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Why Johnny Can't Speak: a Cost of Paywalled Research

Turbio Open Access (189 comments)

There is a trend to publish on Open Access jurnals, such as PloS One, which charge the authors (about 2K) to cover the publishing costs. Then the access for anyone is free. Even Nature offers the choice to publish as open access.
It may be argued that 2K is too expensive and that if the author pays for the publication costs there is a conflict of interests. But the trend is clear. It's now a matter of adjusting the costs.

about a year ago
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Anti-Chemical Weapon Group Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Turbio Re:Why not Putin? (61 comments)

There is no good cop bad cop game. Syria is Iran's only ally. Obama wants to change it's government and weaken Iran. Putin wants to keep it's government, because otherwise he would lose strength in the region. If Israel would have used chemical weapons, the roles would be inverted.

about a year ago
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Brazil Announces Plans To Move Away From US-Centric Internet

Turbio Re:Me, too! (285 comments)

I guess she has a bigger budget than you do.

about a year ago
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Brazil Announces Plans To Move Away From US-Centric Internet

Turbio Re:Well, obviously (285 comments)

It's really easy to rob someone on the street. You just hit hit the guy on the head with a bat from behind and take his wallet.
With some skill and a different technique, you can take his wallet without him noticing.
The point is, is it OK to do that?

about a year ago
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Improving 3-D Printing By Copying Nature

Turbio Re:Nature Is Exothermic -- Just Slow (128 comments)

I think that what she means is that biological chemistry uses enzymes that lower the activation energy. So 99.99% of all biological chemical reactions occur at less than 50C (my very arbitrary guesstimate).

about a year and a half ago
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Improving 3-D Printing By Copying Nature

Turbio Re:Small, clean desktop printers (128 comments)

I guess you are missing the point. You should learn about the RepRap community.

about a year and a half ago
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Improving 3-D Printing By Copying Nature

Turbio Re:Non-toxic? (128 comments)

I am amused at how you guys see everything in terms of weapons and war...

about a year and a half ago
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Improving 3-D Printing By Copying Nature

Turbio Re:Nature uses life friendly.. (128 comments)

Actually, a good part of the chemistry occurs in or around oil based membranes.
And biological toxins are all around us. I am not talking just about toxic fungi, pathogenic bacteria or poisonous animals. The very potato chips she mentions are toxic if eaten uncooked, as well as soya beans and many others. Those compounds prevent the plants from being eaten. So we cook our foods to inactivate toxic compounds (and kill pathogens). There exists an arms race out there in the wild, and she's a biologist, she knows how it works.

about a year and a half ago
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Improving 3-D Printing By Copying Nature

Turbio Re:"Natural" manufacturing is material-limited (128 comments)

You speak so 20th century...
Current trends in materials use carbon nanotubes and proteins which make lighter and stronger structures, and also have some interesting electrical properties. But of course, these can't stand very hight temperatures.
For computing power there are neural networks and even some processes using RNA molecules. But of course silicon based computers are still very efficient at what they do, and quantum computers will be even better.
So in the end, the best is to develop the both worlds, organic and inorganic based chemistry.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Are Japanese Men Refusing To Leave Their Rooms?

Turbio Re:Well... (770 comments)

It's actually related to different evolutionary strategies. Men are "parasites" and the real cost of reproduction is paid by the females. A male's genes (actually alleles) will increase in frequence in the population if it "parasites" as many females as possible. A female's alleles will increase in frequence in the population if can produce as many kids as possible, but with having sex a few times a year is enough. The main difference in behavior is due to different reproduction costs for males and females.
This is an oversimplification, of course. Females also have sex to bond with the male and get protection, food, shelter, etc. Individuals who do not reproduce can help raise their relatives. In current societies the real cost is in money for raising each kid, and that is shared between both parents, but OTOH our brains have not adapted yet...

about a year and a half ago
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New Study Fails To Show That Violent Video Games Diminish Prosocial Behavior

Turbio Re:Triple negatives make me antisocial (113 comments)

Sure: "New study fails to show anything due to low statistical power and is published anyway"

about a year and a half ago
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New Study Fails To Show That Violent Video Games Diminish Prosocial Behavior

Turbio Re:Statistical power (113 comments)

I completely agree. Actually, I made a very similar post (post no. 6 "misleading statistics", score:0) but got buried and nobody modded it up. This and the quality of the comments shows how ./ has changed over the years.
Back to the study, the number of people who behaved socially per group were less than 5 in most cases, so doing any form of test of fit is just plainly wrong. And I blame Plos ONE for publishing it, as their criteria for acceptance is "Experiments must have been conducted rigorously, with appropriate controls and replication. Sample sizes must be large enough to produce robust results, where applicable." (http://www.plosone.org/static/publication#technical)
They define prosocial behavior as handing a pen that has fallen, based on a published paper about mimicry (http://pss.sagepub.com/content/15/1/71). The thing is that the researcher waits for up to 5 seconds. Count them, it's really long when confronted face to face. I'm not saying it's wrong, but that they could be measuring submission instead.
And finally, they did not test for increased violent behavior which should be the most obvious consequence of playing violent games.
So failing to find a difference when testing for something not completely related with violence using a an underpowered experimental design... to me, that's propaganda for the gaming industry.

