Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Journal "Basic and Applied Social Psychology" bans p-values

The often misused p-value is now not welcome at the social science journal.

How significant this might be we will just have to see.

Acquired savant syndrome

Following a head injury whilst skiing this lady now complains of remembering too much.

"I could remember everywhere, like flicking through the pages of a book. Every place I had ever been, but specifically the buildings."

Apparently her doctor is writing it up for a journal. Wonder if it's coming our way at BMJ Case Reports.

Association Between Apple Consumption and Physician Visits

9% of the US adult population eat an apple a day but it doesn't keep the doctor away.

You need to sign in to view the full scientific detail but the abstract says it all.

"Evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; however, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications."

Another example of the relatively low quality research that comes from dietary recall.

Clearly we urgently need a prospective, randomized-controlled trial with placebo apples.

Extrasensory perception vest

"A vest that allows the profoundly deaf to 'feel' and understand speech is under development by engineering students and their mentors at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine."

Picked up this story via Medgadget.

Providing the alternate sensation to the skin is one thing but filtering the speech from surrounding sound with a mobile app and reinforcing it is the real innovation here.

Overcoming an Eating Disorder With Instagram

"Hayley Kremer, a 20-year-old student at Colorado Mesa University, believes that her eating disorder first began in high school—but she’s struggled with body-image issues for much longer. She’s been in recovery for a few years, and sees both a nutritionist and a counselor. But on top of these more traditional recovery resources, she largely credits her Instagram account for the significant progress she’s made in getting better."

Hayl's Instagram feed is pictured below.

Having a conversation about food - even if it is only with yourself - can be helped by the low barrier and immediacy of a social media app like Instagram.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Phrase of the day: pH Low-Insertion Peptides (pHLIP)

Gold nanoparticles significantly boost focus for radiation therapy.

"A team from Brown University and the University of Rhode Island has developed a new technique to radically improve how radiation therapy acts on cancer cells. The method uses gold nanoparticles that are delivered to cancer cells using so-called pH Low-Insertion Peptides (pHLIP), compounds that are attracted to acidic environments. Since cancer cells tend to be more acidic than healthy ones, pHLIPs accumulate around tumor sites."

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Public sector Linux deployment

Interesting Linux story via Slashdot

The Sverigelinux (Sweden Linux) aims at improving large deployments of Linux.
"The objective for the SverigeLinux project is to lower the threshold for deploying Linux in an organization. Deploy a server. Configure, install and change everything from there."
Obviously it is very popular as their public download of the .iso has broken.

A video shows you how to set up a network of machines.