Thursday, November 30, 2017

Good Twitter thread on phylogenetic methods

WMD Video w/ @edyong209: Wolbachia of Male Destruction adapted for fighting dengue, Zika

Another video from Tangled Bank Studios


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Temporary injunction against spammy, scammy OMICS publisher & associated groups

Big story: FTC Halts the Deceptive Practices of Academic Journal Publishers | Federal Trade Commission.

From the FTC press release with some bolding by me
A federal court has granted a preliminary injunction requested by the Federal Trade Commission, temporarily halting the deceptive practices of academic journal publishers charged by the agency with making false claims about their journals and academic conferences, and hiding their publishing fees, which were up to several thousand dollars.

The preliminary injunction against OMICS Group Inc., iMedPub LLC, Conference Series LLC, and their CEO, director, and owner, Srinubabu Gedela stems from a complaint the FTC filed last year that names Gedela and his three companies as defendants.

The defendants operate several websites, including,, and  They advertise hundreds of online academic journals and international conferences for scientists and medical professionals

According to the complaint, the defendants deceptively claim that their journals provide authors with rigorous peer review and have editorial boards made up of prominent academics when in fact, many articles are published with little to no peer review and many individuals represented to be editors have not agreed to be affiliated with the journals.

The FTC’s complaint alleges that the defendants do not tell authors submitting papers for publication that, after their online journals accept an article, the defendants charge the authors significant publishing fees and often do not allow authors to withdraw their articles from submission, making their research ineligible for publication in other journals.

The FTC also alleges that, to promote their scientific conferences, the defendants deceptively use the names of prominent researchers as conference presenters, when in fact many of those researchers had not agreed to participate in the events.

The FTC’s complaint charges the defendants with multiple violations of the FTC Act’s prohibition on deceptive acts or practices.

The preliminary injunction entered by a federal district court in the District of Nevada prohibits the defendants from making misrepresentations regarding their academic journals and conferences, including that specific persons are editors of their journals or have agreed to participate in their conferences.  It also prohibits the defendants from falsely representing that their journals engage in peer review, that their journals are included in any academic journal indexing service, or any measurement of the extent to which their journals are cited.  It also requires that the defendants clearly and conspicuously disclose all costs associated with submitting or publishing articles in their journals.
Some related posts by me:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Of possible interest: Science-Corps "to teach science to underserved students and build science capacity globally. "

Just got an announcement about this from a colleague and thought it might be of interest:


Providing an opportunity for recent PhD graduates, as Science-Corps Fellows, to teach science to underserved students and build science capacity in the developing world
Finished, or finishing your PhD in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field? Interested in taking a six-month break from the research/academic track to work in a different part of the world and share your expertise where it is needed? Science-Corps has launched a new fellowship, which provides STEM PhD graduates the opportunity to teach science, design curriculum, and build scientific capacity abroad.

Science-Corps is recruiting STEM PhD students near completion and up to four years post degree completion for placement starting June of 2018. Applications are due by January 31, 2018.

If interested, visit

Great episode of "I Contain Multitudes" on Symbioses in Hydrothermal Vents

Love this - featuring Colleen Cavanaugh - the person who got me into microbiology ...


 Note - I have been a scientific consultant to this project.

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My Ode to Yolo Bypass

Gave my 1st ever talk about Yolo Bypass and my 1st ever talk about Nature Photography. Here it is ...