Archives for May, 2006

Sunday roundup

Or Saturday roundup, belated. Some interesting stories I didn’t have time to cover: The HPV vaccine, aimed at reducing the incidence of cervical cancer, has moved a step closer to approval. The Institute of Medicine calls for more research into and oversight of vitamin supplements. Continuing debate over “The Hobbit.” New research might eventually bring…

More on evolution + medicine

Yesterday’s Science had a letter to the editor regarding an editorial I mentioned previously (and that was touched on in the comments here as well): Medicine might benefit most from embracing evolution theory’s recognition of individual variation within populations of organisms, a property that Ernst Mayr has called “the cornerstone of Darwin’s theory of natural…

Getting it wrong

So, archaea are apparently the topic of the week. While I wrote here about the pathogenic potential of some species of these organisms, a new essay in Nature and a new review in Science focus more on their evolution (and the evolution of the other two domains of life) than any health application. In the…

Another blog I read has been highlighted in Science Magazine’s Netwatch: WEB LOG: Invasion Chronicles An outbreak of pine shoot beetles (Tomicus piniperda) has prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to restrict the export of bark chips and other forest products from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Meanwhile, farmers in southwestern Puerto Rico are angry…

Ha.

I always knew there was something fishy about that Lorax character.

Project Exploration

Via coturnix, I found Project Exploration, a non-profit organization “founded in 1999 by University of Chicago paleontologist Dr. Paul Sereno and educator Gabrielle Lyon, to make science accessible to the public-with a special focus on city kids and girls.” coturnix has more of the background on Serento and the organization in his post, so I’ll…

5 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology staff report brain tumors since mid-April A Melbourne university has emptied the top floors of one of its buildings after a spate of brain-tumour cases were reported during the past month. Most affected staff worked on the top floor, raising fears that cell-phone masts on top of the building…

Animalcules 1.8

Welcome to the new edition of Animalcules! First, a few housekeeping notes. If you note the schedule, I’ve not yet extended it beyond June 1st. I think that, at least for the summer months, Animalcules will be a once-monthly carnival, rather than every other week. If things pick up after that, I’ll change it back…

Bloggers break another story

Blogger reveals China’s migratory goose farms near site of flu outbreak The hypothesis that migratory birds are responsible for spreading avian flu over long distances has taken another knock. Last year, an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain in thousands of migratory birds at Qinghai Lake in western China provided what seemed the first firm…

Archaea as human pathogens?

When I was in school, I was taught about the 5 kingdoms of life: Monera (all bacteria), and the eukaryotes: Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia. Since that time, there’s been a bit of a change in the organization. This is largely due to investigation of the Archaea (sometimes still referred to as “archaebacteria”). It was…