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November 27, 2008

08:21
Paying for unapproved drugs at Respectful Insolence

One of the handful of key themes that run through this blog day in, day out, week in, week, out, and year in, year out is that science and the application of the scientific method represent the most successful strategy that humans have yet come up with to improve

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine at the University of Toronto at Sandwalk : The Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto offers a program called "Human Biology." Students who complete the program will graduate with an Honours B.Sc. degree. One of the courses is HMB434H1: Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The textbook

The Long Tail of skepticism at Bad Astronomy Blog : Tim Farley is a skeptic and the creator of the What’s the Harm? website, where he details the harm in believing in antiscience. He also writes a blog called Skeptical Software Tools, and he had a very interesting post recently about the Long Tail of blogging

03:39
ADVICE FOR POTENTIAL GRADUATE STUDENTS - A SCIENCE CREATIVE QUARTERLY PIN UP (NO. 5) at The Science Creative Quarterly

This lovely piece has been circulating of late, but Sonke has been kind enough to allow the SCQ to present his ">late, but Sonke has been kind enough to allow the SCQ to present his "Advice for Potential Graduate Students" as a handy dandy pin-up, suitable

All graduate student supervisors take note. at The World's Fair : This lovely piece has been circulating of late, but Sonke has been kind enough to allow the SCQ to present his ">late, but Sonke has been kind enough to allow the SCQ to present his "Advice for Potential Graduate Students" as a handy dandy pin-up, suitable

01:07
Buy Nothing Day at Roundrock Journal

We had a quiet, eventless Thanksgiving Day. Oh there was a fire call early in the morning, but it was outside of our area so we didn't have to worry about that. Someone starting up their wood stove or fireplace for the first time this year, probably! We did

Post TNX at Niches : We had a quiet, eventless Thanksgiving Day. Oh there was a fire call early in the morning, but it was outside of our area so we didn't have to worry about that. Someone starting up their wood stove or fireplace for the first time this year, probably! We did

01:07
nsaunders at What You're Doing Is Rather Desperate

Once again, an interesting FriendFeed discussion has morphed into a thread on a wider issue: OpenID.OpenID is one of those brilliantly simple ideas that you’d imagine most people would applaud. A single “digital identity”, used for any website

Identity-fication at business|bytes|genes|molecules : As some of you know, I am a fan of Larry Lessig’s presentation style. One of the many speakers who has been insired by that style is Dick Hardt, but I am not talking about his presentation style, but rather his content. Dick is into identity, what he

01:07
nsaunders at What You're Doing Is Rather Desperate

Once again, an interesting FriendFeed discussion has morphed into a thread on a wider issue: OpenID.OpenID is one of those brilliantly simple ideas that you’d imagine most people would applaud. A single “digital identity”, used for any website

Identity-fication at business|bytes|genes|molecules : As some of you know, I am a fan of Larry Lessig’s presentation style. One of the many speakers who has been insired by that style is Dick Hardt, but I am not talking about his presentation style, but rather his content. Dick is into identity, what he

November 26, 2008

21:01
Does Tryptophan from turkey meat make you sleepy? at A Blog Around The Clock

It's Thanksgiving tomorrow and the question (of the title of this post) pops up on the internets again. See SciCurious and Janet for the latest local offerings.Short answer: we don't know. But there is endless speculation about it, each taking into account

Why does Thanksgiving dinner *really* make you sleepy? at Adventures in Ethics and Science : For years, you've heard the tremendous fatigue experienced after an American Thanksgiving dinner laid at the feet of the turkey -- or more precisely, at the tryptophan in that turkey. Trytophan, apparently, is the go-to amino acid for those who want to get

links for 2008-11-27 at Uncertain Principles : slacktivist: Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?"Part of the answer to that question is that our newspapers are being asked to do something they were never designed to do and something they are fundamentally and structurally incapable of

20:21
New and Exciting in PLoS this week at A Blog Around The Clock

There are new articles published tonight in PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine, PLoS ONE and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases - here are my picks:Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...

University libraries, budgets, and open access at Biocurious : I’ve been playing with numbers in my head based on the statistics from my home institution – the University of Toronto – relative to publications, the real cost of open access publishing, and the U of T library’s annual budget for journal

19:42
Sweet Molecule Could Lead Us To Alien Life at Slashdot: Science

Matt_dk writes "Scientists have detected an organic sugar molecule that is directly linked to the origin of life in a region of our galaxy where habitable planets could exist. The international team of researchers used the IRAM radio telescope in France to

Triple Helix: Designing a New Molecule of Life at RichardDawkins.net : The Latest Updates : Scientists dream of synthesizing life that is utterly alien to this world—both to better understand the minimum components required for life (as part of the quest to uncover the essence of life and how life originated on earth) and, frankly, to see if

