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Public choosing science on PBS

By | January 8, 2007

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is living up to its name, and asking the public to choose what they want to see about science. On Wednesday nights at 8 PM in January, the channel is broadcasting pilot episodes from three different TV series about science, and asking the public to decide which program deserves its own series on PBS. We have three options: "Wired Science" adopts content from Wired magazine, "Science Investigators" answers a series of scientific questions


Walsh still not disclosing conflicts?

By | December 29, 2006

Even as Federal prosecutors linkurl:may be deciding; to focus their efforts on alleged misconduct by NIH researcher linkurl:Thomas Walsh; , Walsh is apparently still not disclosing all of his potential conflicts of interest in his publications. Walsh -- who engaged in ''serious misconduct'' by accepting more than $100,000 in consulting fees from drug and biotech companies without disclosing the


FDA: Clone it, then eat it

By | December 28, 2006

Good news for those of you who have been keeping a cloned T-bone in your freezer waiting to see if it's safe to eat: In an announcement that surprised no one, the FDA today linkurl:gingerly said; that it's OK to eat cloned cows and pigs. Cloned milk and meat more than likely won't even need a label. The timing of the announcement suggests that the FDA wanted as little scrutiny of the report as possible ?- the week before Christmas and New Yea


The eponymy game

By | December 19, 2006

I love a good bit of unintentional levity. One of my favorite discoveries is when an interviewee -- one of our own or even in another publication -- has a name that fits their field just a little too well. Now, call me a suspicious Aloysius, but when it happens twice in a week, in the same publication, I start getting wary. Today Jane Brody for the __New York Times__ writes on the linkurl:important exercises; for maintaining health in aging

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Dover: ?A non-controversial and dull topic?

By | December 13, 2006

Dull and non-controversial: That?s how bioethics pundit Art Caplan described the focus of a panel last night at the Philadelphia?s Franklin Institute titled ?Science, Faith and Darwin,? set to accompany their Darwin exhibit running through the end of December. Caplan meant to be wry, but with a panel (and seemingly an entire auditorium) full of folks in agreement, no sparks flew. That?s not to say there wasn?t star power. Judge John E. Jones who presided over the Kitzmiller v. Dover case over


Ready for your closeup?

By | December 4, 2006

You might have noticed last week, the launch of linkurl:JoVE, the journal of visualized experiments; which gives quick, free, video how-to?s on laboratory protocols. As someone who loves techniques but hates reading dry materials and methods sections, this is a darned neat idea. Blogger Pimm tracked its linkurl:web awareness here,; and apparently it spiked a

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Music and the mind

By | November 21, 2006

I just received a copy of __The Strangest Song__, a linkurl:book; about Gloria Lenhoff, a 51 year old woman with William?s Syndrome whose father Howard left the biochemistry bench to study cognitive neuroscience and foster his daughter?s remarkable musical abilities. I wrote about linkurl:Howard?s work in 2001,; and I remember how driven he was in getting his


An interesting bioethics debate

By | October 31, 2006

Does early detection work? __The New York Times__ today posts a linkurl:story about Claudia Henschke,; a radiology professor at Weill Cornell Medical College who?s pushing for routine CT scans to detect lung cancer earlier. The phrases are so well trodden, they?re often taken at face value: ?We?re lucky we caught it in time,? or ?If only we?d found it sooner.? The problem with simply accepting that earlier detection means better survival i


Ending the sci-religion war (and the Falwell of biology)

By | October 20, 2006

For someone forecasting Armageddon, linkurl:E.O. Wilson; is surprisingly optimistic. The Harvard professor, along with Harvard divinity professor Harvey Cox spoke at the Philadelphia Free Library last night with a message of hope ? not just for rescuing the humanity from its path of self- and planet-destruction, but for doing so through a deeper communication between science and religion. Wilson?s latest book, __The Creation__, calls upon the


Cat cloning company lives final life

By | October 16, 2006

A little under two years ago, Lou Hawthorne, CEO of Genetic Savings and Clone, linkurl:told me; that he hoped the pet cloning company would be profitable within two years, at which point it would consider an initial public offering. Apparently, they didn?t make it. News outlets reported last week that the company had sent letters to all of its clients announcing it would be closing by the end of the year. Clients could continue to bank their pet


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