Posts

October 13, 2014

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3:33 PM | How meta: Paper on errors retracted for “too many stupid mistakes”
A paper published in Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science has been retracted for statistical and typographical mistakes. Here’s the notice for “Comparing Measurement Error Between Two Different Methods of Measurement of Various Magnitudes”: Due to errors, the statistical analyses of the manuscript titled “Comparing Measurement Error Between Two Different Methods of Measurement of Various Magnitudes” by […]
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1:30 PM | Asthma study yanked for serious ethical violations
A paper in SpringerPlus on treating asthma with antioxidants was retracted on September 25 for something of a trifecta of ethical problems. The retraction notice indicates that the patients never consented, there was no ethical review, and the university supposedly overseeing the study had no knowledge of it: Improved treatment of Asthma by using natural sources of antioxidants Nguyen Van […]
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12:52 PM | Dinosaur Mode
I had some very strange dreams towards morning including this gem: a cellphone that would mock me. Every time I would try and do something with it such as texting, a picture of an apatosaurus-type dinosaur would appear on the screen, implying that I was using an old, outdated technique and that faster, more efficient options now existed. That's not fair! I can't text as fast as my son (whose replies seem to violate the space-time continuum), but I'm more than able to find an efficient option […]
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3:00 AM | The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
By Walter Isaacson Synopsis: Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the […]
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12:15 AM | What Books Do for the Human Soul: The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature
“Writers open our hearts and minds, and give us maps to our own selves.” The question of what reading does for the human soul is an eternal one and its answer largely ineffable, but this hasn’t stopped minds big and […]test The post What Books Do for the Human Soul: The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Ian and Joel Gold
Special thanks to Ian and Joel Gold for answering 5 questions about their recently featured book – Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness Ian Gold is the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy and Psychiatry at McGill University. […]

October 12, 2014

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2:58 PM | European Science Foundation demands retraction of criticism in Nature, threatens legal action
The European Science Foundation (ESF) has threatened legal action against a scientist for calling an evaluation process supported by the agency “flawed” in a commentary piece in Nature. Amayo Moro-Martin, an assistant astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and an associate research scientist at The Johns Hopkins University, apparently angered the ESF with […]
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3:00 AM | Contact: A Novel
By Carl Sagan Synopsis: In December, 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who — or what — is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the […]
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12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
What an amazing week? The week of the Nobel prize in physics! How great is that? It’s really great, especially because the award goes for advancements in LED technologies. A team from the US and Japan share this prestigious prize. […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

October 11, 2014

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1:34 PM | Weekend reads: Senator loses degree for plagiarism; bad colitis poetry; fraud on the big screen
The week at Retraction Watch featured papers by a fake author with a brilliant if profane name, and the unmasking of fraudster Diederik Stapel as a sock puppet. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: John Walsh, the Democratic U.S. senator from Montana, has lost his master’s degree from the Army War College for plagiarism. Those allegations […]
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3:00 AM | Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life
By Daniel C Dennett Synopsis: In a book that is both groundbreaking and accessible, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls “one of the most provocative thinkers on the planet,” focuses his unerringly logical […]
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12:15 AM | Australia examines its strengths and sees its future in iManufacturing
Australia needs to play to its strengths and transition from traditional manufacturing into new areas of competitive advantage. CSIRO proposes the direction for such a move in its discussion paper Equipping Australian Manufacturing for the Information Age: iManufacturing – Is […]test The post Australia examines its strengths and sees its future in iManufacturing appeared first on Australian Science.

October 10, 2014

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7:05 PM | After 16 retractions, management professor Lichtenthaler resigns post
Ulrich Lichtenthaler, a management professor at the University of Mannheim who has had to retract 16 papers for data irregularities, has resigned his faculty position. According to a terse release from the university (translated from German): Prof. Dr. Lichtenthaler informed the Rector of the University of Mannheim that he wants to leave the University of […]
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6:42 PM | PNAS suffers ninth embargo break this year
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early yesterday on a paper because of an embargo break — the ninth time this year they’ve had to do that. Here’s what went to the journal’s press list yesterday afternoon, days before the embargo was scheduled to lift on Monday afternoon: Due […]
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3:35 PM | Cell line switch sinks PLoS ONE cancer paper
We’ve written before about how common cell line mix ups are in cancer research; according to a 2012 Wall Street Journal article (paywalled), between a fifth and a third of cancer cell lines tested by suspicious researchers turned out to be misidentified. Obviously, mistakenly studying the wrong kind of cancer is a waste of precious resources, […]
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1:30 PM | Yet another study of widely touted cancer “cure” retracted
A third study of GcMAF, a protein being used to treat a variety of conditions from AIDS to autism to cancer, all without the blessing of health agencies, has been retracted. Here’s the notice in Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy for “Immunotherapy of metastatic colorectal cancer with vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage-activating factor, GcMAF:” This article has been retracted […]
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3:00 AM | A Revolution in the Making: 3D Printing, Robots and the Future
By Guy Rundle Synopsis: Just as you were getting comfortable with a digital world, here comes the material revolution, a transformation in the production and distribution, of, well, everything. 3D printing has broken out of its […]
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12:15 AM | Microbiota and us – we feed our bacteria even when we are sick!
There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. For millennia, we humans never made a distinction: bacteria were associated with diseases and death, no exception. It was known that we are carrying along a large assortment of microbes in our gut, […]test The post Microbiota and us – we feed our bacteria even when we are sick! appeared first on Australian Science.
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12:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Andrea Menotti and Yancey Labat
Special thanks to Andrea Menotti and Yancey Labat for answering 5 questions about their recently featured book – How Many Jelly Beans? Andrea Menotti: I grew up in Maryland and have lived in Singapore, New York City, San […]

