January 29, 2015

8:52 AM | The History of Ammonia
Ammonia has been known to mankind since ancient times. Historians believe Romans named the ammonium chloride that was collected around the Temple of Ammon, situated in Libya, as ‘sal ammoniacus’ or Salt of Ammon due to the proximity of the important temple. This term appears for the first time in the writings of Pliny, although [...]

January 28, 2015

11:09 PM | Futurepub
FuturePub is a relatively new event, hosted by Overleaf, that combines a meetup with short talks from people working on the cutting edge of scientific publishing. It has already become such a staple of the London science tech/publishing scene that it was hard to believe that Tuesday’s sold-out event at...
3:22 PM | Introducing Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery
Adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse have a very difficult road to travel. “Recovery is a complicated process for survivors and they are often re-victimized as adults due to the damage from their abuse,” notes Bobbi Parish. She is the author of our new blog, Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery. She hopes to be able to […]
7:49 AM | Understanding user interactions with the artificial pancreas
The ‘artificial pancreas’ is a new treatment for diabetes which allows for the automatic control of blood glucose levels by replicating some of the functions of a healthy pancreas. The system wirelessly links together a set of devices – a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and insulin pump, both body-mounted, and a tablet-mounted algorithm – in more

January 27, 2015

2:32 PM | At Last, the Orleans Parish School District Has a New Superintendent - Now what?
After a search that lasted more than two and a half years, the New Orleans Parish School Board found a new superintendent. Henderson Lewis Jr. was the board’s unanimous choice and he will soon have the opportunity to start the 180-Day action plan he presented during his interview. The Jan. 20 selection is cause for celebration - the board can reach consensus. However, let’s hope “Doc” Lewis can rally this disparate group of politicos for longer than the time it took to […]
10:22 AM | Solid Vs. Dissolved Sodium Chloride
Most commonly known as table salt or common salt and used as a condiment, sodium chloride (NaCl) is not only responsible for the salinity in the sea, but has vital metabolic functions in multicellular organisms, as the principal ions in extracellular fluids, such as blood. You can browse the different types of sodium chloride on [...]

January 26, 2015

6:03 PM | Debunking One Myth About U.S. Teachers
Charts by Jill Barshay. Data source: Who Enters Teaching? Encouraging Evidence that the Status of Teaching is Improving, Educational Researcher, December 2014 Back in 2010, McKinsey & Company issued a report that made a powerful argument: the world’s top performing school systems draw teachers from the best and brightest in their societies, but in the United States, almost half of new teachers come from the bottom third, as measured by SAT scores.  It’s been […]
1:45 PM | How Cyber Hacks Are Changing Higher Ed
From UMass Boston to Vermont’s Champlain College, institutes of higher education are trying to boost the number of graduates in a field that barely existed ten years ago: cyber security. And colleges and universities are scrambling to keep up with increased cyber security threats. For the past two decades, David Kaeli has been teaching electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University. Now, a rash of cyber hacks is changing how and what he teaches. “Security has to be […]

January 23, 2015

2:04 PM | Year-Round Pell Grants: What You Know is Probably Not True
The year-round Pell Grant was a widely misunderstood federal program. Despite existing for just a few short years, it has garnered a reputation as overly expensive and poorly implemented. But these popular myths disguise the true story of a valuable program that fell victim to broader economic circumstances beyond its control and years of Congressional unwillingness to address funding challenges. Those are the key findings from “Myths and Misunderstandings: The Undeserved Legacy of […]

January 22, 2015

8:45 PM | Public School: Our Best Weapon Against Terror Attacks on Freedom of Speech?
Waving flags and pens won’t unify a country like public schools can. If you want more patriotic citizens, then demand the integration of public schools. Protect the country from inside the schoolhouse out. This month’s attacks in Paris were both unpredictable and expected. Harder to defuse, lone-wolf terrorist plots continue to sprout abroad and in the U.S. Many domestic efforts have been foiled since 9/11, but one U.S. official said of decentralized attacks, “It’s like […]
9:04 AM | Crystal Violet in the Medical Industry
Crystal Violet is one of the most widely used indicators. It is purple in colour and is also known as Gentian Violet (due to its colour which resembles Gentian flowers), Methyl Violet 10B and Hexamethyl Pararpsaniline Chloride. Crystal Violet is mostly used as a dye, particularly for toner cartridges and paper inks, and also as [...]

