Cartoon, books, logic, clouded leopards, …

I have too many science articles lined up that I wish I could find time to write about, but an unfortunately reality is that those articles take a lot of time to write. We’ll see if the weekend brings any hope on that front. (In particular I would like to look at 3-D genome structures, an area that I have wanted to be involved in for a quite a while.)

In meantime my usual medley of links and comments that I write on Friday.…

Diode-ic humour


Geeky humour and social commentary that requires an understanding of what a diode does. Only at xkcd…

On-line reseller’s top books for 2010 Unavoidably breaking my own attempts to avoid promoting particular book resellers, Amazon is publishing it’s top picks for the year. (My links from individual titles are to GoodReads, bar one new release which has no reviews there…)

The Emperor of all Maladies cover

Obviously the years hasn’t ended. With the Christmas rush coming this is no doubt marketing…

But! – first in the editor’s picks is a popular science book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. (It also makes 10th on the list of customer favourites.)

Included in the mix are Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars, Four Fish (Paul Greenberg), and Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook (84), The Disappearing Spoon (Sam Kean, 100) among others.

They have a separate top ten science picks, some of which make their 100 of all books. Third on the list (64th on their top 100) is one new to me: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

While on the subject of science books, Misha Angrist’s Here Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics. It was recently reviewed in the medical journal The Lancet.

(I’m not endorsing any of these as I haven’t read any of them! My budget unfortunately precludes buying endless new books! As much as I would like to…)

Towards better logic ArsTechnica is hosting the first of a two-part series on informal logic. Rather than focus on fallacies, which can be viewed as a negative approach, it starts with looking at the basic elements of a claim or argument.

Clouded leopard in tree

Retractions rising On a more serious topic Nature has written an editorial on the subject of retractions of research papers that bears thinking about.

Speaking from the Pharma side One of the gambits we often hear from those that oppose vaccination, or promote ‘natural remedies’ are lines tarring the ‘evil pharma industry’. On this theme, David Kroll has an excellent post on pharmaceutical bioethics.

What a job If you were a kid that read too much Gerald Durrell, dreamt of working with animals overseas and like (bigger) cats, this job with Thailand’s Clouded Leopard Project would have to be a pearler of an opportunity. (At least on paper.)

Other articles on Code for life:

Fainting kittens – feline myotonia congenita?

Paul Nurse on ‘anti-science doubters’ and the blogosphere

If presenting a claim on a popular issue …

Finding platypus venom

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