26 comments by Cesar

  • As a researcher from an emerging country, I think the main responsability if reviewer fatigue resides with editors. On one side the silly rejection by the editor, without ground has become increasingly common. However, I made more than my share of reviews (e.g. 48 reviews in 3 years for a 4.5 impact factor journal) without any reward. For example the editor could award open acesss after a number of reviews. Or do not evaluate papers of authors which reject more than a number of reviews. I also find out that I only receive for review papers from emerging countries. No papers from Europe or Usa. Strange because during my postdoc in Switzertland I receive papers from usa and europe.

  • Interesting. Where and when such strategy worked out?

    Commented on:8 July 2018 17:24

    UK flag made up of scientific conical flasks, illustration

    Shaking up the knowledge economy

  • If the source of the funding is relevant to the outcome, the conclusions are untrue. Then, how we are protected from ideological bias? And what about state funding, the major player on most countries? All papers calling for more regulations or in any way increase the role of the state are suspected?

    Commented on:2 July 2018 18:56

    Talcum powder

    J&J and the question of shadow research

  • Right. If John Holdren is the best you can get as science adviser, potus can do without. A plasma physicist who "advise" on population, climate change, etc. having no degree or evidence on the subject. Absurd predictions and policies like dosing drinking water with anticonceptives.

  • Quite strange reading of "the selfish gene". I do not know anybody who understand Dawkins model as some kind of sci fi replication game. Most understand it as a mechanism of evolution with influence on family, survival, group behaviour, etc. It is obvious in the book that the whole orgánism is required.

    Commented on:13 February 2018 01:26

    DNA strand flipped

    Revisiting Richard Dawkins' idea of replication

  • Nice work but somewhat strange. The key question in Haber process is temperature not pressure since the reaction is reversible and exothermic. Increasing temperature decrease the equilibrium reaction. The catalyst described here works at 400 oC which is around the temperature of the commercial process. Therefore the equilibrium constant should be similar. Pressure is used to shift the equilibrium to ammonia. At low pressure the yield would be negligible. Am I wrong?

  • CW still fail in carbohydrate science. Fructose is a natural sugar present in pommegranate (the original source of grenadine) while high fructose corn syrup is a cheap conction made by enzymatic isomerization of glucose, obtained from corn starch (not just hydrolysis). HFC is the villain of obesity epidemy in the world not fructose.

    Commented on:8 January 2018 23:17

    Grenadine-based drinks


  • Trehalose is used as food additive as cryopreservant because it is less sweet than sucrose at low concentrations. Since it has always been present, the linkage to mutant epidemic could be a statistical serendipity (remember glyphosate and autism) since it is widely used in microorganism growth, to allow lyophylization, without reported contamination with mutant bacteria. As a RSC member I expect Chemistry World to correct the errors in the note...

  • It would be advisable that Chemistry World hire some scientists to write notes instead of "science journalists" that obvioulsy do not know chemistry. Trehalose does not give Maillard reaction because it has a 1,1' glucosydic bond. The same bond(but with different sugars) than sucrose, which also do not give Maillard. Trehalose is a natural compound, in fact is extracted from starch, therefore it has always been present.

  • The IPCC whom I suppose is an authority in climate change, clearly stated that extreme events are NOT affected by climate change. Therefore the article is just garbage....

  • In fact, the famous Erin Brockovich was a typical ambulance chaser and real science shows that Hinckley had less cancer cases than similar cities and chromium VI in water (unlike as airborne particles) has been proved not carcinogenic, at least because it is unlikely to survive in presence of organic substances. It is a pity that Chemistry World did not check the science insidd the articles.

    Commented on:13 October 2017 03:44

    Preparing a solution from the salt of sodium dichromate

    Sodium dichromate

  • If the situation is actually as described in the note, the retraction of the papers is not enough. The principal author fake the address and wrote the fake review to mislead the journals. Why we should believe in the data if he fakes the documents? He should be banned from publishing for some time (at least 3 years) and then be subjected to special scrutiny. Otherwise he learns nothing, as it can be seen from his comments, and he will do that again until is caught.

