Hitting a paywall is a regular occurrence for those trying to read the latest research study. But now anyone with internet can access for free almost all the scholarly research produced in the world. That solution, however, involves using a database of pirated research papers known as Sci-Hub. It hosts more than 60 million papers with half a million downloads per day. Before Sci-Hub, you had to pay roughly $40 for each article, unless you attended a university willing to pay the millions required for bundled journal subscriptions. Sci-Hub is the creation of Alexandra Elbakyan, a 30-year-old computer scientist from Kazakhstan. She has been hailed a hero and the Robin Hood of the academic publishing world. In 2016, the journal Nature named her one of the “10 people who mattered this year” in science. She has also been called a pirate and thief. In 2017, a U.S. court found Sci-Hub guilty of copyright infringement against Elsevier, the giant academic publisher of 2,500 titles … [Read more...] about Pirate website Sci-Hub is making the world’s academic research free to all. But at what cost?
Human science research council
Government loves to boast that South Africa runs the world’s largest HIV treatment programme. But when treatment starts with a test, is the country really getting it right? A leaked report shows we have a long way to go. A leaked report reveals shocking new details about the quality of HIV testing services in many parts of the country, including an instance in which one clinic may have been using three-year expired materials. The document is the result of a national Aids council-commissioned study to evaluate the quality of HIV-testing services supported by the international donor, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. As part of this, researchers visited facilities as patients and tested for HIV at 47 clinics or mobile testing units in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and Free State. Although the study wasn’t large enough to present a picture of testing services nationally, it revealed what researcher Tian Johnson described as, "a … [Read more...] about News24.com | Expired materials and flyaway tents: What researchers found when they looked at HIV testing in South Africa
Update | Here’s my ProPublica article on NASA and President-elect Trump’s advisors. Various Updates | You have probably heard that two of President-electÂ Donald J. Trump’s advisors have been pushing for a reboot of the mission of NASA, focusing more on exploration of extraterrestrial space and less on studying the one planet we know is inhabited by 7.35 billion people, with at least a couple of billion more coming along before humanity’s puberty-style growth spurt shifts to something new past 2050. Media coverage so far hasÂ focused on the prospect of the Trump administration killing off NASA’s research on climate change, but the issues are much broader.Â The advisors are Peter Navarro, an economist and professor of business at the University of California, Irvine, and Robert Walker, a former member of Congress from southeastern Pennsylvania who was chairman of the HouseÂ Science Committee from 1995 to 1997 and … [Read more...] about Under Trump, Will NASA’s Space Science Include Planet Earth?
Courtesy of Charlotte Chaze Charlotte Chaze, a former biomedical engineering masters student makes her case. “Science for the sake of science” is a mantra used in academia when research is geared toward quelling a curiosity rather than solving a problem. These studies result in interesting albeit useless information, and they objectively take funding away from labs that are working toward curing diseases, fighting climate change and creating medical devices, just to name a few applications. As if funding “science for the sake of science” isn’t insulting enough to taxpayers, many of these studies harm animals, despite most people agreeing that animal research isn’t justified without a beneficial outcome. In the Roth Lab at the university, this is exactly what’s happening. Here, newborn animals are forced to ingest alcohol and receive opioid injections, babies’ feet are electrically shocked and infants are torn from their mothers and … [Read more...] about Opinion: We can advance science without hurting animals – The Review
Health Nature Cod The levels of harmful methylmercury (MeHg) found in fish may have spiked over the past three decades. That's according to scientists, who believe global warming could be to blame. Researchers created models to estimate that between the 1970s and 2000s, the levels of the substance in Atlantic bluefin tuna increased by 56 percent; and 23 percent in Atlantic cod. The authors of the paper published in the journal Nature pinned the climb to rising seawater temperatures after 1969. The toxin can be passed on from a mother to her fetus and has been linked to long-term neurocognitive problems in children, which can last into adulthood. In the U.S., 82 percent of the MeHg that people are exposed to comes from seafood in the diet. As much as 40 percent originates in fresh or canned tuna. MeHg occurs when microscopic organisms in soil and water combine mercury with carbon. This can enter the food chain, with predators at the top accumulating higher concentrations than other … [Read more...] about Climate Change Could Expose More Humans to Mercury in Seafood