Posts

July 08, 2014

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12:52 PM | There’s the leak in the pipeline
We’re always talking about this curious phenomenon, that we see lots of women at the undergraduate and graduate level in biology, but large numbers of them leave science rather than rising through the ranks. Why is that? It seems that one answer is that elite male faculty in the life sciences employ fewer women, that…
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5:00 AM | Creationist Peer Review
Jason Lisle spurs us into a romp through the world of creationist "peer review" - the ideal, and the reality.
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2:10 AM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Worms are as cool as tentacles
No summary available for this post.

July 07, 2014

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1:24 PM | What are you going to simulate?
The EU is sinking €1.2bn (and the US is proposing to spend more, $3 billion) into a colossal project to build a supercomputer simulation of the human brain. To which I say, “What the hell? We aren’t even close to building such a thing for a fruit fly brain, and you want to do that…
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12:43 PM | Closure on the Obokata/STAP affair
I’ve been following the story of stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells with considerable interest, and there’s a good reason for that: from the very beginning, it contradicted how I’d always thought about cell states, and if it were true, I’d have to rethink a lot of things, which was vexing. But on the other…
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10:20 AM | We Don’t Know Everything About Electric Fish
In response to a paper on the evolution of electric organs, Jeanson has nothing to offer besides a few Darwin quotemines.
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1:07 AM | El respeto por los puntos de vista – Douglas Adams
...Dios solía ser la mejor explicación que teníamos, pero ahora las tenemos mucho mejores. Dios ya no explica nada
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12:12 AM | “Creative” reporting of fluoridation science
I am all for genuine creativity in science, and elsewhere. But some people seem to think anything goes when the are promoting their ideology or political views. Again and again I come across campaigners , especially in areas like “natural” … Continue reading →

July 06, 2014

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7:32 PM | What does the latest research say on religion decreasing the risk of suicide?
And so to this thorny topic again! This time with a batch of new studies - but what light do they shed on this complicated topic?First up is a straightforward analysis of data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) in the USA (Evan Kleiman and Richard Liu at George Mason University, USA - all the refs are at the foot of this post). This survey asked people about their religious service attendance, and then followed them for up to 20 years, to see what […]

July 05, 2014

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11:00 PM | Sonntagsklassik
Einen schönen Sonntag allen LeserInnen. Kürzlich erst haben wir dem zwischenepochalen Gluck zugehört, der im Übergang vom Barock zur Klassik musizierte. Ein anderer Nischenbewohner, allerdings zwischen Renaissance und Barock, soll heute, nach Hummeln und Geigen, wieder etwas Besinnlichkeit in die Sonntagsklassik bringen:  C. Monteverdi, dessen “L’Orfeo” nicht nur einer der ersten Opernhöhepunkte der Musikgeschichte war…

July 04, 2014

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12:20 PM | Friday Cephalopod: Do not taunt Happy Fun Cephalopod
No summary available for this post.

July 03, 2014

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4:00 PM | WTF Forensik – Rauchen kann tödlich sein. Nikotinpflaster auch.
 Warnung: in dieser Reihe stelle ich schräge, drastische, extreme oder auf andere Weise merkwürdige Studien und Fallberichte vor, die die Forensischen Wissenschaften in ihrer ganzen Breite und Vielseitigkeit portraitieren sollen, die aber in ihrer Thematik und/oder den beigefügten Abbildungen nicht für alle LeserInnen geeignet sind und obgleich ich mich stets bemühen werde, nicht ins Sensationalistische…
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5:00 AM | URCall: A Cringe Compendium
Is URCall succeeding? Nope. Here's why.
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2:24 AM | What happens when fluoridation is stopped?
Anti-fluoride propagandists continually assert that fluoride is not effective in reducing tooth decay. One piece of “evidence” they rely on for this is a claim that when fluoridation is stopped dental health does not decline, But is this claim true? … Continue reading →

July 02, 2014

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8:47 PM | Discriminación y ciencia
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 2 de julio  de 2014Un dicho que detesto dice que “un pesimista es un optimista con experiencia”.Una de las cosas que la gente pesimista disfruta es regodearse cuando el género humano demuestra sus múltiples fallas (vean lo que dijeron cuando perdió la Selección ante Holanda). Su frase favorita es “se los […]
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8:36 AM | Crooked Dealer at Sima de los Huesos
Brian Thomas ties himself in knots trying to prove that humans and Neanderthals are one and the same, kind of.
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2:15 AM | Jihad debate: the Dutch fighter and the British aid worker
Closer Blog: A debate about what matters in Syria between Dutch foreign fighter in Syria, Yilmaz, and British aid worker in Syria Tauqir Sharif at Channel 4. Read more: Jihad debate: the Dutch fighter and the British aid worker