October 09, 2014

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11:00 PM | #flashbackfriday: Dune
#flashbackfriday this week was featured on August 31, 2013. Dune is a classic of science fiction, written by Frank Herbert. It won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards in 1966 and tells the story of Paul Atreides […]
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3:56 PM | An Ironic Effort from Greenpeace
Here's today's newest example of irony:Greenpeace succeeded in pressuring Lego into cancelling a toy give away with Shell. (Fill up with at least 30 liters and get a free Lego toy). Greenpeace was going after Shell because of Shell's efforts to extract oil from Arctic regions, but the irony is that Lego toys are all made from petroleum-based plastic (ABS). So does this change anything? Anything?Previous YearsOctober 9, 2013 - Preventing Oxygen Inhibition during PolymerizationsOctober 9, 2012 -
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3:52 PM | Scientific American Science in Action Winner Kenneth Shinozuka
It’s no secret to Scientific American readers that we feel a special obligation to support the next generation of science enthusiasts, whom we hope to inspire both with our science coverage and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:00 PM | Should papers be retracted if one of the authors is a total asshole?
When science writer Vito Tartamella noticed a physics paper co-authored by Stronzo Bestiale (which means “total asshole” in Italian) he did what anyone who’s written a book on surnames would do: He looked it up in the phonebook. What he found was a lot more complicated than a funny name. It turns out Stronzo Bestiale doesn’t […]
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1:30 PM | U. Illinois chancellor earns mega-correction for duplicate publication
Phyllis Wise, the chancellor of the University of Illinois and an obstetrics researcher, has called for a massive correction of a 2006 paper in Neuroscience for work she appears to have tried to pass off as having been previously unpublished — but which wasn’t. The article, “Estrogen therapy: Does it help or hurt the adult […]
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3:00 AM | Antisense
By RP Marshall Synopsis: What if you could evolve in a moment? What if you had the power to change the genetic future of your loved ones and the people they become – simply by the […]
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12:15 AM | Longform’s New, Free App Lets You Read Great Journalism from Your Favorite Publishers
Let us introduce you a great educational tool, which name is Longform’s New.  If you have managed to keep your attention span intact during this distracting information age, then you’re almost certainly familiar with Longform.org, a web site that makes […]test The post Longform’s New, Free App Lets You Read Great Journalism from Your Favorite Publishers appeared first on Australian Science.

October 08, 2014

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4:30 PM | Is it better to retract a paper, or publish a letter calling the conclusions “unphysical?”
Sometimes publishers and authors decide it’s easier to retract a paper than leave it up for discussion by other scientists. That seems to be the case here: The authors of a paper in Langmuir retracted it in September for a math mistake, but not before the journal refused to publish a comment criticizing the publication. […]
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2:19 PM | Diederik Stapel loses teaching post, admits he was sockpuppeting on Retraction Watch
Diederik Stapel’s reinvention as a teacher at a college in the Netherlands has proven to be short-lived. According to the NRC Handelsblad, Stapel resigned from the job at Fontys in solidarity with Anton Dautzenberg, whose contract at Fontys was terminated and with whom Stapel had co-authored a play. A performance of that play was cancelled […]
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1:18 PM | "Let's Get Rid of the Mole"
Being called one-dimensional is usually not a good thing. But a recent letter to the editor published in C & E News (hat tip to Chemjobber) is proposing that we all take one step closer to that state by getting rid of the mole, the counting unit used in chemistry. The proposed alternative is we use the yotta (= 1024) instead since it is pretty close to Avogadro's number (6.022 x 1023). And after all, learning about the mole is so difficult for high school students and we should all adopt to […]
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3:00 AM | Night School: The Hidden Science of Sleep and Dreams
By Richard Wiseman Synopsis: We think of sleep as a waste of time. A time when we are literally doing nothing. Yet every human on the planet spends several hours each day asleep. We are not […]
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