Séralini GMO maize and Roundup study republished with no scientific peer review Grant Jacobs Jun 26

One of my questions in my previous article on Séralini’s widely criticised study being republished appears to have been answered. In my previous article, I wrote “I am a little curious about how the review process accepted the paper”, wondering how they dealt with the criticisms levelled at the paper after it’s original publication. Scientific journal Nature published [...]

Widely criticised Séralini GMO feed study republished, with companion piece Grant Jacobs Jun 25

As I start to write this an hour after the embargo for the release of the news that a new iteration of Séralini’s widely criticised paper is being published, the paper has somewhat belatedly become available.[1] In addition to republishing their earlier work, four of the eight authors (including Séralini) offer a companion piece, Conflicts of interests, [...]

Gene editing and GMOs in NZ, part three Grant Jacobs Jun 12

As a short addition to my previous two articles on Gene editing and GMOs in New Zealand, readers might like to read the arguments presented in an article just published, Moving Beyond the GM Debate, by Ottoline Leyser.[1] The article is one of two Perspectives in the PLoS Genetics’ The Promise of Plant Translational Research collection and is open-access (i.e. free to be [...]

Leave boring behind – the NZ International Science Festival 2014 Grant Jacobs Jun 06

Tickets for a huge program of events are available from next week (June 9th); get them while they’re going – some events have limited numbers. No, that’s not photo-shopped. To the left is Dr. Bunhead igniting an explosion from his pate. I value my red hair, and will emphatically not be joining him as a [...]

Gene editing and GMOs in NZ, part two – is the law out of date? Grant Jacobs Jun 02

(If you’re not a biologist, you may prefer to start with part one. There’s also a third part.) Are the GMO-related clauses of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996 out of date? Perhaps it’s time to start working on a replacement. Recently a legal ruling in New Zealand overturned a previous opinion that using gene editing [...]

Gene editing and GMOs in NZ, part one Grant Jacobs May 30

(Scientists will want to skip straight to part two, which looks at the court ruling. Part three adds further thoughts and introduces a perspective article on GMOs) Last week a legal decision in New Zealand overturned a previous opinion that using gene editing to create variants would not create genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).[1] At the centre of this [...]

Sir Joseph Bank’s journal and account of New Zealand Grant Jacobs May 25

Readers interested in historic scientific voyages and New Zealand history might like to know that Sir Joseph Bank’s journals of 25 August 1768 — 12 July 1771 aboard the HMS Endeavour under the command of Lieutenant James Cook are available on line from the University of Sydney Australia Digital Collections website. This voyage observed the Transit of Venus [...]

Bengkala Grant Jacobs May 23

(A travelogue of deafness, genetics and village sign languages for NZ Sign Language Week 2014[1]) Island paradises are wonderful, but after a few days I find usually myself restless. Exploring a place suits me more than lying on a beach. Seemingly a lifetime ago now[2] I visited the popular Indonesia holiday destination Bali not to lie [...]

Homeopathy Awareness Week: how do you approve a course for something known not to work? Grant Jacobs Apr 15

Homeopathy[1] uses solutions diluted until the active ingredients are no longer present—water basically[2]—to treat illnesses.[3] The premise of homeopathy is so absurd, it opens itself to parody.[4] More seriously, homeopathy has been examined and found to be ineffective with several formal reports saying so. Fellow blogger Siouxsie mentions one such report from the Australian National [...]

USA survey of PhD graduate futures Grant Jacobs Apr 14

You have your PhD. Now what? Hopefully most doctoral students try think about that well before they complete their PhD. Either way, this infographic drawn from data from post-doctoral fellows in the USA makes for interesting reading – The full-size image can be seen on the acsb (American Society for Cell Biology) blog; I have excerpted [...]

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