Dr Isis on mentoring

May 31, 2013

As they say, run, don’t walk.

Becoming the Mentor I Want to Be VS the Mentor I Need to Be

And how to not ask questions like a girl…
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Context, context and more context.

Commentary

Phil_J

I have no problem with interracial couples but I am tired of having it shoved in my face constantly. The same goes for the LGBT agenda and religion. I could care less who you marry, what your sexual preference or religion is, just stop constantly shoving it in our faces.

ahh, yes. the “shoving it in my face” objection. Beloved of the anti-gay bigots but I haven’t heard this one about skin-tone or ethnic diversity since the 80s era of Benetton’s “shocking” ads. So if we’re going on a principle and all, what about those tired of the mainstream, traditional relationships being shoved in their faces? That’s called an own-goal, o ye bigotrim. Try another ploy.

kinda quiet

It’s not racist to want to preserve your own racial and cultural heritage. Whites and Europeans in general have their own racial and genetic heritage.

In Israel, it is against the law for Jews to intermarry with non-Jews. But nobody complains about that because they respect the right of the Jewish people to exist as a unique people. If Whites in America have a law such as this, there would be thousands of affidavits filed in Federal Court and special interests groups crying racism. This article is “cry wolf” sensationalism demonizing Whites for wanting to protect their own unique cultural and racial heritage. LaRaza, NAACP, ADL these are groups that are race-based and designed to protect their own heritage. But if Whites do this they will be publicly humiliated they will start to lose their jobs and some even be criminally prosecuted.

Right because there is absolutely nothing whatsoever unique about Israel and the treatment of Jewish folks around the world within the last couple of generations.

palbenson

If the commercial is to be about the cereal then why so much focus on who is in the commercial and not on the product its self. Bad choice by General Mills and its promotion team to use your product to promote an agenda other then the product. Not everyone is going to agree with what you do in a commercial, so stick with the product and not with trying to promote a personal agenda.

Amateur marketing geeeeenius weighs in! Take note oh Saatchi and Saatchi, you dilettantes!

asaymorning

You Don’t go against nature you don’t mix a tiger with a loin that’s not right

With the benefit of the doubt for fumble fingers, I give you Ligers. Just like mixed-race kids are objectively cuter, the Liger is more badass than even a Tiger. Which kicks the shit out of a Lion anyway. So yeah….Ligers.

paradox28jon

Psh, that pairing is everywhere. Try merman and sandwoman to get my attention.

A merman is real, no matter what the cabal of denialists say. Not sure about sandwoman. I’m sure they will be happy together.

I guess I mostly just link said parallels on the Twitts these days, but one of my favorite authors, Tobias Buckell, really nailed it in a slightly longer form:

It’s often hard to critique one single work of fiction, as I pointed to a friend once when complaining about race in SF. There’s always a *reason* inside the hermetic environ of the art for the lack of representation. Defenders can always point to world building reasons the work ‘has’ to be the way it is. But when you list title after title that does the same exact thing, it becomes a larger apparent trend.

I’m sure you can see where to replace certain words with the science/academia equivalents……

http://www.youtube.com/user/belinda243?v=0P5qlek08Wc

http://www.youtube.com/user/belinda243?v=0P5qlek08Wchttp://

was slightly NSFW so after the jump

Read the rest of this entry »

The F1000Research will be waiving the publication fee for negative result manuscripts up through the end of August.


If you have negative results in your lab notebooks, this is the time to write them up! Like all journals, we of course publish traditional full-length research papers but, in addition, we accept short single-observation articles, data articles (i.e. a dataset plus protocol), and negative- and null-result submissions.

For negative and null results, it is especially important to ensure that the outcome is a genuine finding generated by a well executed experiment, and not simply the result of poorly conducted work. We have been talking to our Editorial Board about how to try to avoid the publication of the latter type of result and will be addressing this topic and asking for your input in a further post in the next few days.

The follow up post requesting comment is here.

This is a great idea and the original post nails down why.

This is not only a disappointment for the researchers who conducted the work, it’s also damaging to the overall scientific record. This so-called “publication bias” toward positive results makes it appear as though the experiments with negative or null results never happened.

Sometimes the unpublished experiments are obvious next steps in elucidating a particular biological mechanism, making it likely that other researchers will try the same thing, not realizing that someone else already did the work. This is a waste of time and money.

On other occasions, the positive results that are published are the exception: they could have been specific to a narrow set of conditions, but if all the experiments that didn’t work are not shown, these exceptional cases now look like the only possible result. This is especially damaging when it comes to drug development and medical research, where treatments may be developed based on an incomplete understanding of research results.

The waste of time and money cannot be emphasized enough, especially in these tight funding times. Why on earth should we tolerate any duplication of effort that is made necessary simply by the culture of not publicizing results that are not deemed sexy enough? This is the information age, people!

