http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/brain/“In 2013, President Obama unveiled “The Brain Initiative,” a ten-year, nearly one billion dollar effort to unlock the mysteries of the brain. With contributions by everyone from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to Google, the initiative focuses on diverse fields and research methodologies. Readers will find much to explore on this accompanying website from NSF, including several dozen beautifully produced videos designed for classroom use. The videos, most of which are about five-minutes in length, cover topics such as the thinking brain, the perceiving brain, brain states and consciousness, the evolving brain, the emotional brain, the effects of musical training on the brain, and interviews with a number of groundbreaking brain researchers. Additionally, readers may peruse information about the brain initiative on the site, including Funding, Events, Resources, and News related to the project.”[CNH]
Source: Scout Report, Univ. of Wisc., 7/17/2015, Vol. 21 (27)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.2015.1336.issue-1/issuetoc“With the bulk of scientific articles and reports placed behind a paywall, it’s always a welcome gift when good research is made available for free. This report on the New York Panel on Climate Change 2015 is loaded with excellent information – and it’s free and available to anyone with an Internet connection. As the introduction to the report notes, “The climate of the New York City metropolitan region is changing – annual temperatures are hotter, heavy downpours are increasingly frequent, and the sea is rising.” The rest of the report includes a knowledgeable forward by Mayor Bill de Blasio, an executive summary on the findings of the panel, an article outlining the panel’s climate observations and projections, and chapters on sea level rise, coastal storms, coastal flooding, public health impacts, and conclusions and recommendations. For inspired readers, there are also appendices to the report that feature infographics and technical details.” [CNH]
“American Society for Microbiology announces 2016 launch of new OA journal – mSphere – 10 Jun 2015
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has announced plans to launch mSphereTM, a new pan-microbiology open-access journal, in early 2016. mSphere will create new opportunities for researchers in microbial sciences to share findings that are transforming our understanding of human health and disease, ecosystems, neuroscience, agriculture, energy production, climate change, evolution, biogeochemical cycling, and food and drug production.
mSphere will build on the success of mBio®, ASM’s first open access journal. Its scope will reflect the immense range of fields within the microbial sciences. An emphasis will be placed on bringing together these diverse fields to feature their common threads through the data, methods, and conceptual frameworks of original peer-reviewed research.
Dr. Michael Imperiale, Founding Editor in Chief of mSphere is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School and a member of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Author of more than 135 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, Dr. Imperiale has served as an editor of ASM’s Journal of Virology® and mBio® and associate editor of Virology and PLoS Pathogens.
ASM journals have long been recognized as important venues for dissemination of significant, high-quality microbiological research. The launch of mSphere will complement the excellence of ASM’s 10 specialised primary research journals. mSphere™ will welcome submissions from authors around the world and will provide rapid decisions on publication, while carrying on ASM’s tradition for rigorous peer review. Like the rest of the ASM journals program, the new journals will be hosted on the HighWire platform at journals.asm.org.
A formal ‘Call for Papers’ will be issued in September 2015, and the journal launch is planned for early 2016.”
Engineering Schools throughout the U.S. are committing to educate certain numbers of engineers with special interests and talents in helping to solve our greatest challenges.
“In a letter of commitment presented to President Obama today, more than 120 U.S. engineering schools announced plans to educate a new generation of engineers expressly equipped to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing society in the 21st century. Read More”
Princeton University’s Prof. Robert Socolow is a member of this Committee on Grand Challenges.
“This website gets serious about addressing climate change skepticism. Using only peer-reviewed research, John Cook, the Climate Communication Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia, takes the time to seriously consider the doubts that people might have about the state of the earth’s climate. Readers might like to start with the sidebar that addresses the ten most common climate myths, including the idea that the climate has changed before, that warming is due to the sun, that climate change isn’t bad, that there is no scientific consensus, that the earth is actually cooling, and five others. The site also offers a variety of interesting tabs to explore, including an excellent Resources page. [CNH]“
Source: The Scout Report, University of Wisconsin, Vol. 21(7), Feb. 20th
“Virus Evolutionis a new Open Access journal focusing on the long-term evolution of viruses, viruses as a model system for studying evolutionary processes, viral molecular epidemiology and environmental virology.
The aim of the journal is to provide a forum for original research papers, reviews, commentaries and a venue for in-depth discussion on the topics relevant to virus evolution.”
“Editors-in Chief, Professor Oliver Pybus, University of Oxford, and Professor Santiago Elena, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (CSIC-UPV) welcome submissions at:https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/vevolu.” Source of information: Knowledgespeak Newsletter, Feb. 9, 2015
“Vaccinations have had a profound impact on human health, and yet there remains a lot of misinformation floating around out there regarding vaccines. (No, no, no, they do not cause autism.) The History of Vaccines website by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia is an excellent educational resource that covers many different aspects of vaccines and their history, including information about the science of vaccines, vaccine-preventable diseases, misconceptions about vaccines, and answers to the question, “why vaccinate?” Beyond articles addressing each of these (and many other) topics, the website includes a number of interactive features such as timelines, animations, and activities for students. Activities include, among others, a game in which players try to develop vaccines to protect a population of a society fighting disease, as well as a game that has players apply the scientific method to epidemiological scenarios.”
4-star website according to “Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News”
“Almost half of the processes that are crucial to maintaining the stability of the planet have become dangerously compromised by human activity. That is the view of an international team of 18 researchers who provide new evidence of significant changes in four of the nine systems which regulate the resilience of the Earth.”
Nine planetary boundaries (the crucial processes)
Change in biosphere integrity (biodiversity loss and species extinction)
Stratospheric ozone depletion
Biogeochemical flows (phosphorus and nitrogen cycles)
Land-system change (for example deforestation)
Atmospheric aerosol loading (microscopic particles in the atmosphere that affect climate and living organisms)
Introduction of novel entities (e.g. organic pollutants, radioactive materials, nanomaterials, and micro-plastics). Journal Reference:
Will Steffen, Katherine Richardson, Johan Rockström, Sarah E. Cornell, Ingo Fetzer, Elena M. Bennett, R. Biggs, Stephen R. Carpenter, Wim de Vries, Cynthia A. de Wit, Carl Folke, Dieter Gerten, Jens Heinke, Georgina M. Mace, Linn M. Persson, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, B. Reyers, and Sverker Sörlin.Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet.Science, 15 January 2015 DOI:10.1126/science.1259855
Source: McGill University. “Nearly half the systems crucial to stability of planet compromised.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150115163533.htm>.