January 21, 2015

10:51 PM | Gov. Bobby Jindal, Policy Wonk
No comment.
9:00 PM | Today in Bad Marketing Campaigns, a College without “College”
Those of us who follow higher education know that if one thing is constant in higher education it’s the effort colleges make to “rebrand” themselves, as more selective, more Christian, more artistic, or the ever-popular “more prestigious.” American colleges are, compared to the rest of the world, mostly pretty new. Some of this is understandable because so many institutions are really still figuring out what they want to be. But it turns out this sort of behavior […]

January 20, 2015

11:28 PM | Fact-Checking and the CUNY-Atlantic Debacle
On Tuesday last week the Atlantic published an article highlighting changes at the City University of New York, a college system that, in the view of the authors, was increasingly bifurcated. Wealthier white and Asian students tended to go to the top CUNY colleges, and poorer black and Hispanics tended to be relegated to the less selective community colleges run by the system. As a result, according to the original headline, “…High Achievers Have No Place To Go.” And then it […]
3:20 PM | At Education Week: Connect Children to the Classroom Early
Last week, Education Week released its annual Quality Counts report. This year, the report includes an expansive focus on early education: “Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown.” It’s worth checking out. As part of the release, I wrote a commentary in response to this question posed by Education Week: What’s a research concern that we still need answered about early-childhood education? I say that while there has been a great deal of research […]
3:00 PM | Dangers Associated with Denatured Alcohol
Denatured alcohol is classed as hazardous and therefore must be handled with care. It’s a highly flammable compound and should always be stored away from any sources of ignition, including flames, sparks and heat. Read on to understand the dangers associated with denatured alcohol. Learn how to use it safely and purchase it from Amazon. [...]
10:08 AM | Does Hinchingbrooke spell the end for privately run NHS hospitals?
Well, it doesn’t look good, does it? The private sector comes in with a flourish and then when the financial going gets tough and they’re about to get a dressing down on quality, Circle just walks away. However, the reality is a bit more complex than that. This hospital has struggled financially for years. For more
9:11 AM | Supplements and strict liability
Why should failing a drugs test due to a contaminated supplement lead to a doping ban for an athlete? Strict liability… Yesterday Rhys Williams and Gareth Warburton (Welsh athletes) were handed four […]

January 19, 2015

10:23 PM | Beauty Is Not In The Eye Of The Beholder
“Celebrity-endorsed” beauty products are not a construct initiated by modern society. Ancient medical authors often claimed that someone famous had used their products, such as Cleopatra or Thaïs in order to make their concoctions sound more appealing. Aetius of Amida (sixth century CE) related the recipe of a famous “soap used by the Patrician Pelagia […]
3:14 PM | Three Lessons From Data on the Best Ways to Give Feedback to Students
Proponents of computerized instruction often point out that software can give instant feedback to students. And that helps students learn more. That’s why a personal tutor can be so powerful. He or she can immediately react when there’s a misunderstanding and provide an explanation or a hint. But the truth is, educators don’t really understand how a teacher’s feedback leads to learning and exactly what kinds of feedback work best. A team of researchers led by Fabienne […]
3:09 PM | How We Can Pay Tribute to Mothers of Slain Children on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
They say, “A mother’s work is never done.” Depressingly, the work referenced in this motto can be that of social justice. As new leadership emerges in highflying cases of injustice, mothers of slain unarmed black men and boys have become primary teachers of the prevention of racial bias and discrimination. The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and an unrecognized number speak with unequivocal clarity as to who and what kill our children. As Sybrina […]

