September 14, 2014

12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
Here we are at the end of one more amazing week. It’s Sunday again and we are supposed to review what happened during the last 7 days. For example, have you ever wondered how night shifts could affect you? This […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

September 13, 2014

2:18 PM | Weekend reads: A scientific impostor, Retraction Watch comments lead to retractions
Here at Retraction Watch, the week featured the revelations of the peer reviews of an early version of the STAP stem cell paper, and an announcement about a new partnership. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Anoop Shankar is “a charming, bright-minded impostor who built a career on a base of lies.” An amazing story of […]
4:00 AM | Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed
By Carl Zimmer Synopsis: Body art meets popular science in this elegant, mind-blowing collection, written by renowned science writer Carl Zimmer. This fascinating book showcases hundreds of eye-catching tattoos that pay tribute to various scientific disciplines, […]
12:15 AM | Montaigne and the Double Meaning of Meditation
“There is no exercise that is either feeble or more strenuous … than that of conversing with one’s own thoughts.” “We all have the same inner life,” beloved artist Agnes Martin said in a wonderful lost interview. “The difference lies […]test The post Montaigne and the Double Meaning of Meditation appeared first on Australian Science.

September 12, 2014

2:30 PM | Wrong in the tooth: Faked data, authorship issues force retraction of dental paper
Case Reports in Dentistry has pulled a 2014 article about an oral parasitic infection (caution: not pretty) after learning that the authors were not exactly honest about their work. Here’s the abstract of the paper, “Rhinosporidiosis of the Parotid Duct”: Rhinosporidiosis is a benign chronic granulomatous infection caused by Rhinosporidiosis seeberi (R. seeberi). Rhinosporidiosis is […]
12:30 PM | A new partner for Retraction Watch: PRE (Peer Review Evaluation)
We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with PRE (Peer Review Evaluation) to improve access to information about retraction policies. In the coming months, we’ll be publishing guidelines for what we think should be included in retraction notices, and on how those notices should be publicized. As a release describing the new partnership notes: […]
4:00 AM | Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements
By John Emsley Synopsis: What is the most common element in the universe? Can you name the noble gases? Everything we see around us is made of chemical elements, but most of us know little about […]
1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Robert Twigger
Special thanks to Robert Twigger for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – Red Nile: The Biography of the World’s Greatest River Robert’s Homepage/Blog: Robert’s Twitter: #1 – What was the impetus for Red Nile? […]
12:15 AM | Reshaping philanthropy with major gift to ANU
Entrepreneurs Michelle Melbourne and Phillip Williamson are redefining the shape of modern philanthropy with a major new donation to the University. The couple, both ANU graduates, have given a gift in kind by donating high-technology software to help the University […]test The post Reshaping philanthropy with major gift to ANU appeared first on Australian Science.
12:00 AM | #flashbackfriday Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
#flashbackfriday this week is from March 22, 2014. Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity was written by Andrew Solomon. He writes about the difficulties parents have raising unusual children and the difficulties they […]

September 11, 2014

1:57 PM | “Potentially groundbreaking,” “highly provocative:” Nature STAP stem cell peer reviews published
A day after we published the cover letter and peer review reports about the STAP stem cell paper rejected by Science, Science‘s news section has published the same material for the version rejected by Nature. From Science‘s news story about the document: The Nature reviewers call the manuscripts and the results they describe “very interesting,” […]
1:30 PM | Dissertation in transition: Plagiarism leads to delisting of education thesis, lost PhD
The author of a doctoral dissertation on veterans education has lost the paper — and a mention of the work in a roster of theses — because he lifted text from a previously published dissertation from a student at another institution. Here’s the notice: We, the Editor and Publisher of the Community College Journal of […]
10:04 AM | Fun Facts about Baking Soda and Its Uses
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate, better known as baking soda is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3 . It is primarily used in cooking and baking as a leavening agent, and as a very effective cleaning agent. It […]test The post Fun Facts about Baking Soda and Its Uses appeared first on Australian Science.
4:00 AM | Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
By John Marzluff and Tony Angell  Synopsis: Crows are mischievous, playful, social, and passionate. They have brains that are huge for their body size and exhibit an avian kind of eloquence. They mate for life and associate with relatives […]
12:15 AM | How Languages Evolve: Explained in a Winning TED-Ed Animation
Language. It’s as adaptable as Darwin’s finches. It’d be interesting to know how the Internet changes the game. Seems like it would go a long way toward democratizing the process by which lingo gets mingled. Alex Gendler’s TED-Ed lesson, winningly […]test The post How Languages Evolve: Explained in a Winning TED-Ed Animation appeared first on Australian Science.

