mSphere — New OA journal, American Society for Microbiology

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.”

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Source:  Knowledgespeak News, June 10, 2015

What we know — about anthropogenic climate change

What we know is a website of AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  The site explains the 3 “R’s” of climate change:  reality, risk and response.  There are a couple of videos with brief interviews with and presentations by prominent climate scientists.  A 14-page PDF version of “What We Know:  The Reality, Risks and Response to Climate Change” is available for downloading.

Source:  Choice Reviews, June, 2015, pp. 1691-2.  Reviewed by A.C. Prendergast, University of South Alabama

Critical Thinking Web

Best of the Web  from Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News <update@genmail.co>

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May 15, 2015 (Vol. 35, No. 10)

Critical Thinking Web

URL:philosophy.hku.hk/think/sci/hd.php
  • Lots of content, easy to understand

Critical thinking, logic, and creativity are three important traits for scientists (and anyone, really) to possess. The Critical Thinking Web, hosted by the philosophy department at the University of Hong Kong, is an online resource composed of tutorials covering various aspects of “thinking skills.” For example, visitors to the site will find tutorials about logic, scientific reasoning, strategic thinking, and fallacies, among many other topics. The tutorials are largely presented as text descriptions and case studies, and are sometimes accompanied by diagrams or other visual aids. Beyond the tutorials, the “resources” page includes a few downloadable documents such as critical thinking exercises, and there are also book recommendations and a link to an online directory of critical thinking web resources.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions have increased based on data from 32 global energy providers

US “Thomson Reuters releases greenhouse gas emissions data on Global Energy Providers – 21 May 2015

Thomson Reuters has released a new research Global 500 Greenhouse Gas Report: The Fossil Fuel Energy Sector, revealing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data from 32 global energy companies, a key subset of the world’s largest publically traded businesses. The report, written in collaboration with global sustainability consultancy BSD Consulting, is the second in a series of GHG reports designed to create transparency and enable sound management of global GHG emissions.

Building on the previous report, the new report includes data around consumers’ use of a company’s products, called Scope 3 data, to present a fuller view of the business’s overall contribution to GHG emissions. Among the data included in the report, 31 percent of GHG emitted globally on an annual basis comes from 32 global energy companies and the population’s use of their products.

From 2010 to 2013, GHG emissions from the 32 energy companies and use of their products increased by 1.3 percent, a sharp contrast to the 2014 United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report, which recommended a 4.2 percent reduction of GHG emissions over the same time period to keep global temperatures within manageable limits.

In addition to contributions from the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Climate Accountability Institute, self-reported GHG emissions data was gathered from energy sector businesses and combined with estimates pulled from Thomson Reuters ASSET4, a provider of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) data. ASSET4 gathers standardised, objective, quantitative and qualitative ESG data on more than 4,800 publicly listed companies.”

Knowledgespeak Newsletter 21 May, 2015

arXiv hits 1 million submissions

From the “Cornell Chronicle”, Jan. 15, 2015, and seen in the “Fast Facts” column of “College & Research Libraries News”, Vol. 76(2)  p. 108, Feb., 2015,

“As an open-access service, it allows scientists from disciplines encompassing physics, statistics, computer science and others to share research before it’s formally published. One million papers have now been uploaded to the repository.”

“arXiv received more than 97,000 new submissions in 2014. More than 150 subject experts from around the world evaluate and categorize every article posted on arXiv.”

http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2015/01/research-repository-arxiv-hits-1-million-submissions

 

Black holes gorging at excessive rates

Date:May 3, 2015  Science Daily

Source:NASA

Summary: A group of unusual giant black holes may be consuming excessive amounts of matter, according to a new study. This finding may help astronomers understand how the largest black holes were able to grow so rapidly in the early Universe.”

Illustration of an extremely ravenous black hole devouring material.
Credit: Illustration: CXC/M. Weiss; X-ray images: NASA/CXC/Penn State/B. Luo et al.

A group of unusual giant black holes may be consuming excessive amounts of matter, according to a new study using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This finding may help astronomers understand how the largest black holes were able to grow so rapidly in the early Universe.

Journal Reference:

  1. B. Luo, W. N. Brandt, P. B. Hall, Jianfeng Wu, S. F. Anderson, G. P. Garmire, R. R. Gibson, R. M. Plotkin, G. T. Richards, D. P. Schneider, O. Shemmer, Yue Shen. X-ray Insights into the Nature of PHL 1811 Analogs and Weak Emission-Line Quasars: Unification with a Geometrically Thick Accretion Disk? The Astrophysical Journal, 2015 [link]

Conversations in Genetics History

Oral History of Genetics Now Available Online

“The Genetics Society of America (GSA) and Executive Producer Rochelle Easton Esposito, PhD, are pleased to announce that Conversations in Genetics, an oral history of our intellectual heritage in genetics, is now available for free online viewing at http://www.genestory.org/.”

Source:  Newswise SciWire for 30-Apr-2015

Other interviewees to come:  King, Cavalli-Sforza, Meyerowitz, Horowitz

National Science Foundation YouTube Channel

“National Science Foundation YouTube Channel

  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRuCgmzhczsm89jzPtN2Wuw

    Nearly 13,000 viewers have subscribed to the National Science Foundation’s YouTube channel. It’s not a secret why. These well-produced and often poignant presentations have managed to pack so much into such a small space. Nearly all the videos clock in at less than four minutes. Many of the clips are just two or three minutes long so readers can easily learn about the birth of planets, the details of the tropospheric ozone, and the wonders of biomedical engineering – all within the timespan of a quick coffee break. The hundreds of available videos are broken into categories such as Computer Science, Brain Research, and Education, among others. Whether you are looking for an interesting tidbit to add to your lecture on Geoscience or you are simply curious about conservation efforts in Central Africa, there is much to enjoy here. [CNH]

  • Source:  Scout Report, University of Wisconsin, Mar. 27, 2015, Vol. 21(12)

Viruses: Timeline, Structure, Biology

From Genetic Engineering &  Biotechnology News (GEN), March 15, 2015

URL:virologyhistory.wustl.edu/index.htm

“Sure, the year 1941 may best be remembered for being the year of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but it was also the year in which X-ray diffraction patterns were obtained for the tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). You can find this and other world history/structural biology history side-by-side comparisons in the nifty timeline feature on the Viruses: From Structure to Biology website. This site—the creation of Sondra and Milton Schlesinger at Washington University School of Medicine —provides some nice background on key milestones in structural virology and the resulting biological breakthroughs in the field. There isn’t a ton of information on the site—one might call it a single-serving website—but within that serving you’ll be able to chew on some interesting science history.”

Climate change myths — addressed by John Cook, Climate Communication Fellow, Australia

Skeptical Science: Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism

  • http://www.skepticalscience.com

    “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