The Scientific Activist

Archives for March, 2009

Via Tom Holder of Speaking of Research comes news that embattled UCLA scientists have formed their own chapter of the pro-research organization Pro-Test. And, they’re already planning their first event: Following in the footsteps of the Pro-Test group in Oxford, UK, students and scientists at UCLA have pledged to stand up against the lies and…

Strange Bedfellows

From The New York Times science page:

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), or “energy saving light bulbs”, are much more energy efficient than conventional light bulbs, and they have a significantly longer lifetime. On top of that, replacing your conventional bulbs with CFLs won’t just save energy, but will also save you money. Most importantly, this is one small action that we can…

What can I even say about this? From the Austin American-Statesman: At a hearing Thursday of the House Committee on Human Services, [Texas State Representative Gary] Elkins and other members of the panel considered more than two dozen bills related to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Three hours into the hearing, Elkins asked:…

Fine-Tuning Cell Adhesiveness

Cells in higher organisms exist in a dynamic environment, requiring the ability to alternately grasp and disengage from the three-dimensional web of their surroundings. One family of proteins in particular, the integrins, plays a key role in this process by acting as the hands of the cell. Spanning the cell membrane, they link the extracellular…

DC Celebrates Pseudoscience

From The Washington Post: The D.C. Council, in a flourish of whereases, proclaimed March 16 Brain Education Day, responding to a nationwide call from a brain-wave guru in Sedona, Ariz. (The Montgomery County Council was set to make the same proclamation Tuesday but canceled at the last minute. And supporters in Fairfax County missed the…

On Saturday, animal rights extremists torched the car of a scientist at UCLA–just one more incident in a long streak of violent threats and wanton destruction of property. LA Times columnist Tim Rutten gets it right when he states: No sensible person dismisses the humane treatment of animals as inconsequential, but what the fanatics propose…

What else is new? Via Greg Laden comes news that creationists are once again mucking about with Texas’ education standards. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) explains just what’s at stake: A number of amendments to the science TEKS were passed at the January 2009 meeting. Here is a brief analysis of these amendments,…

Today was a great day for science in the Executive Branch. Firstly, President Barack Obama (finally!) lifted George W. Bush’s August 2001 restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research in an executive order entitled “Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells“: The purpose of this order is to remove…