Halloween Highlight 2011: An Author Spotlight with David Hughes and Harry Evans

Zombie ant jack o' lantern

In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve asked Dr. David Hughes of Penn State University and  Dr. Harry Evans of  Federal University of Viçosa Brazil to share with us a bit about their manuscript, Hidden Diversity Behind the Zombie-Ant FungusOphiocordyceps unilateralis: Four New Species Described from Carpenter Ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil.   Both were kind enough to oblige and share with us their perspective via email.

The description of ants as zombies is not a pitch to popularity-even at Halloween-  but an orchestrated attempt to identify fungal-infected ants as very different from other ants in the society. Just because something looks, walks and quacks like a duck doesn’t mean it is actually a duck. The sinister thing about parasites which manipulate host behavior is that they can easily go unnoticed. The zombie ant moniker forces us to recall that we are looking at two organisms and the ant is not in the driving seat.

Our study in PLoS ONE, which used micromorphology together with spore function to delimit and describe new species, came about as it was obvious that the diversity of zombie ant fungi must be  higher than previously supposed because ant species diversity is high. We know that ants differ in many important behaviors which of course is due to brain differences. So, if your evolutionary gambit is brain control, then diverse brains will act as diverse selection environments leading to different species. Perhaps the most exciting thing is that we now recognize that these initial descriptions are just the tip of a very large iceberg and that many more zombie-inducing fungi await discovery, especially in tropical forests such as the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest in which we set our study.

In March, our editor wrote an overview of this paper.  To see last year’s Halloween post, click here.

Image by Roel Fleuren and pumpkin carving by Charissa de Bekker.

Save the date: Open Access Week 2011 wrap up

On November 15, at 1:00pm Eastern, SPARC will host another online discussion through the openaccessweek.org network, to gather participants and talk through this year’s milestones, experiences, and goals for 2012. Please save the date and watch for more post-OA week news from SPARC, the official organizer, later this week.

 

SAVE THE DATE

Open Access Week 2011 wrap up
Another free SPARC online event
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
1:00 – 2:00PM Eastern
Registration will open Nov. 2.

 

More information about Open Access Week is available at openaccessweek.org.

 

Best wishes,

Jennifer

Open Access Week Program Director 

 

————————————-

Jennifer McLennan

Director of Programs & Operations

SPARC

jennifer@arl.org

(202) 296-2296 x121

Fax: (202) 872-0884

http://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifermclennan

http://www.arl.org/sparc

————————————–

Open Access Week 2011

October 24 – 30

http://www.openaccessweek.org

————————————–

The SPARC Open Access Meeting

March 11 – 13, 2012

Kansas City

http://www.arl.org/sparc/media/11-0726.shtml

Latest Article Alert from AIDS Research and Therapy

The latest articles from AIDS Research and Therapy, published between 30-Sep-2011 and 30-Oct-2011For articles which have only just been published, you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript.A fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) version will be made available soon.ResearchImmunologic and virologic failure after first-line NNRTI-based antiretroviral therapy in


Latest Article Alert from Reproductive Health

The latest articles from Reproductive Health, published between 30-Sep-2011 and 30-Oct-2011For articles which have only just been published, you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript.A fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) version will be made available soon.ResearchPrioritizing WHO normative work on maternal and perinatal health: a multicountry surveyColtart CE


Thesis chapter two: scholarly communication in crisis

An early draft of the second chapter of my thesis, Scholarly communication in crisis, is now available as part of my open thesis approach.

Summary

Scholarly communication at present is a complex system characterized by expansion of capitalism into scholarly publishing and a process of rationalization that at times leads to irrational results in conflict with the basic goals or values of scholars. The increasing enclosure of knowledge and information through the concept of intellectual property is key in the process of commodification of resources once considered a classical public good as nonrivalrous and nonexcludable. Alternatives identified to date include the commons, cooperative approaches, open access and emerging new publishers such as libraries.

Latest Article Alert from Harm Reduction Journal

The latest articles from Harm Reduction Journal, published between 15-Oct-2011 and 29-Oct-2011For articles which have only just been published, you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript.A fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) version will be made available soon.ResearchAbuse risks and routes of administration of different prescription opioid compounds and


Latest Article Alert from Environmental Health

The latest articles from Environmental Health, published between 15-Oct-2011 and 29-Oct-2011For articles which have only just been published, you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript.A fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) version will be made available soon.ResearchExposure to road traffic and railway noise and associations with blood pressure and


Latest Article Alert from Breast Cancer Research

The latest articles from Breast Cancer Research, published between 15-Oct-2011 and 29-Oct-2011For research articles that have only just been published you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript. Fully formatted PDF and full-text (HTML) versions will be made available soon.ReviewMinimal residual disease and circulating tumor cells in breast cancerIgnatiadis M,


Fool’s Gold Journal Spam

Dear colleagues,

They just keep coming, almost daily, pre-emptively spamming all the people we had been hoping to win over to Open Access.

Not only is it regrettable that OA is so unthinkingly identified in most people’s minds with gold OA publishing in general, but this growing spate of relentless fool’s-gold junk-OA spamming in particular is now coalescing with that misconception — and at the same time more and more universities and funders are reaching into their scarce funds to pay for this kind of thing, thinking this is the way to provide OA.

(Meanwhile, green OA mandates, the real solution, are still hovering at about 200 out of about 10,000 (2%!) — and mostly needlessly watered-down mandates. I wish I could figure out a way to turn this liability — fool’s-gold spam and scam — into an asset for spreading green mandates, but I’m afraid that even Richard Poynder’s critical articles are being perceived mostly as critical of OA itself rather than just of fool’s-gold OA.)

