Did blogger DrugMonkey drop the mic?

One of the blogs I’ve really valued over the years was written by a pseudonymous academic blogger called DrugMonkey, but for two months the Monkey’s blog has been silent.

Has he called it a day? Dropped the mic after successfully having big impact?

What’s the deal?

DrugMonkey

After many years could it be that the DrugMonkey decided to move on to focus on other things? He provided valuable, no-B.S. perspectives on science and in particular on NIH funding. There was also the occasional post on the science of drugs that gave that blog and blogger his name.

One of the commenter’s on DrugMonkey’s last post, many of whom have been lamenting the possibility of the end of that blog, noted that he is still very active on Twitter.

Maybe he’ll be back to the blog eventually?

DrugMonkey’s disappearance from his blog has made me think more about my own blog. I’ve been at this blog more than 7 years and on the web with various websites for about a decade. You can read more about my web history here. If DrugMonkey is done or even just taking a blog sabbatical, I’m curious what was the deciding factor.

I still find the educational outreach on this blog to be a meaningful, positive thing to do despite being crazy busy overall. While there are many potential or even concrete risks, especially for me blogging as myself by name about often controversial subjects including reporting on stem cell clinics that have at times even threatened me, I continue to feel strongly about keeping this effort going.

Sweet 16 Science Twitter Accounts To Follow Innovative Medicine

STAT logoBelow are 16 Science Twitter accounts that I think are musts to follow for those interested in transformative science and also medicine from a wide range of diverse, thought-provoking perspectives.

I could list 160, but I’ve picked these 16 as a nice sampling with a lean towards those willing to take a risk in what they say or with unique views.

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Weekend science reads: lab labor, pubs, CRISPR shrooms, money & more

mushroom

Wikipedia image

Here are some weekend science reads for you.

A new type of “magic” mushroom? MIT Tech Review on lack of oversight of new GMO foods coming to your plate.

DrugMonkey’s piece on lab labor and specifically whether undergrads “count” drew a lot of comments there. Of course they count in my view.

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TGIF: NatGeo sell out, GM Humans, Wild West, Science backstabbing, & more

Wild West

Image from Wikipedia

It’s a shame that National Geographic has become part of a corporate empire that is not always consistent, to put it nicely, with data-based reality. Can NatGeo maintain its credibility and impact, when it is owned by a climate change denier (quoted for example as dissing folks as “extreme greenies”) who also has other very non-scientific priorities?

There’s been an increasing amount of discussion of the technology that could produce GM humans. This dialogue includes the new Hinxton Statement (my take on that here) and George Church’s quoted that Hinxton (which BTW did not call for a moratorium of any kind) was being too cautious nonetheless. Church is quoted:

“seems weak on addressing why we should single out genome editing relative to other medicines” that are potentially dangerous”

Should we push pause, stop, or fast-forward on human genetic modification? asks Lisa Ikemoto. Is there a rewind or edit button too? 

The NEJM published a new piece on stem cell clinics run amok and the lack of an effective FDA response. Sounds awfully familiar including the use of “Wild West” in the title, right? My gripe with these authors is that they didn’t give credit where credit is due to those of us on the front lines of this battle and in particular to social media-based efforts to promote evidence-based medicine in the stem cell arena. Still, their message was on target.

Are men more likely to commit large-scale scientific fraud? Check out RetractionWatch’s leaderboard. Of course the sheer number of retractions does not take into account the impact of any one or two given retractions that had a disproportionate toxic effect like the STAP pubs. Maybe another calculation to do is the # of citations to a retracted paper.

DrugMonkey talks about perceived scientific backstabbing.

Weekend Reads from a Wild, Fun Week of Science

Alice DregerYou might enjoy the articles below and find they surprise and educate you.

Products in the pipeline – Ocata’s RPE by Alexey, a nice update on Ocata.

Yes, we are seeing more attacks on academic freedom: guest post by historian of science and medicine.  Guest piece by Alice Dreger on her new book, Galileo’s Middle Finger.

Scientists Call For Moratorium On Human Genetic Experiments. Another piece on the hot topic of the week, Human genetic modification, this nice one by Dan Vergano over at BuzzFeed Science.

How the Penguin Got Its Waddle. By Ed Yong over at the New Yorker.

DrugMonkey expounds on the question: Should PI or trainee submit the manuscript?

31 Things You Should Definitely Know About Pee by Zahra Barnes on BuzzFeed Science

Stem cell podcast on stressed out cells with Dr. Rhonda Newman.

A naturopathic “apostate” confirms that naturopathy is a pseudoscientific belief system. Orac is not a fan of naturopathy and neither is surprising guest poster, Britt Marie Hermes.