Life Science

It takes a fool to deny the obvious

Neil Shubin reports that Bible tracts have begun appearing in copies of his book, Your Inner Fish, in bookstores. He even has photographic evidence. This is remarkable news. We now know how bible tracts are made: they are degenerate forms descended from more complex and sophisticated texts, and they appear spontaneously when two pages, who…

Yes, Finding Dory is right about this. Having multiple hearts isn’t as odd as it might seem. Although one might be advised to keep one’s brain and one’s heart, as well as one or two other organs, separate when making important decisions, a heart and a brain are metaphorical of each other in this regard.…

Heart rate decreases during diving in seals and other animals. Thus the ascending aorta becomes very important during diving as it helps to maintain blood pressure during prolonged dives. A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology was designed to examine the ascending aorta of hooded seals (Cystophora…

Shark week is back!

I LOVE Shark Week on Discovery Channel. I can’t wait to see the bizarre sharks episode. The excitement begins June 26th.

Big-brained birds

Birds get such a bad rap when it comes to intelligence. Sure they have relatively small brains, but scientists have known they are similar to primates with respect to their cognitive abilities. New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences presents data showing how this apparent dichotomy is possible. They found…

Heroic horseshoe crabs

The blue blood of horseshoe crabs contains a special chemical limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) that medical laboratories obtain from thousands of animals annually to detect bacterial infections in humans. The labs are only allowed to draw up to 30% of their blood once a year. Despite these precautions, researchers are becoming increasingly concerned that some…

284-289/366: Week in Nature Photos

Another week, another batch of photos. This is coming on Friday rather than the weekend because I’m going to be incommunicado for most of the next week, and have some free time now. 284/366: LIGO, Eat Your Heart Out Sure, LIGO detected gravitational waves from a second pair of merging black holes, but I found…

Friday Cephalopod: Dangerously fecund

Although laboratory rodents are used to study estrogen-related disorders, they are different from humans in that they do not menstruate. Therefore, they are not used to understand or develop treatments for disorders related to menstruation, like endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or some fertility disorders. Researchers from Monash University (Australia), have now reported they’ve discovered a rodent…