SciencAlert Australia Queensland University of Technology 7 December 2013
An international project has developed a free and open public resource that will bring much-needed transparency to the murky and contentious world of gene patenting. In a paper from Cambia and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) published in this week’s Nature Biotechnology journal, researchers revealed that overworked patent offices are struggling to keep up with the rapid explosion in information and technology that genetic sequences represent.
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The Conversation Peter O’Brien 4 December 2013
Policy can live without evidence – we should make sure it doesn’t
In 2011, the former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Terry Moran said:
I’ve given up long since seeking to get pieces of research done by academics as a contribution to important policy problems because it’s generally late and in a form that then has to be further translated before it can be used in government.
Given the potential for a charmed union between policy makers and academics, this might seem puzzling. But there are many reasons, some of which are:
- research is framed for academic journals, rather than policy development
- incentives in academia favour publication over interpretation
- academics are rewarded for narrowness and depth over multi-disciplinarity and integration.
Nature.com.au 20 November 2013
This list will help non-scientists to interrogate advisers and to grasp the limitations of evidence, say William J. Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter and Mark A. Burgman.
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http://www.radar.org.au (accessed 25 November 2013)
RADAR, a project of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia, aims to promote awareness of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs research in Australia.
The register contains up-to-date records of current and recently completed research projects with details of published research. There is also information about researchers, their organisations and research funding bodies.
Sydney Morning Herald Asa Wahlquist 21 November 2013
One Australian university is pushing the boundaries of unrestricted access to its scholarly research.
t is one of the greatest challenges so far to the claim that academics live in ivory towers. Peer-reviewed research from academics at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) will soon be available to the general public, free of charge, on iTunes, the so-called jukebox software used to download music, film and book files.
(Michigan Technological University 18 November 2013) Joshua Pearce has penned a how-to book on the open-source 3D printing technology that could revolutionize how science is done all over the world.
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Read Chapters 1 and 2 (open access)
Radio National Health Report Norman Swan, George Church 18 November 2013
The Personal Genome Project was founded in 2005 and the aim is to create public genome, health and trait data. The researchers involved in this project believe that making this sort of data public will enable advances in understanding human genetics, biology and health.
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Note: Transcript will be available from the same page in 1-2 days
BBC News Tim Bowler 16 November 2013
Is it right to waste helium on children’s balloons?
The US has been selling off its helium reserve, established in the 1920s to provide gas for airships – but even so, shortages have been occurring. Some scientists believe a finite resource that could one day run out should not be used for party balloons.
The Conversation Michael J Lew 13 November 2013
Yesterday’s article by Geoff Cumming, based on a very recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Science paper, argued that “null hypothesis significance tests” (NHST) are flawed – and he is correct. But he points the finger of blame in the wrong direction.
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