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Upcoming events and travel...

My Mom reads my blog, so this is for her, so she knows my plans. Hi, Mom! ;-) A tentative schedule - things can always change.... This is ongoing - March 22-24th - "Reporting Across the Culture Wars: Engaging Media on Evolution", NESCent, Durham, NC (Facebook page, follow hashtag #evocomm on Twitter) On March 25th I will have shoulder surgery and will be off (and offline) through March 31st...

March 22, 2013 — Bora Zivkovic

Incidental Findings from Genome Sequencing Nuances and Caveats

You have your genome or exome (the protein-encoding part) sequenced to help diagnose a puzzling set of symptoms, and something totally unrelated, and unexpected, turns up – a so-called “incidental finding.”Surprises, of course, aren’t new in medicine...

March 22, 2013 — Ricki Lewis

The ethics of naming and shaming.

Lately I've been pondering the practice of responding to bad behavior by calling public attention to it.The most recent impetus for my thinking about it was this tech blogger's response to behavior that felt unwelcoming at a conference (behavior that seems, in fact, to have run afoul of that conference's official written policies)*, but there are plenty of other examples one might find of "naming and shaming": the discussion (on blogs and in other media outlets) of University of Chicago neuroscientist Dario Maestripieri's comments about female attendees of the Society for Neuroscience meeting, the Office of Research Integrity's posting of findings of scientific misconduct investigations, the occasional instructor who promises to publicly shame students who cheat in his class, and actually follows through on the promise...

March 22, 2013 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Cosmos Study Dashes Hope for New Neutrino

First particle physicists discovered “a boring old Standard Model Higgs boson,” as my colleague Michael Moyer put it, meaning that the particle hewed closely to theoretical predictions and offered little in the way of guidance to new and exciting physics...

March 22, 2013 — John Matson

What the President Can and Should Do About Climate Change

In Barack Obama's State of the Union address, he intoned: " For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. … If Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will." Now the president's science advisors, a group known as PCAST for President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, have offered some suggestions for what he can and should do about climate change—on his own...

March 22, 2013 — David Biello

How Dry I Am: When Is That Sponge Cake Past Its Prime?

I adored Twinkies as a kid, vastly preferring them to Ding-Dongs or SnowBalls, and my folks used to give me a box every Christmas. Jokes about eternal shelf life notwithstanding, I gobbled the spongy crème-filled cakes down greedily, naively confident that Twinkies would always be in stock for next Christmas.So even though I no longer gorge myself on Twinkies, I totally understood when the announcement late last year that Hostess was filing for bankruptcy gave rise to howls of anguish around the Internet over the prospect that many of the company’s tasty snacky-cakes would no longer be available to consumers – including Twinkies...

March 22, 2013 — Jennifer Ouellette

Sleep Hits the Reset Button for Individual Neurons

A little shuteye refreshes.Right, but what does that really mean?Not talking here about leaping out of bed ready for a five-mile run upon awakening, but rather about what's happening at the level of individual brain cells deep inside your head.A new study by R...

STAFFMarch 22, 2013 — Gary Stix

How a Martian Goddess Changed My Mind About Copyright

Creative Commons Habits Are Hard to BreakCreative Commons Licences are Good Things, in my estimation. I've had one on my personal art blog The Flying Trilobite since almost the very beginning.There are different grades of Creative Commons Licences (CCL), and like many artists, I've stuck with the most restrictive one...

March 22, 2013 — Glendon Mellow

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