academia

The Scientific Activist

Category archives for academia

Today, the UCLA chapter of Pro-Test held its second rally in support of animal research. With as many as 400 or so supporters in attendance, it looks like it was another great success! Here are a couple of early reports on the event:

The UCLA chapter of the pro-science organization Pro-Test has announced its second major rally to show support for science and to stand up against the ongoing campaign of intimidation being waged by animal rights activists. The organization originated in Oxford in 2006 during a streak of particularly nasty actions by animal extremists, and the UCLA…

Here We Go Again….

I don’t write much about the antics of animal rights activists these days, because while some of their activities have a very negative impact on the work of some scientists, they’re really just a marginal–albeit highly vocal–bloc that thrives on attention. Still, sometimes they need to be called out, and Janet of Adventures in Ethics…

Last year, I wrote about a scientific controversy over the structure of the influenza M2 proton channel, particularly over the protein’s binding site for adamantane type anti-flu drugs. The Schnell/Chou model, based on solution NMR, had the drug binding to the outside of the channel, within the membrane (at a 4:1 drug:protein ratio). On the…

Chad Orzel on Science Blogging

Chad Orzel, of Uncertain Principles, has a nice article today in Inside Higher Ed about the value of science blogging, both in his own career and in the scientific process in general. This is a view that I of course agree with and think is important, and Chad brings a unique perspective on the issue.…

In the op-ed pages of The Washington Post today, Elliot Gerson–the American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust–takes a bold stand: Tonight, 32 young Americans will win Rhodes Scholarships. Their tenures at Oxford are funded by the legacy of the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes, a man whose life would not be honored today were it not…

On Mimicking Phosphotyrosine

When doing science, there’s generally one totally optimal way of performing an experiment. But, there may also be several other less optimal means of gathering similar data, and one of those may be much more feasible than the totally optimal method. As a scientist, you have to determine whether this other method is sufficient, or…

Two New Papers on Integrin Activation

Just as I was in the process of finishing my doctorate in August, I found out that my first first-author paper had been accepted for publication by The EMBO Journal. This was good news, because we were reporting some pretty fundamental findings in a relatively saturated field, and one of our competitors had managed to…

Late last week, I received emails from two journals (The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) and PLoS ONE) indicating that they are now incorporating interactive 3D images of molecular structures in their papers. The atomic coordinates of all published biomolecular structures have been available for some time at the Protein Data Bank. However, making sense…

Yesterday, Americans for Medical Progress revealed the three recipients of its 2009 Hayre Fellowship in Public Outreach. Applicants submitted proposals for programs aimed at spreading awareness about the role of animal research in medicine, and the three fellows will receive a $5,000 stipend each, plus an addition $2,000 to fund their proposals. This year’s fellows…