January 18, 2015

6:53 PM | Comments on President Obama's State of the Union Higher Education Proposals
As President Obama enters the last two years of his presidency, he has made higher education one of the key points in his policy platform. The announcement of a plan to give students two years of free tuition at community colleges has gotten a great deal of attention, even though a lot of details are still lacking. (See my analysis of the plan here.) In an unusual Saturday night release, the Obama Administration laid out some details of its tax proposals that will be further elaborated in […]

January 16, 2015

10:25 PM | Cool New Paper: Aspidella taphonomy and morphology
A new paper in the latest issue of Precambrian Research caught my eye, so I’m highlighting it here. Full discussion available on request. The paper is by Tarhan et al., entitled Taphonomy and morphology of the Ediacara form genus Aspidella. Back in the Ediacaran, Aspidella seems to have been a very popular organism: it’s one of the most common fossils we […] The post Cool New Paper: Aspidella taphonomy and morphology appeared first on Teaching […]
8:50 PM | Cool New Papers from Nature 517.7534
These are my three favourite papers from the latest issue of Nature. Just highlights, full discussions available on request. The first paper is an innovative evolutionary genetics study by Plata et al., entitled Long-term phenotypic evolution of bacteria. The cladogram above shows the phylogenetic scope of the study: in total, 322 species from 100 bacterial families were analysed, and 40 […] The post Cool New Papers from Nature 517.7534 appeared first on Teaching […]
2:59 PM | Seeking Political Support, Colleges Prod Students to Vote
From the day they turned up for orientation at California Polytechnic State University, freshmen were bombarded by a music video set to the catchy tune of the hip-hop hit Fancy. This version, though, was very different from the original sung by Australian hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea. Set in a Cal Poly classroom, it featured bored-looking students slowly being spurred — in a blaze of enthusiastic red, white and blue — to exercise their right to vote. “Students, voice your vote […]
2:54 PM | In Dutch Schools, More Time in School and More Educator Control
UTRECHT, The Netherlands — Last summer, when the Dutch government debated mandating that all schools provide three hours of physical education a week to students, Jasper Bunt, principal at a Montessori school called Oog in Al, argued against it. He already offered the required two hours of gym at his school in Utrecht, a city 30 miles south of Amsterdam. Another 60 minutes would mean giving up time in another subject. Bunt has each of his 350 students for 200 days a year — four […]
2:14 PM | Lamarck’s Legacy
In the latest issue of the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society is a review of Lamarck’s legacy, Nature and nurture: Lamarck’s legacy by Gadjev. A cool paper I am highlighting here, with full discussion available on request. I held several lectures on Lamarck, and in each one, I bow out with the same line: that when we are kids coming […] The post Lamarck’s Legacy appeared first on Teaching Biology.
5:12 AM | 2015: Puppy New Year! Get some science into your dog
2015 is a bright and shiny new year for canine science! But first, this face:After being a dog-less household for eight months (you might remember we sadly farewelled Elke in 2013 and gut-wrenchingly, also old man Caleb, in the first half of 2014) we welcomed a new member to the family at the end of 2014. Those paws. Not photoshopped.If I'm honest with you, I'd been stalking PetRescue quietly for a month or so, not really sure if the time was right, but also open to being inspired to […]

January 15, 2015

8:01 PM | The CUNY Problem: How a Public College Gives up on the Public
In 1961 New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed a bill to create the City University of New York, an inexpensive (and later open admissions) system of colleges designed, at least in part, to serve the city’s working class and minority community. The cheap price was a major attraction to the city’s high achieving, but low income, students. Many of them were academically capable of being admitted elsewhere, but knew that CUNY was an affordable way to get a degree, often while […]
4:52 PM | No, Libertarians, Community Colleges Are Not a Bad Investment Choice
We’re still a few weeks away from Punxsutawney Phil’s time to shine, but it’s already Groundhog Day on the Washington Post’s Post Everything blog thanks to Cato’s Neal McCluskey. His déjà vu moment: A critique of the President’s proposal for free community college grounded in warmed over lobbyist talking points about how for-profit colleges serve students better than these public institutions. Even if you did not read McCluskey’s piece, […]
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