17:00
Flod Tolerant Rice Varieties Passes Field Trials at The Biotech Weblog

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Thammarat KaosombatSeveral submergence-tolerant or "waterproof" rice varieties have passed field trials recently, and are now close to official release by national and state seed certification agencies in Bangladesh and India,

Bone Growth Is Controlled In The Gut! at Straightfromthedoc : Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Image# 6827769 Such is the new discovery by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center: bone growth is controlled in the gut through serotonin.Until now, the skeleton was thought to control bone growth, and serotonin was

Oral Administration of Garlic Compounds May Treat Diabetes at The Biotech Weblog : Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Image# 2070265Previous studies have shown that an injection of vanadium and allaxin, a compound found in garlic, could treat both type 1 and 2 diabetes in mice. A new study indicates that oral administration of these compounds

Flood Tolerant Rice Varieties Passes Field Trials at The Biotech Weblog : Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Thammarat KaosombatSeveral submergence-tolerant or "waterproof" rice varieties have passed field trials recently, and are now close to official release by national and state seed certification agencies in Bangladesh and India,

16:52
A planet around beta Pictoris? at Astroblog

We have long suspected that the star Beta Pictoris had at least one planet, due to distortions in its dust disk. But now it appears to have been imaged directly. Tom has the image and a good description, as does Centauri Dreams, as well as a nice table of directly

Planet Imaged Around Beta Pictoris? at Centauri Dreams : Images of distant exoplanets, once only a wish for future space missions, have begun to turn up with a certain regularity. The three planets around HR8799 and the single gas giant around Fomalhaut were announced on the same day, while a week later we once again

Looking at stars with exoplanets at Astroblog : The south-western sky as seen from the Southern hemipshere around 9:30 pm local time (you will need to click on the image to see the chart properly).Where are the stars with exoplanets? Well, all over really. There is almost no direction that you can look in

16:19
Ask a ScienceBlogger: Science Fiction Promotes Science? at Uncertain Principles

A few days ago, Peggy and Stephanie asked the blogosphere a few questions about the relationship between science and Science Fiction. They want to use the insights from the responses to run their session - Science Fiction on Science Blogs - at the ScienceOnline09

Scientists, Science Fiction, and the people who love them both at Neurotopia (version 2.0) : I first got this question from the lovely Stephanie, and then again from the Borg: How does Science Fiction relate to you as a scientist? I am a Sci-Fi lover. Well, Sci-Fi and fantasy. I am mostly a book person, but I also do DVDs (I do not own a working TV

Ask a ScienceBlogger: is science fiction good for science? at Adventures in Ethics and Science : Another "Ask a ScienceBlogger" question has been posed:What do you see as science fiction's role in promoting science, if any?For an answer to the question as asked, what Isis said. Also, what Scicurious said about a bunch of related questions.Myself, I think

Science versus science fiction at Evolving Thoughts : I am a fan of science fiction as far back as I can recall. The flights of imagination about large things, ideas and worlds, was enough to trigger off my own imagination. I read pretty well everything I could for over two decades before it all petered out into

Science and Science Fiction at A Blog Around The Clock : A few days ago, Peggy and Stephanie asked the blogosphere a few questions about the relationship between science and Science Fiction. They want to use the insights from the responses to run their session - Science Fiction on Science Blogs - at the ScienceOnline09

14:38
43% of Lund's 2008 dissertations are OA at Open Access News

Lund University gives its grad students the choice whether to make their dissertation OA.  Of the 350 dissertations deposited in the Lund IR in 2008, 152 or 43% are OA.  (Thanks to Klaus Graf.)Update.  While exploring the Lund Libraries pages

Pop quiz! at Open Reading Frame : Two unrelated quizzes that I recently took, and that might amuse some readers:Via Peter Suber, Lund University's ten-question quickie on Open Access. And yes, I got 10/10.Via 3 Quarks Daily: from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, something that purports

14:38
A little quiz for the afternoon at Stranger Fruit

According to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute "Americans fail a basic test on their history and institutions" with an average score of 49% (college educators apparently score 55%, and office-holders 44%). I scored 88% (29 out of 33)... I put that down

Pop quiz! at Open Reading Frame : Two unrelated quizzes that I recently took, and that might amuse some readers:Via Peter Suber, Lund University's ten-question quickie on Open Access. And yes, I got 10/10.Via 3 Quarks Daily: from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, something that purports

What's Your Civic Literacy? at The Intersection : John Lynch over at Stranger Fruit recommended this quiz by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute featuring 33 questions designed to measure knowledge of America's founding principles, political history, international relations, and market economy. According

14:04
Engage with Grace: The One Slide Project at Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog

