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Tag Archives: biology
David Goodsell is a molecular biologist at The Scripps Research Institute in California, and he has written a hippie-beautiful introductory text to molecular biology, The Machinery of Life (2nd edition, Springer 2010), which Scientific American calls “an impressive and original book.” I call it “hippie-beautiful” because … Continue reading
David Goodsell is a molecular biologist at The Scripps Research Institute in California, and he has written a hippie-beautiful introductory text to molecular biology, The Machinery of Life (2nd edition, Springer 2010), which Scientific American calls “an impressive and original book.” … Continue reading
Donald Prothero, a paleontologist, knows his fossils. And, in 2007, Columbia University Press published his book, Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters. For it’s scope, clarity of writing, and visual attractiveness (it has lots of illustrative drawings, … Continue reading
If Adam or Eve, in the Garden of Eden, had cut down a tree, would they have discovered that it possessed tree rings? Image source: Wikipedia Commons.
Eugenics Revival Watch: Scientific American editor, Mariette DiChristina, calls eugenic goals expressed in 1911 “lofty aspirations”
Curiously, the editor at the Scientific American website (Mariette DiChristina) recently approved the posting, with only minimal comment, of an editorial written in its pages 100 years ago, in 1911, advocating eugenics. Here are three quotes from the editorial: It is not … Continue reading
I like this definition of a book (which I found in a Times Literary Supplement essay): I. A. Richards called the book “a machine to think with” . . . Notice that the definition has the two elements that Aristotle … Continue reading
Should You Believe That Alien Bacteria Have Been Discovered on Meteorites? And if You Do Believe It, How Strongly Should You Believe It?
Perhaps you noticed (as I did this afternoon) that DrudgeReport and Fox are pushing a “big” story that alien bacteria have been discovered on meteorites. Of course, nowhere else is there much buzz about this. So what gives? Biologist PZ Myers has … Continue reading
A pretty powerful quote from the BigThink website: [Managing Director of Excel Venture Management, Juan] Enriquez stresses that “life code” (the famous A, G, T, C of DNA) will have the same importance for the next generation as digital code (1’s … Continue reading
Flim-Flam Watch: Microbiologist Rosie Redfield on Felisa Wolfe-Simon’s Mono Lake Arsenic Based Life Claim
In a recent blog post, microbiologist Rosie Redfield is scathing concerning Felisa Wolfe-Simon’s recent claim, made in a scientific paper (Wolfe-Simon et al. 2010, A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus) that arsenic based life may have been … Continue reading
Has Felisa Wolfe-Simon Discovered Arsenic Based Life? Chemist Steven Benner is Skeptical for This Reason: “Arsenic compounds break down quickly in water while phosphorus compounds do not.”
The Washington Post today has an exceptionally clear report on Felisa Wolfe-Simon’s claim that she may have found arsenic based life at Mono Lake in California. Here’s how the Post piece opens: All life on Earth – from microbes to elephants … Continue reading
In the below BBC clip for an upcoming special on whether there is life on other planets, Felisa Wolfe-Simon says something to the interviewer that ought to blow everyone away. If what she has indeed recently found at Mono Lake is … Continue reading
Felisa Wolfe-Simon’s Microbes are Not Just Arsenic Loving, They’re Arsenic Based, and That’s Why This News is HUGE
How on earth did the Mono Lake arsenic eating microbes discovered by Felisa Wolfe-Simon go (presumably) from eating phosphorus and utilizing phosphorus in their DNA to eating arsenic and utilizing arsenic in their DNA? This is far more than just another extremophile organism … Continue reading
Dr. Lewis Dartnell on Arsenic Based Life in Mono Lake: “They’re aliens, but aliens that share the same home as us.”
In front of the NASA news conference scheduled for 11:00 AM Pacific time, reliable news is finally leaking. A science correspondent for London’s Telegraph quotes an astrobiologist as saying this about a bacterial discovery in Mono Lake on the eastern side of … Continue reading
Today (Thursday), at 11:00 AM Pacific time, a team of NASA scientists appears poised to announce a discovery of arsenic based life at Mono Lake in California. The implications of this discovery are enormous. It means that NASA might begin an intensive … Continue reading
Christine O’Donnell Says That Young Earth Biblical Creationism Has as Much Evidence Supporting It as Evolution Has
The GOP’s Delaware Senate nominee, Christine O’Donnell, has a history of saying rather ridiculous things about matters of science. Here, for example, is something that she said on CNN about the merits of reading Genesis chapter 1 literally, and how … Continue reading
Yesterday, I interviewed an American imam, Kamal Al-Khatib. Originally from Jordan, he has lived in the United States for 24 years and heads a mosque in northern Los Angeles County. Joseph West, a Muslim friend and coworker of mine, video taped the … Continue reading
In 1976, did the scientists responsible for interpreting Viking data underestimate some important evidence that actually points to life on Mars? A new scientific paper says maybe. The New York Times earlier this week: For the veteran Mars researcher Gilbert V. Levin, … Continue reading
Exploiting an open territory appears to be a larger driver of big evolutionary changes than getting into an already crowded market and competing for local territorial niches, suggests a new scientific study that, at first glance, might seem to contradict Charles Darwin’s … Continue reading
The New York Times today: Scientists working with NASA’s Kepler satellite reported Thursday that they might have spotted a planet just 1.5 times the diameter of Earth around a Sun-like star. And, not to be outdone, the Europeans announced an … Continue reading
Something seems to be brewing around a NASA announcement scheduled for tommorrow. Here’s Denise Chow at Space.com: NASA is expected to make an announcement Thursday on the progress of its Kepler spacecraft, which has been staring at one patch of … Continue reading