Posts

July 18, 2014

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1:00 AM | 12 Books Nominated for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books
These are the 12 titles and their synopses that were originally longlisted for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. We have covered some of these books over the last year and will cover the […]
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12:15 AM | Tour the World’s Street Art with Google Street Art
By far the most enjoyable part of our recent family trip to London was the afternoon my young son and I spent in Shoreditch, groping our way to No Brow, a comics shop I had noticed on an early morning […]test The post Tour the World’s Street Art with Google Street Art appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | #flashbackfriday: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
#flashbackfriday this week is from September 9, 2013. The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood was written by James Gleick. It won the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and the Royal Society Winton Prize 2012. The […]

July 17, 2014

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5:02 PM | Bioinformatics, Birthdays, and Booze at Boston BOSC.
Birthdays are always emotional. The GigaScience team are on their way back from the always jam packed ISMB meeting and its satellite SIGs. This year was a particularly event filled one, with our second birthday, the BMC open data award and drinks reception, and our “What Bioinformaticians need to know about digital publishing beyond the PDF2″ workshop all falling during the meeting. The SIGs were brilliant as always, and we had additional involvement this year, promoting and […]
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4:14 PM | Rice researcher in ethics scrape threatens journal with lawsuit over coming retraction
Guangwen Tang, a rice researcher at Tufts University, landed in hot water in 2012 after her team was accused of feeding Chinese children genetically modified Golden Rice without having obtained informed consent from the parents. Now, she’s suing both Tufts and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which reportedly is retracting a paper, “ß-carotene in Golden Rice is as good […]
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3:30 PM | Authors issue their own expression of concern about elephant femur paper
The authors of a 2012 paper in the journal Interface have had the journal issue an expression of concern about it after issues with “some of the data and methods” came to light. Here’s the expression of concern for “What makes an accurate and reliable subject-specific finite element model? A case study of an elephant […]
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1:30 PM | PLOS ONE retracts breast cancer genetics paper after claim of misappropriated data
PLOS ONE has retracted a 2012 article by a group of breast cancer researchers after another scientist — a leading U.S. oncologist — objected that the data came from his lab. The paper, “GREB1 Functions as a Growth Promoter and Is Modulated by IL6/STAT3 in Breast Cancer,” came from a team composed of researchers at […]
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4:00 AM | Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
By Vicki Croke Synopsis: The remarkable story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill. […]
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12:15 AM | Space Engineering facility takes off
Australian space scientists will no longer need to go offshore to build satellites, following the completion of the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC) at The Australian National University. The Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane officially opened the Centre. “Australia […]test The post Space Engineering facility takes off appeared first on Australian Science.

July 16, 2014

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9:50 PM | Second Nature paper by researcher found to have violated academic integrity retracted
A second Nature paper co-authored by Pankaj Dhonukshe, formerly of Utrecht University and VIB Ghent, has been retracted. Here’s the notice for “Generation of cell polarity in plants links endocytosis, auxin distribution and cell fate decisions:” Our Letter reported that PIN transporters for the plant hormone auxin are initially delivered to the plasma membrane in […]
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12:15 AM | New theory turns cancer on its head
A new theory of how cancer works could lead to the next generation of treatments of the disease. The theory suggests that cancer forms when recently evolved genes are damaged, and cells have to revert to using older, inappropriate genetic […]test The post New theory turns cancer on its head appeared first on Australian Science.

July 15, 2014

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4:00 PM | Recursive plagiarism? Researchers may have published a duplicate of a study retracted for plagiarism
Sometimes plagiarism, like an onion, has layers. That appears to be the case in a paper brought to our attention by sharp-eyed reader Vladimir Baulin, whose work was copied in a 2006 paper that Journal of Biological Physics retracted for plagiarism. But you can’t keep a good thief down: the plagiarizing authors just popped up in a new […]
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2:13 PM | “Error in data compilation” leaves bitter taste for paper on sweeter-tasting pills
A publication on a new, tastier dissolving tablet has been retracted for data errors. Here’s the brief notice for “Meloxicam Taste-Masked Oral Disintegrating Tablet with Dissolution Enhanced by Ion Exchange Resins and Cyclodextrin“: Meloxicam Taste-Masked Oral Disintegrating Tablet with Dissolution Enhanced by Ion Exchange Resins and Cyclodextrin was retracted at the request of the authors because of […]
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1:44 PM | An Unlikely Combination: Thiol-Ene Chemistry and Isocyanate-Free Polyurethanes
Long-time readers of this blog may recall that I spent a good deal of time with my previous employer working with thiol-ene chemistry. I really loved working with that chemistry - it was very fast and versatile, although my wife never enjoyed the experience of handling my cloths at the end of the day. Upon changing jobs a year and a half ago, I've set those malodorous chemicals aside and moved on to other monomers. These new monomers are apparently lightly scented, but I always question why […]
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4:00 AM | Proofiness: The Dark Art of Mathematical Deception
By Charles Seife Alternate Title: Proofiness: How You’re Being Fooled by the Numbers Synopsis: The bestselling author of Zero shows how mathematical misinformation pervades-and shapes-our daily lives. According to MSNBC, having a child makes you stupid. You actually […]
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12:15 AM | The Health of the Honey Bee
The delicate state of the European honeybee (Apismellifera) can be traced back to 2006, when the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) began wiping them out. Adult honey bees went missing from their hives, and no bodies were to be found. Since, […]test The post The Health of the Honey Bee appeared first on Australian Science.

