The Nutshell
Debate continues over withdrawn mammography paper
Kerry Grens | Mar 28, 2007
Continuing a debate that started several months ago, The Lancet this month published several linkurl:letters,;┬žion=Correspondence including one from a publication ethics group, criticizing the linkurl:European Journal of Cancer; (EJC)'s decision to quietly withdraw a publication about mammography from its Web site without any explanation. In this latest round of letters the linkurl:
Chimp lawsuit dismissed
Kerry Grens | Mar 23, 2007
Earlier this weak a judge dismissed a linkurl:lawsuit; filed by primate researcher Sally Boysen against Ohio State University (OSU). Boysen claims the University shut down the Chimpanzee Cognition Center at OSU and moved the animals to a sub-standard facility without her approval. Boysen also holds the university responsible for the death of two animals that died after their relocation. OSU says the Center was closed and the animals moved because B
Cheers for UK science budget
Stephen Pincock | Mar 22, 2007
After all the linkurl:wailing and gnashing of teeth; in the UK recently over science budget cuts, the government is in the good books again. Why? The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, has vowed long term increases in funding in his latest (and probably last) linkurl:budget; announcement. Broadly speaking, the budget includes a promise that total investment in the public sci
Rabbit Island: For science no more
Alison McCook | Mar 22, 2007
Last Thursday, owners of Rabbit Island, a linkurl:pristine 36 acre environment; off the coast of British Columbia that has taught many budding scientists about natural phenomena, voted to sell the island to the highest bidder. Professor Dennis Kelly of Orange Coast College in California has been taking students to Rabbit Island for years to demonstrate things most collegians only read about in textbooks -- island gigantism in the form of an enormous
Here, kitty kitty
Kerry Grens | Mar 20, 2007
I am waiting for a hypoallergenic cat. Not one to keep, but just one to prove all the skeptics wrong. In the January issue of the The Scientist I wrote an linkurl:article; about what scientists think of Allerca's hypoallergenic cats. The California company claims to have found and bred the world's first scientifically proven hypoallergenic cat, but most of the scientists I spoke with are dubious of its claims, not to mention the founder has a bi
Animals strike back at biologists
Alison McCook | Mar 12, 2007
Last Wednesday in Alaska, a linkurl:moose charged and downed; a helicopter carrying a wildlife biologist. Neither the pilot nor the biologist were hurt during the attack, but the helicopter suffered damage to its tail rotor, forcing it to land. Sadly, the animal was put down due to its injuries (it got caught in the helicopter's blades). Late last month, a curator of herpetology linkurl:was bitten;
Giant collaborations reign (and Akira is HOT)
Brendan Maher | Mar 9, 2007
A press release from linkurl:Thomson Scientific; lists 17 of the hottest researchers from 2005-2006 based on the number of Hot Papers published in that time. Hot Papers, as our readers know are papers, generally on the order of two years old, that have been cited much more than papers of a similar date and age (50 to 100 times as often according to Thomson). Immunologist Shizuo Akira of Osaka University tops the list with 7 publications in the specified time frame.
MRC head steps down
Alison McCook | Mar 8, 2007
Medical Research Council chief Colin Blakemore is stepping down at a time when the UK agency is facing major reforms. linkurl:Blakemore; said that he decided to leave after his current term expires in September, but his decision has nothing to do with the MRC's linkurl:upcoming; changes -- which include the UK government's decision to reform medical research funding, creating an umbrella s
Statistically significant punk rockers
Stephen Pincock | Mar 6, 2007
Who can argue with a punk rock anthem about the search for statistical certainty? Not me, at least. In fact, I couldn't help but smile this week when I came across a jaunty little tune called Increase the N by an outfit called Hefe from Vancouver. I first saw reference to the song (lyrics below) on linkurl:The World's Fair;, where they kindly offered a link to the group's linkurl:myspace; account. Apparently, they're a group broug
Need $20 million? Come to Alberta
Alison McCook | Feb 28, 2007
The Canadian province of Alberta is linkurl:offering up; to three "superstar" biomedical researchers $20 million ($17 million US) each, distributed over 10 years, to move to Alberta and conduct research there. Half of the money comes from the funding agency Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), and the province's three universities (University of Calgary, University of Alberta, and University of Lethbridge) will pony up t