Elsevier is trying a new format for research articles here and they are, somewhat pretentiously, calling it the “article of the future.” It’s always risky to attach “future” to these sorts of things, as it tends to get people bitching that they don’t have their flying cars and personal jet packs yet.
As far as I can tell, Elsevier’s experiment seems to be confined to one of its big flagship journals, Cell, for now. An example is here, which I like becau........ Read more »
Can children get bipolar disorder?It depends who you ask. It's "controversial". Some say that, like schizophrenia, bipolar strikes in adolescence or after, and that pre-pubertal onset is extraordinarily rare. Others say that kids can be, and often are, bipolar, but their symptoms may differ from the ones seen in adults. You know a 20 year old's manic when they stay up for 3 days straight writing a book about how God's chosen them to save the world. A 10 year old, though, is more likely to show ........ Read more »
Parry, P., Furber, G., & Allison, S. (2009) The Paediatric Bipolar Hypothesis: The View from Australia and New Zealand. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 14(3), 140-147. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-3588.2008.00505.x
Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »
Bayes, J., & Malik, H. (2009) Altered Heterochromatin Binding by a Hybrid Sterility Protein in Drosophila Sibling Species. Science, 326(5959), 1538-1541. DOI: 10.1126/science.1181756
Sahar, S., Zocchi, L., Kinoshita, C., Borrelli, E., & Sassone-Corsi, P. (2010) Regulation of BMAL1 Protein Stability and Circadian Function by GSK3β-Mediated Phosphorylation. PLoS ONE, 5(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008561
I cannot even count the number of times when I have been denied access to a journal article I needed. Oftentimes, it was while I was working on a paper in college and couldn’t read the paper that all the other scholars cited, or the paper that supported an argument I was trying to make. [...]... Read more »
Shulenburger, D. (2009) University Public-Access Mandates Are Good for Science. PLoS Biology, 7(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000237
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
In Quentin Skinner's celebrated history The Foundations of Modern Political Thought he writes that:
If the history of political theory were to be written essentially as a history of ideologies, one outcome might be a clearer understanding of the links between political theory and practice.
In Part II of this series I highlighted how a common objection to the political theory of social Darwinism is that it was a misapplication of Darwin's science to already existing id........ Read more »
Crook, P. (1998) Social Darwinism and British “new imperialism”: Second thoughts. The European Legacy, 3(1), 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/10848779808579860
In most of the discussions of using usage as a metric of scholarly impact, the example of the clinician is given. The example goes that medical articles might be heavily used and indeed have a huge impact on practice (saving lives), but be uncited. There are other fields that have practitioners who pull from the literature, but do not contribute to it. So it was with interest that I read this new article by the MacRoberts: MacRoberts, M., & MacRoberts, B. (2009). Problems of citatio........ Read more »
MacRoberts, M., & MacRoberts, B. (2009) Problems of citation analysis: A study of uncited and seldom-cited influences. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 1-12. DOI: 10.1002/asi.21228
I’ve had this post percolating in draft form for a while, as I come across more web-based resources for scientists. Yesterday, I saw an article in Cell by Laura Bonetta titled “Should You be Tweeting?” (OK, I downloaded the pdf of the article from my university library. I haven’t touched a physical journal, except the [...]... Read more »
It's not information overload, it's filter failure (Clay Shirky)Bonetta (2009) gave an excellent introduction to the micro-blogging service Twitter and its uses and limitations for scientific communication. We believe that other social networking tools merit a similar introduction, especially those that provide more effective filtering of scientifically relevant information than Twitter. We find that FriendFeed (already mentioned in the first online comment on the article, by Jo Badge) shares al........ Read more »
(Co-blogged with Björn Brembs and Allyson Lister.)
"It's not information overload, it's filter failure." (Clay Shirky)
Bonetta (2009) gave an excellent introduction to the micro-blogging service Twitter and its uses and limitations for scientific communication. We believe that other social networking tools merit a similar introduction, especially those that provide more effective filtering of scientifically relevant information than Twitter. We find that Fri........ Read more »
I have a diverse set of research interests - high-end microscopy, immunology, infectious disease, cancer, etc. Its rare that a paper hits the "awesome" end of the scale in most of those categories, but this week Nature Immunology published a paper that got the nerd senses tingling. In this tour-de-force, Mark Davis's group uses a new form of microscopy to analyse how T-cells work.As usual, a bit of background first.T-cells are the major regulatory cell of our immune system. The........ Read more »
Lillemeier, B., Mörtelmaier, M., Forstner, M., Huppa, J., Groves, J., & Davis, M. (2009) TCR and Lat are expressed on separate protein islands on T cell membranes and concatenate during activation. Nature Immunology, 11(1), 90-96. DOI: 10.1038/ni.1832
Ever wanted to crack the mysteries of the brain? Dreamed of discovering the cause of mental illness?Well, now, you can - or, at any rate, you can try - and you can do it from the comfort of your own home, thanks to the new Stanley Neuropathology Consortium Integrative Database.Just register (it's free and instant) and you get access to a pool of data derived from the Stanley Neuropathology Consortium brain collection. The collection comprises 60 frozen brains - 15 each from people with schizoph........ Read more »
Kim, S., & Webster, M. (2009) The Stanley Neuropathology Consortium Integrative Database: a Novel, Web-Based Tool for Exploring Neuropathological Markers in Psychiatric Disorders and the Biological Processes Associated with Abnormalities of Those Markers. Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(2), 473-482. DOI: 10.1038/npp.2009.151
