Superconductivity in FeTe1-xSx induced by alcohol

Ah ! I like this one ! We all know that the best discoveries happens by accident or mistake. This one is good, this Japanese team discovers the benefits of red-wine (and other alcoholic drinks) soaking for the superconductivity of their materials. The paper is here. Reminds me of the benefits of 86-proof Scotch whisky on slow crack growth in dentin, or the experiments we did when using beer, gelatin and corn syrup as additives to modify the ice crystal growth.

[From IO9]

Online profile usage of a paper

Some interesting statistics, released from Angewandte Chem. I found the profile usage of a paper particularly interesting. Apart from the fact that you have a vert short window to get notice, the most intense activity is found when the paper first appear online. There are two possible reasons for this:

  1. Researchers checking out the Angew Chem website every day or so.
  2. Researchers using RSS to keep up to date, as I mentioned earlier.

I am certainly not representative, but I don’t know anyone checking everyday journal’s websites for new papers. Which means that the number of RSS feed subscribers must be somewhat consequent. For a different perspective, the open access journal Materials is providing statistics for each published paper. Here are the statistics for a paper I published last year. No peaks at the beginning, I guess that’s the difference between a high profile, well established journal and a new open access one.

From In the Pipeline.

In defense of the PhD

Follow up on the Economist paper I mentioned earlier.

And then finally, there’s one last thing everyone seems not to understand: once you finish your PhD, get done with the damn post-doc contract, and become a tenure-track researcher, you’re in the best job there is. You’re doing what you love, you have most of the time a flexible schedule, you supervise master’s and/or PhD students, you go to conferences all over the world. You write papers others comment on, and at some point you might even write a book (or co-author one). How amazingly cool is that?

I couldn’t agree more. We love what we do (except those who don’t, of course…). He just forgot about the grants writing and usual paperwork, which takes 20 to 50 % of our time, but eh, he’s still doing a PhD.

Nature papers for rent

From their press release:

Readers can now view selected NPG content on the DeepDyve platform. Access to a single article for a 24 hour period is available for $3.99


Thirty-day and annual subscriptions are available. For Nature, access via the iPhone app is available for $9.99 for 30 days or $79.99 a year. Access to the other titles is $8.99 for 30 days or $69.99 a year. Subscriptions are paid for through the iTunes store.

I have mixed feelings about this one. The pricing scheme is definitely lower than purchasing individual papers, but I usually want to keep a copy (pdf) of interesting papers I came across. A read-only 24hrs access should be $0.99. Makes me wonder how many institutions do not have access (understand: pay subscription) to the NPG journals. The other good news is the iPad app launch, coming soon. I wonder if they are going to take advantage of the tablet format, or if this is going to be a more or less straightforward interface of the NPG website. We’ll know soon enough.