One example from my field is the self-administration of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by the common laboratory species used for self-administration studies of other drugs of abuse. Papers by Goldberg and colleagues (Tanda et al, 2000; Justinova et al, 2003) showed that squirrel monkeys will self-administer THC intravenously which was big news. It was the first relatively clear demonstration in lab animals for a substance we know humans readily self-administer. As the Goldberg group related in their 2005 review article, there is no clear evidence that rodents will self-administer THC i.v. in literature stretching back to the 1970s when the self-administration technique was being used for studies of numerous drugs.

Over the last three decades, many attempts to demonstrate intravenous self-administration of THC or of synthetic cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists by experimental animals were relatively unsuccessful (Pickens et al., 1973; Kaymakcalan, 1973; Harris et al., 1974; Carney et al., 1977; van Ree et al., 1978; Mansbach et al., 1994) (Table 1). None of these studies clearly demonstrated persistent, dose-related, self-administration behavior maintained by THC or synthetic cannabinoids, which would be susceptible to vehicle extinction and subsequent reinstatement in the absence of unusual ‘‘foreign’’ conditions.

The thing is that rats “wouldn’t” self-administer nicotine either. Nor alcohol. That is, until people came up with the right conditions to create a useful model. In the case of ethanol it was helpful to either force them to become dependent first (via forced liquid diets adulterated with ethanol or ethanol inhalation chambers) or to slowly train them up on cocktails (called the flavorant-fade procedure). In the case of nicotine, the per-infusion dose was all critical and it helped to provide intermittent access, e.g., with four days on, three days off. Interestingly, while making rats dependent on nicotine using subcutaneous osmotic pumps didn’t work (as it does for heroin) very well, a recent study suggests that force inhalation-based dependence on nicotine results in robust intravenous self-administration.

For many drugs of abuse, subtle factors can make a difference in the rodent model. Strain, sex, presence of food restriction, exact age of animals, circadian factors, per-infusion dose, route of administration, duration of access, scheduling of access…. the list goes on and on. A fair read of the literature suggests that when you have cocaine or heroin, many factors have only quantitative effects. You can move the means around, even to the p<0.05 level, but hey, it's cocaine or heroin! They'll still exhibit clear evidence that they like the drug.

When it comes to other drugs, maybe it is a little trickier. The balance between pleasurable and aversive effects may be a fine one (ever tried buccal nicotine delivery via chew or dip? huh?). The route of administration may be much more critical. Etc.

So the curious person might ask, how much has been tried? How many curious grad students or even postdocs have “just tried it” for a few months or a year? How many have done the most obvious manipulations and failed? How many have been told to give it up as a bad lot by older and wiser PIs (who tried to get THC self-administration going themselves back 20 years ago)?

I’m here to tell you that it has been attempted a lot more than has been published. Because the lab lore type of advice keeps rolling.

It is really hard, however, to get a comprehensive look at what has been tried and has led to failure. What were the quality of those attempts? N=8 and out? Or did some poor sucker run multiple groups with different infusion doses? Across the past thirty years, how many of the obvious tweaks have been unsuccessful?

Who cares, right? Well, my read is that there are some questions that keep coming around, sometimes with increased urgency. The current era of medical marijuana legalization and tip-toeing into full legalization means that we’re under some additional pressure to have scientific models. The explosion of full-agonist cannabimimetic products (K2, Spice, Spike, etc containing JWH-018 at first and now a diversity of compounds) likewise rekindles interest. Proposals that higher-THC marijuana strains increase dependence and abuse could stand some controlled testing….if we only had better models.

Well, this is but one example. I have others from the subfields of science that are of my closest interests. I think it likely that you, Dear Reader, if you are a scientist can come up with examples from your own fields where the ready availability of all the failed studies would be useful.

Here’s the thing. Yes, it is true that health advances are built on a firm foundation of basic research. So the National Institutes of Health are going to require a lot of basic research get done to fulfill their fundamental mission of improving public health.

When we talk about ‘translational’ research, the fundamental concept under the tritely dismissible buzzwording is solid reality. We need to go from basic science, basic discovery to applications with human patients. And that takes a lot of people, a lot of time, a lot of investment and a LOT of blind alleys. We know this.

But you can get different people with different attitudes working on “basic” research. And as far as I am concerned there is no problem having a bias against the ones who proudly and arrogantly proclaim that they would never dirty their high-falutin’ “basic research” interests with anything so pedestrian as a potential application.

Screw em.

I’d rather award the grants to those basic scientists who have some recognition that they are being paid by the taxpayers to solve health problems, not to entertain themselves with faked up model organism systems that will never translate. Or to engage in sub-sub-sub-field arguments about how many proteins fit on the head of a nanobot pin. Or to be so interested in the “get”, i.e. a Nature, Cell or Science paper accepted, that they will fail to publish all sorts of data that they have generated on the public dime.