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  • June 8, 2013
  • 12:45 PM

Get Science Right: Covering Fraud

by Andrew Porterfield in United Academics

In the search for truth and answers, scientists often get it wrong. That’s the way science works; you test a hypothesis, compare your results, tweak your ideas, and maybe create a new hypothesis. Error is a big part of this process—but what if those errors are, instead, deliberate fraud? ... Read more »

  • June 6, 2013
  • 06:26 PM

Gullibility and pseudoscience, bridged by headlines

by Kausik Datta in In Scientio Veritas

Research outcomes from acupuncture and alternative medicine studies are being reported uncritically by media without the application of the scientific filters or examination of claims. This doesn't augur well for science communication or public health or patients.... Read more »

  • June 6, 2013
  • 02:26 PM

Gullibility and pseudoscience, bridged by headlines

by Kausik Datta in In Scientio Veritas

Much have been made in the media recently, of a February 2013 paper, published by a German group in the Annals of Internal Medicine, claiming that acupuncture may help relieve seasonal allergies. Always interested in examining the bold claims of efficacy by various forms of pseudoscientific, wannabe-medicine modalities (such as homeopathy, naturopathy, and so forth), I elected to go to the source; the paper was behind an annoying paywall, but thankfully, I had institutional access, and dove in. ........ Read more »

  • June 6, 2013
  • 04:24 AM

More Money makes you Bad at Work: The Myth of Performance-Related Pay.

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Motivated by money? I confess I am. Well ok, not always: there are plenty of things that will trump a stack of greenbacks. However, few of us would object to a kindly benefactor plopping a million quid into our current account. Even for the least materially-minded, it would be difficult to ignore such an offer: … Continue reading »... Read more »

ARIELY, D., GNEEZY, U., LOEWENSTEIN, G., & MAZAR, N. (2009) Large Stakes and Big Mistakes. Review of Economic Studies, 76(2), 451-469. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009.00534.x  

  • May 31, 2013
  • 10:40 AM

How Science Education Changes Your Drawing Style

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Take a look at these neurons. Ignore the fact that several of the brain cells look like snowflakes and at least one looks like an avocado. Can you pick out the drawings done by experienced, professional neuroscientists? What about the ones made by undergraduate science students?

Researchers at King's College London gave a simple task to 232 people: "Draw a neuron." (Actually, being British, they said "Please draw a neuron.") Some of the subjects were undergraduates in a neurobiology lecture......... Read more »

  • May 27, 2013
  • 09:56 AM

Fixing Science, Not Just Psychology

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Neuroskeptic readers will know that there’s been a lot of concern lately over unreproducible results and false positives in psychology and neuroscience. In response to these worries, there have been growing calls for reform of the way psychology is researched and published. We’ve seen several initiatives promoting replication and, to my mind even more importantly, [...]... Read more »

  • May 26, 2013
  • 06:09 PM

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Untrue

by Grace Lindsay in Neurdiness

This is a piece about the present state, and potential future, of fraud in scientific research which  I wrote for a Responsible Conduct in Research course taught at Columbia. There seems to be a trend as of late of prominent scientific researchers been outed for fabrications or falsifications in their data. Diederik Stapel’s extravagant web of […]... Read more »

  • May 24, 2013
  • 09:11 PM

What music do dogs prefer? Bach vs. Snoop Dogg

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hey Julie,I hope you've had a fun week. I saw a new in-press publication with your name on it - "Smelling more or less: Investigating the olfactory experience of the domestic dog" - looks like a really great study, and so timely after my last post about dogs and olfactory enrichment!  Looking forward to reading it (and all those other cool Learning and Motivation articles) over the weekend. So did you do your homework? Did you watch this clip from the Sydney Opera H........ Read more »

Kogan Lori R., Schoenfeld-Tacher Regina, & Simon Allen A. (2012) Behavioral effects of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 7(5), 268-275. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2011.11.002  

  • May 23, 2013
  • 07:15 PM

Molecular visualization tools - Survey and practical tips

by Ragothamanyennamalli in Getting to know Structural Bioinformatics

What would be like to teach a class or describe someone about a protein, without visualizing its structure? Boring is one word that pops in my mind. I vividly remember the professor drawing two blobs touching each other, to describe protein-protein interaction, while explaining it either on the blackboard or on the transparencies of a over-head projector. Those were the days! Tracing back nearly 60 years back, when John Kendrew showed everyone a coiled mess, it has fueled every scientist's ........ Read more »

Craig, P., Michel, L., & Bateman, R. (2013) A survey of educational uses of molecular visualization freeware. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 41(3), 193-205. DOI: 10.1002/bmb.20693  

  • May 23, 2013
  • 03:58 PM

Cryptococcus gattii Gone Wild on World Tour

by Kausik Datta in In Scientio Veritas

By now you know, dear readers, that Cryptococcus gattii (CG), the deadly fungal pathogen and a native of tropical and subtropical regions of the world, has stealthily charted itself a course of world domination, starting with the Pacific Northwest of North America. I have also alerted you to the possibilities about its transmission - (a) that CG may have spread as a result of human activity, human and avian migration, and other natural means of dispersal; and (b) that slow,... Read more... Read more »

  • May 21, 2013
  • 05:51 PM

A Machine to Weigh the Soul

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Newly discovered papers have shed light on a fascinating episode in the history of neuroscience: Weighing brain activity with the balance The story of the early Italian neuroscientist Dr Angelo Mosso and his ‘human circulation balance’ is an old one – I remember reading about it as a student, in the introductory bit of a [...]... Read more »

