Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Today in Science

Climate Change

New report says climate change may increase Earth's temperature more than previously estimated. The Guardian

US Greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2004. Reuters

Western states taking initiative to deal with climate change without waiting for the Federal government. USAT


Utah anti-evolution bill (that I wrote about here) is voted down. NYT


Science and Religion are not mutually exclusive. NYT


Louisiana is set to have huge mosquito population thanks to Katrina. Reuters

Niger has bird flu. CNN


Mars orbiter nears destination. SF Chronicle, CNN


Free TiVos!?!? Reuters

Indian tech workers moving back to India from America for better job opportunities. WP


Former spokesman for the Taliban is a freshman at Yale. NYT

Monday, February 27, 2006

Today in Science


South Dakota moves to ban abortion, sets the stage for legal battle. Reuters

Wal-Mart says they will do better on employee health insurance without states passing laws mandating them to (Yeah, right). NYT, Seattle Times


World population hits 6.5 billion. LiveScience.com


Researchers discover "DNA target" to prevent HIV-infection. BBC

Funding to fight AIDS in Africa not being spent well. Reuters


Mars orbiter nears its destination. NYT

Climate Change

Man who helped jumpstart the Human Genome Project turns his attention to alternative energy. WP


Offshoring is not hurting the number of US tech jobs. SF Chronicle

Microsoft to release 6 versions of its new operating system. Reuters, BBC, Seattle Times


TV does not make kids stupider. (More stupid?) NYT

Friday, February 24, 2006

Today in Science


Early mammal found, changes ideas about mammals in the dinosaur age. NYT, Reuters, CNN, USAT


Oxford researchers risk their lives to speak out for animal testing. The Guardian


African country sees resurgence in circumcision to prevent HIV spread. Reuters


Maryland nears agreement to spend state funds on stem cell research. WP

Government to subsidize employers' retiree health plans. NYT

Nuclear industry lobbyists want no limits on Yucca mountain waste dump. Reuters

Indian scientist's visa finally approved. WP He is not alone in having trouble. NYT, Reuters


Supernova seen in nearby galaxy. NYT, Reuters


New York anthrax victim did not declare the goat skins that infected him when he returned from Africa. NYT


Europe rejects drugs from genetically engineered animals. NYT, BBC

iTunes sells one billionth song. NYT

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Today in Science


New moons found around Pluto. Reuters, CNN

Drug made from genetically altered goats seeks approval. BBC

New data shows early humans migrated to Europe earlier than previously thought. NYT, Reuters

Sharks can not survive in deep waters. The Guardian


Government recommends that 2-5 year old children be immunized against the flu. WP, Reuters

NYC man has anthrax. NYT, CNN


Indian call center workers hear outsourcing backlash. BBC

Chinese company to begin selling cheap PCs in US. Reuters


Prominent Indian scientist denied US visa. WP

Medicare drug plan enrollment rises. Yahoo

FDA generic drug approval still slow going. NYT

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


My wife received an interesting email this morning about some HIV/AIDS clinic workers in Uganda. They were seen reading news on the Clinical Care Options website that she works for and I freelance write/edit for (see Links at right), specifically the HIV/AIDS meeting I just did some work for.

It is gratifying to think that I helped (in a very small way, I assure you) to get new, potentially useful information on HIV/AIDS to people who are working to fight the epidemic.

How would this information have been disseminated 15 years ago before the ubiquitousness of the internet (i.e. before the world went flat)?

Anyway, I thought that was cool.

Today in Science


Healthcare spending to grow to 20% of GDP by 2015. Reuters

Medicare to pay for Gastric bypass surgery. WP

Climate Change

San Francisco is going to try using dog poo for energy. Reuters, SF Chronicle

Bush touts renewable resources, more oil independence. Reuters

Honda to sell low-cost hybrid car. Reuters

Plan to bank away seeds to save plants from extinction faces budget problems. Reuters


Another Mac specific virus found. Reuters, BBC


Harvard's president resigns. NYT, WP


Bush addresses change of heart about funding of renewable energy research center. NYT

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Today in Science


Stem cells may be a source of cancer. NYT

Scientists bring their message to the people. [A good start.] NYT

Novel anti-ageing therapies could cause a dramatic rise in life expectancy. The Guardian


