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Science

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Closing my browser tabs 12/15/14

Here are some serious and not-so-serious things to read about science as you drink your eggnog this week. Vaccines “Vaccines work. Here are the facts” is an awesome cartoon by Maki Naro, refuting the antivaccine arguments and giving a great and accessible overview of why vaccination is important. This deserves to go viral, so please … Continue reading

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Yes, doctors know what they’re talking about: Refuting a common anti-vaccine argument.

I usually don’t respond to many comments on my blog, preferring instead to encourage conversation between readers. I also don’t typically close comments on any of my pieces, so conversations and reactions continue for a long time. Sometimes that takes the discussion in an interesting direction. I think that a few recent comments on my “Dear … Continue reading

A scientist was asked to review a new paper. You’ll never guess what happened next!

(Apologies for the egregious clickbaity title.)   A professor I know was recently sent a manuscript to review from PLOS ONE. Nothing unusual in that…except that it was his own paper. After briefly debating how to respond, he accepted the invitation to review the paper, and submitted the following review:

I live only 2 hours from the Ebola hospital in Dallas. Here’s what I’m doing to protect my family.

We Americans sometimes seem to have only two settings when it comes to public health issues;  “unconcern” and “panic”. (I think the media deserve a great deal of blame for this, but that’s another blog post).  The last few weeks have seen the switch flipped to near panic about Ebola, after the recent infection of … Continue reading

Another day, another anti-vaccine paper retracted

  I haven’t written here about the CDC “whistleblower” issue, because I was in Shanghai when the story broke with both limited internet access and limited desire to take time away from adventures to write. Orac did an excellent job of staying on top of the story, and I refer the interested reader to his … Continue reading

Andrew Wakefield loses again in court; what happened?

You may have seen the news about a Texas court throwing out Andrew Wakefield‘s lawsuit against Brian Deer, the investigative journalist who did so much to uncover Wakefield’s fraudulent anti-vaccine study. You can read the court’s opinion for yourself, but I’ve already seen some inaccurate commentary on it. Here’s a little background on the case, … Continue reading

Closing my browser tabs: September 10, 2014

I’m putting the finishing touches on a longer article to share later this week, but in the meantime, here are some stories that I’ve found interesting over the last week:

Genetics professors unite in criticism of Nicholas Wade’s book.

In a series of recent posts I and several others have strongly criticized Nicholas Wade’s recent book “A Troublesome History”, which purports to show that human races are biologically meaningful categories, characterized by different behavioral tendencies (which have resulted in different degrees of socio-political success). Now 139 professors with expertise in genetics, human biology, biological … Continue reading

The “Health Ranger” crosses the line, then backpedals.

This week Mike Adams, the self-styled “Health Ranger”, who runs the alternative medicine website Natural News, posted one of the most disturbing tirades against scientists that I’ve ever seen. He’s always been a promoter of pseudoscientific arguments against GMOs, but he has gone much, much further in his latest piece “Biotech genocide, Monsanto collaborators and … Continue reading

Come hear me speak in Dallas!

I’ve been invited by the awesome people in the North Texas Skeptics organization to come speak to them, so tomorrow (July 18th), I’ll be giving a talk on “Molecules and myths: What anthropological genetics tells us about the prehistory of the Americas”. Here’s the synopsis: For hundreds of years, Europeans have been trying to insert … Continue reading

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Jennifer Raff

Jennifer Raff

In pursuit of the extraordinary

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