Last 24 Hours

Never thought I would write this: Maastricht University is organizing a conference on the intersection of denialism and human rights. Here is a link to the conference description and the call for papers can be downloaded here.

The image below is a phylogram, illustrating the degree of variation in a sequence of mitochondrial DNA. The concept is fairly simple: if two DNA samples are from individuals that are evolutionarily distant from one another, they’ll have accumulated more differences in their mitochondrial DNA, and will be drawn farther apart from one another. If…

Creationists and Ebola

The title of this article by Answers In Genesis is a good question: Where Did Ebola Come From? *shrug* Look, I love making fun of Creationists, but this is a great question! Ebola is not ‘supposed’ to be a human pathogen. Like many emerging infectious diseases, the natural reservoir for ebola is bats. Specifically, fruit bats.…

On Not Talking, for the Right Reasons

Over at Backreaction, Bee has a nice piece on our current age of virality. Toward the end, she discusses some of the ways this applies to science, specifically a quote from this Nature article about collaborative efforts to measure “big G”, and a story about a Chinese initiative to encourage collaboration. She writes of the…

“We were marching down the street, & we were at the head of the troops. We went on marching, & the troops went off to the left.” -Geoffrey Burbidge It’s such a part of our cosmic and scientific history, that it’s difficult to remember that it’s only been for the past 50 years that the…

The antivaccine movement and conspiracy theories go together like beer and Buffalo wings, except that neither are as good as, yes, beer and Buffalo wings. Maybe it’s more like manure and compost. In any case, the antivaccine movement is rife with conspiracy theories. I’ve heard and written about more than I can remember right now,…

Some time in the 1970s. I keep hearing about this 17 year long pause in global warming. So I went and looked. I did a regression analysis of the last 17 full years of surface temperatures from the GISS database. There is an upward trend in warming during this period and it is statistically significant.…

Teachers: Sign up TODAY to Bring a Nifty Fifty Speaker to Your School!

Teachers in the D.C. Metropolitan area- we are now accepting applications for the Nifty Fifty (x4) Program! Click here to apply NOW to host a speaker at your school during the 2014/2015 school year. Nifty Fifty talks will take place during the months of February, March and April of 2015. The deadline to apply is Friday, November…

I find the whole idea of a “sharing economy” where people barter and exchange and free up excess capacity in their own lives and situations to make others’ lives a little easier and cheaper an interesting notion. And worthwhile. After all broadly speaking the open access and open source movements do partake of this same…

Should you buy a hybrid car?

Last summer we were driving up north, in our Prius, and one of those coal rollers tailgated us for a while, then passed us. On the right. On the median. Jerk. When we were trying to decide whether or not to buy a Prius, last winter, I looked into the usual things one looks into.…

Supporters of science-based medicine and keeping pseudoscience out of medicine have a few years to prepare for an onslaught of crappy studies “proving” the value of “integrative” oncology. No doubt at this point you’re wondering just what the heck Orac is talking about. I will tell you. It involves an institution we’ve encountered before and…

Sins of Our Fathers, by Shaw Otto, is coming out shortly but can be preordered. JW, protagonist, is a flawed hero. He is not exactly an anti-hero because he is not a bad guy, though one does become annoyed at where he places his values. As his character unfolds in the first several chapters of…

Its at The Conversation and a retweet near you, no doubt. By

Occupational Health News Roundup

Article series investigates lead poisoning at the nation’s gun ranges; autopsy shows coal miner was wrongly denied black lung benefits; health care workers take part in mass protective gear training; and a Wells Fargo employee sends a big email about income inequality.

PPE for Ebola: This is how Emory does it

Remember how I said my lab wanted to do a PPE response video to Sanjay Guptas terrifying attempt? But we couldnt for liability reasons? Now there is an even better option! We can all take a peek into how Ebola patients are treated at Emory University, and get to see their protocols for putting on/taking off PPE:…