Dec. 11, 2014 11:28 pm
Sex differences in risk seeking behaviour, emergency hospital admissions, and mortality are well documented. Males are more likely to be admitted to an emergency department after accidential injuries, more likely to be admitted with a sporting injury, and more likely to be involved in a fatal road traffic collision. However, little is known about sex differences in idiotic risk taking behaviour....  Read More
Dec. 2, 2014 2:04 am
Null hypothesis (noun) (Statistics) the hypothesis that there is no significant difference between specified populations, any observed difference being due to sampling or experimental error. No matter how hard we twist the data, sometimes we are forced to accept the dull hypothesis. But we don't go down without a fight. Norman Einstein, CEO Scientific Radicals I've...  Read More
Nov. 28, 2014 9:28 am
I collect stories of scientific discovery. I stumbled upon the story of Hedy Lamarr. This story is probably better known in the US? But for those who have not come across the name before, Hedy Lamarr was a Hollywood actress. She starred in leading roles opposite Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable and James Stewart. But she was also the co-inventor and patent holder, with composer George Antheil, of...  Read More
Nov. 18, 2014 12:26 pm
People have mixed views about benchmarking. "I hate Benchmarking! Benchmarking is Stupid! Why is it stupid? Because we pick the current industry leader and then we launch a five year program, the goal of which is to be as good as whoever was best five years ago, five years from now." Tom Peters Others are happy to steal the best ideas of others. We have always...  Read More
Nov. 9, 2014 4:12 am
Cryptomnesia occurs when a forgotten memory returns without it being recognized as such by the subject, who believes it is something new and original. Sometimes I hate being human. We are like so fallible. I got my own insight into cryptomnesia when a funny thing happened to me a few years ago. I submitted a paper and it came back with the...  Read More
Oct. 29, 2014 5:05 am
Inflation adjusted pharmaceutical R&D costs have risen ten-fold in the period 1990-2013. Rising R&D costs forced pharmaceutical companies to seek higher risk areas to ensure a return on R&D costs. R&D costs are higher in these areas and the risks are higher driving up late-stage attrition. Late stage attrition drives up R&D costs forcing pharmaceutical companies to seek higher risk areas where...  Read More
Oct. 27, 2014 9:18 am
My son's school was founded in the late 1200s and the school roll lists all the headmasters since 1301. It was refounded under royal charter by Henry VIII 's son and successor becoming The King Edward VI School in 1552. To cut a long story short, this school has been around for a while. But the other day I was reading Jung Chang's biographical story Wild Swans charting the lives of...  Read More
Oct. 26, 2014 5:03 am
There is a story... While visiting the court of Catherine II of Russia, the great Swiss mathematician Euler got into an argument about the existence of God. Eventually he called for a board on which he wrote: Unable to dispute the relevance of the maths, and unwilling to confess their ignorance, the Voltairians gathered at the court were forced to cede the argument. I'm grateful to Professor...  Read More
Oct. 10, 2014 12:55 am
Never tell someone you'll have a report to them by Friday. Even if they get it, they won't want it. They're not going to read it over the weekend. And in the pressure to get it out on a Friday, errors creep in to the report. Mondays are good. Reports can always wait until Monday. And if push comes to shove I'd be finishing the report on Monday submitting late in the day. This freed up...  Read More
Oct. 8, 2014 3:23 pm
On a hot afternoon in Coleman, Texas, a family is playing dominoes on the porch, until the father-in-law suggests that they take a trip to Abilene (53 miles north) for dinner. "Sounds like a great idea," says the wife. The husband has reservations but says, "Sounds good to me. I just hope your mother wants to go." The mother-in-law then says, "Of course I want to go. I haven't been to Abilene...  Read More
Sep. 30, 2014 5:08 am
If you want to believe that the pharmaceutical industry has closed the innovation gap, turned the corner, and is on the comeback trail then don't read this paper. Lendrem DW, Senn SJ, Lendrem BC, Isaacs JDI 2014 R&D Productivity Rides Again? Pharmaceutical Statistics, In press. A recent analysis of R&D productivity suggests there are grounds for cautious optimism. We believe this...  Read More
Sep. 23, 2014 2:41 pm
Late stage attrition drives up R&D costs. To recover these escalating costs, pharmaceutical companies focus on disease areas with high returns. The risks are higher in these areas. This drives up late stage attrition. Late stage attrition drives up R&D costs. To recover these costs.... [Repeat]  Read More
Sep. 14, 2014 3:39 am
When the going gets tough, people start measuring how bad it is. But measuring it won't always make it any better. Norman Einstein, CEO Scientific Radicals Another Forbes article on R&D Productivity. The League Table asks which pharmaceutical company is the best at R&D? The real answer is "None of them." Bernard Munos is the only one who has got it right. The analysis...  Read More
Aug. 6, 2014 9:41 am
The pharmaceutical industry has been dogged by late-stage attrition, rising R&D costs and lower R&D productivity. The solution - building opportunities to terminate projects earlier in the development process - has been around for a while. But the industry has been slow to grasp the nettle. There has been a raft of recent articles purporting to demonstrate that the pharmaceutical industry has...  Read More
Jul. 31, 2014 5:07 am
Failure is an unfortunate word; it has such negative connotations. Norman Einstein, CEO Scientific Radicals Check this link if you can't see the embedded video in your browser.  Read More
