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January 7, 2011
As part of his Gene Week celebration over at Forbes, Matthew Herper has a provocative post titled "Why you can't have your $1000 genome". In this post I'll explain why, while Herper's pessimism is absolutely justified for genomes produced in a medical setting, I'm confident that I'll be obtaining…
December 15, 2010
Late last week I stumbled across a press release with an attention-grabbing headline ("The Causes of Common Diseases are Not Genetic Concludes a New Analysis") linking to a lengthy blog post at the Bioscience Resource Project, a website devoted to food and agriculture. The post, written by two…
December 3, 2010
A reminder to anyone who reads my other blog Genomes Unzipped that we have a reader survey underway there now, which includes some questions about genetic testing experiences and attitudes towards genetics. We're closing the survey to responses this weekend, so if you're an Unzipped reader but…
November 24, 2010
Update 30/11/10: 23andMe has extended their 80% discount until Christmas, without a need for a discount code. Personal genomics company 23andMe has made some fairly major announcements this week: a brand new chip, a new product strategy (including a monthly subscription fee), and yet another…
October 21, 2010
From the White House, to an Expo hosted by Lockheed Martin and put together by 850 leading science organizations, to over 50 satellite events across the nation, everyone from pre-schoolers to grandparents will be celebrating science this weekend at the USA Science and Engineering Expo --October 23-…
October 12, 2010
Back in June I launched a new blog, Genomes Unzipped, together with a group of colleagues and friends with expertise in various areas of genetics. At the time I made a rather cryptic comment about "planning much bigger things for the site over the next few months". Today I announced what I meant…
August 11, 2010
Let's briefly compare the Exxon and BP spills. Exxon oil estimated to have spilled into Prince William Sound: 11 million gallons BP oil estimated to have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico: 172 million gallons So when we talk about how BP's Oil Spill Bill Could Dwarf Exxon's Valdez Tab we should…
August 9, 2010
Read an interview I did with Mongabay about the Gulf Oil spill more than a week ago (apologies for the lag time). Also watch for a comparison of the Exxon Valdez and Gulf oil spills coming soon...
August 2, 2010
I'm also leaving ScienceBlogs, but it's not for the reasons some others have given. I don't think Pepsi's blog will hurt my real life reputation and besides, it's been pulled, there have been apologies - it's time to forgive. July was the first month I've gotten enough hits to get a paycheck - and…
July 21, 2010
So there I was, try all kinds of librarian ninja tricks on the fanciest, most expensive research databases money can buy (SciFinder, Reaxys, Inspec...) and no joy. Couldn't find what I needed. I'm perfectly willing to admit that I don't know all that much chemistry, but usually I do ok since I work…
July 21, 2010
Mark Pendergrast writes: It's time to wrap up this ScienceBlog Book Club on my book, Inside the Outbreaks. I want to thank Liz Borkowski, Steve Schoenbaum, and Karen Starko for their excellent, insightful commentaries, and thanks too to those who commented here. I assume that you can continue to…
July 15, 2010
And why we should care. Gary Price of the Resource Shelf pointed to a news story today, that Ebsco has acquired two more research databases: Criminal Justice Abstracts and Communications Abstracts. For those of you who haven't been following, Ebsco has recently acquired Ageline (it is now not…
July 10, 2010
Tonight we made our way to Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter to witness the New Orleans gathering of Worldwide Protest BP Day. The drizzling weather probably served to separate the men from the boys, as they say, and so good intentions and half-baked messages ran high (see photos from the…
July 8, 2010
After hosting blogs for four years, it's about time I started my own. So, welcome! Let me begin with a bit about me and what I believe. I believe that science has the unique potential to improve the state of the world. I think this potential is being hindered today by a lack of science literacy…
July 8, 2010
Mark Pendergrast writes: Instead of responding to last week's commentaries on this book club blog about my book, Inside the Outbreaks, I want to throw out a controversial idea that runs counter to what many public health commentators apparently believe. So I expect some disagreement here. (I…