    Commented on:30 August 2017 21:34

    Retracted rubber stamp

    Fake peer review hits RSC journals

  • Quite strange proposition. First it acknowledged that Exxon scientists do science even against the interest of the company. Therefore, all the crazy business about disclosing the minimal funding from industry as a conflict of interest should be over. Moreover, government paid scientist routinely make opinion pieces on politics claiming a greater government role. It is not a conflict of interest? The public opinion of the company is obviously related to its interests and not the "general" interest and nobody ever think otherwise.

    Commented on:30 August 2017 12:44

    Activists in New York supporting Schneiderman's investigation of ExxonMobil

    New claims that Exxon misled on climate change

  • Nice article, very good in historical data. Unfortunately, the chemistry is weak. The role of chloride ions is not to "make room for more gold ions" but to change the potential of the redox reaction. The electrode potential of nitric acid reduction is 0.96 while the oxidation of gold to Au+3 is 1.52, therefore it is not spontaneous. On the other hand, the oxidation to Au(Cl-)4 has a potential of only 0.93 V, because the equilibrium shifts the potential. Therefore, the dissolution of gold in aqua regia is spontaneous (note that high Cl- concentration increaes the cell voltage).

    Commented on:15 July 2017 21:51

    Gold crown with gemstones

    Aqua regia

  • Nice to remember Weizmann early contributtion to biotechnology. The process has now been revisited since it could produce biofuels from biomass. However, the author mixed up the older pyrolitic process to obtain acetone. Pyrolysis of wood gives some methanol and acetone. On the other hand, dry distillation of calcium acetate (which can be made from vinegar) gives acetone with good yields.

    Commented on:8 July 2017 02:45

    0717CW - Last Retort - Index

    The Weizmann contribution

  • Missing in the article is to know if we could believe in a regulation system where one country allow 5% and another 0,3 %. Or USA is allowing his people to be poisoned or the EU is too harsh and damaging the economy and the consumer freedom. Knowing the position of the UE in GMOs I will believe is the later.

    Commented on:1 June 2017 00:06

    An image of two men clinking whiskey glasses

    Propylene glycol

  • Propanolol is a maverick drug and James Black a true pioneer. He was also a believer in small focused groups of scientists instead of big public or industrial research programs. Moreover, it is important to remember that propanolol was developed at ICI labs and takes 9 years, and countless victims, to be aproved by FDA. Such data speaks a lot about research funding and regulatory crazy ways.

    Commented on:14 May 2017 20:10

    A hand pulls back the curtain to reveal the bright lights of an empty stage

    Propranolol hydrochloride

  • Strange account of another partisan motivated action against the new administration in USA. As far as I know a lots of scientists in USA opposed Bush (son) views on climate science. An in which sense CO2 hypothesis of global warming is evidence based? It is a theory which for obvious reasons could not be validated by evidence because it is not possible to make the experiment. The point is that policy based on the theory could be as catastrophic as China's one child policy which incidentally was praised by the same "scientists" which push now CO2 reduction.

    Commented on:27 March 2017 20:44

    March for Science

    How to resist threats to science

  • It is quite depressing to see chemistry world used to hail propaganda features made by obvious ignoramus in scientific matters. It is interesting to know that artic ice cap will now be melted for 2040 when Al Gore claimed that for 2013, which it was obviously wrong. The estetic discussion about oil sands is really ridiculous. The worst contamination could not be seen and a show of the thousands of birds killed by "green" windmills could be a good part of a balanced film.

    Commented on:24 March 2017 23:33

    Poster of the film Before the flood

    Before the flood

  • Probably the two individuals with scientific formation whom hold highest office were Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel. They have a wonderful record of science support?