[Open] Science Sunday — 25.10.09

By Fabiana Kubke 25/10/2009

Random samples of my reading list brought to you through the magic of the internet, bloggers and Open Access.

Sean Carroll, from Cosmic Variance looks into the Big Bang Theory and the new blog about the science behind this TV sitcom (The Big Blog Theory).

The Society for Neuroscience just held its annual meeting in Chicago, and this year they encouraged the use of social media to disseminate the results presented. Many registered as official neurobloggers and the list can be found here. I, for one, am grateful to all of those who have allowed me to take a peek into the meeting, which I was unable to attend.

Image by EncycloPetey (licenced under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Image by EncycloPetey (licenced under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

A new article in PLoS Biology looks at what it is that determines whether a bee will differentiate into a male or a female. The article by Gempe, Hasselmann, Schiøtt, Hause, Otte and Beye shows how sex in bees is determined by the regulation of two genes (csd and fem). Based on their data, the authors suggest that males are the default developmental programme, and that the female phenotype is expressed when bees are heterozygous to csd, which in turn results in the expression of the female form of fem that leads to a developmental path towards femaleness. There is a very nice comment on the original article by Mary Hoff.

There is a great post by Eric M Johnson on his blog the Primate Diaries on ’Science and the Worship of Truth’. Here is a guy that is constantly making me think and reframe my position around issues. And he does it again on this post. It is worth a read, as is the post he links to by Henry Gee on the same topic.

And my favourite tweet this week is this one from @CameronNeylon. It links to a video of a session on making science public (featuring Felix Reed-Tsochas, Maxine Clarke, Ben Goldacre and Cameron Neylon). I tried to follow this session through twitter, and I was elated to see the video put online.