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128 posts · 139,591 views

A science blog from award-winning science writer David Bradley covering everything from astronomy to zoology by way of bio, chemistry, nano and physics

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  • February 17, 2011
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,078 views

Can we count on journal metrics?

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

How do you rank science, how do you rate scientists, what kudos do you give their papers and what metrics do you attach to the impact of a paper? They’re questions as old as the scientific literature itself. But, no one has resolved them. Independent organisations and publishers have attempted with the likes of the [...]Can we count on journal metrics? is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • February 10, 2011
  • 08:00 AM
  • 987 views

Breaking down technology transfer barriers

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Breaking down the technical and legal barriers are essential if technology transfer from academia to industry is to be done efficiently and effectively, according to researchers in Spain. Antonio Hidalgo, Professor of Technology Strategy at the Technical University of Madrid and José Albors, Professor of Business Administration at the Technical University of Valencia explain that [...]Breaking down technology transfer barriers is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Antonio Hidalgo, & José Albors. (2011) University-industry technology transfer models: an empirical analysis. Int. J. Innovation and Learning, 9(2), 204-223. info:/

  • February 1, 2011
  • 02:00 PM
  • 1,082 views

The trouble with encryption

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Lots of us encrypt files using the likes of AxCrypt and TrueCrypt. If there’s a risk of losing a device carrying sensitive information such as contacts, email, bank statements, invoices etc, then it is worth using such a tool. The ease with which a file, folder or even complete hard drive or USB device can [...]The trouble with encryption is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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George R.S. Weir, & Michael Morran. (2010) Hiding the hidden message: approaches to textual steganography. Int. J. Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, 3(3), 223-233. info:/

  • January 5, 2011
  • 02:45 AM
  • 973 views

Invisible hairs cause baldness

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

A topic close to my scalp: male-pattern baldness. Regular readers will be aware of my long, wavy locks from teenage years. But, as I got older, it all waved goodbye (my Dad’s joke! He’s even less than cranially hirsute too). Now, scientists in Pennsylvania reckon they have shown that faulty stem cells in the scalp [...]Invisible hairs cause baldness is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • December 9, 2010
  • 05:00 AM
  • 858 views

A few facts about asbestos

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Today, medical journal The Lancet has publicly criticised the Canadian government for its attitude towards asbestos, saying that although Canada will not expose its own citizens to asbestos, it will continue exporting the deadly substance to developing nations [Canada accused of hypocrisy, Lancet]. A few facts about asbestos All forms of asbestos are proven human [...]A few facts about asbestos is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Collegium Ramazzini. (2010) Asbestos is still with us: repeat call for a universal ban. International Journal of Environment and Health, 4(4), 380-388. info:/

  • December 6, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 873 views

Searching for scientific abbreviations

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Ambiguous abbreviations and acronyms are annoyances when it comes to text search and data mining. As a writer-editor, I was always taught to spell out the long form (LF) of a short form (SF) at first mention in a document so that the reader would know that when I mentioned EBV I was referring to [...]Searching for scientific abbreviations is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Min Song. (2010) LFXtractor: Text chunking for long form detection from biomedical text. International Journal of Functional Informatics and Personalised Medicine, 3(2), 89-102. info:/

  • November 29, 2010
  • 12:00 PM
  • 952 views

Climate change and digital music

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Information technology has a carbon footprint, that’s beyond doubt. Now, writing in a special issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology, Christopher Weber, Jonathan Koomey and Scott Matthews in the US in work supported by grants from Microsoft Corporation and Intel Corporation have calculated that purchasing music digitally reduces the energy and carbon dioxide emissions [...]Climate change and digital music is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • November 24, 2010
  • 12:00 PM
  • 739 views

Pharma industry could thrive in open

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

The pharmaceutical industry is facing tough times. The patents for many of the billion-dollar blockbuster drugs have expired, generics have taken market share. Health insurance companies and national health services are under increasing pressure to cut costs. Manufacturers and governments in the developing world are either ignoring intellectual property rights totally and producing generics for [...]Pharma industry could thrive in open is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Ram Subramanian, Jeffrey H. Toney, & C. Jayachandran. (2011) The evolution of research and development in the pharmaceutical industry: toward the open innovation model – can pharma reinvent itself?. Int. J. Business Innovation and Research, 5(1), 63-74. info:/

  • November 11, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 772 views

Making the web work for academia

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

The internet has changed fundamentally the way we communicate, the way we work, even the way we live our lives. That much is obvious to anyone who has ever shopped at Amazon, looked up a reference on PubMed, or gone social via Facebook. Those of us who’ve been using email and the wider world tools [...]Making the web work for academia is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Lyle R. Wetsch, & Kristen Pike. (2010) Marketing in a Web 2.0 world with a Web 1.0 mentality: the challenge of social web marketing in academic institutions. Int. J. Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 3(4), 398-414. info:/

  • October 8, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 882 views

Unlocking nano secrets

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

An open or shut case for nanotechnology secrets Should nanotechnology R&D be more open to allow it to thrive in the commercial world, or should companies working in this field be more secretive? Paradoxically, the answer seems to be that keeping secrets stifles innovation and reduces patent success. According to Associate Professor of Management at [...]Unlocking nano secrets is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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G. Steven McMillan. (2010) Openness vs. secrecy in nanotechnology. International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 6(3), 205-209. info:/

  • September 8, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 871 views

Phantom radiation protection

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Ionizing radiation exists as either subatomic particles (alpha and beta particles, and neutrons) or photons (electromagnetic waves at X-ray and gamma ray wavelengths, i.e. energies of a few electron volts). The energy from such radiation can strip electrons from atoms or molecules, thus ionizing them, but it has to have an energy above a certain [...]Phantom radiation protection is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Mauro Valente, Francisco Malano, & Germán Tirao. (2010) A computational tool for evaluating the exposure risk in nuclear medicine treatments. Int. J. Low Radiation, 7(4), 333-346. info:/

  • August 20, 2010
  • 04:26 AM
  • 836 views

What’s the point of the semantic web?

