Life Science

Crackpots

Did you hear the one about how Charles Darwin wasn’t the creator of natural selection? Did you know that other people had had the idea before him? Oh, you did know that? Because anyone who has ever spent five minutes learning about the history of evolutionary thought knows that? Well, tell that to Daniel Engber…

A new study published in Frontiers in Zoology examined the developmental process involved in regulating limb regeneration in brittle stars (Amphiura filiformis) following amputation of an arm. Limb regeneration is a multi-stage process involving initial healing and repair of the wounded site, initial growth of the limb followed by development of more complex layers of cells until…

Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies is about fireflies. How do they light up? Why do they light up? It is axiomatic in nature that flashy displays are related to mating. Among the flashy displays various animals have come up with, a few actually flash, and among those, the flashing of the firefly is…

I am very excited to report this year’s awardees from the Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section (CEPS) of the American Physiological Society! The New Investigator Award is given to a young investigator who has made contributed significantly to the field of comparative and evolutionary physiology. This year’s awardee is Casey Mueller from California State University, San…

Corals are ocean-dwelling invertebrates in the same phylum as jellyfish. Corals are tiny and create an exoskeleton that is fixed to something hard, like the remains of previously existing corals. So these organisms build up a geological stratum, a reef, beneath the surface of the sea, often close enough that parts of the reef are…

213-228/366: Kid-Light Photo Dump

As promised in the last catch-up post, a set of pictures less devoted to cute-kid shots. 213/366: Zone Defense The Pip has been making one of his preschool teachers draw superheroes for him. At some point, he cut these out with scissors (or possibly made Kate cut them out), and hung them up in different…

The guards should have known. Inky had just been biding his time, planning patiently. And then he scurried down a sewer pipe late at night, to freedom! If I’d been guarding him, I would have been suspicious of that poster of Ursula from The Little Mermaid that he’d requested, too, and would have regularly checked…

Well-Manicured Wastelands

On Pharyngula, PZ Myers doesn’t just want cut your grass—he wants to tear it out by the roots and leave it to rot in the sun. He quotes J. Crumpler on The Roaming Ecologist, who calls lawns “sterile, chemically-filled, artificial environments […] that provide no benefits over the long term; no food, no clean water,…