Neuron Culture

Archives for September, 2009

Matt Taibbi tells us what he really thinks. Let’s start with the obvious: America has not only the worst but the dumbest health care system in the developed world : via Rolling Stone, and well worth a read.

From my wanderings. We’ll start with the happy stuff Salmon return to Paris! (photo: Charles Bremner, deep in Paris) Mind Hacks tours some really old brains. Zuska speaks wisely of health care reform. The Guardian serves up some glass viruses (smallpox is pictured above). Neuroskeptic covers a paper that is both encouraging, in its finding…

Bloggingheads.tv just posted a conversation Greg Laden and I had about the second-biggest scientific controversy of Darwin’s time, and of Darwin’s life: the argument over how coral reefs form. The coral reef argument was fascinating in its own right, both scientifically and dramatically — for here a very capable andn conscientious scientist, Alexander Agassiz, struggled…

photo: U.S. Forest Service Notables of the day: John Hawks ponders the (bad) art of citing papers you’ve never read. Clive Thompson ponders the new literacy spawned of engagement with many keyboards. A poll on public education shows how much opinion depends on framing, context — and who else thinks an idea is good. In…

The damage done resembles that found in bird flu as well as ‘acute respiratory distress symptom,’ reports Branswell – the latter being a condition that can rise from a number of causes, and which kills 30% of those who get it. (That is, get ARDS, not swine flu.) Yet more signs that this is a…

You can’t make this stuff up. As PharmaGossip (among others, including the Times) reportst, a drug company pays $2.3 billion in fines to settle charges of unprecedented seriousness about practices that directly put patients at risk, and that came out of a four-year federal investigation. And some yahoo right-winger asserts this fine — years in…

On the radar of late: Neuroskeptic ponders reports that antidepressant use in the U.S. has doubled in the last decade. As he notes, perhaps the most troubling thing finding in the study is that the number of Americans using an antipsychotic as well as an antidepressant increased by a factor of more than 3. This…

Reef sightings

I was pleased to see my book Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral written up in a couple of venues recently. Over at The Primate Diaries, Eric Michael Johnson, who does on history and philosophy of science, looks at the “terrific argument” that the book follows — an argument simultaneously…

After a rather intense two months of long-form work, I’m so far behind on blogging I don’t know where to start. Forget the last two months and move on? Probably the best move. But beforehand, I want to note a few developments along major lines of interest. I’ll start with PTSD. Amid the stagnation on…

If nothing else, this points out the need to clarify what “past 5 years” means in declaring history of possible conflicts of interest. 5 years before publication — or research and writing? Presumably there’s a difference, if we’re specifyng a time frame anyway