Epidemics Are Not Natural


Now that Ebola is ravaging parts of West Africa, a nasty meme is once again rearing its ugly head — the suggestion that epidemics are "nature's way" of dealing with overpopulation. But it's an assertion that's as false as it is dangerous. Here's why. » 9/30/14 12:27pm Tuesday 12:27pm

Should you panic about Enterovirus D68 ?

If you have pearls you should already be clutching them. There is a brand new virus out there, which automatically means you should be afraid. Pay very close attention to Cable News. We wouldn't want you to miss any adverts.. sorry... I mean information about the outbreak. Why are you reading this article, when you… » 9/24/14 9:36am 9/24/14 9:36am

How Could Scientists Mistake Dust For A Spectacular Discovery?

An infographic at Quanta Magazine explains how scientists could've mistaken cosmic dust for gravitational waves as part of their special on the latest saga of the hazards of doing science in public. While disappointing, this just part of the halting, uncertain progress at uncovering the mysteries of the universe. » 9/23/14 3:11am 9/23/14 3:11am

New Research Identifies Drivers of Rich Bird Diversity in Neotropics

An international team of researchers is challenging a commonly held view that explains how so many species of birds came to inhabit the Neotropics, an area rich in rain forest that extends from Mexico to the southernmost tip of South America. The new research, published today in the journal Nature and co-led by… » 9/11/14 10:03am 9/11/14 10:03am

Killing Rage - Fraudulent "Scientist"

A colleague of mine recently shared this surprisingly detailed story of academic fraud wherein the perpetrator has breached so many ethical standards that I think he should be stood against a wall and shot. On the surface, it seems to be a run-of-the-mill falsification of credentials scheme, but it gets much worse. » 9/11/14 9:24am 9/11/14 9:24am

Sexual harassment and assault of young scientists

A study was published in PLOS ONE a couple months ago that showed the rates of harassment and abuse of scientific trainees during field work. While reading Margaret Hardy's statement on what we can do about this, I was struck by a paper figure that summarized the results. » 9/09/14 4:42pm 9/09/14 4:42pm

What the hell is going on with this Italian vaccine investigation?

Science has apparently gotten a hold the results of a 10 year investigation by Italian police into a "criminal vaccine ring" which includes flu researchers turned politicians and an animal vaccine company. While they don't include many details, they do summarize the charges here (sorry, may be paywalled). » 9/05/14 6:41am 9/05/14 6:41am