Blood transfusions in China are not routinely tested for HIV. Reuters


Bird flu likely to keep crossing avian-human boundary. Reuters

Transplanting insulin producing cells from pigs could cure diabetes. BBC

Exercise and increased mental activity preserve brain power as you age. WP

Drug found that may reduce damage of fetal alcohol syndrome. BBC

Climate Change

China desperately needs to deal with pollution. Reuters, Yahoo!, Reuters


IBM advances microchip technology. BBC, NYT, SF Chronicle


Anti-evolutionists can not supply data to refute "law of evolution" so they are using a petition. [Weak.] NYT

However, (as I've said before) not all Christians are anti-evolution. Reuters, BBC

Palm trees and fish provide new evolution info. NYT


Medicare drug program under enrolled. WP

Bush touts energy saving technologies. Seattle Times

Advocacy groups are trying to change the way junk food is marketed to kids. Reuters

Google formally denies US government access to its search data. BBC

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy President's Day

I didn't do 'Today in Science' today because of the holiday. Enjoy your day off (if you get one). I may post later today. 'Today in Science' will be up again tomorrow morning.

Friday, February 17, 2006

I'm OK!

Man, have I been busy. Sorry about the lack of commentary over the last week and a half. I hope you have all enjoyed 'Today in Science' over that time. The good news is I'll be back up posting original commentary along with 'Today in Science' starting today. I especially want to say something about the 'Evangelicals' who are calling for a concerted effort to fight climate change. That's a big deal. Not just for climate change but as a fracture in the previously monolithic Republican base. Anyway, more on that later. I just wanted to post something quick so you wouldn't think the killer bees had gotten me. (Seriously, though - I'm duct taping my doors and windows closed as we speak.) COME AND GET ME YOU BUZZING &@$!@%@$!!

Today in Science

Climate Change

Greenland's glaciers are melting faster. WP, NYT, Reuters, BBC, CNN, The Guardian

Conservation groups are suing the government over climate change. BBC


Global smoking deaths to double by 2020. Reuters

Bird flu vaccines are being developed and tested. Reuters, BBC But not fast enough. Reuters

Cancer drug used to treat accelerated aging syndrome (progeria) in children. BBC


Hole in ozone layer will not start to improve for several more years. The Guardian

NASA manned spaceflight is in a tenuous position. Reuters

Any story about "tiger poo" is worth reading. Reuters


Rare Mac specific virus found. Reuters, WP, NYT, BBC

India cannot supply enough high-tech workers to keep up with outsourcing demand. NYT

Amazon.com 'iPod' on the way. NYT


Taking time off in college leads to a higher chance of not graduating. WP


30 million year old snake fossil points to evolution from lizards. SF Chronicle


Another approval decision at the FDA goes against the scientific advice. NYT

The FDA wants to charge drug companies fees to pay for the cost of the approval process. WP

Calls placed over the internet may be difficult/impossible to spy on. Seattle Times

Congress urges NASA to provide better science info to the public, be less of a political tool of the administration. NYT

Congress looks to stop internet gambling. BBC

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Today in Science


Bush appointees at NASA limited, censored scientific reports released during 2004 election. NYT

Healthcare costs keep businesses from hiring new employees. Reuters

National Academy of Sciences to start human stem-cell research oversight panel because the Bush administration will not. NYT

Catholic Church urged to re-assess their stance on birth control. Reuters


HIV/AIDS drug to be sold cheaply in developing world. [Note: the drug is called atazanavir not atanazavir.] NYT


FDA defines 'whole grain'. Reuters

Europe aims to halt bird flu spread. NYT

Alzheimer's starts later in highly educated people but progresses rapidly. Reuters, BBC

Here's a cheery article about bird flu readiness. Reuters

Climate Change

Kyoto backers plead with US to help reduce greenhouse gases. Reuters


Toads develop longer legs to invade more territory near the city of Darwin, Australia. [Seriously.] Reuters, BBC


Microsoft getting ready to release new version of Office. Reuter

Most cell-phones will have GPS capability in 5 years. Reuters

Computers can tell you what you like. CSM


Venture capitalists back schools. NYT


Eco-farming seen as boon to developing nations. BBC


Giant electrical storm on Saturn. CNN

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Today in Science


Bald eagle to be removed from endangered species list. CNN, SF Chronicle

Climate Change

Companies investing in wind power. NYT

Mazda rolls out gasoline-hydrogen powered car in Japan. Reuters

Kyoto goals for 2012 still attainable. Reuters

IEA tells members to increase renewable energy. Reuters


New anti-cancer drug shows promise, hefty price tag. NYT

Bird flu found in Austria and Germany. BBC, BBC


"Critical" security flaws found in Microsoft software. Reuters which doesn't bode well for their "virtual wallet". Reuters

