This week, I started graduate classes for the first time as a student of Mass Communications at the LSU Manship School. Yahoo!
Thus begins my jump from a PhD in Biomedical Engineering to an advanced degree studying science journalism!
... Read more »
PH Longstaff. (2005) Security, resilience, and communication in unpredictable environments such as terrorism, natural disasters, and complex technology. Center for Information Policy Research. info:/
Earlier this year, Craig McClain from Deep Sea News wrote an editorial at Wired arguing that taxonomy as a scientific discipline was “going extinct.”
A short new paper challenges that view.
Joppa and colleagues looked at taxonomic research on cone snails (pictured), spiders, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals. The number of taxonomists studying each group has gone up in every case, not down.
The number of species being described is also going up, but it is actually not keeping up w........ Read more »
Joppa L, Roberts D, & Pimm S. (2011) The population ecology and social behaviour of taxonomists. Trends in Ecology . DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2011.07.010
The extent to which someone develops their passion and calling for is affected by when they are exposed to it, if it all. It wasn't until 2009 (the summer before my junior year) that I was first exposed to microfluidics when Dr. John T McDevitt came to Rice University. I wish I had met him earlier, because I was hooked from then on, and knew that I wanted to enter the field. Although I had been somewhat familiar with nanotechnology and MEMS since high school, I had never heard anything about mic........ Read more »
Nguyen, D., McLane, J., Lew, V., Pegan, J., & Khine, M. (2011) Shrink-film microfluidic education modules: Complete devices within minutes. Biomicrofluidics, 5(2), 22209. DOI: 10.1063/1.3576930
A while back, I Links Dumped Josh Rosenau's Post Firing Bad Teachers Doesn't Create good Teachers, arguing that rather than just firing teachers who need some improvement, schools should look at, well, helping them improve. This produced a bunch of scoffing in a place I can't link to, basically taking the view that people are either good at what they do, or they're not, and if they're not, you just fire them and hire somebody else. I was too busy to respond at the time, but marked that doen as s........ Read more »
Allen, J., Pianta, R., Gregory, A., Mikami, A., & Lun, J. (2011) An Interaction-Based Approach to Enhancing Secondary School Instruction and Student Achievement. Science, 333(6045), 1034-1037. DOI: 10.1126/science.1207998
Yttrium-doped Bismuth Strontium Calcium Copper Oxide (BSCCO) films, specifically Bi 2212, were succesfully deposited with preserved sample concentration using Infrared Pulsed Laser Deposition (IR PLD) as written in a recent publication from the National Institute of Physics, University of the Philippines Diliman . It was also shown that by using appropriate annealing, desired qualities for electronic applications can be obtained.... Read more »
De Vero, J., Blanca, G., Vitug, J., Garcia, W., & Sarmago, R. (2011) Stoichiometric transfer of material in the infrared pulsed laser deposition of yttrium doped Bi-2212 films. Physica C: Superconductivity, 471(11-12), 378-383. DOI: 10.1016/j.physc.2011.03.010
Is it just me, or are biomedical papers about searching for a systematic review often of low quality or just too damn obvious? I’m seldom excited about papers dealing with optimal search strategies or peculiarities of PubMed, even though it is my specialty. It is my impression, that many of the lower quality and/or less relevant papers are [...]... Read more »
Winchester DE, & Bavry AA. (2010) Limitations of the MEDLINE database in constructing meta-analyses. Annals of internal medicine, 153(5), 347-8. PMID: 20820050
Leclercq E, Kramer B, & Schats W. (2011) Limitations of the MEDLINE database in constructing meta-analyses. Annals of internal medicine, 154(5), 371. PMID: 21357916
A few days ago I became aware of the publication of a cool new paper: "Defining seasonal marine microbial community dynamics" by Jack A. Gilbert, Joshua A Steele, J Gregory Caporaso, Lars Steinbrück, Jens Reeder, Ben Temperton, Susan Huse, Alice C McHardy, Rob Knight, Ian Joint, Paul Somerfield, Jed A Fuhrman and Dawn Field. The paper was published in the ISME Journal and is freely available using the ISME Open option.
