we-are-star-stuff
Evolution happens like a movie, with frames moving by both quickly and gradually, and we often can’t see the change while it’s occurring. Every time we find a fossil, it’s a snapshot back in time, often with thousands of frames missing in between, and we’re forced to reconstruct the whole film. Life is what happens in between the snapshots.
theolduvaigorge
theolduvaigorge:

The Exploitative Economics Of Academic Publishing
by Samuel Gershman (MIT)
“Taxpayers in the United States spend $139 billion a year on scientific research, yet much of this research is inaccessible not only to the public, but also to other scientists.(a) This is the consequence of an exploitative scientific journal system that rewards academic publishers while punishing taxpayers, scientists, and universities. Fortunately, cheap open-access alternatives are not only possible, but already beginning to take root, suggesting a way forward to a more open and equitable system for sharing research.
Like many scientists, I provide access to my research papers on my website. I view this as a commonsense way to disseminate knowledge, but not everyone shares this view. A few months ago, I received an email from an official at Princeton University, where I attended graduate school, informing me that a lawyer representing the publishing giant Elsevier had demanded the removal of these papers from my website.(b) When I published these papers in Elsevier journals, I was required to hand over the copyrights. Therefore, I had no choice but to remove the papers.
The vast majority of academic papers are published by corporations like Elsevier, and these corporations are thriving: In 2011, Elsevier made $1.1 billion in profit, at a profit margin of 36% (by comparison, Apple’s 2012 profit margin was 35%). This impressive profitability is due in large part to the fact that the content sold by Elsevier is produced, reviewed, and edited on a volunteer basis by academics like me. We consent to this system because our careers depend on publishing in prestigious journals, almost all of which are owned by Elsevier and a small number of other publishers.
What value is added by academic publishers? In my opinion: very little. Elsevier claims that they add value as they “coordinate the review, consideration, addition of text and references, and other production and distribution mechanisms.” In fact, all of these contributions are or could be obtained at almost no cost.(c) First, reviews are typically coordinated by a combination of volunteer editors (academics) and an automated email system. The cost of setting up and maintaining such an automated system is negligible (a point I will return to later). Elsevier does not add text and references to research papers – academics do. In my experience, corroborated by anecdotes from other scientists, publisher-employed copy editors are mostly superfluous and in some cases even introduce errors into papers or cause substantial publication delays” (read more).
(Source: Footnote 1 via @edgaraltamirano on Twitter; image: Cacophony)

An interesting stance. In my experience, most journal editors are open to placing copies of a pre-published, accepted manuscript on personal websites or public databases, provided one get written permission from the editor.  Everything is negotiable.

theolduvaigorge:

The Exploitative Economics Of Academic Publishing

  • by Samuel Gershman (MIT)

Taxpayers in the United States spend $139 billion a year on scientific research, yet much of this research is inaccessible not only to the public, but also to other scientists.(a) This is the consequence of an exploitative scientific journal system that rewards academic publishers while punishing taxpayers, scientists, and universities. Fortunately, cheap open-access alternatives are not only possible, but already beginning to take root, suggesting a way forward to a more open and equitable system for sharing research.

Like many scientists, I provide access to my research papers on my website. I view this as a commonsense way to disseminate knowledge, but not everyone shares this view. A few months ago, I received an email from an official at Princeton University, where I attended graduate school, informing me that a lawyer representing the publishing giant Elsevier had demanded the removal of these papers from my website.(b) When I published these papers in Elsevier journals, I was required to hand over the copyrights. Therefore, I had no choice but to remove the papers.

The vast majority of academic papers are published by corporations like Elsevier, and these corporations are thriving: In 2011, Elsevier made $1.1 billion in profit, at a profit margin of 36% (by comparison, Apple’s 2012 profit margin was 35%). This impressive profitability is due in large part to the fact that the content sold by Elsevier is produced, reviewed, and edited on a volunteer basis by academics like me. We consent to this system because our careers depend on publishing in prestigious journals, almost all of which are owned by Elsevier and a small number of other publishers.

What value is added by academic publishers? In my opinion: very little. Elsevier claims that they add value as they “coordinate the review, consideration, addition of text and references, and other production and distribution mechanisms.” In fact, all of these contributions are or could be obtained at almost no cost.(c) First, reviews are typically coordinated by a combination of volunteer editors (academics) and an automated email system. The cost of setting up and maintaining such an automated system is negligible (a point I will return to later). Elsevier does not add text and references to research papers – academics do. In my experience, corroborated by anecdotes from other scientists, publisher-employed copy editors are mostly superfluous and in some cases even introduce errors into papers or cause substantial publication delays” (read more).

(Source: Footnote 1 via @edgaraltamirano on Twitter; image: Cacophony)

An interesting stance. In my experience, most journal editors are open to placing copies of a pre-published, accepted manuscript on personal websites or public databases, provided one get written permission from the editor. Everything is negotiable.

tyromedico

tedx:

At TEDxYouth@Manchester, genetics researcher Dan Davis introduces the audience to compatibility genes — key players in our immune system’s functioning, and the reason why it’s so difficult to transplant organs from person to person: one’s compatibility genes must match another’s for a transplant to take.

