Archive for February 3rd, 2010

Congratulations Dr. Lowry!

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | February 3, 2010 1:26 pm

As I’m writing, blogging, and more, there’s a guy who patiently stands by me through everything. He doesn’t mind listening as I endlessly discuss the trials and tribulations of a postdoc while he tirelessly works to prepare for his. It doesn’t upset him that my perspective occasionally ruffles the feathers of others in his field–including those friendly with his awesome advisor John Willis. He doesn’t even complain about how late he needs to come collect me from the airport constantly. Instead, he helps me get the details right whenever I have a question, brings me along on cross country road trips to the field, and has a kind word no matter what the DNA sequence looks like on any given day. And he always supports my crazy ideas with boundless encouragement and enthusiasm.

18057_675935392949_5819276_38490511_5222890_nSo today I want to congratulate my wonderful, brilliant fiancé David Lowry, who just received his Ph.D. in evolutionary genetics and genomics at Duke. (Photo left was taken just before his final seminar talk). David’s a damn good field and lab biologist who’s taught me everything I know about speciation, adaptation, Mimulus–and so much more. His research on understanding ecotype formation amazes me and I’m so excited to see where it goes next!

And directly to David: You continue to inspire me every day and I love you.

MORE ABOUT: David Lowry

The Intersection & Friends On Eureka's Top 30 Science Blogs

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | February 3, 2010 11:59 am

We’re very pleased to see The Intersection listed among the Top 30 Science Blogs by the UK Times–esp in such great company! We’d also like to congratulate Phil, Bora, Tim, Revere, Brian, Carl, David, Neurotopia, Ed, RealClimate, Orac, and the rest of the terrific bloggers that made the list!

This “Top 30” also highlights the need to encourage more women to express ourselves online, as men continue to be the far more dominant sex in the science blogosphere. And although CM and I might have substituted a favorite group of physicists for a particular climate change denier, we’re truly honored to be included in this impressive group!

Our thanks to the UK Times!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Education
MORE ABOUT: science blogs, UK Times

Will the Vaccine-Autism Saga Finally End?

By Chris Mooney | February 3, 2010 10:40 am

My latest Science Progress blog post riffs on the news about Andrew Wakefield and the Lancet yesterday. In case you didn’t hear:

The Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, has now gone to the extreme of fully retracting a notorious 1998 paper by gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues, purporting to show a shocking new cause of autism—the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Wakefield and his team studied digestion in 12 children with various types of behavioral disorders, nine of whom were autistic, and found inflammation in the intestines. The vaccine was blamed for letting toxins loose into the bloodstream, which not only caused the intestinal problems but, it was conjectured, then also affected the children’s brains.

The 1998 paper hit the British public like a thunderclap, triggering a decline in use of the MMR vaccine as well as a resurgence of the measles. It was the opening shot in the vaccine-autism controversy that still rages today (albeit in varied forms, not all of which still focus on the MMR vaccine). But the credibility of Wakefield’s work has since taken a steady stream of hits, culminating in this last devastating blow.

The post then goes on to relate the whole Wakefield story, and to extrapolate: Now that we know this study has been pretty much totally discredited, whence the vaccine-autism controversy, which the study kicked off back in 1998? Shouldn’t it, too, go away?

Sadly, I’m not optimistic about that happening. You can read why here.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Unscientific America, vaccination

Another Science Newsroom Cut, And a Big One

By Chris Mooney | February 3, 2010 8:50 am

Daniel SiebergMediaBistro has the news.

CBS has let go of Daniel Sieberg, its science and technology correspondent.

What I referred to yesterday as the news business’s “science core” keeps on shrinking.

Insert rants below about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket….

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Media and Science

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