“When there are incidents, trains are located by deduction.” That and other devastating lines can be found in this fantastic Atlantic investigation of the challenges of the large technological system/gigantic computer more commonly known as the New York subway.
A new paper in Science and Engineering Ethics questions the widespread use of “publication consultants” at every level of research, especially in biology and medicine, and suggests that their use should be made more transparent.
Giant ancient earthworks in Kazakhstan have only been discovered with NASA’s help.
Theranos, a company that has raised $9 billion on a promise to revolutionize blood testing, is coming under fire for its central claim: that it can produce results using only a pinprick’s worth of blood. “While hot Silicon Valley start-ups like Uber and Airbnb have run into regulatory hurdles, as a medical technology company, Theranos has bumped up against something else: the scientific method.”
Microbiomes? The Times is on that too this week. Here’s a feature on the American Museum of Natural History’s new exhibit called “The Secret World Inside You.” And here’s the writeup of two new papers in Science and Nature, urging a national microbiome research initiative.
I spent last weekend in Albuquerque, at the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) annual meeting. On the way from the airport to my motel, the cab driver took me on an unsolicited “Breaking Bad” tour of the city. We saw the motel where lots of drug deals went down in the show (and, he noted, in real life.) We skirted the parking garage that was the site of a significant plot development. We waved hello to Jesse Pinkman’s house.
Local color, “European hospitality.” Who needs the conference hotel?
In the spirit of my cab ride, here’s an ad hoc excursion through a few things that went on over the weekend. Continue reading →