Yet another science metric – the Kardashian Index Siouxsie Wiles Aug 08

Twitter exploded last week after Neil Hall, a professor at the University of Liverpool who studies the genomes of the parasites that cause malaria and sleeping sickness, published a (supposedly satirical) paper in the journal Genome Biology. Rather than read his paper, I recommend you read the annotated version. But first, here’s the abstract: In [...]

Monday Micro – 200 million light years of viruses?! Siouxsie Wiles Aug 05

“Polio EM PHIL 1875 lores” by CDC/ Dr. Fred Murphy, Sylvia Whitfield – This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #1875.. Over the weekend I got an email from broadcaster Graeme Hill telling me about an amazing statement he had heard about the [...]

Ebola outbreak – updates and links Siouxsie Wiles Aug 03

As the Ebola outbreak worsens, the WHO has announced a US$100 million response plan to help bring the outbreak under control by scaling up control measures and helping neighbouring at-risk countries prepare for any cases. According to the latest WHO update, between 24 and 27 July, a total of 122 new cases of Ebola and [...]

The academic publishing scam – how much research funding are we losing to journal subscriptions? Siouxsie Wiles Aug 01

Currently doing the rounds on twitter is this on the massive profits made by academic publishers: If you are in Australia or New Zealand and want to know how much is spent just on purchasing subscriptions to academic journals then there is a very handy tool on the Council of Australian University Librarians website. In [...]

Not quite Monday Micro – which nasty microbes would you rank in the top 10? Siouxsie Wiles Aug 01

On Monday I was asked to go on the radio and comment on an article that appeared in the NZ Herald (syndicated from The Independent) entitled “What’s the world’s biggest health risk?”. The article lists an infectious diseases ‘Top Ten’ which looks like this: 1. Ebola – as of 23 July 2014, there have been [...]

Monday Micro – west African Ebola outbreak now the deadliest in history Siouxsie Wiles Jul 21

The Ebola outbreak that likely started in December 2013 with the death of a 2 year old child in Guéckédou, Guinea, has become the deadliest in history. The most recent report, almost a week old now, from the World Health Organisation puts the number of cases at 964 with 603 deaths. The outbreak has spread [...]

And now for some science… the marvels of skin Siouxsie Wiles Jun 06

Apologies for the lack of actual science posts recently. Let’s see if we can remedy that! Last month I had the great privilege of interviewing skin cancer surgeon Dr Sharad Paul* for a session at the Auckland Writers Festival. We talked about his recent book Skin – A Biography, published in 2013 by Fourth Estate. [...]

So you want to be a PI?! Siouxsie Wiles Jun 05

David van Dijk, Ohad Manor and Lucas Carey have just published a paper in Current Biology (sadly it’s behind a paywall) in which they used papers listed in PubMed by over 25,000 scientists to determine whether becoming a principal investigator (PI) is predictable. They have showed that it is (at least for the cohort who [...]

Why Science is Sexist Siouxsie Wiles Jun 05

Dr Nicola Gaston is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington and a Principal Investigator of the MacDiarmid Institute. Recently she gave a talk at the University of Auckland entitled ‘Why Science is Sexist’. The storify of the tweets from her talk are available here. The [...]

How much should NZ spend on science and what kind of science? YOUR input needed! Siouxsie Wiles Jun 03

Last week saw Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce release the National Statement on Scientific Investment, a lengthy document outlining how funding should be spent on science in NZ over the next decade. You can download the draft statement from here. The government have asked for feedback and we have until the 22nd August to [...]

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