To learn more about these fascinating genes, watch the whole talk here»

(Images from Davis’s talk, Drew Berry’s animations, and the TED-Ed lessons A needle in countless haystacks: Finding habitable worlds - Ariel Anbar and How we conquered the deadly smallpox virus - Simona Zompi)

facultative-heterobe
freshphotons:

The Hungry Microbiome — Christian Stolte, Christopher Hammang (CSIRO Computational Informatics, Sydney, Australia).
Created for the animation “The Hungry Microbiome”, this study shows resistant starch granules and the bacteria which break them down floating above the surface of the colon. At the bottom, a cut-away view of crypts shows the absorption of butyrate (shown as light blue particles), which is a byproduct of the bacteria and the main energy source of the cells in our colon. A steady supply of butyrate helps to detect mutations and prevent cancer. The main point of this study was to develop an interesting lighting scheme for this scene. 

freshphotons:

The Hungry Microbiome — Christian Stolte, Christopher Hammang (CSIRO Computational Informatics, Sydney, Australia).

Created for the animation “The Hungry Microbiome”, this study shows resistant starch granules and the bacteria which break them down floating above the surface of the colon. At the bottom, a cut-away view of crypts shows the absorption of butyrate (shown as light blue particles), which is a byproduct of the bacteria and the main energy source of the cells in our colon. A steady supply of butyrate helps to detect mutations and prevent cancer. The main point of this study was to develop an interesting lighting scheme for this scene. 

fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos
fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos:

This tattoo is both science and mathy…as a science teacher I wanted to add to my collection something a little more nerdy. My background is biology, so I decided on the phylogenetic tree of life but incorporated Fibinnaci’s Sequence/Golden Ratio Spiral into the shape of the tree…credit to the amazing Katy Raymon at Iron Tiger Tattoo in Columbia, MO.
Submitted by Caitlin Cunningham.

fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos:

This tattoo is both science and mathy…as a science teacher I wanted to add to my collection something a little more nerdy. My background is biology, so I decided on the phylogenetic tree of life but incorporated Fibinnaci’s Sequence/Golden Ratio Spiral into the shape of the tree…credit to the amazing Katy Raymon at Iron Tiger Tattoo in Columbia, MO.

Submitted by Caitlin Cunningham.

fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos
fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos:

This is the first image of the DNA molecule every produced via x-ray crystallography. The image was obtained by Rosalind Franklin, a crystallographer whose work was then used by Watson and Crick to piece together the double-helical structure of DNA. They won the nobel prize while Franklin did not get credit for her work until years after her death. This image was the beginning of modern genetics and molecular biology as we know it.
The information that this image has provided has created entire fields of study that no one would have predicted 70 years ago. Research in cell, developmental, and molecular biology can all be traced back to this image, “Photo 51”. I study developmental biology and how transcriptional enhancers coordinate gene expression during development, and certainly manipulate DNA daily. This image encapsulates a piece of what I love about biology. This image will never change because it is a piece of history. Understanding the gendered power dynamics behind its publication also resonates with me as I too am a woman working in a male-dominated field. 
The tattoo is placed on my ribcage, made entirely of dots. Artist is Jared Leathers from Spiral Tattoo in Ann Arbor, MI.

fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos:

This is the first image of the DNA molecule every produced via x-ray crystallography. The image was obtained by Rosalind Franklin, a crystallographer whose work was then used by Watson and Crick to piece together the double-helical structure of DNA. They won the nobel prize while Franklin did not get credit for her work until years after her death. This image was the beginning of modern genetics and molecular biology as we know it.

The information that this image has provided has created entire fields of study that no one would have predicted 70 years ago. Research in cell, developmental, and molecular biology can all be traced back to this image, “Photo 51”. I study developmental biology and how transcriptional enhancers coordinate gene expression during development, and certainly manipulate DNA daily. This image encapsulates a piece of what I love about biology. This image will never change because it is a piece of history. Understanding the gendered power dynamics behind its publication also resonates with me as I too am a woman working in a male-dominated field. 

The tattoo is placed on my ribcage, made entirely of dots. Artist is Jared Leathers from Spiral Tattoo in Ann Arbor, MI.

fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos
fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos:


My first tattoo: Pyramidal Neuron of the Hippocampus
"Like the enotmologist in search of colorful butterflies, my attention has chased in the gardens of the grey matter cells with delicate and elegant shapes, the mysterious butterflies of the soul, whose beating of wings may one day reveal to us the secrets of the mind."-Santiago Ramon Y Cajal
Done by James Eastwood at Insight Studios Chicago

fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos:

My first tattoo: Pyramidal Neuron of the Hippocampus

"Like the enotmologist in search of colorful butterflies, my attention has chased in the gardens of the grey matter cells with delicate and elegant shapes, the mysterious butterflies of the soul, whose beating of wings may one day reveal to us the secrets of the mind."-Santiago Ramon Y Cajal

Done by James Eastwood at Insight Studios Chicago