  an increase in prosocial behaviour is misleading to say the least, or propaganda for the gaming industry.

about a year and a half ago
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3D Printer Round-Up: Cube 3D, Up! Mini, and Solidoodle

Turbio Re:3D printing was interesting last year. (91 comments)

You are missing it's main niche: fast prototyping, that shortens design time. The objects are not intended to be used, but to see an approximation of their shape.
And there is the matter of printing cost: ABS/PLA is cheap.
Sure, flying cars will be much better than ground going ones, and wheeled vehicles are a dead end. Maybe, but not it 5 years.

about 2 years ago
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3D Printer Round-Up: Cube 3D, Up! Mini, and Solidoodle

Turbio Ultimaker. Period. (91 comments)

Let's see... a layer size of 40 microns, maximum speed of 250 mm/s, build volume of 21x21x21 cm for only 1200 euros the DYI kit (or EUR 1700 pre-built). It beats everyone else in every department. Period.
Ok, it is still missing a second extruder or hotbed, and printing is still an art that takes skill and patience, as with any of the 3D printers in this price range.
Disclaimer: I own an Ultimaker, oh yeah.

about 2 years ago
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No Microbes In First Sample From Lake Vostok

Turbio Re:Nutrients (60 comments)

How silly I am! My mistake. And my point is weakened, but still valid.
Regulations in Argentina call for a maximum of "2 microbes / 100 mL". That is 0.02 microbes/ml and is correct (I hope this time it is!).
So at 10 microbes/ml = 1000 microbes / 100 mL the water from this lake is not allowed for dinking in Argentina.
I am a biologist working at a molecular biology lab. One test I did on water from a mountain river surrounded only by wildlife had 23 microbes / 100 mL, and that is clearly not a clean room! Another test on very stinky urban runoff water had 800 000 microbes per 100 ml.
At 1000 microbes / 100 ml, this lake has 43 times more microbes than a mountain river, but 800 times less than very stinky water.
If instead of ml it were ul, it would be 1 microbe / 100 ml, so it will be safe for dinking (provided there are no fecal coliform bacteria).

more than 2 years ago
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Scientists Turn Air Into Petrol

Turbio Good for the organic chemical industy (580 comments)

In my view, the most important thing about this is the fact that this could feed all the petrol based chemical industry that just needs petrol as reagents.
No, it's not about energy efficiency or carbon emissions. For that, you have fuels made out of sugarcane or corn that harvest all the energy they need from sunlight. Period.

more than 2 years ago
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No Microbes In First Sample From Lake Vostok

Turbio Re:Nutrients (60 comments)

The article states that the 10 microbes per mL figure is likely due to contaminants being carried down on the drill or present in the measuring equipment, because it is similar to the levels found in a clean room environment.

My guess is that the unit of measure is wrong. It should be 10 microbes per MICROliter (not milliliter!), as 10000 microbes per microliter is actually very stinky water!!
Current regulations in Argentina allow for a maximum of 20 microbes per microliter in drinkable water (and zero enterobacteria).
The problem is that greek letters (eg: mu) are not easily displayed (as in this same post!).

more than 2 years ago
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New Cell-To-Cell Communication Process Could Revolutionize Bioengineering

Turbio Re:And the Innovation is...? (49 comments)

Yeah... it's a method from the last century. It's called transduction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transduction_%28genetics%29), and it is routinely used at the microbiology lab. The new approach here is the idea of using it for communication. But communication needs to be both ways, and they implemented just one way. For making cells react to certain stimulus, it's way better to bioengineer them adding the corresponding membrane receptor and required pathway. And the problem with using phages in this case is, how do you stop them!? They will make the cells very inefficient.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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The end of human clonning ethical issues?

Turbio Turbio writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Turbio (1814644) writes "In the near future, in order to get a matching organ for a transplant, you will only need to take a small biopsy. And then grow the organ inside the animal of chice!
No more organ traffic or hard ethical issues regarding human cloning or embrio usage.
In 2006, Yamanaka and Takahashi induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from adult mouse fibroblasts. In 2007, Takahashi et al. did it with human adult fibroblasts. There are still some "minor" inconveniences, like for instance, not developing cancer in the new organ. But that will be solved with a new technique.
This month, Kobayashi et al. created a mouse with a rat pancreas, showing that you can grow organs of one species of mammals inside another's.
(Plant grafting is as old as farming, but animals are much more difficult to keep alive!)."

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