Sandrone S, Bacigaluppi M, Galloni MR, Cappa SF, Moro A, Catani M, Filippi M, Monti MM, Perani D, & Martino G. (2013) Weighing brain activity with the balance: Angelo Mosso's original manuscripts come to light. Brain : a journal of neurology. PMID: 23687118  

  • May 19, 2013
  • 06:33 PM

Reflecting on Applied Animal Behavior

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Time for reflection (By Wieselblitz)Hi Mia! Love the lavender research! Learning that dogs show different behaviors when exposed to different scents could help us prime environments to be associated with particular dog behaviors and moods (you noted that exposure to peppermint and rosemary are associated with activity and barking while exposure to lavender and chamomile bring out resting). At the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab, we have a new paper coming out soon in Learning and Motivation -- the s........ Read more »

  • May 18, 2013
  • 02:10 PM

‘Is ‘cloning’ mad, bad and dangerous?’ – an argument revisited

by Lee Turnpenny in The Mawk Moth Profligacies

Is 'cloning' appropriate terminology for somatic cell nuclear transfer derivation of human embryonic stem cells?... Read more »

Tachibana, M., Amato, P., Sparman, M., Gutierrez, N., Tippner-Hedges, R., Ma, H., Kang, E., Fulati, A., Lee, H., Sritanaudomchai, H.... (2013) Human Embryonic Stem Cells Derived by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.006  

  • May 16, 2013
  • 05:17 PM

Stealthy emergence of Cryptococcus gattii in North America

by Kausik Datta in In Scientio Veritas

What can the members of multiple animal species (cat, dog, bird, ferret, llama, alpaca, elk, goat, sheep, horse, porpoise) have in common with humans? Deeper philosophical questions aside, all of them have fallen prey to a deadly fungus spreading gradually, but steadily, in western North America (southwest Canada; US states of the Pacific Northwest, PNW) for over a decade.1 Well, what-ho, what-ho Cryptococcus gattii (CG), I believe we have been introduced. The disease, cryptococcosis, generally,........ Read more »

Datta K, Bartlett KH, Baer R, Byrnes E, Galanis E, Heitman J, Hoang L, Leslie MJ, MacDougall L, Magill SS.... (2009) Spread of Cryptococcus gattii into Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Emerging infectious diseases, 15(8), 1185-91. PMID: 19757550  

Marr KA, Datta K, Pirofski LA, & Barnes R. (2012) Cryptococcus gattii infection in healthy hosts: a sentinel for subclinical immunodeficiency?. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 54(1), 153-4. PMID: 22075791  

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010) Emergence of Cryptococcus gattii-- Pacific Northwest, 2004-2010. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 59(28), 865-8. PMID: 20651641  

Kidd SE, Bach PJ, Hingston AO, Mak S, Chow Y, MacDougall L, Kronstad JW, & Bartlett KH. (2007) Cryptococcus gattii dispersal mechanisms, British Columbia, Canada. Emerging infectious diseases, 13(1), 51-7. PMID: 17370515  

  • May 16, 2013
  • 02:54 PM

Why not use human material for medical research?

by Professor Gareth Sanger in NC3Rs Blog

Using human tissue in medical research throws up a number of different challenges. In our third 2012 NC3Rs 3Rs Prize post, Professor Gareth Sanger from Queen Mary, University of London, discusses how tissue removed from the stomach and intestine can actually help overcome some of these challenges. Is this a viable alternative to using animals for gastrointestinal research? Professor Sanger’s research suggests it could be.... Read more »

  • May 16, 2013
  • 11:16 AM

'Vocal mimicry hypothesis' falsified? [Part 2]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

A few entries ago I uploaded a fragment from a study that discusses an intriguing experiment with three chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) which were trained to tap regularly on a piano keyboard...... Read more »

  • May 15, 2013
  • 09:46 AM

Male Black Widows Sniff Out Femme Fatales

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

I am thrilled to announce that this month I am joining a new top-notch science blogging team at Scitable, Nature Education’s award-winning science education website! (But don’t worry, friends. I will continue to post here about animal physiology and behavior every Wednesday). Next week, Scitable will be launching eleven new blogs covering topics like neuroscience, genetics, oceanography, physics and more. I will be co-authoring an evolution blog called Accumulating Glitches together with Se........ Read more »

  • May 14, 2013
  • 02:00 AM

Measuring scientific coverage of @Wikipedia: Fellows of the Wiki Society Index 2013

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

A quick-and-dirty measure of the scientific coverage of wikipedia is the percentage of these fellows that have a profile on wikipedia at the time of their election to the prestigous Society. Let’s call it the Fellows of the Wiki Society Index (FWSi)...... Read more »

Moy, C., Locke, J., Coppola, B., & McNeil, A. (2010) Improving Science Education and Understanding through Editing Wikipedia. Journal of Chemical Education, 87(11), 1159-1162. DOI: 10.1021/ed100367v  

  • May 14, 2013
  • 01:29 AM

Evolutionary arms-race won by moths

by Mini Watsa in SurroundScience

It is easy to forget that other organisms also affect the “environment” of a given species.  No one is evolving in a vacuum.  The existence of other species can not only … Continue reading →... Read more »

Moir H. M., Jackson J. C., & Windmill J. F. C. (2013) Extremely high frequency sensitivity in a 'simple' ear. Biology Letters, 9(4), 20130241-20130241. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0241  

  • May 13, 2013
  • 09:45 AM

A Quantum Version of Google

by Carian Thus in United Academics

A team of computer scientists in Spain applied a quantum PageRank algorithm to a network with 7 webpages. They found that the quantum PageRank sometimes ordered the webpages differently in terms of importance, but averaging the quantum PageRank score over time recovered the classical ordering.... Read more »

Paparo, G., & Martin-Delgado, M. (2012) Google in a Quantum Network. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep00444  

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