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Ruth Macklin


Research Ethics and Ebola

Ruth Macklin | October 23, 2014 | Science
A letter published online in the Lancet on Oct. 10, by a distinguished group of scientists, ethicists and physicians from all over the world, makes an urgent plea for embarking on research for experimental Ebola treatments that would not randomize patients to a control arm that provides only conventional care or conventional care along with a placebo.
Mike Lehmann

I'm a Christian, but I Enjoyed The Unbelievers

Mike Lehmann | October 23, 2014 | Religion
Even though I have serious problems with the movie's main argument, it's worth seeing. It provides a great window into how Krauss and Dawkins think; it's cinematography and soundtrack rock.
Wray Herbert


Is Powerlessness the Key to Successful Negotiation?

Wray Herbert | October 23, 2014 | Science
Leigh Steinberg, the inspiration for the title character in the film Jerry Maguire, is one of the most successful agents in the history of American sports. He is also a master negotiator. Psychological scientists believe they may have an explanation for Steinberg's seemingly irrational behavior and for its ironic success.
David H. Bailey


Fusion Energy: Hope or Hype?

David H. Bailey | October 23, 2014 | Science
It was with great interest that we read this week of two claimed breakthroughs in the area of fusion energy, by the U.S. aerospace company Lockheed Martin and a separate team of Italian and Swedish scientists. We will continue to monitor both of these developments.
Mario Livio


On William Blake's 'Newton'

Mario Livio | October 23, 2014 | Science
Scientists are not blind to the beauty of the world. When I see an image such as the one taken by the Hubble Space Telescope that was dubbed "The Rose," I believe that I am as capable to appreciate its exquisitely complex elegance as any artist.
Robert Whitcomb

Move New England's Time Zone

Robert Whitcomb | October 23, 2014 | Science
Going on Atlantic Time would raise the spirits and mental and physical energy of more New Englanders than not, by alleviating the late-afternoon grimness of late fall, winter and early spring.
Edward Taub, Ph.D.

The Plasticity of the Brain: Guiding the Damaged Brain to Recover From Injury and the Healthy Brain to Improve Itself

Edward Taub, Ph.D. | October 23, 2014 | Science
What are the limits of rehabilitation for a person with a damaged brain, and how can persons with healthy brains improve themselves further?
Curt Stager

Your Atomic Self: The Invisible Elements That Connect You to Everything Else in the Universe (EXCERPT)

Curt Stager | October 22, 2014 | Science
Like the sound of a sonata, like Mozart, Einstein, and Whitman, you too will be gone someday. But like the abstract structure of a musical composition, the space-time coordinates and emergent patterns of your life are immortal, and your atomic and subatomic components will continue to exist in many and varied forms for trillions of years.
Geeta Nayyar, M.D.


Physicians on the Front Lines: Where Technology Can Help to Make the Clean Hand the Winning Hand

Geeta Nayyar, M.D. | October 22, 2014 | Healthy Living
Since about 88 percent of all infections are transmitted by hands, a review of the WHO's Five Moments for Hand Hygiene is imperative. Most importantly, in the home, in schools and most importantly - in hospitals and doctor's offices.
Jan Millsapps, Ph.D.


Only One Way to Mars?

Jan Millsapps, Ph.D. | October 22, 2014 | Science
Our earliest astronauts were test pilots; their selection followed strict criteria of age, gender, and flight experience that severely limited participation. Are we in danger of creating another exclusive group of spacefarers?
Dr. Faheem Younus


Why This Doctor Believes That Ebola Will Not Be an American Catastrophe

Dr. Faheem Younus | October 21, 2014 | Science
Calm down, people! Yes, Ebola is devastating, and it may continue to gnaw at Africa and the developing world, but it won't turn into an American catastrophe. Let me explain why I believe we will win this battle.
Olympia LePoint


Comets Near Earth

Olympia LePoint | October 22, 2014 | Science
Can comets hit Earth? As a scientist who helped launch vehicles into Space, I wondered the answer to this question too. Recently the comet named Siding Spring nearly collided with our neighboring planet Mars. To give a rough estimate of its close proximity, it was 1/3 the distance of the...
Justin Beach


WTF Evolution?: My Favorite Tumblr Is a Book Now

Justin Beach | October 21, 2014 | Science
Truth be told, I don't spend a whole lot of time on Tumblr, but there are a few masterpieces that are worth keeping an eye on. One of my favorites is Mara Grunbaum's WTF Evolution?, which takes a regular look at some of evolution's strangest and most perplexing creations. Now, in plenty of time for Xmas, Gunbaum's evolutionary freak show is a book.
Sarah Casson

Deciphering Monsoons in a Time of Drastic Changes

Sarah Casson | October 23, 2014 | Science
The increasing irregularity of monsoons affects lives around the world. We do not know how climate change will affect monsoon behavior, but the best scientific hypotheses are that we may never return to a steady, dependable monsoon. Climate change may fatally break the ancient relationship between farmer and monsoon.
Brian Clegg


The Trouble With Trolleys

Brian Clegg | October 21, 2014 | Science
Listening the other day to BBC Radio 4, I caught the end of one The Philosopher's Arms. The subject was trolley ethics. My hope was that a big problem with the best-known example of this philosophical discipline would be explored. Sadly, though, it was left undiscussed.
Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ

Science, Religion and the Assumptions We Make

Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ | October 21, 2014 | Religion
Besides the obvious fact that evidence can be misleading -- we tend to find only what we expect to see -- God is not something that comes at the end of a logical train of thought. Rather, my faith in God is my basic foundational assumption, the axiom that I start with when I do my logic.
Allen Frances


Finding a Middle Ground Between Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry

Allen Frances | October 20, 2014 | Science
Mental-health services in the U.S. are a failed mess: underfunded, disorganized, inaccessible, misallocated, dispirited, and driven by commercial interest. The current nonsystem is a shameful disgrace that won't change unless the various voices who care about the mentally ill can achieve greater harmony.
Marty Kaplan


The Facts of Fearbola

Marty Kaplan | October 20, 2014 | Media
The CDC isn't infallible, but they don't pull numbers out of the air, either; they're scientists, and their guidelines come from evidence.
Wray Herbert


Troubled #hearts -- in 140 Characters

Wray Herbert | October 20, 2014 | Science
Is it possible that aggregate Twitter patterns might also be revealing in some useful way? Could Twitter offer snapshots of communities as well as individuals? A team of scientists has been exploring this possibility.
World Science Festival


This Week in Science: Dirty Rats, Moon Volcanoes, and the Hottest September Ever

World Science Festival | October 17, 2014 | Science
Seven days; lots of science in the news. Here's our roundup of this week's most notable and quotable items.
All posts from 10.23.2014 < 10.22.2014