Articles to 2015-01-17

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.

I think Lesk is conflating two totally unrelated problems. There is wrong, fraudulent, or irreplicable research and there are authors, who submit their own identical results several times to more than one journal. These two things have no bearing on each other, except perhaps the very small point, that the inflation of the latter makes the former slightly harder to detect.

So far we understand the genesis of somewhat complex molecules from simple compounds and the evolution of all life from the simplest viable cell. In between the two there yawns a gaping chasm, seemingly unbridgeable. Perhaps Root-Bernstein have just laid the first stone for the foundation of a bridge yet to come. They list a striking number of further predictions and test, throwing themselves wide open to falsification, something pseudo-scientific papers in psychology and the humanities never do. That said I do note recurring statements like: “While a positive outcome to such experiments would greatly strengthen the hypothesis proposed here, a negative result may simply indicate that these modules are vestigial remnants of a more complex ribosome complex that has off-loaded many of its functions to other organismal genes.”

I don’t understand Normile at all. Once you have split water to obtain gaseous hydrogen, the, or at least an, expensive and energy intensive step is done. For the separation of gases by weight there are several tried, tested, and economic methods. If they work for uranium hexafluoride at a weight ratio of 352/349 they have to be trivial for TH/H2 at 5/2 4/2. The catalytic exchange described here may be a nice gimmick, but easier and cheaper? I think not.

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