July 7, 2010
I've gotten a few emails about the Pepsi-ScienceBlogs tempest. It's clearly taken a toll on ScienceBlogs' credibility. Some of my SciBlings have resigned in protest, and others are taking shots on the topic. Sponsorship is part of scientific publishing, even in the peer reviewed world. Remember how…
July 7, 2010
As I said  yesterday on Twitter, a big conflict of interest and transparency problem has arisen on ScienceBlogs. Like several other bloggers here, I'm now on a hiatus, however like like David Dobb's and Blake Stacy's, my hiatus from ScienceBlogs will be permanent. I've been contemplating a move…
July 7, 2010
Karen Starko writes: Several basic questions related to Reye's syndrome (RS) have come to me from readers of Mark's book, Inside the Outbreaks. These show the importance of continued education on health issues. (For example, some physicians thought that fever was essential to getting RS). Again,…
July 6, 2010
Liz Borkowski writes: I wrote last week about how federal agencies can solve the problems that create conditions for disease outbreaks - or fail to solve them, as is too often the case. This week, I wanted to focus on the role Congress plays in public health agencies' effectiveness, because that's…
July 2, 2010
I tend to want to make posts on Creative Commons related topics at the CC blog, but this is essentially a personal post, and I also want to have it as widely read in our community as possible. Today is Kaitlin Thaney's last day at CC. She's been working for us on the Science Commons project for a…
July 2, 2010
Steve Schoenbaum writes: In his blog this week, Mark Pendergrast challenges someone/anyone to take on explaining the differences between case-control studies vs. cohort studies. As an EIS officer, back in late May/early June 1968, I did a case-control study as part of the investigation of a common…
July 2, 2010
I've been working for a while to develop a Frequently Asked Questions page to answers the most common reader questions about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Well, it's now online, and it addresses questions ranging from why HeLa cells are immortal to how the Lacks family is benefiting from…
July 1, 2010
A press release landed in my inbox today with this headline, which raised my eyebrows (as it was obviously intended to do): "First Experiment to Attempt Prevention of Homosexuality in Womb."  It starts with this quote from Alice Dreger, a Northwestern University bioethicist: "This is the first we…
July 1, 2010
I've been told that it's zombie day, so I thought I'd link to this research article by Gelman and Romero: The zombie menace has so far been studied only qualitatively or through the use of mathematical models without empirical content. We propose to use a new tool in survey research to allow…
June 30, 2010
Karen Starko writes: When the "financial crisis" started and the news media started throwing around numbers in the trillions and projected fixes in the billions, I realized I just didn't get it. So I got a little yellow post-it, labeled it "understanding trillions," and started a list of examples.…
June 29, 2010
Liz Borkowski writes: Mark Pendergrast wrote yesterday about how politics plays into the work of the EIS, and it's something that I kept noticing as I read Inside the Outbreaks. As he points out, my post last week highlighted the solution to the Reye's Syndrome puzzle - which was solved by Karen…
June 28, 2010
Mark Pendergrast writes: Thanks to commentators Liz Borkowski, Karen Starko, Steve Schoenbaum, and Mark Rosenberg for their thoughtful posts, though it appears that Mark Rosenberg's post got cut off after his first-paragraph query asking why anyone would go into the field of public health. I will…
June 22, 2010
by Nathalie A. Cabrol I realize how immodest the title of this first blog may sound and it is certainly not my intention to convince anybody that I will answer this question in the limited space allowed here or even in a lifetime. My hope is, instead, to stir thoughts and invite an exchange of…
June 20, 2010
[This post was originally published at webeasties.wordpress.com] A recent paper published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (I have no idea what the B means, but maybe one of you can clarify with a comment) draws an enticing connection between whale excrement and climate change. …
June 4, 2010
If you can't make it to the Tishman Auditorium in New York tonight to catch the highly anticipated program The Limits of Understanding, we've got you covered. The event will be streaming live, but we'll also be there to cover it, so follow along with the commentary alongside the video stream, and…