Apple laptops with Intel chips are almost ready to go. Reuters, Seattle Times

MSN following Yahoo's lead and offering prizes for search engine use. WP

Yahoo calls for standardized practices in dealing with repressive countries. SF Chronicle

Online book trading sites gain in popularity. CSM


Ohio school board removes anti-evolution curriculum. NYT

Swiss priest says clergy are in no position to judge science. Reuters


Britain bans smoking. NYT, BBC

China shuts down web sites in fight against piracy. WP

Massachusetts Wal-Mart required to sell 'morning after' pill. Reuters

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Today in Science


Happy Valentine's Day! Reuters

CT screening can ID lung cancer. Reuters

Medical records begin moving to digital format. Reuters

Eating at McDonald's is like eating slow-acting poison. Reuters

Chinese turn to fertility drugs? [In other news, rabbits swamp in vitro fertilization clinics.] BBC

World looks to stomp out tuberculosis by 2050. BBC

Climate Change

Evangelicals want action on climate change. CSM

Garbage trucks switching from diesel to natural gas. Reuters

Nuclear power again seen as viable option to oil in the UK. Reuters


Genetically modified crops are not yet living up to their potential. NYT


Intelligent design is going to have to evolve again. [Now that's irony.] NYT

Women in the UK may be allowed to donate eggs for therapeutic cloning, stem cell research. Reuters

Gay marriage may have same health benefits for homosexual couples as regular marriage has for heterosexual couples. Reuters, BBC

Congress to investigate internet companies who censor information in China. CSM

Monday, February 13, 2006

Today in Science


New electronic government-grant submission system incompatible with Macs. WP

Frog species in California going extinct. CNN


Bush HIV/AIDS abstinence program reduced infections in Africa. WP

China bans AIDS discrimination. Reuters, BBC


Bird flu makes its way to Western Europe. WP, NYT

Hepatitis B may be responsible for the reduced number of women in many developing countries. NYT

England to ban smoking. Reuters

Climate Change

Chinese pollution hospitalizes marathon runners. Reuters


Yahoo may give prizes to people who use their search engine. SF Chronicle


"No Child Left Behind" tutoring program is not being used. NYT


Contrary to the perception in the media, not all Christians are anti-evolution. NYT

DC smoking ban to go into effect next week - except in Congress. NYT

Friday, February 10, 2006

Today in Science

Climate Change

Northern hemisphere warmest in 1200 years. BBC

Health risks from climate change likely to get worse. Reuters

Whale migration down. Reuters

Kyoto keeps moving forward - without the US. Reuters

UK unsure on adopting climate change measure. Reuters

Oil companies don't care about you. BBC


Two new drugs in a new class of antiretrovirals perform well in clinical trials. SF Chronicle

UN health experts declare that children with HIV/AIDS are being neglected. Reuters


Meningitis is very serious - the title of this article is not. BBC
[Note: BBC changed the title, originally it said "Snogging many risks meningitis".]


Knocking out brain protein improves mood in mice. Reuters

Iowa State trying to save "irreplaceable collection of research chickens". WP

South Korean cloning expert suspended. BBC


Blackberry has software fix ready in case lawsuit shuts down their current wireless email. WP, Reuters, Seattle Times, NYT, BBC

Microsoft is doing OK. Seattle Times, WP


Bush administration pushes budget cuts. Reuters

Japan looks to boost science spending. Reuters

Man with no credibility complains that his credibility is being questioned. NYT

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Today in Science


Darwin must be so sick of being right. CSM

NIH announces two new research initiatives. Reuters, CNN

China to expand science spending, increase competitiveness. Reuters

First intact Egyptian tomb since King Tut discovered. Reuters

Oldest known tyrannosaur found in China. BBC, NYT


Indian AIDS vaccine tests move forward. Reuters

Potential new AIDS drug developed. BBC

Male circumcision may protect women from HIV transmission. Reuters

Climate Change

Polar bear may join endangered species list. CNN

After censoring scientists, NASA vows to change. Reuters

Reduction of snow in Rocky Mountains is slowing release of carbon dioxide. Reuters

