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Posts tagged with "General Scientific News"

  • General Scientific News

    Cutting Back On Lousy Conferences

    I’ve written before about the lowest tier of scientific conferences, the ones that are basically “presentation mills” for people to pad their CVs with. Now I see that South Korea is actively discouraging professors from attending such things. The Education Ministry is requiring a checklist form and vetting by each university to ma… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Isotopic Tracers: Remember George de Hevesy

    The largest controlled isotopic tracer test that I’ve ever heard of is underway out in Arizona, in the huge “Biosphere 2” greenhouses. They’re simulating a drought in the rainforest section and comparing the carbon flux under normal and dry conditions through the use of 13C-labeled carbon dioxide. A few weeks ago the sealed… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Copernicium Is A Strange Element Indeed

    OK, let’s talk about something with pretty much no practical relevance whatsoever: the element copernicium. That’s #112, just below mercury in the periodic table, and its longest-lived isotope has a half-life of 29 seconds. Which is actually pretty impressive – that’s one of the longest-lived elements up there at those atomi… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Automated Discovery

    To what extent can scientific discovery be automated? Where are the areas where automation can make the biggest contribution to human efforts? These questions and a number of others are addressed in a very interesting two-part review article on “Automated Discovery in the Chemical Sciences”. The authors, from MIT, are well-equipped (in… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Probes For Everything

    In case you don’t know, there’s officially an effort to try to develop chemical probes for basically every protein in the human proteome. The “Target 2035” initiative has been looking through the literature and finding what you’d expect: power-law distributions that have most people working on proteins that other peopl… Read More
  • Biological News

    And Now For A Bit of Quantum Mechanics

    OK, today’s blog post is going to be even weirder than usual – we’re going to wander off into quantum mechanics. And into a particular borderland of it where have been a lot of interesting hypotheses and speculations, but plenty of hand-waving hoo-hah, so it’s important to realize the risks up front. But here we go. Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Letters From India

    I’m sure that I’m not alone in getting emails like the one I got yesterday, and I get them reasonably often. Out of the blue, I hear from someone finishing up a degree at an obscure (to me) Indian university. In this latest case, the person writing doesn’t even get around to telling me which… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Publication Rankings

    I enjoyed looking through the Nature Indexes section recently in that journal – I believe that they do this primarily as a way to make a new section in which to sell advertisements, to be honest, but the content itself is worth a look. They’re tracking publications in 82 leading scientific journals and looking for… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    Researching While Chinese

    One of my basic principles is that “Just because you can mess things up by going in one direction doesn’t mean that you can’t mess them up by doing the opposite”. And we may be proving that one again, with this example being the position of Chinese researchers in the US. I will stipulate up… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Google Investigates Cold Fusion

    This unusual article recently appeared in Nature: a team funded by Google (and involving researchers from a number of very well-respected research institutions) has spent some substantial effort revisiting the various reports of “cold fusion” (commentary pieces here and here). That might seem like an odd way to spend one’s money a… Read More
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