Thursday, 31 January 2008

Evolution in five minutes

Major hat-tip to science blogger PZ Myers who blogged about this here.

Watched this this morning, loved the music and despite the big missing jigsaw piece (dino to ape), simply had to blog this.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

World Class Pelvic Power Lifting (PPL) from Ukraine

Whilst this is not graphically 'explicit' in nature whatsoever, I simply mention this in passing. Despite the 'still', this is simply humour orientated.
I first saw this via email about 18 months ago but spotted it just there on one of my Lawyer friend's Fb page. Legally as such, I am in safe hands (as Bubka apparently was here thanks to chalk and..). This is not from me anyway, someone else posted this to YouTube.

PPL is also the acronym for a scientist I know who is completely unrelated to this elevatory feat of human engineering.

"Can he hold it, can he hold it, yes he has".... Brilliant.

Monday, 28 January 2008

World in Seven Days

At last. REAL proof.

The world WAS created in seven days and McDawg has the proof.

In part:-

"The Master Craftsman

The Almighty did some of His most awesome work in the first six days of the planet’s existence. Although He created the starry host with galaxies, planets, moons, the sun, and other large objects, He also created microorganisms demonstrating His care for detail in the minutest part of life. God built into all living things the need to sustain, repair, and reproduce. In many cases, microbes are essential for these three processes to take place in plants, animals, and humans. From the beginning, God made His creation fully mature and complex forms fully formed. This would ensure continuity and stability for the times to come. Although we cannot be certain as to how and specifically when the Creator made viruses and microbes, it is within His character to make entire “packaged” systems to sustain and maintain life. If you think about God as an artist who paints an oil canvas, He does it with entire strokes: He does not paint by numbers."

This "Paper", was published 16th January 2008 in the "peer reviewed" (pew reviewed) open access Journal 'Answers Research Journal (ARJ)'.

ARJ blurb:-

"Answers Research Journal (ARJ) is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework."

All three Papers from issue one can be downloaded from here.

One wonders how many more issues they will publish since they have already scientifically proven the origins of life.

Hat tip to the Guardian's James Randerson.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

"You suck at Photoshop" series by Donnie Hoyle

So far, there are four videos in this series and I can imagine, more will follow.

Having watched all of these, apart from being VERY informative for brushing up on "photoshopping", they are very amusing and there are common themes throughout.

Click here to go directly to episode two and there are links there to all four.

Friday, 25 January 2008


Since I am not allowed by 'the powers that be' to upload something, here is something else.

All will become clearer laters.



McDawg was reading this excellent blog by Dr Alan Cann (AJC) earlier today.

As I'm noting more and more, quite a few bloggers have various blogs. Dr Cann is one of those.

I was therefore interested to note he has a blog entitled AJC's Virtual Frogroom.

A blog about frogs? Well yeah but amphibians generally. It is year of the frog folks after all. Don't tell me you didn't know that :-(

Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

And now.............The film

Monday, 21 January 2008

"The Fb Generation" - kick ass science

SPARC Forum: The Flip Side from Matt Agnello on Vimeo.

"A collection of humorous quotes from my trip to the ALA conference and the SPARC-ACRL forum.

Special thanks to Andre Brown, Kimberly Douglas, Nelson Pavlosky, and Stephanie Wang for having so many clever things to say."

[Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License]

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Get to know your grey matter

As if.

Cue the bloody excellent 2007 book "The Rough Guide to The Brain" by Neuroscientist Dr Barry J Gibbs.

Bought this about 5 months ago and have only started reading it in detail.

It's a stonker.


ISBN 13: 9-781-843553-664-2
ISBN 10: 1-843553-664-1

272 pages (pk) USA $16.99, Can $22.99, UK £10.99


Instant 35,000 feet

Following on from here, I became intrigued about who the star of the "show" was. I just made out his name (Andy Jordan) from the video and sent him an email.

Whilst searching for his email address (this was not easy), I came across several of his "vlogs". Vlog? Yeah, like video/blog = vlog which makes Andy Jordan a vlogger for the Wall Street Journal.

