Neuron Culture

http://blog.kir.com/archives/Roy%20Oswalt25.jpg
Roy Oswalt, bringing it.

Some good hits from the last week or so (but not too many off Roy):

SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT: Fraud Charges Cast Doubt on Claims of DNA Damage From Cell Phone Fields — Vogel 321 (5893): 1144a — Science 
As shocking a story as the title suggests.
Oops, update: As that story is behind a pay firewall, I excerpt the first couple grafs here. It has received extraordinarily little news coverage since then — an oddity, given how much press the papers in question generated originally. Time allows I’ll post more on this later. In the meantime, from the Science story:

The only two peer-reviewed scientific papers showing that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from cell phones can cause DNA breakage are at the center of a misconduct controversy at the Medical University of Vienna (MUV). Critics had argued that the data looked too good to be real, and in May a university investigation agreed, concluding that data in both studies had been fabricated and that the papers should be retracted….

The contested studies, which exposed cells to EMFs equivalent to those from the most common American and European cell phones, have been widely cited by advocates of tighter regulations on cell phones. Both studies are from the lab of Hugo Rüdiger, who retired this past October after serving as director of the department of occupational medicine at MUV. Other teams have reported only cellular effects of EMFs that are more subtle than DNA breakage, such as changes in gene activation or expression. “If this work isn’t solid, then one really has to give up the hypothesis that these fields cause genotoxic effects,” says Anna Wobus, a developmental biologist at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Gatersleben, Germany, who has studied the effects of EMFs on stem cells.

I hope to find and run more later.

Important work can be done while daydreaming – The Boston Globe
Jonah Lehrer on the value of letting the mind wander. A nice supplement to his recent New Yorker piece on the nature of insight.

Autism on the rise; additional factors?
From neuroscientist Michael Merzenich, a consideration of what factors (other than the red-herring vaccine connection) might contribute to autism.

Riveting videos of Glenn Gould playing Bach.

From a group blog I just discovered, FanGraphs Baseball, some lucid sabremetric considerations of two of my favorite baseball players, Houston pitcher Roy Oswalt and Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The blog’s Matthew Carruth also notes that this past Monday Stephen Drew and Adrian Beltre both hit for the cycle (single, double, triple, homer) — only the second time this has occurred in MLB history. Good juice from the Pedroia piece: Pedroia is so effectively ripping up the AL lately that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen recently said that “he would rather face David Ortiz at this point than Pedroia.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,