs are paying extremely well ($97,000 starting) but most schools are doing research on alternative energies and are brainwashing students not to go into petroleum engineering. Or since many schools don't offer that major, the students are also being guided away from what the […]
12:34 PM | Chief specialty editor resigns from Frontiers in wake of controversial retraction
An editor at a Frontiers journal has resigned to protest the publisher’s decision to retract the controversial “Recursive Fury” paper that linked climate skepticism to conspiratorial ideation. Ugo Bardi was chief specialty editor of Frontiers in Energy Research: Energy Systems and Policy. He writes on his blog: …my opinion is that, with their latest statement […]
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