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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Live Chat: When You're in the Scientific Minority
25 May 2011 11:48 am
See below for the chat box. Join us each Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT for a live conversation with leading scientists and expert reporters.
This week in Science we profile Yale School of Medicine neuropathologist Laura Manuelidis, who has spent her career fighting the consensus that misfolded proteins called prions cause "mad cow disease" and other related brain diseases. A neurologist who named and described prions won a Nobel Prize in 1997, and many experts think the story is settled. Manuelidis disagrees, saying the evidence that prions are infectious just isn't there.
Some scientific views, such as Earth revolving around the sun, get accepted over time. Others, like the idea that climate change isn't happening, become marginalized as data build up to counter them. But when the evidence is still in flux, you don't know which way the story will end. When should a scientist give up on a hypothesis they believe? When should they hang on for dear life? And what impact does debate like this have on scientists like Manuelidis and the general public?
Join us for a live chat at 3 p.m. EDT on 26 May, 2011 on this page. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts.
Laura Manuelidis is a neuropathologist at Yale School of Medicine. Her research focuses on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), a class of brain diseases that includes “mad cow disease” and that can be transmitted by injecting or ingesting infectious tissue. She is currently hunting for viruses that she thinks are causing these diseases.
Richard Rhodes is an award-winning author and historian. His book The Making of the Atomic Bomb won a Pultizer Prize and a National Book Award. He has written extensively about nuclear history as well as many other topics in the history of science, including a 1997 book, Deadly Feasts: Tracking the Secrets of a Terrifying New Plague, on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.