Check out the vlog. The closing seconds say it all really !!!

Call me a bluff old traditionalist, but on a flight (esp. a long one) some polite chat, good food, music, TV/multimedia - no problem, but "instant messaging" other passengers??? I can only assume that whoever dreamed this one up is not a regular (if at all) user of public transport.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Comedian Tom Rielly's perspective of TED 2006

About this Talk

Satirist Tom Rielly delivers a wicked parody of the 2006 TED conference, taking down the $100 laptop, the plight of the polar bear, and people who mention, one too many times, that they work at Harvard. Watch for a very special moment between Tom and Al Gore. Impossible to summarize, pointless to explain, ladies and gentlemen, Tom Rielly ...

Note: This performance is intended for "advanced" viewers only. If you want to get the jokes, you'll need to brush up on your 2006 TEDTalks, including Jeff Han, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Tony Robbins, Rick Warren and Dan Dennett, David Pogue, Larry Brilliant, Cameron Sinclair, Joshua Prince-Ramus, Neil Gershenfeld, Michael Shermer, Robert Wright, Helen Fisher and Aubrey de Grey.
About Tom Rielly

Each year, Tom Rielly closes the TED Conference with a merciless 18-minute monologue, skewering all... Read full bio »



I emailed Tom Rielly, and got an immediate reply:-


It's great to get fan mail!

I'm really glad you liked it. I'm hoping we'll have another year up soon.


Tom Rielly Partnership Director TED Conferences LLC
TED Conferences, LLC

55 Vandam St. 16th Floor NY NY 10013
new mobile number: 646.256.7419
Tel: 212.346.9333 Fax: 212.227.6397

TEDTalks: Ideas worth spreading. Watch and listen to TED speakers on your computer, iPod, or iPhone for free. Brought to you by the generous support of BMW"

Leopard Print Taser MP3 Player? Yeah Right

Hat tip to Assistant Prof Dimov for blogging about this Wall Street Journal video:-

In part, from Dimov's blog:-

"The trademarked name Taser is an acronym for "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle." Taser International introduced the Taser MPH -- the first combination of a hand-held MP3 player and a Taser. The 1-GB MP3 player, which can hold around 150 songs, is embedded in the device holster."

Heaven knows what next !!!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

TED: Ideas worth spreading - today, Oceanographer - David Gallo

This is well worth a dive in (as you will see).

Whilst I've known about TED (no, not Father Ted which I'll cover in due course) for 9 months or so, I remain amazed as the the utterly diverse content/output of the TED Annual Conference's in Monterey, California.

TED = Technology, Entertainment, Design "is an invitation-only event where the world's leading thinkers and doers gather to find inspiration". If you've never seen the TED website before, you MUST go and check it out.

Early this morning, I watched this amazing (short in TED terms) presentation by Oceanographer, David Gallo.


About this Talk

David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a shape-shifting cuttlefish, a pair of fighting squid, and a mesmerizing gallery of bioluminescent fish that light up the blackest depths of the ocean. He focuses on the work of two scientists: Edith Widder at the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, and Roger Hanlon at the Marine Biological Lab.


Download this talk in 480p high definition >>

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Glycobiology - update

Now that I'm blogging more often, I wish to expand further on one aspect of Glycobiology - 21st Century Style which I posted on this blog mid December.

Pentosan Polysulphate (or PPS for short)

PPS was something that I became interested in late 2002. As a result, this led me to become interested in the field of Glycobiology and making contact with at least two dozen leading Glycobiologists from around the world.

Since social networking is all the rage these days, I am currently co-admin of two Glycobiology related online groups, one on Facebook, the other, on Nature Network.

PPS may be a merely a drop in the Glycomics ocean, but it is the substance that I have the greatest knowledge and first hand experience of.

Since my email records only go back to Feb 2006 (I had to change computers and lost a lot of older emails), I cannot recall specifically when contact was made with a Linda Curreri based in Dunedin, New Zealand but it would have been during 2003. We still keep in touch.