July 01, 2014

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5:00 AM | URCall: The Big Supernova
The ICR chose the "first cause" argument. The chose poorly.
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2:21 AM | June ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
There are now almost 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats … Continue reading →

June 30, 2014

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12:17 PM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Evil Rising
We’ve had a very wet summer so far here in the upper Midwest — the potholes are full of water, our backyard is sodden, the plants are thriving, but that also means that this plague is drifting in vast clouds everywhere. The horror. The horror.
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2:57 AM | Controversial IQ study hammered in The Lancet
I have discussed the paper by Grandjean & Landrigan (2014) before in the article Repeating bad science on fluoride. So have other bloggers and commenters. On the other hand anti-fluoride propagandists are still promoting it heavily in social media and “natural” health web sites. … Continue reading →

June 29, 2014

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11:23 AM | Martyrdom Operations As Meaningful Violence
Closer Blog: A contribution by Pieter Nanninga, based upon his PhD Jihadism and Suicide Attacks: al-Qaeda, al-Sahab and the Meanings of Martyrdom. Read more: Martyrdom Operations As Meaningful Violence
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1:34 AM | New group challenging the anti-science brigade
Here’s a recent press release from a new group, The Society for Science Based Healthcare, which is having some successes in challenging anti-scientific advertising. Controversial Church Caught Red Handed The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld three complaints from the newly formed … Continue reading →

June 28, 2014

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11:00 PM | Sonntagsklassik
Einen schönen Sonntag allen LeserInnen. Letzte Woche habe ich von Paganinis abnormen Händen berichtet. Höchste Zeit also, sich seiner extremen Musik zuzuwenden zumal er bis jetzt ja in der Sonntagsklassik nur vorkam, indem ich Kissin – allerdings auf dem Flügel –  sein Glöckchen läuten ließ. Seine 24 Capricen für Violine sind so atemberaubend schwer, daß…
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12:48 PM | The difference between astronomers and biologists
The debate about intelligent, extra-terrestrial aliens goes on, with the usual divide: astronomers insisting that the galaxy must be swarming with alien intelligences, which is popular with the media, and the biologists saying no, it’s not likely, there are probably swarms of single-celled organisms, but big multicellular intelligences like ours are probably rare. And the…
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11:55 AM | My zombie story
The zombie plague was a dud. When the first cases emerged, scattered around the globe, everyone knew exactly how to put them down: destroy the brain. The world had been so saturated with zombie comic books, zombie TV shows, zombie novels, and zombie movies in the greatest, if unplanned, public health information program ever, that…

June 27, 2014

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11:08 PM | Friday Cephalopod: Everything you wanted to know about Vampyroteuthis
It’s been cephalopod week, and on Science Friday, they featured our old friend, the vampire squid.
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4:00 PM | Molekularbiolyrik VI
Next Generation Sequencing Jetzt gibt es eine neue Art zu lesen, sang(er)los doch klangvoll: Sequenzieren der nächsten Generation: erst kopieren, dann lesen (parallel!), dann alignieren. Die Säurenbücher aller Lebewesen tun sich uns auf, auch der, die längst gewichen (wer weiß, ob man sie dereinst neu erweckt?): und folgt man den uralten Federstrichen, die uns die…

June 26, 2014

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7:00 PM | Die Hände des Teufelsgeigers
„Besonders auffällig ist die Dehnbarkeit der Bänder der Schulterkapsel und die Laxheit der Bänder, die die Hand mit dem Unterarm verbinden, sowie die Handwurzel- und Mittelhandknochen und die Fingerglieder miteinander. Die Hand ist zwar nicht länger als normal, kann aber ihre Reichweite durch die Flexibilität all ihrer Gelenke verdoppeln. Dies verleiht zum Beispiel den vordersten…
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1:38 PM | Depends on what you mean by “know”
Chris Mooney is galloping around on his anti-science education hobby-horse again. That’s a harsh way to put it, but that’s what I see when he goes off on these crusades for changing everything by modifying the tone of the discussion. It’s all ideology and politics, don’t you know — if we could just frame our…
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