Author Archive

April 1, 2011

At least the BBC still cares about rice

by farehalasker
BBC cites rice genome paper

The BBC 'cites' the rice genome sequencing paper

A recent discovery of a gene trait which allows rice to recover quickly in droughts has cited my genome sequencing paper. The BBC piece of March 4th speaks of a gene which had previously been discovered to give flood-resistance to rice as now showing the impressive recovery trait- this is important as most countries in the world that grow rice do so through extreme weather conditions. 

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April 1, 2011

The many ways a scientist can lie

by farehalasker

In a paper published in the European Journal of Oncology, Professor John Bailar discusses how he thinks that although it is not often scientists directly lie, it is a common trait to mislead. They can do this without resorting to fraud or other direct lies.

Scientific graph

False graphs and charts are not the only way scientists can lie to us

The choice of the topic of the study is a big area. Bailar uses the example of the tobacco industry- their preferred method of lying is through the use of secret research. If the secret research  shows a secondary one will not be harmful to the industry, only then are the results published.

Scientists are clever humans and know how to frame a question that will allow them to reach a pre-determined outcome. A study can also be put into the hands of a person adept at interpreting results in certain ways. Most scientists have peers that are engaged in such methods of interpretation and can invite them to interpret their specific study.

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April 1, 2011

No thanks, Philica

by farehalasker

As introduced by Anka, Philica is in theory a good idea- an alternative to peer review could be just what is needed to shake up the old process. But just how effective is it? The answer is probably not very. Their review process starts after publication- already a bit too late to have an impact on the papers reviewed by them. Why would I care if Philica didn’t like my paper if Nature already had?

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April 1, 2011

Doesn’t the media care about rice?

by farehalasker

The International Rice Genome Sequencing Project says that it has a strict policy of releasing sequencing data into the public domain IMMEDIATELY.  They finished sequencing in December 2004 and sent their findings to Nature by the 29th of that month. However, the journal didn’t accept the paper until May 2005 or publish it until 11th August 2005. This highlights again the lengthy process that

bbc coverage

The BBC covered the completion of the rice genome sequence a day before publication in Nature

peer review is. 

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April 1, 2011

Why so many authors? The International Rice Genome Sequencing Project

by farehalasker

The International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP), is the author of the map-based sequence of the rice genome paper. This project consisted of 323 authors, from 33 different institutions. The IRGSP consortium of publicly-funded laboratories was established in 1997 with the aim of sequencing the genome of the Oryza sativa species of japonica rice. There are ten main member states including the USA, UK, France and Brazil from the western hemisphere. Japan, Korea, China, taiwan, India and Thailand are the states involved from the East.

Map of Asia

Most of the countries in the IRGSP are in Asia

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April 1, 2011

Rice is soooo biased

by farehalasker

With a 708 papers out of the 874 showing some sor tof bias, the map-based sequence of the rice genome paper showed 81% total bias. Naughty! 245 papers, 28% of the total, showed bias A. This was author bias coming from the 323 authors from the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP).

Biased rice

This rice plant is leaning to the left- biased like the paper on its genome?

Bias B came up at 298 papers, 34% of them. This was institute bias and due to the fact that the number of institutes that collaborated in the IRGP was 32. These were government bodies, universities as well agriculture regulatory bodies such as the Society for Techno-innovation of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan.

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