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Posts

April 10, 2014

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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
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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

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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
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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
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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 […]
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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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10:32 AM | Eyewire: Solving mysteries of the brain through gaming
While some may be familiar with the concept–made famous by Foldit, a pioneer online video puzzle where you “fold” protein as part of a University of Washington research project–the crowd at Bibliotheca Alexandria were blown away by a similar game model: Eyewire, neurology’s first ever computation game, open to laypeople.  Read more
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8:00 AM | Windback Wednesday: Entrepreneurship
The word entrepreneur comes from the 13th century french verb entreprendre, which literally translates to “to do something” or “to undertake”. By the 16th century, the word entrepreneur had developed a meaning of its own: someone who undertakes a business venture. It’s distinguishing features, according to Richard Cantillon (an 18th century economist), are an understanding of risk and being prepared to do business without guaranteed profits. Sounds scary, but it […]
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1:05 AM | Harvard and the Brigham investigating leading heart group for “compromised” data
Circulation has retracted a 2012 study by a group of Harvard heart specialists over concerns of corrupt data, and the university is investigating. The group was led by Piero Anversa, a leading cardiologist, and Joseph Loscalzo — who will be familiar to readers of Circulation as the editor in chief of that journal. (Anversa’s also […]
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12:33 AM | Monthly Map
Ireland looks into dairy cows, the UK eyes synthetic biology, and the Philippines grapples with Bt eggplant. (You want it big? Click the image.)  … Read more
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12:15 AM | How a Young Sigmund Freud Researched & Got Addicted to Cocaine
As David Bowie had his cocaine period, so too did Sigmund Freud, beginning in 1894 and lasting at least two years. Unlike the rock star, the doctor was just at the beginning of his career, “a nervous fellow” of 28 [...]testThe post How a Young Sigmund Freud Researched & Got Addicted to Cocaine appeared first on Australian Science.

April 08, 2014

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3:30 PM | Waseda University checking dissertations for plagiarism in wake of STAP stem cell misconduct finding
Waseda University in Japan says it will be vetting every doctoral dissertation it awards its graduate-level students for signs of plagiarism, according to a report in the Japan News, a site of the Yomiuri Shimbun. The paper reports that: Waseda University is investigating all the doctoral theses submitted to its graduate-level scientific departments, to determine […]
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2:42 PM | Imagine not getting the PhD you’d been working towards… #datadramas
What would happen if you lost all of your research data? The loss of scientific data can have a devastating impact on careers. Imagine if you lost all of the research data you’d been diligently collecting for four years. Now imagine the knock-on effect; you wouldn’t get the PhD you’d been working towards and your future career would be impacted. This nightmare situation actually happened to Billy Hinchen. Hear his story.  Read more
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1:30 PM | Double taxation: Journal retracts paper it published twice
International Studies Quarterly, a Wiley title, is retracting a paper because — oops! — it published the same article twice, unbeknownst to the authors. Here’s the notice: The publisher would like to draw the reader’s attention to an error by the journal editorial office and publisher that led to a second version of the following […]
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1:03 PM | The System Actually Works
Once people start distrusting the government, it is difficult to get them to reconsider, but this might: PlasticsNews is reporting that the Environmental Portection Agency (EPA) has told a New Jersey company to stop selling food containers with nanoparticles of silver in it.The company had not registered the pesticide with the EPA as they were required to. "Part of the registration process is qualifying that a product does not put human health at risk when used as it is intended...".It's pretty […]
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11:21 AM | Emily Anthes discusses how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends
Emily Anthes is a science journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Scientific American, Psychology Today, BBC Future, SEED, Discover, Popular Science, Slate, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.  Read more
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12:15 AM | New tool for galactic archaeology
Reconstructing the history of our Galaxy has just become a whole lot easier, thanks to a team of international astronomers led by Dr Luca Casagrande from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. By examining both the light and soundwaves [...]testThe post New tool for galactic archaeology appeared first on Australian Science.

April 07, 2014

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11:59 PM | A re-SMARCable finding
On March 23, Nature Genetics published 3 related papers reporting the finding that SMARCA4 is frequently mutated in a rare ovarian cancer type, small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) [Jelinic et al 2014, Ramos et al 2014, Witkowski et al 2014]  … Read more
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5:45 PM | Talking “rubbish” with Egypt’s environment minister
Sitting down with Minister of Environment Laila Iskandar at Alexandria’s ongoing Biovision conference, she talked to Nature Middle East about going back to the basics in terms of solid waste sorting and recycling–a thing that was overdue, according to her.  Read more
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3:00 PM | Pain study retracted for bogus data is second withdrawal for University of Calgary group
Back in January we wrote about the retraction of a paper in Diabetes that the authors had “submitted without knowledge of inherent errors or abnormalities that they recognized in retrospect after submission.” Now, Molecular Pain has retracted a paper by the same authors, this time for data manipulation. The article, “Comparison of central versus peripheral […]
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2:25 PM | PNAS lifts embargo early on DNA damage-stressful childhood study after Quartz story breaks it
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early today on a study linking of stressful childhood to DNA damage after a Quartz story ran on the paper Saturday. From a PNAS email that went out at 8:32 a.m. Eastern today, several hours before the scheduled 4 p.m. embargo: Due to […]
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1:30 PM | Erratum appears for Ulrich Lichtenthaler, who has 13 retractions
Ulrich Lichtenthaler, the management professor who has had 13 papers retracted, has a correction in the Journal of Product Innovation Management. Here’s the text of the correction for “The Role of Champions in the External Commercialization of Knowledge, ” which is followed by the corrected tables: Originally published in Journal of Product Innovation Management, 26, […]
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11:30 AM | How to break out of a scientific career rut, Part 3: Investigate internal barriers
 Contributor, Ben Thomas  … Read more
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10:18 AM | Nature Futures Competition: The Winners Revealed
At the start of this year, Futures ran a competition challenging readers to write a science-fiction story in just 200 characters. After a difficult judging session, we’re pleased to award first prize to Catherine Rastovski, who wins a year’s subscription to Nature plus a gift voucher for the Futures 1 eBook. Five runners up — Adam Flanders, Arran Frood, Judith Reeves-Stevens, Anssi Sajama and Chaim Schramm— also receive gift vouchers for Futures 1.  Read more
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