#SciLogs Weekly Roundup: Transhumanism, Negative Results, Chimps Eat Monkeys, Insect Viruses Fight Cancer

8 June 2013 by Khalil A. Cassimally, posted in SciLogs

Every weekend, I publish a roundup of the week’s SciLogs.com blog posts along with some reactions from the comment feeds and social media.

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Blog to watch this week: Liz O'Connell and the Frontier Scientists team blog about Arctic science with a focus on the devastating effects of climate change on the fragile Arctic ecosystem. This past week, Frontier Scientists discussed something that's potentially worse than carbon dioxide for climate: black carbon.

Quote of the week: "When Tony Blair was Prime Minister, he once argued that as long as teaching creationism in schools is not becoming mainstream, then it’s not a problem, because that would be when to worry. I’ll say, because it would be a bit bloody late then, wouldn’t it?!" - Lee Turnpenny.

More weekend reading: Malcolm Campbell curates the past week’s best science stories.


Stephan Schleim: Enhance your brain? Enhance our minds!

Thomas Avasol:

“It's interesting how when Dan Brown releases a new book, new topics come to the front of public debate such as transhumanism. But just like what is said in Inferno, transhumanist solutions would require significant capital - making it impossible to reach for the impoverished. This would create further divides where the elite would be even more elite (and maybe not even considered human) and all the rest sub-human [...]”

Thomas Avasol, on SciLogs.com’s Google+ page:

“[...] there is a more important priority at stake here beyond the means of capital. National interests would be highly involved in anything with war-edge potential. Transhumanist solutions would first be adopted by the military, this goes beyond any reasonable doubt in my mind. A more frightening concept of transhumanism is a world that is 100% enforced by aggressors you could never win against. So like any science it can be used morally or absent of morals. The problem with that statement is that history clearly shows that engineers and scientists make a very poor contestant against those with arms and aggression.”

Paige Brown: Photo of the Week: Endangered Flower

Stephanie Swift: Fish parasite inspires sticky surgical tissue patch

Matt Shipman: Funding Agencies Support Publication of Negative Results

Lee Turnpenny: Science Communication surveys

GrrlScientist: Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter by Simon Mayo | book review

Paige Brown: How Monkeying Around Can Get You in Trouble with Chimps

Kerstin Hoppenhaus: The humble lab...

Laura Nielsen: Tiny aerosol particles, big impact

Kris Hardies: Putting Sex Differences in Context


“As someone who loves both science and history, I have to say that the compartmentalization of academia may have a lot to do with the overreaching assumptions and overgeneralization in general. History, anthropology, and science scholars stay in their incestuously tiny boxes, when a general awareness of the state of the other fields might help each stay more objective and honest.”

Viktor Poór: Planning your exams (cartoon)

Kausik Datta: Gullibility and pseudoscience, bridged by headlines

Matt Shipman: What Twitter May Be Able to Tell Us (in Advance) about Citations

GrrlScientist: Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books longlist announced

Stephanie Swift: Turning insect viruses into cancer therapies

Rajini Rao on SciLogs.com’s Google+ page:

“Baculoviruses are already used for laboratory research. This is a promising new direction. As with all viral targeting therapies, the trick is to direct the malignant cells while sparing normal ones”

ConfirmedCynic on Reddit:

“One promising feature of the virus is that it is predicted to get at cells that are further within a tumor, which might help a treatment procces to work more thoroughly. This is all very preliminary work.”

Paige Brown: Photo of the Week: Eye See You

Malcolm Campbell: Neighbourly behaviour

Malcolm Campbell: Morsels for the mind – 7/6/2013

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