Infectious Thoughts

Monday Micro – artificial sweeteners & a dose of bad science

Siouxsie Wiles Sep 22, 2014

“Sugarcubes” by Pallbo – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. There has been quite a bit of coverage of a recent Nature paper reporting a link between artificial sweeteners and high blood glucose levels (1) – an important finding if true, as high blood glucose levels are … Read More

Skeptical Thoughts – gendered marketing

Siouxsie Wiles Sep 22, 2014

I’ve started a new radio slot called ‘Skeptical Thoughts’ on Sunday evenings on Graeme Hill’s Weekend Variety Show on Radio Live. A couple of weeks ago we talked about what a scam gendered marketing is – when companies repackage the same product and market it specifically for men or women, often charging different amounts. Australian show The Check … Read More

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Lighting up Wellington’s waterfront

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 31, 2014

For the last week, Wellington has been positively glowing thanks to the lux festival. This year I collaborated with artist Brittany Byrne to bring a touch of bioluminescence to the proceedings – rather appropriate given the genes that encode bacterial bioluminescence are known as the lux operon. Previously Brittany created Nimbus – a work involving hundreds, if … Read More

Bacterial art in Melbourne – Market of the Mind

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 25, 2014

Let’s make some bacterial art! This week I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in Australia’s National Science Week. My week started in Hobart, Tasmania, where I got to hang out with science communication superstars Carin Bondar, Derek Muller (AKA Veritasium) and Destin Sandlin (AKA Smarter Every Day), performing on stage … Read More

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Yet another science metric – the Kardashian Index

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 08, 2014

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 … Read More

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

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 01, 2014

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 2013 … Read More

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