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Medically-related

Future Timeline – a visual representation Pt 2

After some agonising, I’ve decided to go with the easy route. Confused? See Pt 1 for an explanation of what this is all about :) So, here’s the full thing, in two formats: 1) Future Timeline – visual (a webpage, sorry about some of the mashed formatting. Time mutter grumble grumpy grumble) 2) A PDF (see below) Remember, in both versions EACH ENTRY is hyperlinked back to the fuller explanation for it :) I’m not going […]

Future Timeline – a visual representation Pt 1

Future Timeline is an extremely interesting site.  Calling itself a “speculative timeline of future history”, it has page upon page of really interesting content. Some of it is very much based on fact, while others is based more on supposition and hypothesis. It’s an excellent exercise for casting one’s mind forward. Unfortunately, however, the structure of the website means it’s impossible to get an overview of trends and changes. Something which, I hope, I’ve been […]

A Perfectly Archetypical Title for This Journal

Wow, the weather’s foul. And it’s enfoulenating the moods of many, I imagine. So a brief, funsy Friday frivolity :P From the Pipeline column, a list of The Perfect Papers For Each Journal. Some of my favourites include: For Science: “People Only Read One or Two Papers Out of Any Issue of This Journal, and This Isn’t One of Them, is It?” For the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry: “Big Pharma Here, With a Gigantic Flaming […]

The danger of science denial

This, ladies and gentlemen. THIS. Journalist Michael Specter gives an impassioned TED Talk on the danger of science denial. A brilliant talk, and something to be shared as widely as possible. _Especially_ with the anti-science people you know! Vaccine-autism claims, “Frankenfood” bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public’s growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress. [And no, […]

Marvellous MRI music vid

Hooray for CNET!  not only do I use them whenever I’m looking at new tech to buy, but they’ve also pointed me at an extraordinary music video. British musician Sivu (James Page) spent 2-3 hours holed up in an MRI machine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London for his new single, ‘Better Man Than He’. The single will be released later this month, but we get to watch the video – weird, fascinating and oddly […]

Beer’s bitterness and your health

Yay, more beer-related science! This time, it’s around the chemistry involved in that lovely bitterness in beer. As it turns out, this bitterness is provided by a class of chemicals* called alpha acids, which are to be found in the resin of mature hops. For those living in New Zealand and enjoying the local craft beer industry’s obsession with hoppy beers – you know what I’m talkin’ about, bitterness-wise :) Anyhoo, one of the major […]

A very kitchenesque CT scanner

From awesomely-educational website Hack A Day comes a particularly wonderful,  if oddly gruesome, piece of science/tech hacking.   Mad chap Ben Krasnow has built a ‘build something mad on your kitchen table’-type version of a CT scanner. CT scanners, as you will remember, take X-rays of an object and then put them all together to get a 3d composite view of the innards of said object.  They get used a great deal in medicine, for […]

How will the End of the World affect clinical trials?

Yes, sure, my first response was also ‘not well – dead patients are often difficult test subjects on which to continue clinical trials’. Thankfully, however, the Canadian Medical Association Journal has looked more deeply into this most pressing of issues. In fact, as the paper’s introduction states: There is a great deal of speculation concerning the end of the world in December 2012, coinciding with the end of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar (the “Maya […]

More fraud behind paper retractions than you might have thought

A subject that’s come up in discussion with my friend a couple of times recently has been the increase in retractions of scientific papers from journals. I’ve always staunchly defended allegations this might be due to naughty scientists. I am  now having to make my own retraction about that. According to research (as yet unretracted) in Nature last year, the number of retractions has increased by over tenfold in the last decade, to more than […]

UnderSkin, the Tube and schematic mapping

A beautiful piece of medical art has cropped up and being doing the rounds again the last few days. Titled ‘UnderSkin’, and made in 2010 by illustrator/designer Sam Loman, UnderSkin shows the human anatomy in the style of the very famous London Underground map.     I must say, it’s a beautiful piece of work, showing the locations of and linkages between our respiratory, arterial/venous, muscoloskeletal, lymphatic, digestive, nervous and other systems. And, should you […]