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Author: Subject: Are all other sciences only discussed in Whimsy?
blogfast25
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[*] posted on 17-5-2015 at 10:38


Quote: Originally posted by macckone  
I think the board world do well to have a math and other sciences sub-forum.
Of course the other boards that cover those subjects specifically are more likely to do a good job.


Yes, completely seconded.




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macckone
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[*] posted on 17-5-2015 at 11:58


Iacuc is often decided at an institutional level. The awa only covers warm blooded animals and exempts bird, mice and rats bred for lab use. But institutions have a vested interest in making sure animals are used cost effectively, even mollusks. They also have institutional interest in maintaining a good reputation. Of course some people are going to be against any animal research even on mollusks. Most iacucs are going to prefer culture tests before animal research because cell cultures cost less in most cases.
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Chemosynthesis
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[*] posted on 17-5-2015 at 21:17


Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  

The point isn't whether high school students get grants, the point is that biology is clearly a science where even high school students can get involved in publishable research. And the vast majority of hobby chemistry isn't trying to approach publishable to begin with, so why hold hobby biology to a higher standard?

My point is that highschool students get involved in a generla non-hobbyist setting. Just by merit of being a high school student doesn't inherently separate them from affiliations with research institutions. I am curious to know how many people publish from a hobby perspective, as I imagine is it a small amount (though it does happen).

Quote:
And hobby biology regulations? What? In the US at least, I am aware of no animal welfare laws that apply to fish (If we call a hobby lab a "research institution," I thought all cold-blooded animals were exempt from the AWA). If your jurisdiction does regulate, step down to invertebrates, where basically nobody cares at all. Perhaps one day the requirements for publishing any sort of animal research will be as draconian as the requirements for legally working with scheduled drugs, but it won't actually stop someone from being able to do science, it'll just prevent publication.

There are restrictions on animal abuse, zoning, etc. I would be shocked if some laws applicable to animal breeding or the like wouldn't apply, even if they were never written to, to hobbyists. You can get around most of these with something such as entomology in a home setting, most likely, but there definitely are regulations. An IACUC panel, some of which are independent from institutions for PR purposes, helps take some of the burden of adequate housing and such out sight of researchers.
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[*] posted on 17-5-2015 at 21:55


Hobby biology might pass under the guise of gardening. After a while you begin to play with different varieties of tomatoes or breeding your own orchids. Or you could investigate symbiotic fungi with a microscope. It could all be really innocuous low-level stuff. (Or is could be drug manufacture in your ceiling space.)

Hobby chemistry will always look a bit more like a mad-scientist enterprise. It more likely to involve complex equipment and less likely to be understood by the general public, and therein lies a key difference.

As for being published or making new contributions to the scientific community, I think that biology probably provides a few more options than chemistry simply due to the range of things that can be done without complex or expensive equipment. So there is a sense where biology is a bit more accessible.

I think that most of physics goes to an even further extreme. For the most part, new discoveries are dependent on equipment that is well outside the reach of the amateur. Therefore physics is even less accessible. The exception of course is astronomy. There have been numerous significant discoveries made by amateurs simply because of the combined power of observation of the hobby astronomer sector.
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[*] posted on 17-5-2015 at 22:45


Hobby theoretical physics? I guess that's a possibility, at least no-one will arrest you for having a backyard math lab.
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[*] posted on 17-5-2015 at 22:54


I think anything computationally-based stands a much better chance of being performed at home. I've done such at home and seen others do so... usually for work, but still capable of being done at home. I also have seen semi-retired academics perform such work at home, given they have nice enough computational hardware.

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  

As for being published or making new contributions to the scientific community, I think that biology probably provides a few more options than chemistry simply due to the range of things that can be done without complex or expensive equipment.

What kind of publications are you thinking when you say this? Can you post an example? A lot of my experience isn't applicable, so I am having difficulty in imagining it. When I think of biology that isn't molecularly or chemically based, I generally recall marine labs and environmental experiments. What other kind of experimentation do you envision with botany?
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[*] posted on 17-5-2015 at 23:08


Beyond botany I guess you could do a lot of behavioral science research. People love birdwatching! And ant farms! Tropical aquariums, there'd be certain fish who wouldn't survive long in captivity, and you could try to research why that might be the case.

In botany, I guess there's great challenges growing certain plants at home, tropical plants and how you'd protect them from frost in your area, you could do home grafting? That would be pretty awesome. Long term experiments to see new varieties of fruit for the first time ever, in your backyard. (Is that how grafting works? I only respect the chemistry man)
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[*] posted on 18-5-2015 at 01:26


Quote: Originally posted by Chemosynthesis  

What kind of publications are you thinking when you say this? Can you post an example? A lot of my experience isn't applicable, so I am having difficulty in imagining it. When I think of biology that isn't molecularly or chemically based, I generally recall marine labs and environmental experiments. What other kind of experimentation do you envision with botany?

