Radio National Background Briefing Hagar Cohen 2 August 2015
Predatory publishers are exploiting academics by getting them to pay fees—sometimes thousands of dollars—to publish their papers in low-grade journals, alongside anything from harmful junk science to flat out dangerous ideas.
Listen, download audio or read transcript
BBC News 30 July 2015
Scientists have identified five types of prostate cancer, each with a distinct genetic signature.
And by comparing 250 samples removed in surgery with the patients’ subsequent progress, they have identified some types that are more likely to recur.
Until now, there has been no reliable way to know which patients have the more aggressive cancers requiring the most urgent and intensive therapy.
But much larger trials are still needed to be certain of these early results.
Link to full-text article in EBioMedicine: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352396415300712
news.com.au 28 July 2015
WHAT the hell is that? A picture may be worth a thousand words — but it may also inspire to find out what those words are.
This is the winning entry of an Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) competition aimed at encouraging its universities and researchers to submit enticing and informative material for its new Scimex Multimedia Hub.
“Without images, many important research stories will not get the prominence they deserve,” says AusSMC CEO, Dr Susannah Eliott. “The new Scimex Multimedia Hub gets material off the hard drives of researchers and into a searchable database for the media.”
New Scientist Michael Slezak 23 July 2015
New forensic DNA evidence is painting a detailed picture of the death of the world’s megafauna – and it suggests that humans were not to blame.
Ever since a giant sloth was uncovered more than 200 years ago, hinting at the former presence of a menagerie of prehistoric giant mammals – the “megafauna” – humans have been on trial for their extinction. And the prosecution’s case has been strong.
“The overwhelming evidence is that the megafauna extinctions occur around the world whenever humans turn up,” says Alan Cooper, an ancient DNA researcher from the University of Adelaide in Australia.
And that chronology is hard to argue with, he says. “Whether it be 50,000 years ago in Australia or 13,000 years ago in South America or 1000 years ago in New Zealand: it’s a perfect match.”
But the real culprit, he says, is climate change.
Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27952-megafauna-extinction-dna-evidence-pins-blame-on-climate-change/
The Sydney Morning Herald Bridie Smith July 23, 2015
Australia needs to get a better return on scientific investment and improve its standing in innovation performance, the head of the country’s top research organisation has said.
Ahead of launching a five-year scientific “masterplan” on Thursday, CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall told Fairfax Media the country needed to get more “bang for our buck” from the organisation.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/csiro-chief-calls-for-better-bang-for-buck-on-scientific-investment-20150722-giidla.html
Link to CSIRO Strategy 2020
The Conversation Kypros Kypri 20 July 2015
Government departments and agencies routinely commission research to help them understand and respond to health, social and other problems. We expect such research to be impartial and unbiased. But governments impose legal conditions on such research that can subvert science and the public interest.
Gagging clauses in contracts permit purchasers of research to modify, substantially delay, or prohibit the reporting of findings.
A 2006 survey of health scientists in Australia shows such clauses have been invoked by our federal and state governments to sanitise the reporting of “failings in health services … the health status of a vulnerable group … or … harm in the environment …”.
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