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Star Power

Where is the most important science produced? A study (abstract available here) being released today suggests that it may be coming from a broader range of academic departments, but from a smaller number of elite scientists. The study — from the National Bureau of Economic Research — points to a new way of thinking about so-called “star” scientists. The analysis is based on a look at the top-ranked departments and…

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No Physicist Is an Island

LOS ANGELES — THE physicist Richard Feynman liked to gripe about what he called “Alfred Nobel’s Other Mistake.” The first mistake was the invention of dynamite. The second was creating the Nobel Prizes. Mr. Feynman thought it was ridiculous that something as material as a cash prize should be awarded to something as grand and open-ended as scientific research. (The griping wasn’t a matter of sour grapes; Mr. Feynman shared…

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NSF helps launch new international research data alliance

The National Science Foundation today awarded a $2.5-million grant to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to enable its participation in a new international organization that will accelerate research data sharing among scientists around the globe. The grant will be used to develop a Research Data Alliance (RDA) that will allow researchers the world over to collaboratively use scientific data to speed up innovation. To date, more than 120 U.S. and international participants…

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Study: Pregnant rats pass down effects of dioxin exposure — to great-grandchildren

Washington State University researchers have found that the great-grandchildren of pregnant rats exposed to low doses of the chemical contaminant dioxin develop diseases and reproductive abnormalities — even though they were not directly exposed. The findings are another step in the rapidly emerging field of epigenetics, which is expanding and challenging the traditional genetic explanation of how traits are passed from one generation to another. Although the pregnant rats’ DNA…

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Translational Science Making Impacts

Translational research is an exciting field that has made significant strides over the last decade. In theory, the translational research continuum covers everything from basic discovery through adoption in all fields of science. In practice—in terms of what actually gets funded and where the focus for this kind of work has been—translational research is mostly happening in early stage health sciences, helping accelerate discovery and broaden the application of new…

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Interdisciplinary Science News

Photo by Steve Ringman, Seattle Times Science has always been integrated. The knowledge gained from one field of study has always been applied in other fields. Scratch the surface of science discovery and it’s easy to identify centuries of interdisciplinary work filling volumes in the history of science and Western civilization, from the harnessing of electricity to the discovery of DNA to the application of computer technology throughout science and…

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3rd Annual VIVO Conference

Welcome to the third annual VIVO conference. This three-day conference runs from August 22 – 24, 2012 at the InterContinental in Miami, FL. This year’s VIVO conference creates a unique opportunity for people from across the country and around the world to come together in the spirit of promoting scholarly collaboration and research discovery. The VIVO conference is an excellent opportunity to meet with VIVO team members from participating institutions,…

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A Sharp Rise in Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform

To survive professionally, scientists feel the need to publish as many papers as possible, and to get them into high-profile journals. And sometimes they cut corners or even commit misconduct to get there. To measure this claim, Dr. Fang and Dr. Casadevall looked at the rate of retractions in 17 journals from 2001 to 2010 and compared it with the journals’ “impact factor,” a score based on how often their…

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