July 04, 2014

12:15 AM | Biological agent closing in on weedy rampant escapee
Sticky snakeroot, Mexican devil or Crofton weed – call it what you want – since the early 1900s this weed has been causing grief in Australia. But now the release of a new biological control agent brings some hope. The […]test The post Biological agent closing in on weedy rampant escapee appeared first on Australian Science.
12:00 AM | #flashbackfriday: 1001 Inventions that Changed the World
#flashbackfriday this week is from July 16, 2013 and is edited by Jack Challoner, 1001 Inventions that Changed the World. It proved to be a very popular book, regularly turning up in the top 10 books […]

July 03, 2014

9:00 PM | Rapid mood swing: PNAS issues Expression of Concern for controversial Facebook study
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is subjecting a much-criticized study involving Facebook that it published just two weeks ago to an Expression of Concern. From the abstract of the original study: In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals […]
7:22 PM | GigaScience – making open peer review more open: Q&A with Publons co-founder, Andrew Preston
At GigaScience, one of our major goals is to improve transparency and reproducibility of research and one of the ways we do this is through open peer review. After the unusual “meta peer review” of our Assemblathon2 paper (see more in biome), we thought our peer review couldn’t get more open, but a small New Zealand-based start-up, Publons, who also happens to be the world’s largest open peer-review platform, approached and told us about their exciting, innovative […]
3:30 PM | Author squabble sinks cardiology papers
Two papers on “novel techniques” have been retracted with what is unfortunately a very non-novel technique: an odd notice and silence when we asked for comment. Here’s the explanation for retraction of “A novel approach to treat residual peridevice leakage after left-atrial appendage closure,” by Wunderlich N, Wilson N, and Sievert H: The above article in […]
1:30 PM | Faked figure sinks paper on potential new MRI contrast agent
Surface chemistry journal Langmuir has retracted an article on a new MRI contrast agent — but only one of the authors agreed. According to the notice: The Editor-in-Chief of Langmuir, in consultation and agreement with one of the authors of the article, retracts the article “Development of Fe/Fe3O4 Core-Shell Nanocubes as a Promising Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agent” […]
4:00 AM | Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High
By Mike Power Synopsis: A few years ago, deals were done in dimly-lit side streets or on the phone via a friend of a friend. Today, you can order every conceivable pill or powder with the […]
12:15 AM | The Speech Accent Archive: The English Accents of People Who Speak 341 Different Languages
Over the years, I’ve met with several foreign speaking partners. Through conversation, I learn their language — Spanish, Korean, Japanese — and they learn mine — English. Many of them first got serious about their study of that more-or-less-international tongue […]test The post The Speech Accent Archive: The English Accents of People Who Speak 341 Different Languages appeared first on Australian Science.

July 02, 2014

3:00 PM | Retractions arrive in plagiarism scandal involving economist Nijkamp
Retractions have arrived in the case of Peter Nijkamp, a leading Dutch economist accused of duplication and plagiarism. The Review of Economic Analysis has removed two of Nijkamp’s articles for self-plagiarism. According to the NRC Handelsblad website (courtesy of Google translate): The affair university economics professor Peter Nijkamp and his PhD student Karima Kourtit has […]
2:31 PM | Meet the Voices of Science
“I’m good now, Mariette. Are you good?” I was. It was a Sunday morning in October 2013, and Danielle Lee, author of The Urban Scientist blog on Scientific American’s network, and I were talking about... -- Read more on
2:29 PM | A Response to Recent Criticism
Scientific American has recently been criticized for two posts that appeared on our blog network. The first was a guest post in April about Larry Summers’ statement regarding women in science. The... -- Read more on
12:44 PM | Ketchup Rheology at 35,000 Feet
Ketchup rheology can appear in the funniest of places, and yesterday I found it at ~ 35,000 feet somewhere over Wisconsin flying to the Twin Cities from of all the improbable and most ironic of places, Chicago [1]. I was pleasantly surprised to see a little one page writeup in the June 2014 issue of Spirit magazine [2] with the headline that the speed of Heinz ketchup is only 0.028 miles/hour. Somehow I don't really believe that Heinz measures the ketchup in dimensions of miles per hour, and in […]
12:37 PM | STAP stem cell papers officially retracted as Nature argues peer review couldn’t have detected fatal problems
A significant chapter of the nearly six-month saga of the STAP stem cell controversy has come to an end, with Nature running retraction notices for the two papers involved. The journal has also published an editorial about the case that’s worth a read. The retractions for “Bidirectional developmental potential in reprogrammed cells with acquired pluripotency” […]
4:00 AM | Visual Storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language
Edited by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann and Franz Schulze Synopsis: A new visual language that is both informative and entertaining is emerging at the nexus of information graphics, illustration, and tactile design. More and more data is […]
1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Denise Kiernan
Special thanks to Denise Kiernan for answering 5 questions about her recently featured book – The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II I am a writer […]
12:15 AM | Picasso on Intuition, How Creativity Works, and Where Ideas Come From
“To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing.” “Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work,” painter Chuck Close memorably scoffed. “Show up, show up, show up,” novelist […]test The post Picasso on Intuition, How Creativity Works, and Where Ideas Come From appeared first on Australian Science.

