About That Slate Antibiotic Resistance Article... [Mike the Mad Biologist]

Yesterday, four people emailed me, asking about Brian Palmer's Slate article about antibiotic resistance. Since I'll probably get more such emails (and thank you for sending them), I'll offer my thoughts below:

1) Palmer's basic point about antibiotic development not being the answer is right. All a new drug does is kick the can down the road, since resistance will evolve to the new drug. Having said that, we currently do need new drugs, so we shouldn't stop developing them.

2) Palmer is not correct about plasmid curing as being a solution to antibiotic resistance. If we come up with a compound that causes bacteria to lose plasmids (plasmid 'curing')--mini-chromosomes that often contain antibiotic resistance genes--bacteria will evolve resistance to that compound. In addition, plasmids are important for the survival of ordinary commensal bacteria (and, in developed countries, most infections are due to opportunistic commensals, not obligate pathogens).

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select About That Slate Antibiotic Resistance Article... [Mike the Mad Biologist]

Thank You, Jenny McCarthy! [The Primate Diaries]


From the brilliant minds at ThankYouJennyMcCarthy.com. WTF, indeed. I got my vaccine, have you?

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select Thank You, Jenny McCarthy! [The Primate Diaries]

Feature article: Concepts in Magnetic Resonance


R.M. Gregory, A.D. Bain, "The effects of finite rectangular pulses in NMR: Phase and intensity distortions for a spin-1/2," Concepts in Magnetic Resonance Part A 34A (2009) 305-314. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cmr.a.20147

Abstract

Pulses in NMR spectrometers have a finite length, but the usual hard-pulse assumption ignores it, and treats the pulse as a rotation of the frame of reference about the direction of the radiofrequency (RF) magnetic field. However, at frequency offsets comparable to the size of the RF field, there are substantial distortions, mainly in the phase of the signal. This effect is well known and can be easily calculated to show that, despite the complex geometry, the phase distortion is almost linear with the offset. This means that it can be corrected by a first-order phase correction or by small corrections to pulse-sequence timing. In this article, we give an analysis of these effects. The deviations from a linear phase correction are analyzed for a general rectangular pulse and illustrated with experimental spectra. The split-operator approximation for the evolution of this system provides a mathematical foundation and a useful method for this analysis. Furthermore, the relationship between the exact behavior of a signal is compared to the Fourier transform of a rectangular pulse. For typical offsets, the match between these approaches is not good, but it improves as the offset increases. Overall, the detailed analysis of the finite pulse effects gives exact results of the response of a spin system, but also some mathematical and physical insights.

See original: Canadian NMR News Feature article: Concepts in Magnetic Resonance

Added mention of polymath project. re: http://ff.im/beKZB

EvoMRI: Added mention of polymath project. re: http://ff.im/beKZB

See original: Twitter Added mention of polymath project. re: http://ff.im/beKZB

Cameron, do you have a reference for the second grant? I am only aware of... re: http://ff.im/beKZB

EvoMRI: Cameron, do you have a reference for the second grant? I am only aware of... re: http://ff.im/beKZB

See original: Twitter Cameron, do you have a reference for the second grant? I am only aware of... re: http://ff.im/beKZB

Perentie tries to swallow echidna. Echidna too spiky, Perentie gets horribly injured. Dies. [Tetrapod Zoology]

In case it isn't obvious, I've decided to do a little series on 'over-eager swallowing'. And here's the latest instalment. Here's an unfortunate Perentie Varanus giganteus that died after trying to swallow a Short-beaked echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus...

Kirschner-et-al-perentie-vs-echidna-Dec-2009.jpg

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select Perentie tries to swallow echidna. Echidna too spiky, Perentie gets horribly injured. Dies. [Tetrapod Zoology]

Sixth Annual ARL Leadership Symposium

Apple Tablet To Use OLPC Screen Technology?!

Have you ever played the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon with OLPC team members? I think you could make the case that OLPC is the center of the technology world - Nicholas Negroponte would get you pretty far, himself.

Or more to the point, OLPC spin-offs? On this the Digital Lifestyle conjectures a hot idea OLPC's screen technology in the Apple Tablet:

Mary Lou Jepsen, former OLPC chief technology officer who has since left to form Pixel Qi, a company founded to commercialize the same revolutionary [OLPC] display technology. Pixel Qi's VP of Engineering is none other than Dr. Carlin Vieri who came to Pixel Qi from Apple, where according to his bio on the company site, "he engineered new generation display electronics for the iPhone and other devices."See how we're connecting the dots? We wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Pixel Qi acquired by Apple just around the same time as the tablet is announced. No need to clue the competition to your display choice early. It would be similar to Apple's acquisition of Fingerworks just before multitouch at Apple took off.

Personally, I would be surprised. Dancing around my home office screaming "Hell's Yes! That's clock stopping hot, baby!" surprised. But that's just me. The rest of y'all would freat when Steve Jobs made the tablet use Aquatic Sugar.

See original: One Laptop Per Child News Apple Tablet To Use OLPC Screen Technology?!

RT @vaughanbell: Just finished Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. Really very good, probably his best work.

sandygautam: RT @vaughanbell: Just finished Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. Really very good, probably his best work.

See original: Twitter RT @vaughanbell: Just finished Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. Really very good, probably his best work.