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This is a biology-specific news aggregator linking to the most recent copyrighted news and articles on popular websites. Our sources
January 22, 2013

Study indicates that scientific fraud may have a male bias

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 6:53pm EST
A few weeks back I blogged about a paper by Arturo Casadevall , Ferric Fang and others from the University of Washington and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine that investigated retractions in scientific publications and concluded that the majority of retractions could be traced to misconduct, with the majority of misconduct in turn arising from fraud.Now in a recent study , the same authors hone in on some of the details of misconduct and unearth another interesting gem; they find that men are more likely to engage in misconduct compared to women. And yes, this is true even when you correct for the overrepresentation of men over women in academic research. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=study-indicates-that-scientific-fraud-may-have-a-male-bias[More]/a

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40 Years of Health Care for Women that Includes Access to Abortion Services

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 6:08pm EST
Todays political rhetoric in the U.S. makes it easy to fall into the trap of viewing abortion services as outside of womens health care, but a recent event in Manhattan belied that logical flaw, just as Scientific American did in an editorial in its May 2012 issue. Abortion services, which can include counseling, in-clinic abortions, abortion pills, and pain management, are part of family planning, part of health care and a critical element of womens health care.At the event last week hosted by Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health to mark the 40 th anniversary of the Supreme Courts decision to legalize abortion, in Roe v. Wade , Dr. Curtis Boyd, who has provided abortion care for about 50 years in clinics in Texas and New Mexico, talked about his years of practice before the landmark decision in 1973. During that time, he saw women patients in the hospital who were bleeding, infected and sometimes dying as result of botched illegal abortions. His decision to help women gain access to safe but then illegal abortions rested on the certainty that an unwanted pregnancy can ruin a womans life. I thought it was not fair. Women were at a disadvantage, a significant disadvantage. Similarly, as Scientific American s board of editors wrote, family planning has saved lives, opened new horizons for women and kept populations from soaring, all of which are major contributors to economic well-being. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=40-years-of-health-care-for-women-that-includes-access-to-abortion-services[More]/a

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40 Years of Health Care for Women-Including Access to Abortion Services

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 6:08pm EST
Todays political rhetoric in the U.S. makes it easy to fall into the trap of viewing abortion services as outside the realm of womens health care--but a recent event in Manhattan belied that logical flaw, just as Scientific American did in an editorial in its May 2012 issue. Abortion services, which can include counseling, pain management, abortion pills, and in-clinic abortions, are part of family planning, health care and a critical element of womens health care, in particular.At the event last week hosted by Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health to mark the 40 th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Courts decision to legalize abortion in Roe v. Wade , Dr. Curtis Boyd, who has provided abortion care for about 50 years in clinics in Texas and New Mexico, talked about his years of practice before the landmark decision in 1973. During that time, he saw women patients in the hospital who were bleeding, infected and sometimes dying as result of botched illegal abortions. His decision to help women gain access to safe but then illegal abortions rested on the certainty that an unwanted pregnancy can ruin a womans life. I thought it was not fair--women were at a disadvantage, a significant disadvantage. Similarly, as Scientific American s editorial board wrote, family planning has saved lives, opened new horizons for women and kept populations from soaring, all of which are major contributors to economic well-being. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=40-years-of-health-care-for-women-that-includes-access-to-abortion-services[More]/a

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Alpha males and adventurous human females : gender and synthetic genomics

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 6:00pm EST
In May of 2010, two influential Science papers changed the way that we think about the past and future of genomes. The decoding of the Neandertal genome showed that humans and Neandertals interbred some time before Neandertals went extinct some 30,000 years ago. A couple weeks later, the J. Craig Venter Institute announced their chemical synthesis of a complete bacterial genome and its booting up in a closely related cell. The coincidence of the announcement of ancient and synthetic genomes, as well as the recent publication of technologies for large scale bacterial genome engineering from George Churchs lab led some people to ask whether it would be possible to clone Neandertals by a combination of gene synthesis, human genome editing, and stem cell cloning. While the New Scientist article about the implications of the Neandertal genome was pessimistic on the short-term prospect of resurrecting Neandertals, George Church himself has more recently made news by suggesting how such a future scenario might work in his recent book Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves . In the books introduction, Church (with science writer Ed Regis) writes: a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=alpha-males-and-adventurous-human-females-gender-and-synthetic-genomics[More]/a

