Phys .org: Deaths of prominent life scientists tend to be followed by a surge in highly cited research by newcomers. “…when star scientists die, their subfields see a subsequent 8.6 percent increase, on average, of articles by researchers who have not previously collaborated with those star scientists. Moreover, those papers published by the newcomers to these fields are much more likely to be influential and highly cited than other pieces of research.”
PBS News Hour: Smartphones aren’t making millennials grow horns. Here’s how to spot a bad study. “The original study and both news stories — which have gone viral, picked up by dozens more outlets in recent days — link these alleged bone deformities to the use of mobile technology, specifically because users are bending ‘their heads forward to make sense of what’s happening on the miniature screens,’ as the [Washington] Post wrote. There’s one problem.”
Meduza: Russian Academy of Sciences archive reopens after debts forced it to close in March. “The archive’s financial trouble began in 2018 when the umbrella agency above it, the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations, was liquidated, leaving ARAN to join the Education Ministry’s budget. That budget did not include funds for paying off the archive’s debts, including a large dept to the company Stroimonolit, which is designing a new building for the archive in St. Petersburg.”
University of Michigan: Genes for Good: Harnessing the power of Facebook to study a large, diverse genetic pool. “Collecting DNA samples for human genetic studies can be an expensive, lengthy process that has often made it difficult to include diverse populations in studies of medical and health data. University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues believe they have found a way to harness the power of social media and its ubiquitous presence to recruit a large, diverse participant pool they hope will help provide quick, reliable data for genetic studies. Their study appears in the June 13 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics.”
The Next Web: How to read a scientific research paper. “One of the most important skills any discerning media consumer can have is the ability to comprehend a scientific research paper. Reading a paper won’t imbue you with the ability to understand all the science behind it, but it could help you debunk BS when you see it on the news or social media.” Good for the basics, not a deep dive.
Campus Technology: UC System, Carnegie Mellon Pilot Tool for Sharing Research Methods . “The University of California system and Carnegie Mellon University are both piloting the use of a platform … in an effort to bring down a major barrier to reproducible research: the creation and sharing of detailed methods in published articles. As part of the larger open access movement, the universities hope to facilitate collaborative method development and to increase research reproducibility.”
Caltech: Electron Tomography Database Changes the Game for Scientific Data Distribution. “Caltech researchers in collaboration with the start-up Alexandria have built the world’s first blockchain-powered platform for sharing scientific data. The Electron Tomography Database (ETDB), which is free and open to the public, uses blockchain to securely distribute and track ownership of data without relying on a central authority or moderation. The database is simultaneously a powerful new tool for basic research and proof of concept for a new model of scientific data sharing.”