The Scientific Activist

Archives for October, 2006

Yesterday’s Washington Post reported that several environmental groups have obtained strong evidence that Bush Administration political appointee and deputy assistant secretary of the interior for fish and wildlife and parks Julie MacDonald has actively censored scientific information and given elevated and inappropriate consideration to non-environmental concerns in order to prevent the adding of new species…

When you live in the wealthiest nation in the world but can still claim over 40 million people without health insurance–despite spending more than twice as much per capita on health care as any other nation–you might have a problem. Nowhere is this more apparent than in my home state, Texas, which leads the nation…

Last month, a group of prominent scientists launched the new organization Scientists and Engineers for America (SEA). The organization has already received quite a bit of press (including a nice article in The New York Times, but I would be remiss if I didn’t give them a shout out and let readers know how they…

The Structure of the Living Cell

One of the goals of modern structural biology is to integrate the two traditionally distinct subfields of structural molecular biology (determination of the structures of macromolecules at atomic resolution) and structural cell biology (general architecture of of the cell and the localization of subcellular structures within it). The end result–as my research advisor at Oxford,…

I think I can finally call myself a legitimate scientist (whatever that means), since last week one of the papers I worked on during my undergrad at Texas A&M University was published in The Journal of Cell Biology (JCB). I’m the fourth author on the paper, meaning that I was only peripherally involved (and made…

A new study from the Research Defence Society (RDS) indicates that medical doctors in the UK overwhelmingly support the role of animal research in contributing to important medical advances. The RDS questioned four hundred general practitioners from across the UK about their feelings on the importance and necessity of medical research, and the results can…

After Monday’s announcement of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology, followed yesterday by the announcement of the Prize in Physics, the Oscars of the sciences continue today with the awarding of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Roger Kornberg for his work on elucidating the molecular basis of transcription in eukaryotes. This…

What they clearly lack in substance, they attempt to make up for in style, but global warming denialists certainly aren’t winning any points for class. In a September 25th speech in the Senate, Crazy Ol’ James Inhofe–who once called global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” and who ironically serves as…

The 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was announced this morning, with one half going to Andrew Fire and the other half to Craig Mello, both for the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi). The discovery of RNAi added a new layer to our understanding of how cells regulate gene expression and protect themselves from…