Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Beer consumption vs. scientific performance

Yes, it is true, someone made it, and the results are according to my predictions surprising. Tomás Grim from the Department of Zoology of Palacký University in Olomouc (Czech Republic) correlated the consumption of alcohol, particularly beer, with the publication output, using the "ecologists of Czech Republic" as the study group. And he was able to publish it in a renowned journal of ecology (Oikos).

So, the results showed that an increasing beer consumption per capita is associated with lower numbers of papers, total citations, and citations per paper. Not to talk, with an increase of "belly" diameter (data not shown in the paper).

Below follows the abstract and the link for the full text (if available from Blackwell Publishing):

Publication output is the standard by which scientific productivity is evaluated. Despite a plethora of papers on the issue of publication and citation biases, no study has so far considered a possible effect of social activities on publication output. One of the most frequent social activities in the world is drinking alcohol. In Europe, most alcohol is consumed as beer and, based on well known negative effects of alcohol consumption on cognitive performance, I predicted negative correlations between beer consumption and several measures of scientific performance. Using a survey from the Czech Republic, that has the highest per capita beer consumption rate in the world, I show that increasing per capita beer consumption is associated with lower numbers of papers, total citations, and citations per paper (a surrogate measure of paper quality). In addition I found the same predicted trends in comparison of two separate geographic areas within the Czech Republic that are also known to differ in beer consumption rates. These correlations are consistent with the possibility that leisure time social activities might influence the quality and quantity of scientific work and may be potential sources of publication and citation biases.


Enjoy your reading!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Annals of Botany - Plant Genome Horizons - Forthcoming Special Issue

The Annals of Botany, one of the leading journals in plant genome publications, is preparing another special issue, entitled "Plant Genome Horizons". This special issue will contain some of the works that were presented in the occasion of the conference with the same name (Kew, 16 and 17th of April 2007) that marked Prof. Mike Bennett's retirement and celebrated his scientific career.

From the Annals of Botany future papers here follows some of the articles that will be included in this forthcoming issue. Please note that some of them are already available online via the AoBPreview

A Century of B Chromosomes in Plants ? So What?
Jones RN, Viegas W, Houben A

Dissecting Meiosis of Rye using Translational Proteomics
Phillips D, Mikhailova EI, Timofejeva L, Mitchell JL, Osina O, Sosnikhina SP, Jones RN, Jenkins G

Cytochemistry and C-values: The Less-well Known World of Nuclear DNA Amounts
Greilhuber J

Detailed Dissection of the Chromosomal Region Containing the Ph1 Locus in Wheat Triticum aestivum: With Deletion Mutants and Expression Profiling
Al-Kaff N, Knight E, Bertin I, Foote T, Hart N, Griffiths S, Moore G

Biosystematics and Conservation: A Case Study with Two Enigmatic and Uncommon Species of Crassula from New Zealand
De Lange PJ, Heenan PB, Keeling DJ, Murray BG, Smissen R, Sykes WR

Anthocyanin Inhibits Propidium Iodide DNA Fluorescence in Euphorbia pulcherrima: Implications for Genome Size Variation and Flow Cytometry
Bennett MD, Price HJ, Johnston, JS

Review. Genome Size Scaling through Phenotype Space
Knight CA, Beaulieu JM

The Ups and Downs of Genome Size Evolution in Polyploid Species of Nicotiana (Solanaceae)
Leitch IJ, Hanson L, Lim KY, Kovarik A, Chase MW, Clarkson JJ, Leitch AR

Review: Allopolyploidization Accommodated Genomic Sequence Changes in Triticale
Ma X-F, Gustafson JP

When Genomes Collide: Aberrant Seed Development Following Maize Interploidy Crosses
Pennington PD, Costa LM, Gutierrez-Marcos JF, Greenland AJ, Dickinson HG

Development of a Genomic Microsatellite Library in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and its Use in Trait Mapping
King J, Thorogood D, Edwards KJ, Armstead IP, Roberts L, Skøt K, Hanley Z, King IP

Evolution of rDNA in Nicotiana Allopolyploids: A Potential Link between rDNA Homogenization and Epigenetics
Kovarik A, Dadejova M, Lim YK, Chase MW, Clarkson JJ, Knapp S, Leitch AR

We look forward for this Special Issue of AoB as the manuscripts that will be included seem very promising.

List of recently published papers on plant flow cytometry - December and January

This month exceptionally we will post the recently published papers of the last two months, December and January.

Knight CA, Beaulieu JM. Genome size scaling through phenotype space. Annals of Botany (online)

Genome size:

Leitch IJ, Hanson L, Lim KY, Kovarik A, Chase MW, Clarkson JJ, Leitch AR. The ups and downs of genome size evolution in polyploid species of Nicotiana (Solanaceae). Annals of Botany (online)

Smarda P, Bures P, Horová L, Foggi B, Rossi G. Genome size and GC content evolution of Festuca: ancestral expansion and subsequent reduction. Annals of Botany (2008) 101:421-433

Ploidy level:
Kubátová B, Trávnícek P, Bastlová D, Curn V, Jarolímová V, Suda J. DNA ploidy-level variation in native and invasive populations of Lythrum salicaria at a large geographical scale. Journal of Biogeography 35:167-176

Halverson K, Heard SB, Nason JD, Stireman JO, III. Origins, distribution, and local co-occurrence of polyploid cytotypes in Solidago altissima (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany (2008) 95:50-58

Clarindo WR, de Carvalho CR, Araújo FS, Abreu IS, Otoni WC. Recovering polyploid papaya in vitro regenerants as screened by flow cytometry. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (2008) 92:207-214

Shi Y, Xu G, Warrington TB, Murdoch GK, Kazala EC, Snyder CL, Weselake RJ. Microspore-derived cell suspension cultures of oilseed rape as a system for studying gene expression. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (2008) 92:131-139

Nimura M, Kato J, Mii M, Ohishi K. Cross-compatibility and the polyploidy of progenies in reciprocal backcrosses between diploid carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) and its amphidiploid with Dianthus japonicus Thunb. Scientia Horticulturae (2008) 115:183-189

Technical article - cytosolic compounds:
Bennett M, Price HJ, Johnston JS. Anthocyanin inhibits propidium iodide DNA Fluorescence in Euphorbia pulcherrima: implications for genome size variation and flow cytometry. Annals of Botany (online)

If you fell that there are some papers missing (e.g., your papers), please send an e-mail to jloureiro@ua.pt or leave a comment on this post.