Linda maintained a very well referenced and detailed website dedicated to Pentose Sugar. Linda like myself is a layperson but her general research knowledge was and remains sublime. A decision was taken last year by Linda to no longer maintain the site but I offered to come to the rescue if required.

A few months before then however, I had discovered the brilliant WayBackMachine c/o

We then knew that despite the site being archived, it would be (and is) preserved perfectly as it was on the web.

I therefore for the first time am providing a link to archived website PENTOSE SUGAR

Further preservation was done in the form of book "Pentosan polysulphate : a medicine made from beech bark" by Linda Curreri early 2007. ISBN 9780473119720 (pbk.) : $12.00


At the time of writing, there are 731 Papers about Pentosan archived in PubMed. Importantly however, only 98 are readable (open access) at full article level. That's not a lot really.

When one considers the clinical usages and research areas of PPS, I find it quite staggering that so little research has been published thus far.

Let's take arthritis for example. PubMed throws up over 175,000 Papers. When we add Pentosan to the search mix, the number falls to 32, and down further to only three at full article level.

For a condition that afflicts millions of patients, pretty much to date, only the non-human variety are allowed to receive PPS treatment.

But wait !!. Check out the ARTHOPHARM website in Australia and this page.

Go back, check and FULLY read through archived website PENTOSE SUGAR

Being a layperson and patient advocate with no loyalty to anyone other than patients, no patents pending (or ever likely) and no conflicts of interest to declare, I simply wrote this blog to place information in the public domain.

I will end with a Legal Precedent from 2002 and it's wide ramifications. The following text is from the Pentose Sugar website.

"Law. Pentosan Polysulphate is not and cannot be patented. This places it in the public domain. However PPS is only available under patented trade names which appear on its packaging. This is a complete nonsense, because the brand name is not pentosan polusulphate and it is the trade name which is being marketed. The brand patenting merely protects the commercial property of the manufacturer. If a pharmaceutical company does not ‘develop’ PPS for specific indications and patent their brand name(s) this unique medicine does not become available as a treatment option. In effect legislation made up by law maker’s is blocking pentosan polysulphate’s availability for sick human’s. PPS is however readily available for scientific research.

In the London High Court in December 2002
, Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss ruled in favour of two teenagers with advanced vCJD to have pentosan polysulphate to treat this prion disease. The case had absolutely nothing to do with any patented brand name; it was about the right of two dying people to have a medicine that could save their lives .The medicine was the unpatented pentosan polysulphate. Dame Elizabeth’s decision set a precedent and it would seem that the legal constraints which surround this pentose medicine, though firmly in place are flimsy and could in fact be nul and void.

It could also be argued that due to the unique status of pentose sugar in human physiology that it is an absolute right of humans to source and assimilate pentose sugar whether it is a food sweetener or a medicine that has been compounded by a chemist, and neither medical specialists, government officials, man made laws or scientists and pharmaceutical companies ( both of which appear to claim the unpatented generic medicine PPS) have any right to prevent them. Whether by collusion or not, this is indeed happening....globally.

Scientists will always continue research even though principles have been proven, it is what they do, but this should not be used as an excuse to prevent pentosan polysulphate’s use in humans, because science has already proven the safety and worth of this medicine to the human organism."

Friday, 11 January 2008

"Open Collaborations" - The Interview (in part)

Here is a wee 'sneaky peak' short snippet of an interview McDawg did last October.

"Steck" is essentially McDawg's musical (activities related) nickname and has been for over a decade.

This interview has not yet been fully edited/broadcast but will be fairly soon. As such, this particular snippet is non-downloadable.

The interview was a joint creation of McDawg and host from under this Creative Commons License.

Open Access mandate from the European Research Council

Just out in Open Access News.

OA mandate from the European Research Council

A lot of the attention (rightly so) has been placed over the last several months on OA developments in America. On 26th December, this news came through from The Alliance for Taxpayer Access.

I knew that in Europe, things had gone pretty quiet in OA development terms, that was, until just yesterday. Well done to Prof Suber for being the first to note the document uploaded just yesterday.