With over 800,000 journal articles published in 2008 alone, it’s impossible even for experts to read all the peer-reviewed research published in their fields. So how do they choose which articles to read? How do non-experts decide which articles are the most important? Until recently, there really wasn’t an effective way to assess the importance [...]... Read more »
Last week I gave a talk to some students at the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), at the University of Leeds. I've been an honorary Visiting Research Fellow with POLIS since April 2006, and it's a rare occasion when I'm actually on-site. In fact, this was only the second time, the first being a talk I gave in late 2007. Then, I was still a serving staff officer with NATO, and my talk was about a book I'd just published. This time, I was speaking as an acad........ Read more »
Eckl, J. (2008) "Responsible Scholarship After Leaving the Veranda: Normative Issues Faced by Field Researchers-and Armchair Scientists." . International Political Sociology, 2(3), 185-203. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-5687.2008.00044.x
Some examples and some advice on scientists becoming politicians...... Read more »
Binocular adaptive optics visual simulator. (2009) Binocular adaptive optics visual simulator. Optics Letters. info:/
Things need to get transported around inside of our cells. For example, proteins meant to detect extracellular signals like hormones must move to the cell surface; otherwise they won't work. Much of this cargo gets moved through small balloon-like structures called vesicles. Rather than drifting randomly, these "balloons" move along tracks in the cell called microtubules; long, filamentous proteins that form a skeleton within the cell. ike a train, these "balloons" require a motor to pull the........ Read more »
Cai D, McEwen DP, Martens JR, Meyhofer E, & Verhey KJ. (2009) Single molecule imaging reveals differences in microtubule track selection between Kinesin motors. PLoS biology, 7(10). PMID: 19823565
There is an interesting review  (and special issue) in the Biochemical Journal today, published by Portland Press Ltd. It provides (quote) “a whirlwind tour of recent projects to transform scholarly publishing paradigms, culminating in Utopia and the Semantic Biochemical Journal experiment”. Here is a quick outline of the publishing projects the review describes and [...]... Read more »
Attwood, T., Kell, D., McDermott, P., Marsh, J., Pettifer, S., & Thorne, D. (2009) Calling International Rescue: knowledge lost in literature and data landslide!. Biochemical Journal, 424(3), 317-333. DOI: 10.1042/BJ20091474
Fink, J., Kushch, S., Williams, P., & Bourne, P. (2008) BioLit: integrating biological literature with databases. Nucleic Acids Research, 36(Web Server). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkn317
Shotton, D., Portwin, K., Klyne, G., & Miles, A. (2009) Adventures in Semantic Publishing: Exemplar Semantic Enhancements of a Research Article. PLoS Computational Biology, 5(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000361
Pafilis, E., O'Donoghue, S., Jensen, L., Horn, H., Kuhn, M., Brown, N., & Schneider, R. (2009) Reflect: augmented browsing for the life scientist. Nature Biotechnology, 27(6), 508-510. DOI: 10.1038/nbt0609-508
Pettifer, S., Thorne, D., McDermott, P., Marsh, J., Villéger, A., Kell, D., & Attwood, T. (2009) Visualising biological data: a semantic approach to tool and database integration. BMC Bioinformatics, 10(Suppl 6). DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-10-S6-S19
Andy Maloney, a Ph.D. student in our lab, recently read and summarized a very interesting paper in his open lab notebook. The paper, "Taxol Crystals Can Masquerade as Stabilized Microtubules," was published in PLoS ONE in January of 2008 by Margit Foss, Buck W. L. Wilcox, G. Bradley Alsop, and Dahong Zhang1. Since our lab is now heavily involved in experiments involving kinesin and microtubules, and because it addresses something that had been a mystery to us, the paper really caught my intere........ Read more »
Foss M, Wilcox BW, Alsop GB, & Zhang D. (2008) Taxol crystals can masquerade as stabilized microtubules. PloS one, 3(1). PMID: 18213384
Good idea: A paper in the Journal of Heredity proposes sequencing 10,000 genomes...
Bad idea: ...of vertebrates.
A news article in Science characterized this in the title as, “No genome left behind.” But of course, it leaves a tremendous number of genomes behind, namely, every single invertebrate. What are the current estimates for number of vertebrate species? Maybe 60,000 or so? The crustaceans alone probably have about the same number of species. The number of vertebrate species is not ........ Read more »
Genome 10K Community of Scientists. (2009) Genome 10K: A Proposal to Obtain Whole-Genome Sequence for 10 000 Vertebrate Species. Journal of Heredity, 100(6), 659-674. DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esp086
Quantifying research quality is a buzz-activity in academia for the last two decades. The irony is lost in the paper work. For reasons best left out in this essay, this activity has come to stay in our academics. One such quantifying-quality measure (QQM) evolved recently is the Impact Factor (IF) of journals  that publish [...]
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Discusses a review article by Bouthenia Jemel, Laurent Mottron and Michelle Dawson that finds inconsistent evidence for atypical fusiform-gyrus activity in autistic people looking at faces. I also review two fMRI studies of face processing in autism that came out after Jemel et al. (2006) was published.... Read more »
Dalton KM, Nacewicz BM, Johnstone T, Schaefer HS, Gernsbacher MA, Goldsmith HH, Alexander AL, & Davidson RJ. (2005) Gaze fixation and the neural circuitry of face processing in autism. Nature neuroscience, 8(4), 519-26. PMID: 15750588
Jemel, B., Mottron, L., & Dawson, M. (2006) Impaired Face Processing in Autism: Fact or Artifact?. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(1), 91-106. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-005-0050-5
Neumann D, Spezio ML, Piven J, & Adolphs R. (2006) Looking you in the mouth: abnormal gaze in autism resulting from impaired top-down modulation of visual attention. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 1(3), 194-202. PMID: 18985106
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