March 25, 2013
A new blog on drug toxicology has recently appeared and I think some of my Readers will want to bookmark The Dose Makes The Poison.
What is it about? Well, the Intro post indicates:
So, a long time ago in a land far, far away, a brilliant scientist named Paracelsus (who is considered by many a toxicologist throughout time, to be the ‘Father of Toxicology’) wrote:
“Alle Dinge sind Gift, und nichts ist ohn Gift; allein die Dosis macht, dass ein Ding kein Gift ist.”
Trudat! A few more posts have appeared already….
Even though it doesn’t really make sense, I still want this mass spec! The sample that was analyzed was gastric contents of a decedent. It identifies “chicken stock”, coffee, and cocoa!
Currently, cases involving the determination of a controlled substance analogue involve dueling chemists, toxicologists and pharmacologist as there is no consensus in the scientific community regarding what exactly is a controlled substance analogue. Typically, the prosecuting attorneys will have consultation and testimony from the DEA chemists or toxicologists/pharmacologists while the defense will have consultation and testimony from chemists and toxicologists/pharmacologists from other entities. The decision boils down to opinion vs. opinion.
June 27, 2012
I invite you to put the new blog of Professor J. David Jentsch on your list. At the unlikely activist you will find fare such as:
If they are remarkably lucky and have proper medical and psychological support, they may return to a healthy life and never use again. But for most, their freedom is only temporary, and they will relapse again days, weeks, months or even years later, returning them to their suffering and to their fateful spiral. You see, drugs kill. They are powerful toxins that can stop breathing or a heart. If they are injected, they can bring infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV along with them. And because they intoxicate the mind, they lead to reckless driving and other behaviors that risk the lives of the addict and those around them.
Put differently, juveniles and teens have a brain fully capable of feeling powerful emotions (like anger), but their ability to resist those emotions and to behave in a socially appropriate manner (like to inhibit aggressive reactions) is not at adult levels. The 5 justices who struck down harsh penalties for child offenders recognized this; it was a crucial part of their logic in this, and the earlier death penalty, case.
But like a frightening number of people in our society, the other 4 justices viewed the science as either being wrong or irrelevant. Their own ethical or philosophical views about crime and punishment appeared to trump their interest in scientific principles and facts. In this regard, they are not unlike strident animal rights activists opposed to biomedical and behavioral research involving animals.
In the fall of 2010, an animal rights extremist sent me razor blades and heinous threats to cut my throat in the mail. It became a national news story, again highlighting the abject cruelty of some in the anti-vivisection movement. During this time, I turned on my phone one evening to see that I had received a voice mail. Anticipating the worst – yet another cruel, rabid and profane threat from my opponents – I found something quite different. I have kept this communication private for long enough. Now, at the wishes of the caller, I am sharing it with the broader community to demonstrate that support for humane animal research is everywhere…. It comes not from greed or ignorance, but from love and a hope that no one should ever suffer the same loss as the caller.
VoiceofSupport (click on this link to listen to this .wav file)
September 22, 2011
Mostly because these cracked me up:
A while ago I decided that I wasn’t going to let my status of post-doc keep me from amassing a dark army of minions to do my scientific bidding, so I started advising UROP students.
Some people are jealous, some wonder aloud if our PI realizes that I’m running my own lab out of my bay and accuse me of taking on PI-like traits (not knowing where things are on my own bench or not remembering whether I’ve told a student to do something or clearly remembering a result from eight months ago, but not what they showed me yesterday or sending cryptic experimental ideas at odd hours of the night).
They are inexperienced – and you are providing training and experience – but they are not dumb and will not stay to assist you in taking over the world if they don’t see what they are going to get out of the deal. Even though the benefits of working for me are blindingly obvious, I make sure that I remind my minions often of how their servitude is beneficial to them.
December 13, 2010
Huh. I’ve seen the name on comments out and about on the science-y blogs but never really noticed there was a blog and clicked through.
I don’t know if you will like it or not, Dear Reader. I’ve lost touch with my audience since the move to Scientopia. Not sure why.
Anyway, I like this one. Go read.
Take my current job as a postdoc for example: I got the position by accident. My now PI wasn’t even on my radar because he doesn’t really do anything relevant to my research area. I sent him an email because he was associate chair of the department and thus in charge (administratively) of a training grant in the department. I sent him a “What do I have to do to get a spot on this grant?” email. He wrote back “We’re pretty much full, so nothing. FYI I just got a grant from Big Institute in your research area so I need a postdoc. Now.”
Above is a map I quickly made of the “top 50″ departments in Bashirology
Why on earth would two full time teachers, with three small children (at the time), travel (by car) that far to take a few classes?
Because it was the nearest school that would take Negros.
This person had a few interesting stories regarding dialect and academia. Particularly one researcher who apparently could not code switch out of AAVE at all. As you might imagine she had trouble landing a job.
Update: an older version of the Bashir blog.
November 29, 2010
Ran across this one via a link dropped at the Comrade PhysioProf blog. I think you will enjoy Grumpy rumblings of the untenured, penned by nicole&maggie. A little selection of goodness to whet your appetite…
Is anyone else tired of having her consciousness raised to a dizzying height? How come I’m always the one pointing out the sexism all around me? I’m getting tired of waving the flag. Can’t I go back to my pre-radical-grad-school level of only mild awareness?
And while we’re on the topic of things that make me mad about publishing, there has rightly been much outcry on the internet about publishers’ whitewashing of book covers; in other words, portraying characters who are clearly described as non-white in the book by using white models on the cover.
One thing I took away from this chapter was the idea of treating yourself as a research subject and trying different things, recording the results to see what is most effective in getting the desired behavior (in this case, writing) from yourself. I am giving myself more permission to do whatever works this year, even if it seems weird. In a memoir I recently read, a creative writer talks about how he finally managed to work out a routine that produced excellent results every time — but it was really complex. It involved turning out all the lights, jogging in circles, lying on the floor, etc. His behavior, explained out of context, seems… well… maybe a bit insane. But the thing is, I understood how he had gotten there. I don’t want to have to go that far, but I’m giving myself more permission to engage in whatever rituals or behaviors will produce results (publications).
I may really not trust doctors, sorrowing in the lack of decent statistics training for the majority, but I do know how to use PubMed and I have more trust in the peer-reviewed scientific method than I have for claims of random crackpots on the internet.
Man… there are a LOT of anger issues out there. Really makes me second guess all the calls for allowing professors to have guns on campus. (What’s that, that’s not an issue on your campus?) And the language… why do academics need to swear so much?
Is it a selection or a treatment effect? Should I get out now, or is it too late?
August 2, 2010
crossposting from DrugMonkey on Scienceblogs.com….
A brand new science blogging collective has launched itself today. I encourage you to stroll on over to http://scientopia.org/blogs and take a look-see. You may even want to save a bookmark or two.
The vision statement reads as follows:
Scientopia is a collective of people who write about science because they love to do so. It is a community, held together by mutual respect and operated by consensus, in which people can write, educate, discuss, and learn about science and the process of doing science. In this we explore the interplay between scientific issues and other parts of our lives with the shared goal of making science more accessible.
As a community, we strive to be welcoming of anyone with an interest in science and its place in our world, regardless of any feature, whether extrinsic or intrinsic, which may act or have historically acted as a barrier to full participation in science or discourses about science.
Hippie statements aside, I think you will find that Scientopia has some interesting voices lined up for your reading pleasure. So go take a look.