If you want to know more about Jack (in case you don't k........ Read more »
Gilbert JA, Steele JA, Caporaso JG, Steinbrück L, Reeder J, Temperton B, Huse S, McHardy AC, Knight R, Joint I.... (2011) Defining seasonal marine microbial community dynamics. The ISME journal. PMID: 21850055
Working for yourself will make you happier, more satisfied and more productive. These are the surprising conclusions of over two decades of life-satisfaction research – Which is rather odd; considering that being your own boss means no health insurance, no pension and no end of the month office party (!!) With increasing pressure on salaried … Continue reading »... Read more »
Carree, M., & Verheul, I. (2011) What Makes Entrepreneurs Happy? Determinants of Satisfaction Among Founders. Journal of Happiness Studies. DOI: 10.1007/s10902-011-9269-3
ANDERSSON, P. (2008) Happiness and health: Well-being among the self-employed. Journal of Socio-Economics, 37(1), 213-236. DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2007.03.003
The New York Times reported a couple of days ago that "Federal regulators and the generic drug industry are putting the final touches on an agreement that would help speed the approval of generic drugs in this country and increase inspections at foreign plants that export generic drugs and drug ingredients to the United States." The generic drug manufactures will pay an annual fee of 299$ million dollars, so that the FDA will be able to hire more reviewers and speed up approval of applications ........ Read more »
van der Meersch, A., Dechartres, A., & Ravaud, P. (2011) Quality of Reporting of Bioequivalence Trials Comparing Generic to Brand Name Drugs: A Methodological Systematic Review. PLoS One. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0023611
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, my NIH-focused Reader, you will have heard of the explosive findings of Ginther et al (2011) who reported on an analysis of racial and ethnic disparity in the review and funding of NIH grant applications.
There is a lot to discuss about these findings. A LOT. Well beyond the scope of one or even six blog posts. Commentary from the Office of Extramural Research, the NIMH and the Chronicle of Higher Education are worthwhile reads and there is a bit on Na........ Read more »
Thomson Reuters' Impact Factor (IF) is supposed to provide a measure for how often the average publication in a scientific journal is cited and thus a quantitative basis for ranking journals. However, there are (at least) three major problems with the IF:The IF is negotiable and doesn't reflect actual citation counts (source)The IF cannot be reproduced, even if it reflected actual citations (source)The IF is not statistically sound, even if it were reproducible and reflected actual citations (so........ Read more »
Seglen PO. (1997) Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 314(7079), 498-502. PMID: 9056804
Boiron, a multinational pharmaceutical company, have threatened an Italian blogger with legal action, the BMJ reports.
Many people are concerned when big pharmaceutical companies do this kind of thing. So I don't think we should make any exception merely because Boiron's pharmaceuticals happen to be homeopathic ones.
Samuel Riva, who blogs (in Italian) at blogzero.it, put up some articles critical of homeopathy
which included pictures of Boiron’s blockbuster homoeopathic product Oscillococci........ Read more »
Turone F. (2011) Homoeopathy multinational Boiron threatens amateur Italian blogger. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 21840920
With these beautiful words starts a recollection paper by the founder of arXiv, Paul Ginsparg. This is worth the reading as this history spans a number of years exactly overlapping the computer revolution that definitely changed our lives. What Paul also changed through these new information tools was the way researchers should approach scientific communication. [...]... Read more »
R. Aouane, V. Bornyakov, E. -M. Ilgenfritz, V. Mitrjushkin, M. Müller-Preussker, & A. Sternbeck. (2011) Landau gauge gluon and ghost propagators at finite temperature from quenched lattice QCD. arXiv. arXiv: 1108.1735v1
A critical examination of recent study suggesting that the pursuit of romantic goals hampers women's efforts in science... Read more »
Park LE, Young AF, Troisi JD, & Pinkus RT. (2011) Effects of everyday romantic goal pursuit on women's attitudes toward math and science. Personality , 37(9), 1259-73. PMID: 21617021
Yeah, once again, almost everyone got it right. There are few songs that tend to stick in your head as much as stayin’ alive does, and indeed, it is just the right beat to make your CPR go along with. … Continue reading →... Read more »
Matlock, D., Hafner, J., Bockewitz, E., Barker, L., & Dewar, J. (2008) 83: “Stayin' Alive”: A Pilot Study to Test the Effectiveness of a Novel Mental Metronome in Maintaining Appropriate Compression Rates in Simulated Cardiac Arrest Scenarios. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 52(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2008.06.149
Fighting the lore of wikipedia is an increasingly futile battle but there are people who resist using and improving the online encyclopedia. The remarkable thing is that some of this resistance comes from the scientific and academic communities, two groups of people who are supposedly concerned with the dissemination of knowledge. Wikipedia is the lore With [...]... Read more »
Alexander L. Bond. (2011) Why ornithologists should embrace and contribute to Wikipedia. Ibis, 153(3), 640-641. DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2011.01135.x
PLoS ONE offers the confessions of a former medical ghostwriter: Being the Ghost in the Machine.