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The Citizen Science of Climate Change: We are not bystanders

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 5:32pm EST
Superstorm Sandy prior to the 2012 Presidential election put climate change on the mind of many voters. Earlier this month, a Federal Advisory Committee of 13 collaborating agencies released a Draft Climate Assessment Report for public review . The data show the climate is already changing: rising sea-level, ocean acidification, damage to infrastructure, and impacts on human health, water resources, and agriculture. Because the data make it hard to remain optimistic, many were thankful to hear Obama say at his inauguration, Well respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.One overlooked aspect of the data, however, can also give us reason for optimism. Although credit for the report is given to 240+ scientists and engineers who compiled the evidence about global climate change, the backbone of the knowledge presented arises from efforts of unsung (and unwitting) heroes: people who collect weather data. The coordinated, cross-generational, collective nature of the public data-collection efforts reveals an unexploited strength in our society that should give us hope. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=the-citizen-science-of-climate-change-we-are-not-bystanders[More]/a

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Critically Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Released into Arizona Wild

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 4:40pm EST
On Wednesday, January 16, a four-year-old Mexican gray wolf ( Canis lupus baileyi ) named M1133 took the first careful steps out of his crate into Arizonas Apache National Forest, near the New Mexico border. It was the first time he had ever been in the wild. Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department hope that the captive-bred M1133 will now join the seven-member Bluestem wolf pack, whose alpha male was illegally killed by a hunter in 2012. If he breeds with the packs alpha female--who has not yet taken a new mate--it could bring a vital element of genetic diversity to a small group.But even if M1133 does become a father, will his contribution be enough to develop a sustainable population for these critically endangered wolves? Including M1133, fewer than 60 Mexican gray wolves--North Americas smallest and rarest wolves--exist in the wild, few of which are breeding. Nearly 300 more live in captive-breeding facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. All of the Mexican gray wolves alive today are the descendants of just five animals that were captured in 1973 after the subspecies was slaughtered into near-extinction by government agencies seeking to protect cattle and other livestock. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=critically-endangered-mexican-gray-wolf-released-arizona[More]/a

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Car Crashes More Deadly for Obese Drivers

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 3:30pm EST
pIn the study, obese drivers -- those with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 35 -- were 20 percent more likely to die during a car crash compared to normal-weight individuals./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=car-crashes-more-deadly-obese[More]/a

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South Korea Makes Billion-Dollar Bet on Fusion Power

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 2:30pm EST
pFrom Nature magazine/p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=south-korea-makes-billion-dollar-bet-fusion-power[More]/a

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Apples 5 Worst Attempts at Digital Realism

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 2:00pm EST
pIn this month#39;s Scientific American column, I took a look at the outburst of controversy over software skeuomorphism, especially Apple#39;s. (That strange bit of design-industry jargon comes from the Greek words skeuos , meaning tool, and morphecirc; , meaning shape.)/p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=pogue-apples-5-worst-attempts-at-digital-realism[More]/a

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Eat Less by Altering your Food Memories

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 1:10pm EST
pIf you made a New Yearrsquo;s resolution a few weeks ago, you probably decided to get fit or lose weight ndash; two goals that pretty unavoidably involve a pledge to eat less. Perhaps yoursquo;ve stuck with it so far, through some combination of brute will, guilt, and the deployment of winning slogans at spots of greatest temptation. But unless yoursquo;re one of the rare successful long-term dieters, your assault on adiposity will be short lived. Sooner or later, yoursquo;ll find your way back to foods that are sweet, fat, and synthetically tinted./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=eat-less-by-altering-your-food-memories[More]/a