China challenged on polluting, democracy. Reuters

China may turn to Canada for oil. Seattle Times

Sweden to become "oil-free" by 2020. BBC

UK mulls "carbon capture" strategy. BBC


US government plans massive internet data collection system. CSM

Yahoo helped China jail a dissident. WP, BBC

Europe vows to keep out bio-engineered foods, NYT as does Africa. Reuters

Congressional staffers use Wikipedia to alter their bosses' biographies in politically favorable ways. WP, BBC

Mohammed cartoon protests spill over onto internet. BBC


Bird flu found in Africa for first time. WP, BBC, BBC, NYT

First decline in cancer deaths since record-keeping began. NYT, CNN

Deaths attributed to attention deficit disorder drugs. Reuters, NYT

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Working Stiff.

Posting will probably be light for the rest of the week. I've got a big editing job and a whole pile of work. However, as God as my witness, I will get "Today in Science" up every morning.

Today in Science

Climate Change

Evangelical Christian leaders to support combating climate change. NYT

Swiss glaciers retreating. Reuters

Bush NASA appointee who attempted to silence a climate scientist and referred to the "Big Bang" as a "theory" never graduated from college. NYT


Study says low-fat diet does not cut risk of getting some diseases, as previously thought. NYT, WP, Reuters. Results of study disputed. BBC

The sooner the better for HIV-treatment. Reuters

Broccoli may fight cancer. BBC

China bans new cigarette factories. Reuters


More from the South Korea cloning scandal. Reuters

Life on Mars? BBC


EU blocking of US bio-engineered food imports declared illegal by WTO. BBC, WP, NYT

Hybrid cars win awards. Reuters

Senate Commerce Committee to hear testimony about regulating what companies can charge for different types of internet services. San Francisco Chronicle

London police force to start pilot project using ethanol. CSM

Cheaper iPods! Reuters, BBC. Not everyone is thrilled. Reuters


Advanced placement tests on the rise in US schools. NYT, WP

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Clearly, God Hates Florida

I saw a report on CNN this morning about killer bees in west Broward county here in Florida (i.e. where I live). So, let's see: hurricanes, aligators, 99% humidity...and killer bees (believe me, that ain't the whole list). But at least it's usually not cold. Just one more of the costs of "living in paradise". Of course, my last home in Orange county (yes, THE OC) isn't doing too well right now either. Since it's on fire and all (again).

Today in Science

Climate change

British Prime Minister Tony Blair says we have seven years to begin seriously fighting climate change. Reuters


Dozens of new species discovered in New Guinea. NYT, Reuters, BBC

NASA sees spending on international space station at expense of other programs in 2007 budget. BBC

Leech evolution: what more needs to be said? NYT


2007 budget includes cuts in medical programs and NIH funding. WP

Anti-HIV drug combo seen as protective against HIV-infection in monkeys. Reuters

NIH warns against AIDS treatment interruption. WP

HIV subtype may predict speed of disease progression and death. Reuters

Inheritance plays a role in very high percentage of Alzheimer's cases. Reuters

Whole grains can reduce diabetes and heart disease. Reuters


2007 budget includes $1.5B cut in Education Department funding. NYT

University of Nebraska professor podcasts his class. WP


Bush budget wants R&D money for reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. Reuters

IBM doubles chip speed. Reuters

Ethanol industry working to make production from corn more energy efficient. NYT

Flat panel TV prices are likely to drop drastically in the next few years due to supply glut. (Yippee!) Reuters


China threatens crackdown on polluters. Reuters

Monday, February 06, 2006

New Twist to an Old Hobby

My mom and my wife are really into genealogy, so I thought this article may appeal to some people. It's about using DNA testing to track your ancestry.

The Law of Evolution

I found an excellent Q&A summarizing the scientific consensus on evolution on the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) website. Despite what "intelligent design" (ID) proponents say, there is no dispute over evolution among scientists.

My favorite section: "The theory of biological evolution is more than 'just a theory.' It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact."

I've wondered about this for awhile now, maybe the scientific community should take a page from the ID playbook and "re-brand" evolution the way they re-branded creationism as ID. "The theory of evolution" could be re-branded to "the law of evolution", similar to "the law of gravity".

