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Submission + - New Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is misguided (guardian.co.uk)

grrlscientist writes: "Like a lot of people, I awoke this morning to the news of the new Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. Initiated by multibillionaires Art Levinson, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan and Yuri Milner, the Breakthrough Prize is intended to recognise "excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life." Winners are awarded $3 million each and since this is a prize, they can spend this money in any way they wish. According to the website, this prize is "dedicated to advancing breakthrough research, celebrating scientists and generating excitement about the pursuit of science as a career."

Wonderful — anything to give science a positive public platform. But unfortunately, this prize is flawed and seriously misguided and thus, I don't think it will accomplish its stated goals."


Submission + - Escaping the poverty trap (guardian.co.uk)

grrlscientist writes: Scientists ask: "Which is the most effective way for the government to help people climb out of poverty: give them money or give them health care?"

Submission + - Reinforcements Ordered in the War on Brains [video (scientopia.org)

grrlscientist writes: Rachel Maddow talks about her former show, The War on Brains — she mentions that even though the program no longer exists, America’s war on brains continues. Perhaps the most ridiculous example is the woman who claims that “the separation of church and state” is not mentioned in the US Constitution — a fact that can be easily confirmed by anyone who can read by checking the original document.

Submission + - A Monkey Economy is as Irrational as our Human Eco (scientopia.org)

grrlscientist writes: A Monkey Economy is as Irrational as our Human Economy. Why do people make irrational decisions in such a predictable way? Laurie Santos looks for the roots of human irrationality by watching the way our primate relatives make decisions. This video documents a clever series of experiments in "monkeynomics” shows that some of the silly choices we make, monkeys make too.

Submission + - Foldit: Innovative Biology for Gamers (scientopia.org)

grrlscientist writes: Guessing how a protein will fold up based on its DNA sequence is often too complex for even the most powerful computer programs. Now biochemists and computer scientists at my alma mater, the University of Washington, have collaborated to create Foldit, a free online computer game where online gamers and citizen scientists do the work.

Space is to place as eternity is to time. -- Joseph Joubert