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Tag Archives: biology
In our bodies, oxygen and glucose are transformed by protein machines in our cells into the molecule ATP. ATP is the bomb. It’s what stands between you and “the point of no return.” Shakespeare seems apt here (from Hamlet’s famous … Continue reading
Breeding for Intelligence? A Google Employee Asks the Question to Researcher Stephen Hsu of the Beijing Genomics Institute
In the below Google Tech Talk, Stephen Hsu talks to Google employees about the search for the genes behind intelligence (and seeks to recruit them into an ongoing study being conducted at the Beijing Genomics Institute). I shit you not. … Continue reading
Stanford professor, Dr. Robert Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, is among my favorite science writers and is the “go to” expert on the subject of stress and health in this excellent National Geographic documentary.
Goose bumps. Here’s Harvard’s Steven Pinker: Our own bodies are riddled with quirks that no competent engineer would have planned but that disclose a history of trial-and-error tinkering: a retina installed backward, a seminal duct that hooks over the ureter like a … Continue reading
First, it is perverse to reject evolution outright. Darwin was largely right, and people who try to reset science to pre-Darwinian assumptions are engaged in folly. The converging lines of evidence from numerous scientific disciplines point to the fact that … Continue reading
This dramatic news item appeared in The New York Times a week ago: according to a new study, the “hobbits” found in 2003 on the Indonesian island of Flores were almost certainly not human beings: [T]he [new] findings complemented earlier research … Continue reading
A key element in Charles Darwin’s thought is that survival and the opportunity to reproduce attends the fittest and the sexiest. Think about this Darwinian insight in relation to your writing: what would a Darwinian reading of your story notice? … Continue reading
Harvard molecular geneticist George Church’s interview with Der Spiegel is a must-read. Highlights: ON NEANDERTHAL CLONING SPIEGEL: Will you witness the birth of a Neanderthal baby in your lifetime? Church: That depends on a hell of a lot of things, but … Continue reading
According to a recent science article at the Huffington Post, Sara Walker, an astrobiologist at Arizona State University, along with some of her colleagues, has arrived at a fresh definition of life as seen through the prism of information processing: Walker’s team … Continue reading
That’s the news, as reported in the New York Times recently. This ought to make a splash in the debate between evolutionary biologists and intelligent design theorists. For more on this, see here [NYT website link]. And to read a biologist who … Continue reading
According to Heather Pringle, maybe, with regard to honey, it’s because it played a role in our evolution: In a recent paper, Alyssa Crittenden, an anthropologist and behavioral ecologist, at the University of Nevada, points out that wild honey is one … Continue reading
This is in the New York Times today: The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as “junk” but that turn out to play critical roles … Continue reading
Gilbert Levin is a man on a mission. For the Viking missions to Mars in 1976, he was the person who designed one of the experiments that searched for life. The results came back positive. So positive, in fact, that … Continue reading
It’s looking for life on Mars. What’s my evidence? The following sentence from science writer Marc Kaufman’s excellent book, First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth (Simon & Schuster, 2011, 42-43): The next NASA mission to … Continue reading
Now that Curiosity has landed safely in Gale Crater and directly upon an alluvial fan at the base of Mount Sharp–a mountain likened in its strategraphic layering to the Grand Canyon, my imagination is vexed. I want the rover to … Continue reading
Donna Haraway (b. 1944) teaches feminist and science studies in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In addition to taking a degree in English, she also studied biology at Yale. In 1985 she … Continue reading
Life Found on Mars? Neuropharmacologist and Biologist Joseph Miller is “99 Percent Sure There’s Life” on Mars
The Discovery News website this week is reporting some pretty mind-blowing stuff on whether there is bacterial life on Mars, accompanied by an exciting quote from neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller (who is at the University of Southern California’s Keck School … Continue reading
Maybe the universe is an ongoing creation, and this is how the Creator is doing it, moving us, through a process of evolution, to some end product we can only half-imagine now. _____ Then again, maybe we live in a … Continue reading
More bad news on the H5N1 airborne experiment front (from the Los Angeles Times yesterday): [Dutch virologist Ron] Fouchier [whose lab created airborne H5N1] said he was cooperating [with the US government], but he thought the [experiment sharing] strategy was impractical. When he … Continue reading