The article (which is open access and short, so well worth a read) explains how Linda Logdberg became a medical writer; what excited her about the job; what she actually did; and what made her eventually give it up.
Ghostwriting of course has a bad press at the moment and it's recently been banned by some leading research centres. Ghostwriting certainly is concerning, because of what it implies ab........ Read more »
Logdberg, L. (2011) Being the Ghost in the Machine: A Medical Ghostwriter's Personal View. PLoS Medicine, 8(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001071
In part I and part II, we discussed several of the gender gaps in Wikipedia. In this part, we'll talk about reverted edits, blocking, and their association with female and male editors. .
Blocking The hypothesis here was that "Female editors are less likely to be blocked." However, there wasn't a statistically significant difference in the percentage of females blocked (4.39%) and males blocked (4.52%). Surprisingly, females were significantly more likely to be blocked indefinitely (3.85% and 3........ Read more »
Lam, S., Uduwage, A., Dong, Z., Sen, S., Musicant, D. R., Terveen, L., & Terveen, J. (2011) WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia’s Gender Imbalance. WikiSym’11, October 3–5, Mountain View, California. info:/
The hydrocarbon economy is faltering as oil reserves dwindle worldwide (Hirsch, 2008). Commodity prices have begun to fluctuate drastically due to the uncertain cost of petroleum, which resulted in food riots around the world in 2008. With a steadily decreasing energy supply and the demands on energy systems continually growing, the planet is in dire economic, geopolitical, and environmental straits. In order to halt the advance of climate change, prevent ecological collapse, rescue the globa........ Read more »
Agapakis, C., Ducat, D., Boyle, P., Wintermute, E., Way, J., & Silver, P. (2010) Insulation of a synthetic hydrogen metabolism circuit in bacteria. Journal of Biological Engineering, 4(1), 3. DOI: 10.1186/1754-1611-4-3
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Atsumi, S., Higashide, W., & Liao, J. (2009) Direct photosynthetic recycling of carbon dioxide to isobutyraldehyde. Nature Biotechnology, 27(12), 1177-1180. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1586
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Ghirardi, M., Posewitz, M., Maness, P., Dubini, A., Yu, J., & Seibert, M. (2007) Hydrogenases and Hydrogen Photoproduction in Oxygenic Photosynthetic Organisms . Annual Review of Plant Biology, 58(1), 71-91. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.58.032806.103848
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A genetically modified virus that can make hidden tumours light up may lead to a new and more effective way of screening for cancer. Some cancers are helpful enough to give off obvious clues to their existence. Prostate cancer, for example, can be detected as it raises the levels of a protein called PSA in the blood. Many, however, leave no such trace. Sufferers of these diseases can, therefore, remain in the dark about their condition, delaying treatment and lowering their chances of survival.... Read more »
Browne, A., Leddon, J., Currier, M., Williams, J., Frischer, J., Collins, M., Ahn, C., & Cripe, T. (2011) Cancer Screening by Systemic Administration of a Gene Delivery Vector Encoding Tumor-Selective Secretable Biomarker Expression. PLoS ONE, 6(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019530
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