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FDA Approves Recombinant Flu Vaccine

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 1:00pm EST
pFrom Nature ./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fda-approves-recombinant-flu-vaccine[More]/a

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4-Strand DNA Structure Found in Cells

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 12:00pm EST
pFrom Nature magazine/p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=four-strand-dna-structure-found-cells[More]/a

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Bloggers Put Chemical Reactions through the Replication Mill

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 11:30am EST
pFrom Nature magazine/p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bloggers-put-chemical-reactions-through-replication-mill[More]/a

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Obama Trumps Congress and Orders Research into Gun Violence

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 11:00am EST
pFrom Nature magazine./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=obama-trumps-congress-orders-gun-violence-research[More]/a

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Chimps in Uganda: Rising Conflict

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 9:51am EST
It was a day off from the field, an opportunity for a bit of mental respite and physical relaxation. The quiet peace of the day was halted, however, when I received an alarming text message from my field assistant, Nick. In it, he relayed the news hed just heard on the local radio station: a chimpanzee attacked a six-month old infant in a nearby village. The infant had been taken for medical care in town. The parents sought compensation from the government and a local NGO.I thought back to our visit to this village just days earlier. While there, we met with the village chairman, who said that chimpanzees harassed people there but no one had been attacked to date. Though many trees have been cut for timber and to plant gardens, he assured us that community members were interested in reversing this trend through tree planting efforts. More trees would translate into more habitat for chimpanzees and, hopefully, fewer instances of conflict with them. The chairman and his wife already had some knowledge of chimpanzees, their relationship with the forest, and the need to protect them. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=chimps-in-uganda-rising-conflict[More]/a

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Healing the Brain with Snail Venom

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 9:00am EST
pConotoxins--the chains of amino acids found in the venom of a cone snail--are medical marvels. In 2003 psychiatrist and environmentalist Eric Chivian of Harvard University described these sea creatures as having ldquo;the largest and most clinically important pharmacopoeia of any genus in nature.rdquo; Scientists believe conotoxins could help treat epilepsy, depression and other disorders by interacting with the nervous system./p a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=healing-the-brain-with-snail-venom[More]/a

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Seeking `Higher Ground: The Dangers of Designer Drugs

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 7:15am EST
Since ancient times, humans have been fascinated with ways to alter consciousness, and have gone to great lengths to reach a higher ground. From naturally occurring substances such as opium and betel nuts, to synthetic drugs like LSD, people have long experimented with mind-altering substances. This long history of experimentation with psychoactive substances even pre-dates the existence of the word drug.For example, Native Americans use of mescaline, extracted from peyote cacti, began as long as 5,700 years ago. Use of the Betel nut - the seed of a palm tree fruit - to alter consciousness may not be well-known in the U.S., but this practice has existed for thousands of years. In fact, it is estimated that among intoxicants, only nicotine, alcohol and caffeine are more popular globally than chewing Betel nut extract. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=seeking-higher-ground-the-dangers-of-designer-drugs[More]/a

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Seeking Higher Ground: The Dangers of Designer Drugs

Scientific American - Posted: January 22nd, 2013, 7:15am EST
Since ancient times, humans have been fascinated with ways to alter consciousness, and have gone to great lengths to reach a higher ground. From naturally occurring substances such as opium and betel nuts, to synthetic drugs like LSD, people have long experimented with mind-altering substances. This long history of experimentation with psychoactive substances even pre-dates the existence of the word drug.For example, Native Americans use of mescaline, extracted from peyote cacti, began as long as 5,700 years ago. Use of the Betel nut - the seed of a palm tree fruit - to alter consciousness may not be well-known in the U.S., but this practice has existed for thousands of years. In fact, it is estimated that among intoxicants, only nicotine, alcohol and caffeine are more popular globally than chewing Betel nut extract. a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=seeking-higher-ground-the-dangers-of-designer-drugs[More]/a

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