The Opposing Thumb

An opinionated digit leafs through the biological literature

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

“Why do we fall, Bruce?” Stephen Curry at The Guardian reminds us that “negative results matter. Their value lies in mapping out blind alleys, warning other investigators not to waste their time or at least to tread carefully. The only trouble is, it can be hard to get them published.” Includes a case study from […]

Double Blind Epilog

Double-blind* peer reviews are an intersting idea that I’ve discussed not too long ago. Several journals, most recently those in the Nature group, are experimenting with this format. I won’t go back over the previous arguments, but I want to present one point of view I liked, John Dennehy’s at his blog, the Evilutionary Biologist: […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Life is tough, and then it’s dry. “As a new pond forms, turquoise killifish eggs buried in the mud spring from suspended animation. The eggs hatch, and in just 40 days the fish grow to full size, about 2.5 inches. They feed, mate and lay eggs. By the time the ponds dry up, the fish […]

Visitors: Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

Last Friday we had the pleasure of receiving Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard at the IGC. Dr Nüsslein-Volhard shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work on deciphering the genetic instructions on how to build a fruit fly embryo, the result of a tour-de-force mutation screen in collaboration with Eric Wieschaus (work she described as […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

John Rasko and Carol Power at the Guardian take a scenic slide down a slippery slope to understand what can compel scientists to lie. “Carrel’s most famous experiment was a sham, but not why. If it was fraud, it was one of the most outrageous cases in the history of science. However, the cause may have […]

The Spherical Frictionless Horse

This week Nature has made a bit of a splash with the news that it is experimenting with a “double-blind” review format. The standard review process for a scientific manuscript is “single-blind”, i.e., the referees evaluating the manuscript know the identity of the submitter(s), but the authors don’t know who the referees are (typically between […]