Friday round-up: zombies, cats, embargoes, XMRV papers

By Grant Jacobs 02/07/2010

Zombie-eyed polydactyl kitten (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)
Zombie-eyed* polydactyl kitten (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Scienceblogs has gone zombie. There are zombie articles coming out all over the place… A good starting point is the list PZ Myers has put together. (He fingers Scicurious as the original vector. She is happy about the Zombie Menace…) More seriously, this is a good effort on the part of the scienceblogs community. (A cynic would say that they’d do anything to promote their lot. Even turn to the living dead.)

An internet search following a discussion reveals that scibling Alison Campbell has a first. If you search Google Images for ‘cat with thumbs’, the first hit is… her blog. This is, of course, a feeble excuse to justify my posting a LOLcat picture. Or two. (Hey, I’m even admitting to it.) Check Alison’s old blog post for a one-two hit of LOLcat pictures.

On Embargoes. Director the British Science Media Centre, Fiona Fox, has a few words about embargoes. (Jonathan Leake gets particular mention.) I have to admit I have have mixed views on embargoes. Readers here will know that I have previously introduced Embargo Watch, a blog entirely devoted to embargo leaks. Included there is Leake’s view of the embargo system. (I’d welcome thoughts on embargoes in the comments.)

A recent publication stutter has caused waves. Two papers with differing  conclusions about a potential link between xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) and Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were briefly held up in publication, which drew comment from a number of sources. One, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has now been published (open access), the other from the U.S. NIH and FDA (apparently) remains under review by P.N.A.S. ERV suggests this may be because as a ‘track 1’ publication, the journal is having a second look at the peer review; she also reviews the CDC’s paper that concludes ’We did not find any evidence of infection with XMRV in our U.S. study population of CFS patients or healthy controls by using multiple molecular and serologic assays. These data do not support an association of XMRV with CFS.’ There are commentary articles available at Science and Nature.



* Yes, zombie eyes are supposed have white sclera, not green,  but let’s not spoil the fun.

Other articles on Code for life:

Describe your fantasy institute

Aww, crap.

Basic fluid science on the space station

Royal Society publishing free to read, 1665 — today

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