September 10, 2014

3:00 PM | Chemical engineering journal retracts paper with unknowing author
AIChemE’s website promises, “Subscribing to the AIChE Journal is like having access to nine topical journals in the field.” Without a subscription, though, you might miss out on some valuable topical information – like why a paper you want to cite has been retracted, something the Committee on Publication Ethics recommends be freely available. Here’s […]
1:32 PM | Poster Sessions - Hey, My Eyes Are Over Here
Today and tomorrow are my companies annual internal poster session, so lab work will be down to zero as I will be presenting for both days. It is quite an exhausting experience, especially for a natural introvert like myself. But if you see me at the show, you would never guess I'm like that.My attitude towards poster sessions has changed over the decades. At first I was trying to put as much information and words and data and graphs as possible on the paper, although I did know enough to […]
12:30 PM | “Truly extraordinary,” “simply not credible,” “suspiciously sharp:” A STAP stem cell peer review report revealed
Retraction Watch readers are of course familiar with the STAP stem cell saga, which was punctuated by tragedy last month when one of the authors of the two now-retracted papers in Nature committed suicide. In June, Science‘s news section reported: Sources in the scientific community confirm that early versions of the STAP work were rejected […]
4:00 AM | Anthill: A Novel
By Edward O Wilson Synopsis: Winner of the 2010 Heartland Prize, Anthill follows the thrilling adventures of a modern-day Huck Finn, enthralled with the “strange, beautiful, and elegant” world of his native Nokobee County. But as developers begin […]
1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Brian Clegg
Special thanks to Brian Clegg for answering 6 questions about his recently featured book – Dice World: Science and Life in a Random Universe Born in Rochdale, Lancashire, UK, Brian attended the Manchester Grammar School, then […]
12:15 AM | Weakness in malaria parasite fats could see new treatments
A new study has revealed a weak spot in the complex life cycle of malaria, which could be exploited to prevent the spread of the deadly disease. It found female malaria parasites put on fat differently to male ones. “The […]test The post Weakness in malaria parasite fats could see new treatments appeared first on Australian Science.

September 09, 2014

3:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: Retracted papers, published elsewhere
Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: A paper by Rui Curi, who has two retractions and three corrections and threatened to sue, looks a lot like one that was retracted, says one commenter. And Gizem Donmez, who has retracted two papers, has essentially republished one of them in a Frontiers journal, notes Paul Brookes. […]
1:30 PM | Two-timing sinks papers on ships in journal shaken by major scandal
When we heard about this retraction, we were forced to ask: Are there any articles left in Journal of Vibration & Control? The publication was forced to retract 60 papers by the same author in July, after he was caught exploiting a technological loophole to review his own papers. Now, papers on loading cargo ships […]
12:57 PM | Plastics to Oil - Hype or Hope?
The Wall Street Journal had a video Q & A with Steve Russell, vice president of the American Chemistry Council regarding efforts to convert plastic waste and other elements of municipal wastestreams to oil. This process, know as Plastics-To-Oil (PTO), is done by anaerobic pyrolysis - heating the plastic up in an oxygen-free atmosphere to temperatures that degrade it to low molecular weight liquids. The technology is not all that new - I discussed it here over 2 years ago. If obviously works […]
4:00 AM | Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You
By Christine McKinley Synopsis: From the host of the History channel’s Brad Meltzer’s Decoded: the laws of the universe like you’ve never experienced them before.  This approachable book explains the world of physics with clarity, humor, and a dash […]
12:15 AM | Guide to the Most Important Green Building Certification Systems in the World
Here in Australia, the GBCA are working towards a greener and more sustainable future. The past decade has seen tremendous growth within the building industry, as companies such as the GBCA and others have been working towards designing and creating a greater […]test The post Guide to the Most Important Green Building Certification Systems in the World appeared first on Australian Science.

September 08, 2014

3:30 PM | Fudged figures sink breast cancer paper
A prestigious cancer journal has pulled an article over “concerns” regarding some of the figures, which PubPeer commenters had tagged as suspect. A few weeks after the paper was published on June 9, comments on PubPeer began accumulating. Commenters called out both potentially manipulated and repeated images. The exact timeline is not clear, because Oncogene does not list […]
1:30 PM | 87% of bugs resistant to antibiotics? Not so fast, as staph paper yanked after staff mistake
What could have been a truly scary study about drug resistant staph infections in hospitals has been retracted due to a lab error. Researchers at a community hospital in Pittsburgh claimed that the commonly quoted 3% rate of staph that is resistant to ceftriaxone and sensitive to methicillin was drastically understated. However, an “honest error […]
4:00 AM | Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything
By Amanda Gefter Synopsis: At a Chinese restaurant outside of Philadelphia, a father asks his fifteen-year-old daughter a deceptively simple question: “How would you define nothing?” With that, the girl who once tried to fail geometry […]
1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Michael Chorost
Special thanks to Michael Chorost for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet Michael Chorost (pronounced like “chorus” with a T at […]
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