July 01, 2014

3:30 PM | Bad spreadsheet merge kills depression paper, quick fix resurrects it
The authors of a paper showing a link between immune response and depression requested a retraction after they realized they’d merged two spreadsheets with mismatching ID codes. Here’s the notice for “Lower CSF interleukin-6 predicts future depression in a population-based sample of older women followed for 17 years,” retracted in February 2014: This article has been […]
1:30 PM | Geneticist retracting four papers for “significant problems”
Benjamin Barré, a genetics researcher who recently set up his own group at the University of Angers, is retracting four papers he worked on as a graduate student and postdoc. Neil Perkins, in whose lab Barré was a postdoc, and Olivier Coqueret, in whose lab he did his PhD, tell Retraction Watch: Olivier and I first […]
4:00 AM | Proof: The Science of Booze
By Adam Rogers Synopsis: Humans have been perfecting the science of alcohol production for ten thousand years, but modern scientists are only just beginning to distill the complex reactions behind the perfect buzz. In a spirited […]
12:15 AM | Jean-Paul Sartre Rejects the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964: “It Was Monstrous!”
In a 2013 blog post, the great Ursula K. Le Guin quotes a London Times Literary Supplement column by a “J.C.,” who satirically proposes the “Jean-Paul Sartre Prize for Prize Refusal.” “Writers all over Europe and American are turning down […]test The post Jean-Paul Sartre Rejects the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964: “It Was Monstrous!” appeared first on Australian Science.

June 30, 2014

5:30 PM | Some retractions take three years to show up on PubMed: Study
Retraction Watch readers may have noticed that we often cover retractions long before they appear in PubMed, the gold standard database for the life sciences literature. (In fact, we’ve taken to leaving comments on papers in PubMed Commons about retractions that haven’t been linked to their original abstracts yet.) This can be an issue, because […]
3:30 PM | “Substantial flaws” trip up big toe paper
Rehabilitation Research and Practice has retracted a 2012 review article on stiff big toes. The article, “Therapeutic Management of the Hallux Rigidus,” came from a group in India. According to the abstract: Hallux rigidus is a chronic, disabling condition of foot characterized by reduced great toe extension. The manual therapy approaches are described theoretically however […]
1:30 PM | How often do economists commit misconduct?
We haven’t covered that many retractions in economics, and a 2012 paper found very few such retractions. Now, a new study based on a survey of economists tries to get a handle on how often economists commit scientific misconduct. Here’s the abstract of “Scientific misbehavior in economics,” which appeared in Research Policy: This study reports […]
4:00 AM | The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought
By David Adam Synopsis: This book offers an intimate look at the power of intrusive thoughts, how our brains can turn against us and what it means to live with obsessive compulsive disorder. Have you ever […]
1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Christiane Dorion
Special thanks to Christiane Dorion for answering 5 questions about her recently featured book – How Animals Live I was born in a beautiful part of the world, Quebec City, Canada. From a very young age, […]
12:15 AM | The Best of Australian Science: June 2014
It’s the end of June, 2014. It’s our time to summarise what we have done during this month. In fact, we are going to recount the best highlights for June. Here are the most exciting and interesting articles of this […]test The post The Best of Australian Science: June 2014 appeared first on Australian Science.

June 29, 2014

9:40 AM | Interview: Henry Story, a Social Web architect and Polymath
Henry Story studied Analytic Philosophy at Kings College London, Computing at Imperial College, worked for AltaVista where he developed the BabelFish machine translation service, worked at Sun Microsystems on Blogging platforms and the development of the Social Web where he […]test The post Interview: Henry Story, a Social Web architect and Polymath appeared first on Australian Science.
4:00 AM | The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter than You Think
By Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods Synopsis: Brian Hare, dog researcher, evolutionary anthropologist, and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, and Vanessa Woods offer revolutionary new insights into dog intelligence and the interior lives of […]
12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
Here we are at the end of one more impressive scientific week. The things appear as quite dramatic in this weekly review. Have you ever tried to imagine how that would work if you could experience a time freeze effect? […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

June 28, 2014

1:30 PM | Weekend reads: Academics go to court, hijacked journals
Another busy week at Retraction Watch, with Ivan in Seoul speaking on research integrity at the Korean Medical Association conference. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: A UCLA chemistry professor struck a plea bargain to avoid jail time following the death of a research assistant in a lab fire. “It’s an important case because it is […]
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