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Updated: 6 days 14 hours ago

A call for revolution in US science, dino microbes in space, vaginas in the lab

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 1:26am

US science is in a fix, so let’s fix it

“It’s as if the Pope and three leading cardinals held a press conference predicting the collapse of the Catholic church. These people know what they are talking about and …

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Your germy digital footprints are everywhere. Scientists are watching.

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 5:09pm

Looked up something on Wikipedia lately? That may be enough for a computer to guess if you’re sick. According to a new study in PLOS Computational Biology, the most accurate, timely data about how the flu is spreading in the …

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Lessons that Last: 200 Pearls and Counting

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 5:00pm

PLOS Pathogens Pearls Editor Joseph Heitman reflects on the success of Pearls, an Open Access compendium of the “lessons that last”, and introduces the new Flipboard collection.

The PLOS Pathogens Pearls mini-review series publishes concise reviews (less than 1500 words and a …

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Beating the Odds: Are Goats Better Gamers than Sheep?

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 4:44pm

goats

We’re all familiar with the shell game, though many may not recognize it by that name. Popular with street swindlers and sports fans at halftime, it has been annoying those unable to locate which cup the ball is under—most …

The post Beating the Odds: Are Goats Better Gamers than Sheep? appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.

Bony body tube for a bizarre marine reptile

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:23am

Prehistoric marine reptiles were a weird lot, especially in light of their lizard-like ancestors on land. You take something that roughly looks like an iguana, and evolve it into the shape of a dolphin (icthyosaurs), or evolve it …

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Chromosomal Clues to Past Pregnancy Loss

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:55am

Genetics is, in a sense, timeless. DNA sequences stay mostly the same in an individual over a lifetime. Minus the inevitable somatic mutations, the genome of a fertilized ovum is much the same as that of the 80-year-old it might …

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Claire Underwood From Netflix’s House of Cards: Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 9:06pm

Last month I used the character of Frank Underwood as a “case study” to illustrate the misunderstood psychiatric diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, and many of you asked: Well, what about his wife, Claire?

Good question!  You asked, and so …

The post Claire Underwood From Netflix’s House of Cards: Narcissistic Personality Disorder? appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.

Lessons that Last: 200 Pearls and Counting

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 5:33pm

PLOS Pathogens Pearls Editor Joseph Heitman reflects on the success of Pearls, an Open Access compendium of the “lessons that last”, and also introduces the new collection on Flipboard.

The PLOS Pathogens Pearls mini-review series publishes concise reviews (less than 1500 words …

The post Lessons that Last: 200 Pearls and Counting appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.

This week in PLOS Biology

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:41am

In PLOS Biology this week, you can read how two independent research teams have identified a new gene involved in circadian rhythms, and how we can improve the power of participatory medicine.

 

Circadian rhythms are biological processes which

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Are meta analyses conducted by professional organizations more trustworthy?

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:36am

gold standard

Updated April 18, 2014 (See below)

A well done meta-analysis is the new gold standard for evaluating psychotherapies. Meta-analyses can overcome the limitations of any single randomized controlled trial (RCT) by systematically integrating results across studies and identifying and contrasting …

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Awl be Darned: Metal Arrived in the Southern Levant Long Before Previously Thought

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 8:01pm

The Copper Age, sometimes referred to as the Chalcolithic period, was a time of technological transition for humans. As stone tools gave way to metal ones, the Levant—which includes parts of modern-day Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria—emerged …

The post Awl be Darned: Metal Arrived in the Southern Levant Long Before Previously Thought appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.

3, 2, 1…Project MERCCURI Blasts Off to the ISS Today!!

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:42am

IMG_6887

What happens when you combine professional cheerleaders, microbiologists, and astronauts? The answer is Project MERCCURI and the Microbial Playoffs… in SPAAACE!

SPACE FLORIDA, FL — Today, something  amazing is headed toward the ISS—microbial life from earth!This moment is the culmination …

The post 3, 2, 1…Project MERCCURI Blasts Off to the ISS Today!! appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.

Learning from the South: influenza immunization in pregnancy

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:12am

Writing from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jocalyn Clark celebrates the impact of a paper by Bangladeshi researchers on Western medical provision.

When two worlds collide in global health it can be a marvelous thing. Take for example the fact that although countries …

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Judging science fairs: 10/10 Privilege, 0/10 Ability

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 9:00am

Every year, I make a point of rounding up students in my department and encouraging them to volunteer one evening judging our local science fair. This year, the fair was held at the start of April, and featured over 200 …

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Thinspo, eating disorders and the seedy underbelly of The Internet

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 6:00am

Trigger warning: I’m going to avoid triggering language as much as possible, but I will be discussing eating disorders and body image in this post.

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We’ve all seen those photos. The inspirational quote, set to a background of a …

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Eyes on the Medicare data dump: Cautions and cautionary tales

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 12:27am

On Wednesday came the government release, finally, of Big Data on Medicare payments to medical practitioners for 2012. The beginning, one hopes, of release of many more years of data in aid of trend-spotting. Also, surely, some reining in of …

The post Eyes on the Medicare data dump: Cautions and cautionary tales appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.

WildObs: Instagram for Nature Lovers

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 3:53pm

Collect and share pictures of memorable encounters with nature using the WildObs app. Want more citizen science? Don’t worry. There’s an app for that.

Gopher Snake

There are nature lovers, wildlife photographers, hikers, kayakers and birdwatchers who pursue their passion every …

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Deep Reads: Christine Weber reflects on lab life and becoming a scientist

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 11:56am

The first in our series following on from the PLOS Genetics Deep Reads article “Recommendations from Jane Gitschier’s Bookshelf” comes from Christine Weber, a PhD student in Fiona Watt’s lab at King’s College London, UK. Besides her research

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Promoting Scientific Publications from Authors Overseas

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 10:00am

PLOS NTDs Deputy Editor Daniel Bausch reflects on a Manuscript Writing Workshop recently conducted in Lima, Peru.

On February 19, 2014, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene held a manuscript writing workshop in …

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Call the Midwife Evokes Cystic Fibrosis in a Simpler Time

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 8:36am

Previous posts bashing SyFy’s Helix and Dan Brown’s Inferno might suggest that I’m hypercritical of TV and films. Happily, the third season premiere of BBC’s excellent Call the Midwife shows that it is indeed possible to get the science right …

The post Call the Midwife Evokes Cystic Fibrosis in a Simpler Time appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.