Another Paper Questions Scientific Paper Accuracy

Posted on August 31, 2005  Comments (0)

Most Scientific Papers are Probably Wrong, New Scientist.

Assuming that the new paper is itself correct, problems with experimental and statistical methods mean that there is less than a 50% chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper are true.

Funding Basic Research

Posted on August 25, 2005  Comments (0)

The West has lost the will to fund basic research by William Brody.

In the US, university basic research has withered in many important fields, especially in the physical and information sciences and engineering.

Industrial basic research has failed to demonstrate a return on investment that satisfies the ravenous appetite of financial markets for short-term earnings growth. As a result, companies have been directing capital to applied research and development, rather than basic invention and innovation.
The writer is president of the Johns Hopkhins University, the co-founder of three medical device companies and co-chairman of the US Council on Competitiveness’s National Innovation Initiative.

Related Post: Science Funding Dips In U.S. While Soaring In China

World’s Lightest Flying Robot

Posted on August 25, 2005  Comments (0)

Epson Announces Advanced Model of the World’s Lightest Micro-Flying Robot:

The key concept behind Epson’s R&D efforts in micro-flying robots has been to expand the horizons of microrobot activities from two-dimensional space to three-dimensional space. Now, with the successful implementation of Bluetooth communications and independent flight in the FR-II, Epson has literally added a new dimension to microrobotics while greatly expanding the potential range of microrobot applications by incorporating image capture and transmission functions.

The site includes a video.

Indonesian Polio Epidemic

Posted on August 20, 2005  Comments (0)

Indonesian polio epidemic poses ‘real risk’ to Asia on New Scientist:

Nevertheless, if “very, very aggressive” action is taken in Indonesia, polio could still be quelled and eradicated by the end of 2005 as planned, he says. However, endemic polio in Nigeria may mean the goal of consigning polio to the history books by year end may be unfeasible.

Given the very interdependant nature of human life on Earth it has never been more critical for that interdependance to be reflected in policy.

If polio does spread to nearby countries such as China, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines, it would be “way, way harder to control” than its recent onslaught through Africa and into the Middle East, says Bruce Aylward, co-ordinator of the World Health Organization’s Global Eradication Initiative.

Polio Eradication Casecount

NSF TeraGrid

Posted on August 17, 2005  Comments (0)

$150 Million TeraGrid Award Heralds New Era for Scientific Computing:

“We fully expect TeraGrid to catalyze the next generation of scientific discoveries,” said Deborah Crawford, acting director of NSF’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure. “Simply put, breakthrough science and engineering depends on a first-class cyberinfrastructure.”

Using Design to Reduce Medical Error

Posted on August 11, 2005  Comments (0)

Wrist tags may stop drug errors

A wristband designed by a London-based design graduate could see hospital patients being tagged to ensure they are given the right medication.

While that like a decent idea I think an even better one is the redesign of the pill bottle. It seems like it would reduce errors but also seems fairly complex.

Target Unveils New Look for Prescription Pill Bottles: audio from NPR – includes a good photo of the improved bottle design.

New Pill Bottle Could Save Lives, MSNBC

The new bottle has a different color-coded band for every member of the family. All grandma’s bottles, for instance, could be coded green. The drug’s name and instructions for use are big and written on flat surfaces, instead of wrapped around a tiny bottle. Additional information about the drug is printed on a card that stays tucked in a space on the bottle, instead of a piece of paper often thrown away.

Target is using the new bottles starting this month and health safety experts hope other companies will adapt similar designs.

Science and Engineering Doctoral Degrees Worldwide

Posted on August 10, 2005  Comments (1)

Lagging Engineer Degrees a Crisis by Kevin Hall:

Relative to the sizes of their populations, Asian nations are graduating five times as many undergraduate students in engineering as the United States. A study by Engineering Trends determined that the United States ranks 16th per capita in the number of doctoral graduates and 25th in engineering undergraduates per million citizens.

U.S. universities continue awarding more doctoral degrees in engineering than universities anywhere else. But the American Association of Engineering Societies said foreign nationals received 58 percent of the U.S. doctoral degrees in engineering last year: 3,766 degrees out of 6,504. A decade earlier, they accounted for less than half.

I doubt that US universities are awarding more doctoral degrees than others are. Even if that is true I doubt it will last for even 5 more years. You might measure this in various ways including: absolute number of doctoral degrees awarded or using a per capita number. I believe several European countries are ahead today on a per capita basis. On an absolute basis I would be surprised if China or India isn’t already ahead. But if neither is, that will not true for long. I tried to find some good data online and wasn’t able to find anything certain in the time I took. Lost Dominance in Ph.D. Production sites a National Bureau of Economic Research report:
Read more

Stanford Students Win $10,000 for Aneurysm Treatment

Posted on August 10, 2005  Comments (0)

Stanford students win $10,000 for aneurysm treatment (sigh they removed the page – poor usability):

The students won the first Biomedical Engineering Innovation Design Award conducted by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, an alliance of approximately 200 colleges and universities in the United States established in 1995 to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education.

The Stanford team designed a porous balloon mechanism, which they named Embolune. To use the new invention, a surgeon navigates the balloon to the site of the aneurysm, where it is detached. A hardening polymer substance is then released into the aneurysm space to create a permanent clot and stifle further growth.

Pentagon’s New Goal: Put Science Into Scripts

Posted on August 5, 2005  Comments (0)

Pentagon’s New Goal: Put Science Into Scripts

Fewer and fewer students are pursuing science and engineering. While immigrants are taking up the slack in many areas, defense laboratories and industries generally require American citizenship or permanent residency. So a crisis is looming, unless careers in science and engineering suddenly become hugely popular, said Robert J. Barker, an Air Force program manager who approved the grant. And what better way to get a lot of young people interested in science than by producing movies and television shows that depict scientists in flattering ways?