In a different blogHenry Brown made the following statement:

Substance abuse doesn’t sit in a neat little package, tied up with a bow, waiting for treatment. Instead, imagine this little box...with octopus tentacles coming out of it. That’s addiction: it may start as overuse of a substance, but then it spreads to all areas of an addict’s life – family, career, and the way an addict sees him- or herself in the world. One area to which addiction spreads is the addict’s concept of self-worth. As we’ve known (and as you probably could have guessed), addiction increases suicide risk.

Everybody seems to be talking about the Kardashian index (call it K) these days. It is a rather useless number that you compute as a ratio between the number of twitter followers you have and the number of citations that your papers got.

Here is a quote from its inventor Neil Hall:

“I am concerned that phenomena similar to that of Kim Kardashian may also exist in the scientific community,” wrote Hall. “I think it is possible that there are individuals who are famous for being famous (or, to put it in science jargon, renowned for being renowned). We are all aware that certain people are seemingly invited as keynote speakers, not because of their contributions to the published literature but because of who they are.”
One day while shopping in your local supermarket in the next few years it's likely you'll run across a loaf of Arnold brand 100% Whole Wheat Bread with a label saying something like “Produced with Genetic Engineering.”

Multiple states are passing or debating laws that would require most packaged foods to declare whether genetic modification was used in their production, including Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Oregon and Colorado.

This morning at the ICNFP 2014 conference in Kolympari (Crete) the floor was taken by Abdelhak Djouadi, who gave a very nice overview of the theoretical implications of the Higgs boson discovery, especially exploring the status of Supersymmetry models.

Djouadi explained how even if the average mass of sparticles is being pushed up in surviving models of Supersymmetry -both because of the negative result of direct searches and because of the effect of hardwiring in the theoretical models the knowledge of a "heavy" lightest scalar particle, which sits at 125 GeV- there is reason to be optimistic. He explained that for stop quarks, it is the geometric mean of their masses that has to be high, but the lightest one may be laying well below the TeV.


Charles Hard Townes (AP Photo)

Charles Townes has a lot going for him; he just saw his 99th birthday and 500 people showed up to cheer for him. He has a Nobel prize and a younger wife - Frances is 98.

Oh, and he invented the laser, which just about everyone on planet Earth has heard of.

Why do addicts seek their drug? Why can’t they stop? The 21st century view is that an addict’s brain becomes literally hardwired to crave the drug.

If someone can use Kickstarter to raise $50,000 for making potato salad, perhaps, I can raise at least $2500 to pay publication fees on three papers.  It is a little known fact that formally publishing an article in a scientific journal cost money.

Activists unable to get the U.S.federal government to enact any law regarding labeling of genetically modified foods have successfully pushed for their own versions in a handful of states. But the resulting patchwork may create bigger headaches for the food industry.

Oregon’s Secretary of State certified a petition Wednesday to put GMO labeling on the November ballot. A similar effort is also underway in Colorado. Connecticut, Maine and Vermont have all passed GMO labeling laws over the last two years.

Science Magazine used Transwomen as props on a cover that had nothing to do with the contents. All it did was stigmatize a marginalized group of people and probably reinforce bias among members of a privileged group, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The use of the cover by a large production of that group of privileged people proves the presence of anti-transgender feelings which, like other bigotries, can hide under color of science.  I say this as one who has defended the validity of the work of various scientist in the face of activist and anti-scientific, backlashes.