That's a fair call. I am not familiar with academic publications in botany and am not likely to become so. Therefore my comments must be considered at least in part speculative. I had in mind some research I have seen presented on TED talks -- some interesting discoveries involving fungi and the phosphorus cycle, some work done by high school students on bacteria that biodegrade some standard plastics and other such things. I assumed that at least some of this must have been published. Another situation I had in mind is a book written back in the 50's entitled "The Dancing Bees", (by Karl von Fritz IIRC. I just tried to find it on my bookshelves but can't locate it at present.) This was my introduction to the scientific method as a teenager. It presents a series of experiments on the behaviour and communication of bees that were done in a home setting. Now, I have no knowledge as to whether any of Karl's findings entered the academic literature, but I see no particular reason why they couldn't. It was original research and well conducted with good control of variables and significant discoveries made with far-reaching applications for apiarists. In this vein of thought, I cannot see why an amateur could not make publishable discoveries in similar fields.

Advancing the field in chemistry without high precision analytical apparatus would seem to be comparatively problematic for the hobbyist.


[Edit] Ok, so I got the year wrong and the author wasn't quite right. But here is the book I was referring to.
The Dancing Bees
Nothing contained in this book would preclude a home science setting.
It seems that he published a bit in the field of biology and not just referring to bees.
Other works

[Edited on 18-5-2015 by j_sum1]
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Etaoin Shrdlu
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[*] posted on 18-5-2015 at 05:29


Quote: Originally posted by Chemosynthesis  
Quote:
And hobby biology regulations? What? In the US at least, I am aware of no animal welfare laws that apply to fish (If we call a hobby lab a "research institution," I thought all cold-blooded animals were exempt from the AWA). If your jurisdiction does regulate, step down to invertebrates, where basically nobody cares at all. Perhaps one day the requirements for publishing any sort of animal research will be as draconian as the requirements for legally working with scheduled drugs, but it won't actually stop someone from being able to do science, it'll just prevent publication.

There are restrictions on animal abuse, zoning, etc. I would be shocked if some laws applicable to animal breeding or the like wouldn't apply, even if they were never written to, to hobbyists. You can get around most of these with something such as entomology in a home setting, most likely, but there definitely are regulations. An IACUC panel, some of which are independent from institutions for PR purposes, helps take some of the burden of adequate housing and such out sight of researchers.

Are you talking about hobby biology still? I know research institutions like to do this, but I'm fairly certain there are zero animal welfare laws protecting fish or invertebrates in the US, unless they're endangered, and there are fairly few laws restricting ownership unless they're dangerous. (Animal dealers may have somewhat more regulation depending on state.) As for zoning, seems very unlikely there would be a restriction on the number of aquariums a person might own? If zoning difficulties come down specifically to the difference between owning fish to study, and owning fish to...not study, I think most of us have already flipped off much less ambiguous regulations against hobby chemistry.
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[*] posted on 18-5-2015 at 06:52


Ignoring any potential state and local regulations, biology and computational science are the least likely to get you arrested. I mean how many police are likely to raid a house because the owner has 8 mice instead of the zoning allowed 2? Or god forbid a teenager has a computer?
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[*] posted on 18-5-2015 at 12:31


Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  
Quote: Originally posted by Chemosynthesis  
Quote:
And hobby biology regulations? What? In the US at least, I am aware of no animal welfare laws that apply to fish (If we call a hobby lab a "research institution," I thought all cold-blooded animals were exempt from the AWA). If your jurisdiction does regulate, step down to invertebrates, where basically nobody cares at all. Perhaps one day the requirements for publishing any sort of animal research will be as draconian as the requirements for legally working with scheduled drugs, but it won't actually stop someone from being able to do science, it'll just prevent publication.

There are restrictions on animal abuse, zoning, etc. I would be shocked if some laws applicable to animal breeding or the like wouldn't apply, even if they were never written to, to hobbyists. You can get around most of these with something such as entomology in a home setting, most likely, but there definitely are regulations. An IACUC panel, some of which are independent from institutions for PR purposes, helps take some of the burden of adequate housing and such out sight of researchers.

Are you talking about hobby biology still? I know research institutions like to do this, but I'm fairly certain there are zero animal welfare laws protecting fish or invertebrates in the US, unless they're endangered, and there are fairly few laws restricting ownership unless they're dangerous. (Animal dealers may have somewhat more regulation depending on state.) As for zoning, seems very unlikely there would be a restriction on the number of aquariums a person might own? If zoning difficulties come down specifically to the difference between owning fish to study, and owning fish to...not study, I think most of us have already flipped off much less ambiguous regulations against hobby chemistry.

