Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
From askville (Amazon) Nelson W. Polsby PS, Vol. 17, No. 4. (Autumn, 1984), pp. 778-781. Pg. 779: Raymond Wolfinger's brilliant aphorism "the plural of anecdote is data" never inspired a better or more skilled researcher.
I e-mailed Wolfinger last year and got the following response from him:
"I said 'The plural of anecdote is data' some time in the 1969-70 academic year while teaching a graduate seminar at Stanford.
The occasion was a student's dismissal of a simple factual statement--by another student or me--as a mere anecdote. The quotation was my rejoinder.
Since then I have missed few opportunities to quote myself. The only appearance in print that I can remember is Nelson Polsby's accurate quotation and attribution in an article in PS: Political Science and Politics in 1993; I believe it was in the first issue of the year."
I also e-mailed Polsby, who didn't know of any early printed occurrences.
What is interesting about this saying is that it seems to have morphed into its opposite -- "Data is not the plural of anecdote" -- in some people's minds. Mark Mandel used it in this opposite sense in a private e-mail to me, for example.Fred Shapiro
From MPC Publog -
The Plural of Anecdote is Data
Perhaps the most memorable quote of the STM meeting was dropped by MIT Sloan School of Management Economist Erik Brynjolfsson, who directs the Center for Digital Business. (It turns out the quote is attributable to Berkeley Political Scientist Raymond Wolfinger, who apparently coined it in the 60s or 70s. Lots of people quote its opposite [The plural of anecdote is NOT data] and try to attribute the source of that quote...Isn't Google great for trivia questions?)
See also linguistlist.org (using archive.org)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
ScienceDaily (Nov. 19, 2009) — Just as fly paper captures insects, an innovative new device with nano-sized features developed by researchers at UCLA is able to grab cancer cells in the blood that have broken off from a tumor.
These cells, known as circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, can provide critical information for examining and diagnosing cancer metastasis, determining patient prognosis, and monitoring the effectiveness of therapies.
Metastasis -- the most common cause of cancer-related death in patients with solid tumors -- is caused by marauding tumor cells that leave the primary tumor site and ride in the bloodstream to set up colonies in other parts of the body.
The current gold standard for examining the disease status of tumors is an analysis of metastatic solid biopsy samples, but in the early stages of metastasis, it is often difficult to identify a biopsy site. By capturing CTCs, doctors can essentially perform a "liquid" biopsy, allowing for early detection and diagnosis, as well as improved treatment monitoring.
To date, several methods have been developed to track these cells, but the UCLA team's novel "fly paper" approach may be faster and cheaper than others -- and it appears to capture far more CTCs.
Some of the facts about sports and recreational injury may surprise you. For example, when we hear about sports injury, many of us immediately think of contact sports like football. While these sports are associated with higher injury rates, injuries from recreational activities and individual sports are more likely to be severe when they occur. Incidence of injury also varies by age group: young children (ages 5 to 9) are more likely to sustain playground- and bicycle-related injuries, while older children are more likely to suffer from bicycle- and sports-related injuries and overexertion.
Injury risks by activity:
· Baseball has the highest fatality rate among all sports for children ages 5 to 14. Each year, three to four children die from baseball-related injuries.
· Gymnastics-related injuries caused more than 21,200 children ages 5 to 14 to be treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2002.
· In 2001, 134 children ages 14 and under died in bicycle-related crashes.
· Since 1992, at least 87 children ages 14 and under have died from inline skating injuries. The majority of these deaths were from collisions with motor vehicles.
· Each year, nearly 20 children ages 14 and under die from playground-related injuries.
· In 2001, more than 74,500 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for trampoline-related injuries.
· More than 51,300 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for unpowered scooter-related injuries in 2002. Since 2001, at least 10 children ages 14 and under have died as a result of this type of injury.
· In 2002, at least 44 children ages 14 and under died and nearly 20,300 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Animal testing will not show the effects they can have on children, or a developing fetus.
Large studies also would miss the possible fatal consequence of these substances on children, that have an allergic reaction to them.
This is one of the blind spots of modern science. All the double blind testing in the world may not reveal what will actually happen when human children are exposed to something that may harm them.
OK that is just unexpected. A recent House episode used this as part of the story.
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers, kills cancer cells.
PubMed (many many studies there)This isn't even News.
Now a new treatment involving resiniferitoxin's cousin, capsaicin, is showing promise in killing tumor cells.
Yes, Chillies kill cancer cells.
one of the greatest cases in history of a drug disaster tragedy being caused by animal research.
First of all, Thalidomide had been tested on animals extensively prior to its marketing.
Even now, despite the clinical evidence to the contrary, British health authorities like the Medical Research Council maintain that the vast bulk of evidence from laboratory and animal tests is against thalidomide having any genetic effects.
The tragedy caused by Thalidomide in the 1960s was due to its teratogenic effects, ie effects on the foetus. Teratological effects of drugs were little known then. They were brought to public attention because of the Thalidomide tragedy on humans, therefore only after it. How on earth could animal researchers have thought of those effects before the disaster?