Engage with Grace(Click to enlarge)We’re all going to die. The least we can do — for ourselves, and for those who may be charged with making decisions on our behalf — is be clear about how we’d like to be cared for in our final days.That’s

Engage with Grace at Pallimed: A Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog : In consideration of the many family dinners that will occur over the next few days of the Thanksgiving holiday, Pallimed is hosting (along with several other medical bloggers) a guest post from Engage with Grace and the One Slide Project.Have a safe and meaningful

Health Bloggers Want You to Talk About Death at WSJ.com: Health Blog : Engage with Grace(Click to enlarge)We’re all going to die. The least we can do — for ourselves, and for those who may be charged with making decisions on our behalf — is be clear about how we’d like to be cared for in our final days.That’s

13:19
Odontochelys, a transitional turtle at Pharyngula

Now this is an interesting beast. It's a 220 million year old fossil from China of an animal that is distinctly turtle-like. Here's a look at its dorsal side:a, Skeleton in dorsal view. b, Skull in dorsal view. c, Skull in ventral view. d, Body in dorsal view.

Odontochelys, a transitional turtle at The Panda's Thumb : Now this is an interesting beast. Its a 220 million year old fossil from China of an animal that is distinctly turtle-like. Heres a look at its dorsal side:a, Skeleton in dorsal view. b, Skull in dorsal view. c, Skull in ventral view. d, Body in dorsal view.

13:05
Odontochelys semitestacea at Hairy Museum of Natural History

An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China. 2008. Chun Li, et al. Nature 456: 497-501imageThe discovery in China of the oldest known turtle fossil, estimated at 220- million-years-old, gives scientists a clearer picture of how the turtle

Odontochelys semitestacea: The Oldest Turtle at PALAEOBLOG : An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China. 2008. Chun Li, et al. Nature 456: 497-501imageThe discovery in China of the oldest known turtle fossil, estimated at 220- million-years-old, gives scientists a clearer picture of how the turtle

11:02
Denialism, Framing, the Kumbaya Fallacy, and Power at Mike the Mad Biologist

ScienceBlogling Matt Nisbet argues that scientists* shouldn't call science denialists, well, denialists. I listened to the audio clip he linked to, and I'm unconvinced. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...

Denialism: Sometimes there's no other way to describe it. Except maybe one. at Respectful Insolence : Here we go again.Every so often, one of the--shall we say?--less popular members of our crew of science bloggers, someone who, despite being an academic whose area of expertise is ostensibly science communication, has stepped in it again. I'm referring, of

Is Name Calling an Effective Communication Strategy? at Framing Science : A few bloggers have registered their reaction to last week's PRI radio segment that questions the wisdom of calling climate change and evolution opponents "deniers." Most notably Orac, Mike the Mad Biologist, and Mark Hofnagle argue that their preferred brand

10:28
European genetic substructure at Information Processing

Caption: Each point is an individual, and the axes are two principal components in the space of genetic variation. Colors correspond to individuals of different European ancestry.The figure above is from the paper: European Journal of Human Genetics (2008)

European genetic structure, study du jour at Yann Klimentidis' Weblog : Yet another one.As usual, Dienekes and Razib have talked about this one on their blogs.Anything new or particularly interesting?within-Germany resolution (see figure, labeled by Razib)big sample, of nearly 6000LCT (lactase), HERC2 (eye color and hair color)

10:02
'Academeology' review in Nature at A Blog Around The Clock

Peggy Kolm wrote a book review in Nature of Academeology by Female Science Professor.My copy arrived some weeks ago, but it will have to wait until I read at least three other books I promised to review....eh. Anyway, Peggy says:FSP's stories of being a woman

Academeology at Women in Science : I reviewed Female Science Professor's book, Academeology: Random Musings, Strong Opinions & Somewhat Bizarre Anecdotes from an Academic Life, for the latest issue of Nature.The very short version: I enjoyed reading Academeology, but I prefer FSP's blog.Read

09:03
Does Tryptophan from turkey meat make you sleepy? at A Blog Around The Clock

It's Thanksgiving tomorrow and the question (of the title of this post) pops up on the internets again. See SciCurious and Janet for the latest local offerings.Short answer: we don't know. But there is endless speculation about it, each taking into account

Why does Thanksgiving dinner *really* make you sleepy? at Adventures in Ethics and Science : For years, you've heard the tremendous fatigue experienced after an American Thanksgiving dinner laid at the feet of the turkey -- or more precisely, at the tryptophan in that turkey. Trytophan, apparently, is the go-to amino acid for those who want to get

Holiday getting you down? Pass the Turkey. at Neurotopia (version 2.0) : Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down. Well, ok, I also celebrate a series of personal holidays on the day after Valentine's, the day after Easter, the day after Halloween, and the day after Christmas. Why hinge your emotions on the uncertainty of