Good science for everyone

12 01 2008

Nature, one of the most importants scientific journals, has decided to open part of its archives to everyone. Yes, for free. You just need to register and access will be granted from its first issue in 1869 until 1950.

Enjoy your science in the Nature archives.

Si vols llegir aquest article en català, introdueix l’adreça web del blog a http://www.translendium.com/

Si quieres leer este articulo en español, introduce la dirección web del blog en http://www.translendium.com/





Science nominates breakthrough of 2007

23 12 2007

Science magazine has made public what they consider the science breakthorough of 2007. Check it out in their website.

Si vols llegir aquest article en català, introdueix l’adreça web del blog a http://www.translendium.com/

Si quieres leer este articulo en español, introduce la dirección web del blog en http://www.translendium.com/





More proof: Tailored herbal medicine treatments do not work

27 11 2007

As stated by the authors of a recent systematic review “There is no convincing evidence that individualised herbal medicine is effective in any indication.”. What’s more, there’s a high risk of side effects and the potential for herbs to react badly with other herbs and prescription medicines.

Studies promoting the effectiveness of herbal medicines have been steadily increasing over the past 20 years, say the authors. But most clinical research has involved standard preparations or single herbal extracts rather than the individually tailored treatments favoured by herbal medicine practitioners. This suggests that they have been sponsored by manufacturers, eager to cash in on the growing market for over the counter remedies.

The current findings are based on an analysis of the available comparative clinical research (randomised controlled trials) on individually tailored herbal medicine treatments. But only three studies out of more than 1300 were randomised controlled trials of sufficient quality to draw meaningful conclusions.

Results showed that there were no statistical differences between tailored herbal medicine and placebo in either the knee osteoarthritis study or the cancer treatment study.

Authors advise that herbal medicine, which currently have no basis in science, and others over the counter remedies shouldn’t be confused with phytotherapy, which represents the scientific face of herbalism. Phytotherapy has considerable potential to benefit patients. But over the counter remedies and traditional herbal medicine can harm those who use them. Researches conclude saying that “without these distinctions, we will fail to advance our knowledge of the potential benefits of herbal treatments. More importantly, we will also fail in our foremost duty – to protect the public from treatments that cause them harm”.

Si vols llegir aquest article en català, introdueix l’adreça web del blog a http://www.translendium.com/

Si quieres leer este articulo en español, introduce la dirección web del blog en http://www.translendium.com/





OpenCourseWare

14 10 2007

In my last post I talked about the initiative of the University of California Berkeley and their uploaded classes to YouTube. Today I’ll talk about an older initiative called OpenCourseware.

It was started by the MIT as a way to provide a new model for the dissemination of knowledge. This initiative was then followed by other universities, starting a new movement to spread scientific knowledge without the need to go to classes.

All this open educational resources finally formed the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which aims to extend the reach of this materials.

Following an OpenCourseWare doesn’t get you any diploma, you just do it because you have an interest in some field and this is a perfect way to get good information about it.

So, where to get any of this courses? Have a look at the list of participant universities, browse through the materials offered by any university… and start learning!

Si vols llegir aquest article en català, introdueix l’adreça web del blog a http://www.translendium.com/

Si quieres leer este articulo en español, introduce la dirección web del blog en http://www.translendium.com/





Berkeley at home

13 10 2007

Great idea from the guys of the University of California Berkeley, uploading some of their classes to YouTube. They have opened a new channel on this video service where you can find classes in diferents disciplines like chemistry, physics or biology.

Check out, for instance, this first class on Integrative Biology:

Enjoy it!

Si vols llegir aquest article en català, introdueix l’adreça web del blog a http://www.translendium.com/

Si quieres leer este articulo en español, introduce la dirección web del blog en http://www.translendium.com/





New antiobesity gene discovered

12 10 2007

A new research has revealed an antiobesity gene that keeps worms and mice trim, according to a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism. If the gene works similarly in humans, the findings could lead to a new weapon against obesity.

The research has shown how animals without a working copy of the gene, known as Adipose (Adp), become obese and resistant to insulin, while those with increased Adp activity in fat tissue become slimmer. During the study, researchers used a treatment that increased Adp in the animals’ fat tissue, leding them to lose weight.

While fat storage is an important mechanism for getting through lean times, too much fat in times of plenty has deleterious consequences. In a modern world where many people have essentially unlimited access to food, it’s a wonder that even more people aren’t overweight. If this gene plays a similar role in humans it might mean that those with a high food intake but still lean, Adp would work well, while in those who are fat would’t be working properly.

Si vols llegir aquest article en català, introdueix l’adreça web del blog a http://www.translendium.com/

Si quieres leer este articulo en español, introduce la dirección web del blog en http://www.translendium.com/





Taking some action

9 10 2007

I already wrote about climate change in a post about Al Gore’s movie, but the subject is interesting enough to do it again. I watched today a video and although it doesn’t explain anything new, there’s a good argument in it.

I don’t know if humans are the real cause of climate change, but it is quite clear that we treat our planet like a junkyard. So I think that we all should take some action and at least spread the word to provoke some thinking about it. Enjoy it.

Si vols llegir aquest article en català, introdueix l’adreça web del blog a http://www.translendium.com/

Si quieres leer este articulo en español, introduce la dirección web del blog en http://www.translendium.com/