The real culprits are not the ones trying to make a buck out of this current spike in pay-to-publish-or-perish/gold-fever co-morbidity, but the researchers themselves, who can’t put 2+2 together and provide green OA on their own, cost-free; and their institutions and funders, who can’t put 2+2 together and mandate that they do it.

Instead of thinking, it’s easier to shell out for fool’s gold…

Richard’s exposés are helpful, but I think they are not enough to open people’s eyes.

So all we can do is hope that the spamming itself will become so blatant and intrusive that it will wake people up to the fact that this is not the way to provide OA…

Stevan

PS Not only do I not work on anything faintly resembling “proteomics/bioinformatics” but I have no “relationship with OMICS Group” (except possibly prior complaints about spam)! These spam disclaimers are a lark. They seem to be using professional spam services that try to appear respectable.


From: “JPB”<editor.jpb@omicsgroup.co>
Date: October 28, 2011 4:29:28 AM EDT
To: “Stevan Harnad” 
Subject: Invitation for Special Issue: Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics
Reply-To: editor.jpb@omicsgroup.co

You are receiving this email because of your relationship with OMICS Group. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving email from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here
 
Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics – Open Access

Dear Dr. Stevan Harnad, 

We are glad to announce the success of Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics  (JPB) an Open Access platform for proteomics, bioinformatics research and updates. 

To provide a rapid turn-around time regarding reviewing, publishing and to disseminate the articles freely for research, teaching and reference purposes we are releasing following special issues. 

Upcoming Special Issues Handling Editor(s)

Domain-Domain Interactions Dr. Chittibabu (Babu) Guda, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
Microarray Proteomics Dr. Qiangwei Xia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Canonical approach: Moleculomics Dr. Lifeng Peng, Victoria University, China
Shifts and deepens : Biomarkers Dr. Kazuyuki Nakamura, Yamaguchi University, Japan
Membrane Protein Transporters Dr. Mobeen Raja, University of Alberta, Canada
Structural and Functional Biology Dr. Viola Calabró, University of Naples “Federico II”, ITALY
HLA-based vaccines Dr. Mario Hugo Genero, Universidad Austral, Republica Argentina
Insulin Signaling & Insulin Resistance Dr. Zhengping Yi, Arizona State University, USA
Proteomics for Cancer chemoprevention Dr. Imtiaz Siddiqui, University of Wisconsin, USA
Membrane Proteomics Dr. Yurong Lai, Groton Laboratory, Pfizer, Inc, UK
We would like to request a contribution from you for any of these special issues or regular issues of the Journal to improve the Open Access motto in this field. 

For more details PS : http://www.omicsonline.com/SpecialissueJPB.php 

Why to submit and benefits : http://www.omicsonline.org/special-features.php 

Submit your article online at : http://www.editorialmanager.com/proteomics/ 
                                                                                    (Or) 
As e-mail attachment to the Editorial Office :editor.jpb@omicsgroup.co 

We shall look forward to hear from you. 

Sincerely, 

Editors, Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics 

Dr. Chittibabu (Babu) Guda, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA 
Dr. Qiangwei Xia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA 
Dr. Lifeng Peng, Victoria University, China 
Dr. Kazuyuki Nakamura, Yamaguchi University, Japan 
Dr. Mobeen Raja, University of Alberta, Canada 
Dr. Viola Calabró, University of Naples “Federico II”, ITALY 
Dr. Mario Hugo Genero, Universidad Austral, Republica Argentina 
Dr. Zhengping Yi, Arizona State University, USA 
Dr. Imtiaz Siddiqui, University of Wisconsin, USA 
Dr. Yurong Lai, Groton Laboratory, Pfizer, Inc, UK 

Editorial office 
OMICS Publishing Group 
5716 Corsa Ave., Suite 110 
Westlake, Los Angeles 
CA 91362-7354, USA 
E-mail:editor.jpb@omicsgroup.co 
Ph: +1-650-268-9744 
Fax: +1-650-618-1414 
Toll free: +1-800-216-6499 

Unique features: 
? User friendly/feasible website-translation of your paper to 50 world?s leading languages 
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? 200 Open Access Journals 
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My bike is (fairly) stable

An interlude. PNNL guest house provides its guest with low cost rented bicycles. I had a “free” day today (though I did some thinking) and cycled about 5+5miles through Richland to Bateman Island. But first, here is my bike:

Perceptive cyclists will notice that it has no brakes on the handlebars – in fact it has a backpedal brake. I haven’t ridden one of these before and didn’t find it very easy – if you backpedal then you stop, but if you put your foot down you keep going. I’m not sure what you do on steep hills. I think these bikes are popular in NL which doesn’t have many hills. I couldn’t go very fast, partly because the bike had only one gear, partly because it’s quite heavy and partly because of the air intake.

Zooming in we see:

All the bikes are named after elements. I got Technetium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technetium ). The trouble is that all technetium isotopes are unstable/radioactive. The one I know (and is used in medicine) is technetium-99m with a half life of 6 hours. This means that after 6 hours half my bike would have disintegrated (actually it depends whether the bike represents a single atom – if so, then there was an evens chance that after 6 hours I would have no bike). I was even more worried about Tc-98 because this probably only lasts for milliseconds.

I needn’t have worried. The thoughtful PNNL bike people had chosen the isotope with a half-life of 4.2 million years. I had more chance of a car crash than spontaneous disintegration.

A beautiful day and Bateman island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bateman_Island )was great (and isn’t Openstreetmap fantastic – it shows the cycleways unlike most other maps)– lots of birds on the river (which is quite wide here). I saw white pelicans, various grebes, ducks etc. which I’ll try to look up from memory:

And the causeway to the island