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

I was scanning journal tables of contents as usual this week and it occurred to me that there must be a better way to find relevant and timely research information that would be of interest to Sciencebase readers…and, of course, out pops the following title: Technically approaching the semantic web bottleneck Sounded, perfect…kind of…but what’s [...]What’s the point of the semantic web? is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Nikolaos Konstantinou, Dimitrios-Emmanuel Spanos, Periklis Stavrou, & Nikolas Mitrou. (2010) Technically approaching the semantic web bottleneck. Int. J. Web Engineering and Technology, 6(1), 83-111. info:/

  • August 19, 2010
  • 11:30 AM
  • 884 views

Cleaning up emissions

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Emissions trading is an economic workaround, a fudge if you will, to reducing one’s pollution levels by buying off the emissions credits of others who are polluting less. Emissions trading (also known as cap and trade) is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of [...]Cleaning up emissions is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • August 10, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,000 views

Social impact of science

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

The social impact of science and knowledge evolution – New research that analyses 500 years of scientific history comes to the perhaps obvious conclusion that those nations that support science and the evolution of knowledge through education, infrastructure and funding, produce stronger societies the members of which have a better standard of living and are [...]Social impact of science is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Luiz C.M. Miranda, & Carlos A.S. Lima. (2010) On trends and rhythms in scientific and technological knowledge evolution: a quantitative analysis. Int. J. Technology Intelligence and Planning, 6(1), 76-109. info:/

  • July 26, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 696 views

Headhunting goes automatic for the people

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Very few people work alone in the so-called knowledge economy. Even a lowly freelance science writer has a network of editors, publishers and other associates on which they rely to get their words out to an audience. The point is even more apparent in the world of research where often vast teams of experts must [...]Headhunting goes automatic for the people is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Neil Rubens, Mikko Vilenius, Toshio Okamoto, & Dain Kaplan. (2010) CAFE: Collaboration Aimed at Finding Experts. Int. J. Knowledge and Web Intelligence, 1(3/4), 169-186. info:/

  • July 23, 2010
  • 01:16 PM
  • 899 views

Sweet sensors

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Nothing new under the sun, as the bard said, and how true it is sometimes. No sooner had I posted a news article on spectroscopynow.com entitled “Sweet sense of GOD” than Santhosh Challa, a Senior Scientist at Merck & Co in New Jersey, USA, got in touch to tell me that his team had also [...]Sweet sensors is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • July 20, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 889 views

Just say no to sunscreen nanophobia!

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Once again we’re at a pivotal point in human development, where a novel technology might allow us to improve the lot of millions, perhaps billions of people across the globe and yet activists are invoking the precautionary principle and informing consumers of the possible dangers therein. As happened with vaccines, nuclear energy, genetically modified crops, [...]Just say no to sunscreen nanophobia! is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Thomas Faunce. (2010) Exploring the safety of nanoparticles in Australian sunscreens. Int. J. Biomed. Nanosci. Nanotechnol., 1(1), 87-94. info:/

  • July 5, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 966 views

The hidden, invisible, and private web

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Everyone knows that Google and the other search engines between them crawl, spider, and slurp up the whole internet, right? Wrong! The millions of websites that are obviously available on the internet are readily searchable, Google Bing, Yahoo, and their ilk have seen to that, we can usually find documents, pages, digital images, videos, music, [...]The hidden, invisible, and private web is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog

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Peter Mork, Ken Smith, Barbara Blaustein, Christopher Wolf, Ken Samuel, Keri Sarver, & Irina Vayndiner. (2010) Facilitating discovery on the private web using dataset digests. International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies, 5(3), 170-183. info:/

  • June 17, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 780 views

The push and pull of third world drugs

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog


Diseases can be classified as Type I (those that are incident in both rich and poor countries); Type II (those that are incident in both rich and poor countries but with a substantial proportion in poor countries, for example tuberculosis [and malaria]) and Type III (those that are overwhelmingly or exclusively [...]The push and pull of third world drugs is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog

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Sudip Chaudhuri. (2010) R. Int. J. Technology and Globalisation, 5(1/2), 61-75. info:/

  • June 8, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,073 views

Testing tests

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog


Teaching is meant to help students learn, usually about a specific subject, but more broadly about social interactions, working in a team, under duress, about life in general. They say that your schooldays are the best days of your lives, but perish the thought I’ve never been one for clichés and that one smacks of [...]Testing tests is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog

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Ana Paula Alturas, & Bráulio Alturas. (2010) Differentiation in the assessment between different groups of students: are experience and maturity more important than learning time?. Int. J. Information and Operations Management Education, 3(3), 256-271. info:/

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