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Morsels For The Mind – 29/04/2016

Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur &... Read more

 

Two Books to Help You Stand Out in the Scientific Job Market

This book review was first published in Physics World. The press coverage of this year’s Grammy awards taught me a new term: “producer inflation”. The term refers to the way making hit records seems to require bigger collaborations now than it did in years past, when teams of one or two producers sufficed to create all of the tracks. Pop star Taylor Swift’s latest Grammy-winning album, for example,  boasted no fewer than 11 producers, while another hit album, by an... Read more

 

An open letter to the people of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, Britain, Europe, the World…

Posted by Tom Webb in Mola Mola

One of my colleagues has just been awarded a huge grant from the European Research Council. In the last decade or so, my department has been extremely successful in this scheme, which rewards top individual researchers. And Sheffield as a whole is an ERC powerhouse - in a 2013 report, the University - with 25 ERC grants funded - ranked joint 33rd in Europe as institution (table on p58 of this pdf). Seven UK institutions ranked higher, a further 15 had... Read more

 

Computer versus human: The interim score

Artificial intelligence (AI) and neural networks are hot again. Prominent AI scientists have been bought by A-list companies such as Facebook and Google. The amazing progress in several seemingly unrelated fields such as recognizing people from faces in photographs on social media or self-driving cars is related to a new buzz word in AI: Deep learning. However, playtime is over. Psychologists are entering the game. Are these networks really behaving like humans do? Playing games … From its conception in... Read more

 

Understanding & Respecting the Connection Between Teaching and Research

EDITOR'S NOTE: I started my new job as Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communication at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in January. Since then, it's been a whirlwind. (I'll go into detail in another post.) One of the most surprising things about this school is that its professors and students are doing amazing research, but the research hasn't been widely shared or promoted. I desperately want to remedy the situation. Right now, I have a list of 35 great... Read more

 

Hiroshi Amano: How Blue Light Changed the World

What is the one item we don’t like to put down? Usually our smartphones. This is true worlwide, even in Africa smartphones are changing lives at an astounding pace, bypassing the often insufficient infrastructure. But smartphones can only be small, bright, and have multicolour displays because three Japanese researchers found a way to produce efficient blue light-emitting diodes in the 1980s. This not only enabled the development of energy-saving white light sources like LEDs – bright white light is a... Read more

 

Penguins Down Under: A Lost World

Posted by Travis Park in Blogozoic

Penguins are perhaps the most beloved of all bird groups. And what’s not to love? Their cute waddle, the adorable chicks and their gracefulness in the water have left people fascinated for centuries. Palaeontologists also love penguins, but for other reasons. They have an excellent fossil record, which is unusual for birds, but the robust nature of the penguin skeleton and their marine lifestyle lends itself to preservation. As such, researchers have been able to trace the evolution of penguins... Read more

 

Morsels For The Mind – 22/04/2016

Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur &... Read more

 

Walter Kohn passed away

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings mourn the loss of Walter Kohn, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.  He passed away at the age of 93 on 19 April. Walter Kohn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1998 “for his development of the density-functional theory” together with co-recipient John A. Pople. Kohn took part in 9 Lindau Meetings and was particularly beloved because of his affectionate nature and his great enthusiasm to engage with young scientists.   Photo: R. Schultes/Lindau Nobel... Read more

 

The Migraine World Summit: Modelling Neurological Disease

I was asked earlier this year to contribute to a series of video lectures from over 30 world leading migraine experts, doctors and specialists. I happily agreed and here is the result. The video is open access only for a short period, so watch it now. Here is a brief introduction.   He develops computational models of neurological diseases in which massive changes in the energy state of neurons play a major role, e.g., in migraine, stroke, & epilepsy. The... Read more

 

Angus Deaton: Life after Stockholm

This piece first appeared in the quarterly newsletter of the Royal Economic Society. It is part of Angus Deaton’s ongoing ‘Letter from America’ column. In these letters, which now stretch back two decades, I have only occasionally interrupted accounts of serious issues with cameo personal appearances (even though my shape is now remarkably similar to that of the late Alfred Hitchcock). But in the last six months, both Anne and I have been in the news in a rather serious... Read more

 

Why a TV Producer Created a Database for Finding Subject-Matter Experts

Editor’s Note: This is guest post by Stavros Rougas, a co-founder of Expertise Finder and a former producer at the Toronto-based current affairs program The Agenda with Steve Paikin. I recently heard of Expertise Finder and wanted to learn more about it. I figured that the fastest way to learn about it was to get the founder to explain it to me. To be clear, I’m not endorsing Expertise Finder, and have not been compensated in any way for running... Read more

 

Boreal Forest Growth videos

On FrontierScientists.com, watch new videos featuring Boreal Forest Research in Alaska: 'Why So Small?', 'How Tree Needles Age', and 'What Are Stomata?'. "It isn’t just the climate impacting the vegetation but the vegetation impacting the climate," Bjartmar Sveinbjornsson explained. "As the globe warms up are the forests going to spread and are they going to to amplify the problem or counteract the problem? Are they going to lead to cooling or are they going to lead to warming? We don’t... Read more

 

Morsels For The Mind – 15/04/2016

Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur &... Read more

 

Of Serious Concern: Drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in Treated Wastewater

Currently one of the most common disease-causing bacterium in the world, Acinetobacter baumannii, for sure, is a nasty bug — an emerging nosocomial (hospital-associated) pathogen, being increasingly observed in serious conditions requiring intensive care (including ventilator-associated pneumonia, sepsis, meningitis, wound infection and urinary tract infection). Unfortunately for patients, particularly immune-suppressed ones, this bug is now known to be extensively drug resistant (XDR; resistant to most antibiotics including carbapenems, with the exception of two drugs of last resort, colistin and tigecycline),... Read more