Jul. 26, 2014 3:09 am
You can spend a small fortune on fishing tackle and not catch fish. You pay good money to access the best Scottish rivers. More money to buy a Hardy rod and reel, the finest Cortland lines, and beautiful Donegal Fishing Flies. But none of that will catch you fish unless you get your knots right. You may have fabulous stories to tell about the one that got away. But if you don't get your...  Read More
Jul. 11, 2014 3:06 am
At TEDxNewcastle 2014 Steve Mould gave a brilliant account of the science leading to the discovery of "The Mould Effect". In doing so, he blends science, entertainment and performance to create a science communication masterclass. Check out The Mould Effect  Read More
Jul. 9, 2014 8:04 am
In 2013 Professor Sugata Mitra outlined his plan for a "School In The Cloud". Ever since his "Hole In The Wall" experiment - introducing computers to children in the slums and villages of India - he had been thinking about a sustainable solution to education in remote and disadvantaged locations. In the interview Sugata Goes To School he told the untold story about what happened after the...  Read More
Jul. 3, 2014 3:01 am
In 1968 Mr Fletcher took me aside and told me that if I was really serious about a career in physics then I really needed a slide rule. (Or slipstick in the US). He was wrong. Mr Fletcher hadn't anticipated the rise of the calculator. And the personal computer was the stuff of science fiction.  Read More
Jun. 27, 2014 12:20 pm
When Professor Sugata Mitra, winner of the $1m TED Prize for his "School In The Cloud" idea, learned that he would not be able to attend TEDxNewcastle, he set up a self organized learning environment at one of the local schools. The students came together to research, interview, film, record and then edit the interview with the help of Gareth Hudson and Kids for Kids UK in the studios at...  Read More
Jun. 18, 2014 8:56 am
Other people said it couldn't be done. But this neat little robot from those clever people at GlaxoSmithKline allows their development chemists to perform up to 52 chemical reactions in parallel each with different reagents, stirring speeds, times and durations. At TEDxNewcastle last week we learned from Martin Owen in Strategic Technologies how GSK just got on and did it. PROSPER was...  Read More
Jun. 15, 2014 3:38 am
Last week Tilly Hale gave a virtuoso performance in the King's Hall , Newcastle University at TEDxNewcastle. Before a sell-out audience she recounted her patient journey and how her illness, primary biliary cirrhosis, launched her late career as a researcher. Tilly made a passionate and articulate call to clinicians and healthcare professionals. Patients know best what it is like to...  Read More
Jun. 7, 2014 12:09 pm
What happened when Professor Sugata Mitra , winner of the $1m TED Prize for his idea for a "School in the Cloud" met Arthur C Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey? Those lovely people at TEDxNewcastle have released a teaser trailer in advance of their new video "Sugata Goes To School" which tells the story of what happened when the author of the "School In The Cloud" visited a "School...  Read More
Jun. 4, 2014 5:10 am
The pharmaceutical industry spends approximately $3bn PER WEEK on pharmaceutical R&D.  Read More
Jun. 3, 2014 1:42 am
One day I attended a talk at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle. One of the speakers was a liver transplant patient Tilly Hale. She told us about her Patient Journey. Her years of chronic fatigue, knowing that something wasn't quite right but not knowing what it was. The loneliness she felt. And she talked about her personal journey into research. Tilly told us how participating...  Read More
May 31, 2014 3:57 pm
Frequently surgeons, oncologists, transplantation specialists, clinicians get to change the lives of their patients forever. And, understandably, patients are often very grateful. But we sometimes forget that it is a two-way process. We forget that the patient can change the clinician's life. Thirty years ago, Professor John Isaacs met Nicola Wetz - the patient who was to change his life....  Read More
May 21, 2014 7:02 am
Imagine what would happen. You arrive at work one day to find a black obelisk sitting in the middle of the parking lot. You ask Reception what it is doing there? No idea. You call Security. They don't know how it got there. You check with the boss. She comes to check it out too. You call Head Office. It's not theirs. You call the police. They investigate. They don't know how it got there...  Read More
May 20, 2014 5:17 am
Google has become the internationally recognized, gold standard meaning instant access to relevant information. How do I know? From time to time, on rare occasions, I'm asked a question to which I know the answer. It's only Tuesday and twice this week I've been asked such a question. (It's been a good week. It can only go downhill from here.) On both occasions I was told that I'm...  Read More
May 17, 2014 1:23 pm
Martin Owen is one of the most interesting scientists I've worked with. One of the first lessons I learned from Martin is that it is amazing what you can do if you don't know that it is impossible. We first met when Martin was working as a medicinal chemist in strategic technologies. The previous week I'd been working in another company who told me that I had some "very interesting" ideas...  Read More
May 16, 2014 6:27 am
The institute where I now work is an internationally recognized centre of excellence and home to researchers from all around the world. But as a member of the minority British contingent I’m very aware that we Brits are considered almost pathologically polite. Sometimes that can get in the way. What we say, what we mean and what others hear can be really quite different things. Pinned...  Read More
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