Prof Suber makes a number of comments such as:-

This is an exemplary policy --kudos to all involved. First and above all, it makes OA mandatory. The embargo is reasonably short and ERC clearly hopes to make it even shorter. The policy supports central and distributed (disciplinary and institutional) repositories equally. For peer-reviewed articles, it requires deposit upon publication, before the embargo runs, supporting what I call the dual deposit/release strategy or what Stevan Harnad calls immediate deposit / optional access. It makes no exception for resisting publishers and even seems to apply to the published editions of articles, not just the authors' peer-reviewed manuscripts. And it unambiguously extends the OA policy from articles to data.


So on the back of the recent OA Victory in America, it is wonderful almost immediate follow on news about what's happening in Europe.

Unconfirmed, but I've heard rumours that OA Mandates are now spreading to other planets in the universe - LOL

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Accepting his 2006 TED (Technology Entertainment Design) Prize, Cameron Sinclair

Massive cap tip to Science Blogger Greg Laden for this alert.

Greg is outputing some amazing material as are other Sb-ers.

This is certainly one of the most important presentations I have ever seen in my life.

With TED Creator Chris Anderson and Peter Gabriel watching from the floor - I doubt I am wrong.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Seeing is Believing - Believing is Seeing

A few weeks ago, through Facebook (Fb), McDawg became are of the Open Access Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).

Let's do a "Teaser Video", JoVE style....

Click the play button :-

(A better quality full screen version can now be found here.)

music c/o Morning Jacket and "Anytime" - cool toon.

As JoVE is Open Access, all (the) content is freely available to anyone with an internet connection.

McDawg contacted the JoVE co-founders who were unaware of their Fb presence.

Last week, MacDawg spoke with JoVE CEO, Editor-in-Chief and co-founder Dr Moshe Pritsker. McDawg thinks (and now knows) Moshe found it interesting that a non scientist was interested in a site like JoVE.

I also then discovered the official JoVE blog. This blog entry is most interesting. There is also now a JoVE wiki.

Prof Peter Suber blogged about JoVE Nov 2006.

Here's a hand picked selection of JoVE Visualized Experiments - watch, learn and spread the word folks !!

McDawg - woof woof

1) This video is from a well-known Bhatia lab at MIT working on tissue-engineering:

Silicon microchips for manipulating cell-cell interaction

Elliot E Hui, Sangeeta N Bhatia

Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


2) This video is from the lab of Doug Melton, a highly respected authority in the stem cell biology field, known for his recent work on derivation of human embryonic stem cells, which also inspired a lot of political debate:

Derivation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells by Immunosurgery

Alice E. Chen, Douglas A. Melton

Dept of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University


3) An animal cancer model from Stanford:

Orthotopic Mouse Model of Colorectal Cancer

William Tseng, Xianne Leong, Edgar Engleman

Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine


4) Arnold Kriegstein is the director of the Institute at UCSF, a big authority in the field of neural stem cells. They cited this video in their recent article in Nature.

In Utero Intraventricular Injection and Electroporation of E16 Rat Embryos

William Walantus, Laura Elias, Arnold Kriegstein

Institute for Regeneration Medicine, University of California, San Francisco


5) Behavioral studies in Drosophila from the Carlson lab at Yale:

Proboscis Extension Response (PER) Assay in Drosophila

Takashi Shiraiwa, John R. Carlson

Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale


6) Dr Pritsker's favorite: animal model of Multiple Sclerosis – good for immunologists and neuroscientists:

Induction and Clinical Scoring of Chronic-Relapsing Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

Christine Beeton, Adriana Garcia, K. George Chandy

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of California, Irvine

Friday, 4 January 2008

The Journal of Cell Science is (now Open Access).....

The Journal of Cell Science is.....

a) not a Journal McDawg was aware of (there are so many of them).
b) making its entire scanned archive freely available online. One hundred and fifty years of cell biology. Hat-tip to Black Knight based in Sydney.

I also congratulate Black Night for having a blog entry included in the forthcoming as reported here "bound to be brilliant" (pun intended) Open Lab 2007 Book.