If there’s any more universal holiday in the long years of human culture than celebrating the lengthening of the day, I don’t know what it should be.

As good an opportunity as any to say thanks to you, DearReader.

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He’s baaaaaack. Woo Suk Hwang of faked cloning fame has been publishing new work (Update 1/2/08: and seeking re-licensure). Nature has the call: Read the rest of this entry »

Coturnix has the call:

there was a study the other day, in the Journal of Cell Biology, that seriously calls in question the methodology used by Thompson Scientific to calculate the sacred Impact Factor

A little bait from the article: Read the rest of this entry »

A recent commentary in Nature by Barbara Sahakian and Sharon Morein-Zamir discusses the ethical questions arising from the use of cognitive enhancing drugs to improve intellectual function in “normal” people. This follows a prior piece in Nature arguing that science-enhancing drugs may not be just acceptable but indeed laudable, which I covered previously. A couple of blogs are already on it, including Adventures in Ethics and Science (natch), Retrospectacle and Action Potential. [Update: 12/21/07: More from the Silverback , Corpus Callosum and Munger.] Commentary on the first two Borg blogs is already quite brisk. People seem to love discussing brain doping! Read the rest of this entry »

The BM has been reduced to near incoherency of profanity in response to Uncertain Chad’s take on a denial-of-tenure case at U. Michigan Law School. [Update 12/21/07: DeanDad has a good take on this] In short the denied professor of law is suing because he feels that some of the voting members of the department may have voted against granting him tenure because of teh gay: Read the rest of this entry »

ScienceDaily picked out an abstract from the recent Society for Neuroscience Meeting in San Diego on proteomic markers of methamphetamine and traumatic brain injury. About 12 % of the proteins analyzed in rat cortex were similarly changed after the two types of insult. This is out of a pool of about 30,000 brain proteins according to the article.

Ok, pretty pedestrian stuff unless you want to get all excited about whether buzz-topics like “proteomics” are really going to lead to fundamental insights into disease or toxic processes in a way that informs public health.

Except the ScienceDaily article had to temerity to talk about “club drugs” and refer to prior studies from the group with MDMA-induced brain changes. Sure enough, in sails MAPS to set the record straight (as if it was required): Read the rest of this entry »

Edwards on Medical MJ

December 17, 2007

John Edwards on both Medical Marijuana and, wait for it, the role of science in public policy.

[h/t: Drug Law Blog]

…which was apparently an evolved position

Teen MDMA Use Rebounds

December 17, 2007

A *press release from the Monitoring the Future reports unchanged (cocaine, heroin, OxyContin) or slightly decreased (marijuana, amphetamines including Ritalin and methamphetamine) 12-month incidence for many drugs of abuse in the critical 8th, 10th and 12th grade samples. The use of MDMA, however, is a different story: Read the rest of this entry »

Eleven Months of Drug Monkey

December 17, 2007

The meme, if such it is, comes from AinE&S and StrangerFruit.

The rule: post the first sentence of the first post for each month. Read the rest of this entry »

Scientific Rock Star

December 13, 2007

BoyBand physicist Uncertain Chad excoriates the IndieRockersofScienceTM.

Screw that.

Stadium Rockers all the way my man!

More Journals for NPRC

December 13, 2007

Additional journals are lined up to join the Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium. This may be of some relevance to prior smart arse comments, particularly the appearance of Biological Psychiatry as a lateral competitor of J Neuroscience.

I’m always the wet blanket on people who are fielding job offers. YHN trends cynical, sure. There’s a little more to it though which is that one hears a very consistent message in Year 2-3 if a new hire is unhappy. It boils down to a failure of the hiring University to live up to the spirit (and even letter) of what was promised during the recruiting phase. The space that magically becomes “shared space”. The startup funds that get reduced or restricted. The surprises that one is supposed to pay for “out of your startup”. The new building renovations that are slow, “Oh just use this temporary space for now” becomes “Well, you have a lab we promised that to the next sucker”. Etc. The excuse is almost always “The dean won’t go for it”, “The dean denied it” and the like while the Chair insists s/he went to the mat for you. Everyone has problems doncha know….

This is all mere preamble to the experiences of ScienceWoman in a post entitled “How not to negotiate your startup funds”. A classic story and well worth reading.

Update 12/14/07: Should have known writedit would have some interesting comments on the issue.

Grant Searching

December 11, 2007

You know about CRISP, you’ve heard about CRISPer. Now meet the PubMedCentral/ NIHMS system.

Being the GoodLittleMonkey that I am (also very Curious, which we’ll get to), I’ve been using the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) to deposit a manuscript or so into PubMed Central, as mandated by NIH. Although to submit a manuscript you will have to log in as some sort of authenticated user, mostly this will mean through your eRA Commons login, I think one can use the Grant Lookup tool without logging in

It is stone simple. Click on it and you will see a little dialog with fields for First Name / Last Name and Grant #. Partial text is treated as wild card as far as I can tell. All you seem to be able to get is the grant title, this is not linked to abstract or anything. So why bother?

I noticed that there are some things that come up here that cannot be found on CRISP, mostly very recent funding stuff. And it is very strange as you can get somethings via PI last name that you can’t get by grant number wildcarding.

Cognitive Daily tips us to Brain in a Vat on the Wren et al. survey of “importance” of authorship position, a dissection of authorships in a tenure case from Strange Fruit and Neurotopia v2.0. A comment to Cog Daily tips us to a relevant phd comic. Although I think most of the readers here are MWE&G fans, writedit had this one on surprise authorship awhile ago. For those that didn’t catch it, Digital Bio on different field practices in authorship from a bit ago as well.

The funding IS the science…

December 11, 2007

In a couple of comments to a recent post, people were exploring the concept of whether it matters if a particular individual is funded to do something since perhaps the other competing, well-funded labs will just do it anyway (start with this one). I would argue that this is wishful thinking. While there is some truth to the idea that only by accumulating a big pile of resources is one free enough to play around and take risks, established programs have a tendency to get conservative. So breaking up OldBoy type cronyism is a good goal.

As luck would have it, we have two RFAs (one doubles up for different mechanisms which is necessary with the new and idiotic grant packages) and a Program Announcement (with Set Aside Funding; “PAS”) from NIDA that let us pursue this a little more. Read the rest of this entry »