I realize this may sound silly and most scientists may find this type of marketing campaign to be beneath science. This is part of our problem. We do not communicate well with the general public. Most average people haven't studied biology very extensively (if at all) and, in general, they don't understand how iron-clad an idea evolution is. However, when they hear the word 'theory', there is a predisposition to accept the idea that evolution may not be settled science. Science is letting the anti-evolutionists frame the debate (or more accurately, create a debate where no debate exists).

I'm not suggesting we revamp the lexicon or classifications that are used between scientists but rather how we address the public. The average person is not aware of the subtleties used in science, so we need to speak to them clearly. When explaining mitochondria to non-scientists, we don't say they are, "formerly endosymbiotic prokaryotes which synthesize adenosine 5'-triphosphate used to fuel cellular processes", we call them, "the powerhouses of the cell". It's not dumbing-down, it's not disingenuous, it's simplification.

So, I am starting it now. From now on, I will refer to evolution as the "law of evolution". What do you think? Please let me know and spread the idea - let's see if it takes hold.

AAAS Evolution Q&A

Today in Science


French face transplant woman goes before the media for the first time.

FDA severely deficient in generic drug approval process.

Bush to push Health Savings Accounts. WP

Ancient Chinese road now transports AIDS.


AOL, Yahoo to start charging corporations for sending email in a bid to reduce spam (and make money). NYT, WP, BBC

US looking to catch up with the rest of the world in wireless data services. Seattle Times

New wireless technology to take the cable out of cable TV. NYT, Reuters


Scientists begin to define specific characteristics of "dark matter". BBC

Biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid may allow early Alzheimer's detection. Reuters

Genetically modified crops set to gain big WTO victory in Europe. NYT

More fraud from South Korea: Reuters , and a Hwang Woo-suk fan sets himself on fire. Reuters

Climate change

Global warming may derail train in Tibet. Reuters

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Utah: Beacon of Enlightenment

There's a big vote coming up in the Utah state legislature on a bill which would attempt to weaken the teaching of evolution in the state's schools by requiring a disclaimer saying that not all scientists agree about evolution. What's interesting about this, aside from the fact that the bill would mandate a disclaimer that is untrue (depending on how you define "scientist"), is that the passage of this bill is not a foregone conclusion - even in a state as conservative as Utah.

There are two great quotes in this article.

1. The Utah House majority whip, Stephen H. Urquhart (R) (who opposes the bill): "I don't think God has an argument with science."

Amen. In our country today, there is an unnecessarily adversarial relationship between science and religion that is fostered by a minority in each camp and which serves the best interests of neither.

2. The main sponsor of the bill, State Senator D. Chris Buttars (R): "I got tired of people calling me and saying, 'Why is my kid coming home from high school and saying his biology teacher told him he evolved from a chimpanzee?'"

Probably because their kid has a bad biology teacher. Maybe that's the issue the good Senator should be more concerned about. (Just to be clear to everyone reading this: evolution DOES NOT state that humans evolved from chimpanzees - or any other animals that can smoke cigars and roller-skate.)

The fact that an intrinsically religiously conservative state like Utah is even having a debate about evolution vs anti-evolution instead of just knee-jerk slapping a disclaimer on one of the most well-founded tenets of science is GOOD NEWS. It gives hope that we can still have a substantive debate, based on facts, and some people will listen!

Evolution Measure Splits State Legislators in Utah - NYT

Saturday, February 04, 2006

President Nerdlinger

President Bush apparently reassured a group of kids that if they studied math and science they would not be in the "nerd patrol".

No response yet from the nation's nerds.

Bush later visited a biology classroom and had a student explain an experiment he was conducting. Bush replied, "I got it." No word if the experiment was testing intelligent design.

[I know it seems I post on Bush a lot but it is just this new "competitiveness initiative". I am fascinated by his new found realization that science is important.]

Friday, February 03, 2006

Bridge to Nowhere?

The NIH is starting a new program to "build a 'bridge to independence'" for post-docs hoping to find academic positions. Actually, to accelerate the process, but only for a very few individuals. This may also have the additional effect of causing those post-docs who do not receive the award to re-assess their career potential and goals (because the people with this award will have a HUGE advantage over them in the academic job market). So, I guess this is another way of separating the wheat from the chaff - something that must be done in the academic research world. [BTW, I currently consider myself chaff in this context. Not in any others, though.] So, it seems like this is a program that is win-win (when looked at from a larger perspective). However, I'm sure the post-docs who are forced out of academia will not see it this way (at first).

