Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for July, 2010

Links 7/27/10

It’s hot. Damn hot. Hopefully not too hot for some links. Science: Evil weed in Baltic Sea puts marine life at risk Lost in Translation: New cognitive research suggests that language profoundly influences the way people see the world; a different sense of blame in Japanese and Spanish On Nature Network Other: Why Friends Don’t…

Well, we can always hope. In a recent column about global warming, Paul Krugman makes this ancillary point (italics mine): Nor is this evidence tainted by scientific misbehavior. You’ve probably heard about the accusations leveled against climate researchers — allegations of fabricated data, the supposedly damning e-mail messages of “Climategate,” and so on. What you…

So, in some quarters, there’s been wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Congressional hearings about the direct-to-customer (‘DTC’) genetic testing industry. I’ve discussed why I don’t think regulation is a disaster before, but I’ll add one more issue to the mix: maintaining subject confidentiality in NIH genomic studies. If someone related to a person…

Links 7/26/10

Just another manic Monday. How’s about some links? Science: Can chance make you a killer? Hearing loss from iPods and other MP3 players Researchers confirm subsea Gulf oil plumes are from BP well Heroin in Vietnam: The Robins Study Other: Whites and Privilege Think Again: Economist, Heal Thyself (about Nouriel Roubiny) No To Oligarchy Fake…

The NY Times has an article about the recent revelation of a six-year archive of classified military documents (released by WikiLeaks). In it, we find this lil’ tidbit: There are fleeting — even taunting — reminders of how the war began in the occasional references to the elusive Osama bin Laden. This isn’t mission creep,…

One of the things that freaks out some people in the ‘hard’ sciences (and I use that term broadly) about the social sciences is that they, unlike the hard sciences, they don’t restrict themselves to positive statements, but, instead, deal with normative statements. In other (less high-falutin’) words, the social sciences don’t only try to…

Links 7/25/10

Kinda sticky and gross outside. Stay cool with some refreshing links. Science: One principal component to rule them all? Hospitals want patients to eat antibiotic-free meat Joe Mercola’s shampoo woo Real Math Doesn’t Use Calculators Other: An email (about teenage pregnancy and forced childbirth) Lessons learned from Breitbart and Sherrod response to deficit dove letter…

Once again, some are making a big deal out of the second derivative, just as was done with unemployment numbers (Got Green Shoots?), when they shouldn’t. Consider this from an NY Times article about defense spending increases: Mr. Gates is arguing that if the Pentagon budget is allowed to keep growing by 1 percent a…

Links 7/24/10

Happy Saturday. Links for you. Science: Eleven Amazing Things About The Haleakala Silversword Detoxifying cassava Japanese giant salamanders are in a fishbowl of sorts, for research Global Model Confirms: Cool Roofs Can Offset Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Mitigate Global Warming Other: State Plans to Eliminate 170,000 Canada Geese The civil rights heroism of Charles Sherrod…

Someone tell me why we didn’t nationalize BP assets in the U.S., fire the board of directors and other high-level managers, and then use the assets to fix all of the problems–including the unemployment caused by the spill. Because this sounds like the clarion calls of freedom and liberty to me (italics mine): In the…