To the best of my knowledge.

European laws are generally considered more strict, and I know nothing about them as opposed to the little about US regulations I am passingly familiar with.
The Animal Welfare Act can apply to individuals, and it seems to be that way regardless of animals used (though you avoid some level of USDA APHIS inspections in invertebrates currently, I believe).
"(e) The term “research facility” means any school (except an elementary or secondary school), institution, organization, or person that uses or intends to use live animals in research, tests, or experiments, and that (1) purchases or transports live animals in commerce, or (2) receives funds under a grant, award, loan, or contract from a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States for the purpose of carrying out research, tests, or experiments: Provided, That the Secretary may exempt, by regulation, any such school, institution, organization, or person that does not use or intend to use live dogs or cats, except those schools, institutions, organizations, or persons, which use substantial numbers (as determined by the Secretary) of live animals the principal function of which schools, institutions, organizations, or persons, is biomedical research or testing, when in the judgment of the Secretary, any such exemption does not vitiate the purpose of this chapter;"

This seems to hinge on getting USDA secretary exemption, and may technically force a hobbyist to purchase animals from specially licensed dealers, which may not be allowed/choose to sell to you, you may need to get approval as a lab, and possibly form an IACUC to various legal standards. Additionally, the NIH has Guidelines on the use of, and euthanasia of zebra fish. A hobbyist may not need to abide by these without their funding... but depending on the wording of state law might still apply (potentially even if you are exempted federally). It just seems like an absolute mess to me, and it takes a whole bureaucracy for research facilities, so I would be surprised if an individual were cut any slack, particularly since that probably was not envisioned as a legitimate hobby when the laws were written and amended, and might have been seen as a loophole that evil researchers would use, subcontracting sadistic animal research to negligent contractors at their 'domicile' beyond the oversight of whomever.
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Etaoin Shrdlu
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[*] posted on 18-5-2015 at 15:40


AWA

Quote:
(g) The term “animal” means any live or dead dog, cat, monkey (nonhuman primate mammal), guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or such other warm-blooded animal, as the Secretary may determine is being used, or is intended for use, for research, testing, experimentation, or exhibition purposes, or as a pet; but such term excludes (1) birds, rats of the genus Rattus, and mice of the genus Mus, bred for use in research, (2) horses not used for research purposes, and (3) other farm animals, such as, but not limited to livestock or poultry, used or intended for use as food or fiber, or livestock or poultry used or intended for use for improving animal nutrition, breeding, management, or production efficiency, or for improving the quality of food or fiber. With respect to a dog, the term means all dogs including those used for hunting, security, or breeding purposes;


Fish/invertebrates seem fair game to me.

[Edited on 5-18-2015 by Etaoin Shrdlu]
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[*] posted on 18-5-2015 at 18:58


Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  
AWA

Quote:
(g) The term “animal” means any live or dead dog, cat, monkey (nonhuman primate mammal), guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or such other warm-blooded animal, as the Secretary may determine is being used, or is intended for use, for research, testing, experimentation, or exhibition purposes, or as a pet; but such term excludes (1) birds, rats of the genus Rattus, and mice of the genus Mus, bred for use in research, (2) horses not used for research purposes, and (3) other farm animals, such as, but not limited to livestock or poultry, used or intended for use as food or fiber, or livestock or poultry used or intended for use for improving animal nutrition, breeding, management, or production efficiency, or for improving the quality of food or fiber. With respect to a dog, the term means all dogs including those used for hunting, security, or breeding purposes;


Fish/invertebrates seem fair game to me.

Oh, good point. I guess I should read more. Embarrassing. Thank you for pointing that out, and I'm sorry I was mistaken. I think I was confused over regulatory debates on whether crabs were protected, because apparently that had to go to Congress. I see various foul, rats and mice have intermittently been lobbied in and out of the bill as well, and I had not kept up with that aspect either. No excuse for being wrong on my part. There are lobbiests who want to change this for zebra fish, as it is extremely popular (PMID: 19916799).
I guess state and local law would likely be the only potential hurdles.

Very interesting.

[Edited on 19-5-2015 by Chemosynthesis]
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macckone
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[*] posted on 18-5-2015 at 20:02


Pretty much what I said earlier. Also endangered and threatened species can't be used for research purposes unless bred in captivity or otherwise exempted unless such research is to increase the viability of the species.
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[*] posted on 19-5-2015 at 07:36


Yeah, but fish etc. were included back in 2002. I have managed to avoid any direct animal work somehow and don't keep up with the times. Hopefully they remain out.
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[*] posted on 25-5-2015 at 14:03


Fish are not covered under AWA but the could be covered under state laws or institutional rules.
Unless someone has a link altering the law as posted that seems to be current. And it doesn't cover fish.
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