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Showing posts from April, 2010

Women in science & the media

On a rather long visit to the hairdressers (yes scientists do visit the hairdressers) I was handed a copy of Red magazine. Now I enjoy a glossy, trashy, gossip filled magazine as much as the next person but Red is a little different, it's a little more 'serious', it isn't based solely around fashion. Currently it is promoting 'Red's Hot Women' which is a competition promoting intelligent women that work hard and have showed great achievements in their field. The article was entitled 'the top 20 under 30' and all the women featured in the magazine are extremely talented and inspirational... I just have one problem, not one of them was a scientist.

Now this is just one example, I am sure there are scientists that were in the shortlist but didn't make it for whatever reason. I am also not saying that women scientists are better than anyone else. I just want to highlight the fact that the world of science and women scientists get practically ZERO m…

Election Fever

Things have been pretty quiet on the scaremongering science news report front, probably because there is plenty of actual news with the announcement of the general election. I think it is a little early to pass judgement on what it would mean for science depending on which party gets into power (partly because I haven't had chance to have a good read through all of the 'promises' yet) so I will save that for another day.

I did however come across this little gem lurking on the Daily Mail website,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1265857/Dieting-exercise-NOT-help-lose-weight.html

Headline : Dieting without exercise 'will NOT help you lose weight'

Actual meaning: Reducing calorie intake in monkeys reduced their activity levels and thus resulted in no weight loss. SURPRISING? Not really.

My rough translation of what that means for humans, if you eat 3 cheeseburgers a week and run for the bus everyday but want to shift a few pounds, don't eat salad then t…

The Press and Journal and the Ginger Gene

Following on from last week, I contacted the newspaper that printed the walnut/prostate cancer story and I was pleased that I got a response quite quickly. The editor pointed me in the direction of this website which he assured me 'would answer my questions'.

http://www.webmd.boots.com/prostate-cancer/news/20100322/walnuts-may-help-fight-prostate-cancer

This report seems a fairly well rounded view of the research which was apparently presented (I still cannot find any details of the original research) pointing out that the research has yet to be subject to peer review. There are quite a few discrepences between the Boots article and the one reported in the newspaper, so I sent a polite reply back to the editor,

Dear SIR

Thank you very much for your reply and pointing me in the direction of the article on the Boots website.

The article on the Boots website makes it clear that this research has not yet been subject to peer review and also that the test was carried out in test ani…