July 14, 2014

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8:04 PM | Taiwan’s education minister resigns in wake of SAGE peer review scandal
Taiwan’s education minister, Chiang Wei-ling, whose name appeared on several of 60 retracted articles by Peter Chen — apparently the architect of a peer review and citation syndicate we were first to report on last week — has resigned over the publishing scandal. According to the University World News: Chiang said in a statement that […]
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3:30 PM | Dipping into history: An 87-year-old retraction in a statistics journal
We came across a rather long-toothed retraction in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, which represents a case of doing the right thing (similar to that involving the apparent first-ever English language retraction from 1756, about which we wrote in 2012). The 1927 notice came in the form of a letter by C. H. […]
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1:38 PM | A Novel Adhesive
A couple of weeks ago, the highly esteemed Chemjobber brought to my attention this article in C & E News about a newly developed set of adhesives based on 1,1-disubstituted alkenes. It is an interesting story from both the business and technology perspectives[1]. The challenge is in effectively preparing the monomers, something that has long been sought. Even W. H. Perkin, Jr. worked on the problem [2] as was mentioned in the inventors' patent. And once the monomers have been […]
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1:30 PM | Misconduct prompts retraction of prostatectomy paper
A group of urologists in China has lost their 2012 paper in the Journal of Surgical Research because one of the authors was evidently rather naughty. The article, “Is the impact of the extent of lymphadenectomy in radical prostatectomy related to the disease risk? A single center prospective study,” purported to show that: Controversy exists […]
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4:00 AM | How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking
By Jordan Ellenberg Synopsis: The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands. The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set […]
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1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Daniel E Lieberman
Special thanks to Daniel E Lieberman for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease Author’s mini-bio: Daniel E. Lieberman is a paleoanthropologist at Harvard […]
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12:15 AM | A Threat to Internet Freedom
A couple weeks back, we mentioned that Brian Knappenberger had released his new documentary about Aaron Swartz, The Internet’s Own Boy, under a Creative Commons license, making it free to watch online. He now returns with a short op-doc for […]test The post A Threat to Internet Freedom appeared first on Australian Science.

July 13, 2014

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4:00 AM | Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us
by Jesse Bering Synopsis: “You are a sexual deviant. A pervert, through and through.” We may not want to admit it, but as the award-winning columnist and psychologist Jesse Bering reveals in Perv, there is a spectrum of […]
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12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
Oh, dear! Can you imagine just few moments ago we were writing the last week’s review and right now we are at the beginning of one more exciting and fascinating editor’s selection? Time passes so quickly, does not it? We […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

July 12, 2014

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1:30 PM | Weekend reads: Peer review unreliable? Merck retracts legal threats over criticism
Another busy week at Retraction Watch, with a lot of media attention to a story about 60 retractions at a single journal for peer review fraud, and our op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: “[P] eer review, it appears, is less reliable than it sounds,” says The Guardian. Merck threatened to sue […]
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11:53 AM | The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change
by Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein Synopsis: Climate change is no laughing matter—but maybe it should be. The topic is so critical that everyone, from students to policy-makers to voters, needs a quick and easy guide to the basics. The […]
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12:15 AM | Fusion energy facility promises clean energy
The search for star power – fusion – has received a major boost with the launch of the Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility (APFRF) at The Australian National University. The facility includes Australia’s largest fusion experiment, the newly upgraded H1, […]test The post Fusion energy facility promises clean energy appeared first on Australian Science.

July 11, 2014

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2:30 PM | A House Fire due to Spontaneous Combustion of Polyurethanes? - Not so Fast
This is just a quick followup to a post from a few days ago in which I wrote about spontaneous combustion of polyurethanes leading to a house fire. You may recall that I was initially skeptical of concept in general, but have come around to accepting it.But that might not be the case with the house fire that first came to my attention. The Urethane Blog is now reporting that investigators are looking at other causes for the fire. (The headline states that spontaneous combustion is ruled out as […]
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2:12 PM | Cash Flow in Small Businesses
I was quite surprised this morning to see the local paper reporting that Obama wants companies to pay their suppliers faster, mostly because this doesn't strike me as anything that a president should be getting involved in.Having worked for small companies for more than a decade, I highly appreciate the problems they have in getting paid and how that impacts their cash flow. In my last job, our standard contract was 30-days net, but we had many large clients that would routinely change that to […]
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