This will be great for a few researchers but the larger prospects still remain grim. With NIH funding being cut, tough times are ahead for everyone in academia at least until the next Congress...or President.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

As if it wouldn't be bad enough to be splayed out on a table all naked and desiccated, but then some scientists come along and say you may have been infertile too. [This story talks about mitochondrial DNA and infertility, so it should be of interest to my friends back at UCI.]

Today in Science

'Kama Sutra' virus, not so bad. Reuters, BBC

Bush advocates lifting cap on visas for foreign workers in the high-tech sector. WP

GM will outsource its IT services. Wipro to receive one of the contracts (see The World is Flat, right). NYT

Senate rejects extension of medicare drug benefit enrollment. WP
Plan seen to be less costly than anticipated, still somewhat dysfunctional. [Really very interesting.] NYT

Drug companies hope for more profitable 2006, owing in part to Medicare prescription drug program/approval of new drugs. NYT

Earmarks for Congressional pet projects divert money from governmental science agencies. NYT

Senate poised to continue doing nothing about climate change. Reuters
Which makes this news even more exciting. Reuters

NY Republican Mayor Bloomberg donates $100M to Johns Hopkins University for stem cell research. Reuters

Stem cell treatment for Lupus seen. WP

Good news from Zimbabwe (you don't hear that every day) about AIDS. Reuters, Science, The Guardian

Mixed news from the US about bird flu. Reuters, BBC

This just in: cocaine is bad for you. Reuters, BBC

Thursday, February 02, 2006

New Feature

I guess I should just say "Feature" as I don't have any old features. At any rate, tomorrow I'm going to try providing a list of interesting science/technology/health/education articles I find on various news sites (with links). On the days when Science and Nature come out, I'll try and point out some of the most interesting new items.

I think this should be pretty interesting and I will probably throw in some commentary here and there, as well.

Clearly, lobbying isn't always bad.

Finally, something to make me think that President Bush's State of the Union may have been more than just talk, at least as far as his new found interest in spending on science is concerned. An article in today's New York Times reports that there was industry lobbying behind the President's announcement that funding science would now be a priority. This lobbying pressure was in response to a National Academy of Sciences report warning of the U.S. losing its position as the pre-eminent innovator in science and technology.

It was a bit surreal to hear the President echo the sentiments of Tom Friedman (see The World is Flat, at right, for more elaboration) and as Chris Mooney has pointed out here and in The Republican War on Science (again see right) Bush isn't the most credible messenger for responsible science policy. However, if there really is industry pressure (i.e. campaign contributions) behind his new "American Competitiveness Initiative", it may have a chance.

Ironically enough, despite Republicans being scared to increase spending in an election year where they may already be in trouble, the prospect of campaign contributions from Intel or Cisco may be enough to force them into action. Here's hoping. Let's also hope the Democrats don't stand in the way just because the President said he is in favor of it. Ultimately, the devil will always be in the details when dealing with politics. If the Republican Congress takes this opportunity to load up this initiative with their own personal agendas (pork or mandating the teaching of intelligent design, as soon to be ex-Senator Rick Santorum tried with "No Child Left Behind") it will be hamstrung and may outright fail, a prospect that probably doesn't scare too many Republicans.

[P.S. I'm pretty proud of this post. If I had just found a way to work Fareed Zakaria in I would have hit all the authors on my 'Recommended Reading' list.]

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Kai Wang of the University of Washington wrote an interesting correspondence piece in today's Nature. It talks about the potential utility of a Wikipedia-esque resource for gene functions. That sure would have made my life easier back in grad school.

NatureJobs has a piece about better helping post-docs with any mental health problems that they may experience. [Unfortunately, the programs described in this article are few and not readily available to most post-docs. This is simply treating a symptom of a larger disease which afflicts most grad students and post-docs. The system in which they can find themselves trapped (6+ years of grad school followed multiple 3-4 years post-docs before being able to find a job) is the larger problem. I'm not saying that all grad students and post-docs want to kill themselves (I certainly didn't) but the lifestyle they have to put up with, and the amount of time they have to put up with it, is only going to drive them from traditional science.]

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