Even after the Thalidomide caused birth deformities in humans, researchers tried to reproduce the same effect in dozens of species of lab animals without success.
...there are three forms of news communication: Reporting; journalism and opinion.
Reporting is stenography -- "here's what happened, here's what was said."
Journalism is interpretation -- "here's what happened, here's what was said, here's what it probably means."
Opinion is verdict -- "here's what I think happened, here's what I think was meant by what was said, here's what I believe it to me."
Print news must learn to teach its customers the differences between these phases.
And what, some of you are wondering, does any of this have to do with science?
Reporting is science: the careful observation and recording of the event.
Journalism is hypothesis.
Opinion is entertainment.
Pink disease (acrodynia, erythredema), named because of the skin colour of the sufferers, was once a serious disease of infants and young children. It appeared in the western world about the turn of the 20th century, particularly in English-speaking countries. Babies turned bright pink and became ill, intolerant to light, lost their appetites, and became utterly miserable, often rejecting even their mothers. Some lost fingers and toes from gangrene and, on average, 7% of sufferers died.
PARIS: Slowing population growth would help battle global warming, says an unprecedented U.N. report that links demographic pressure and climate change.
"Slower population growth... would help build social resilience to climate change's impacts and would contribute to a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions in the future," the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) says.
Plants may not have eyes and ears, but they can recognize their siblings, and researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered how.
The ID system lies in the roots and the chemical cues they secrete.
The finding not only sheds light on the intriguing sensing system in plants, but also may have implications for agriculture and even home gardening.
The study, which is reported in the scientific journal Communicative & Integrative Biology, was led by Harsh Bais, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences at the University of Delaware.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2009) — Real-life particles released by car brake pads can harm lung cells in vitro. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Particle and Fibre Toxicology found that heavy braking, as in an emergency stop, caused the most damage, but normal breaking and even close proximity to a disengaged brake resulted in potentially dangerous cellular stress.--------------------------------------
ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2009) — Research into the controversial drug thalidomide reveals that the mechanism through which the drug causes limb defects is the same process which causes it to damage internal organs and other tissues. The article, published in Bio-Essays, outlines the challenges surrounding thalidomide research and claims that confirmation of a 'common mechanism' could lead to new treatments for Leprosy, Crohn's Disease, AIDS and some forms of cancer.
On one of the Galapagos islands whose finches shaped the theories of a young Charles Darwin, biologists have witnessed that elusive moment when a single species splits in two.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Here is the current stats from the new counter.
The second counter confirms that it isn't search engines hitting this blog. It must be real people.
What is up with that?
46 different countries have visited this site!
|Country||Visitors||Last New Visitor|
|1.||United States||1,197||November 16, 2009|
|2.||Canada||54||November 15, 2009|
|3.||United Kingdom||29||November 15, 2009|
|4.||Mexico||12||November 9, 2009|
|5.||Australia||11||November 12, 2009|
|6.||India||9||November 4, 2009|
|7.||Turkey||7||November 8, 2009|
|8.||Philippines||5||November 15, 2009|
|9.||Ireland||5||November 9, 2009|
|10.||Indonesia||4||November 14, 2009|
|11.||Iran, Islamic Republic of||4||November 13, 2009|
|12.||Korea, Republic of||3||November 8, 2009|
|13.||Germany||3||November 6, 2009|
|14.||Saudi Arabia||3||October 2, 2009|
|15.||Zambia||3||September 20, 2009|
|16.||Netherlands||2||November 16, 2009|
|17.||Egypt||2||November 13, 2009|
|18.||Finland||2||November 12, 2009|
|19.||Italy||2||November 12, 2009|
|20.||Nigeria||2||November 10, 2009|
|21.||Malaysia||2||November 9, 2009|
|22.||Singapore||2||October 29, 2009|
|23.||Norway||2||October 27, 2009|
|24.||Virgin Islands, U.S.||2||October 23, 2009|
|25.||Ghana||2||September 30, 2009|
|26.||South Africa||2||September 12, 2009|
|27.||Unknown - Satellite Provider||1||November 11, 2009|
|28.||Russian Federation||1||November 5, 2009|
|29.||New Zealand||1||November 3, 2009|
|30.||Romania||1||November 3, 2009|
|31.||Austria||1||November 2, 2009|
|32.||Colombia||1||November 1, 2009|
|33.||Sri Lanka||1||October 22, 2009|
|34.||Jordan||1||October 20, 2009|
|35.||Serbia||1||October 16, 2009|
|36.||Taiwan||1||October 15, 2009|
|37.||Rwanda||1||October 14, 2009|
|38.||Puerto Rico||1||October 6, 2009|
|39.||Panama||1||October 3, 2009|
|40.||Bahamas||1||September 20, 2009|
|41.||Kuwait||1||September 18, 2009|
|42.||United Arab Emirates||1||September 16, 2009|
|43.||Thailand||1||September 15, 2009|
|44.||Luxembourg||1||September 15, 2009|
|45.||Bahrain||1||September 14, 2009|
|46.||Trinidad and Tobago||1||September 13, 2009|