Life Science

The paper leaves no room for ambiguity. Note that there’s nothing at all wrong with this — the use of fetal tissue in these kinds of experiments, and many more, is ubiquitous, and it is not obtained by magic, but by the ethical donation of fetal material from abortions and miscarriages and stillbirths. I don’t…

Botanical Wednesday: I need!

We’re leaving for the West coast on Friday, and of course my creaky old joints are lancing me with stabby excruciating pain. I have seen my doctor. I have pills. Because I must restore myself with red cedar, Sitka spruce, sea stacks, tide pools, banana slugs, great herds of sea urchins, and the ocean and…

Two New Additions To the Family

I’m finally home again after all my recent travels. Back to back math conferences is fun, but also a bit stressful and tiring. While I was away, my extended family welcomed two new additions: Meet William and Charlotte. Charlotte is the one with the white detailing. My brother and sister-in-law just adopted them from a…

Amanda Marcotte rips into stupid gotcha by Marco Rubio. When Rubio appeared on CNN after Thursday night’s Republican debate, he kept insisting that this vague entity called “science” has declared that human life begins at conception. (Actual biologists, for what it’s worth, argue that life is continuous and that a fertilized egg is no more…

I’m Donating White Blood Cells

I’ve been a blood donor for over twenty years. The other day a doctor called me and asked me if instead of my normal quarterly donation, I’d be willing to give a few extra hours of my time along with a chunk of white blood cells. I said yes. There’s this transplant patient at a…

I saw this video and that description, and my first thought was “siphonophore”. Got it in one.

What’s going on, Scotland?

Scotland is going to formally ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops. Apparently, this was an easy step for them to take, because it’s the scientists who are explaining that this is a foolish move, and everyone knows you can just ignore the scientists. I also think it’s a matter of fearing the unknown. Scotland…

Those sneaky gingers pop up everywhere

I have a brother with red hair. I also have a son with red hair. Once upon a time, my beard and mustache contained many red hairs among the dominant browns. If you’ve ever wondered how these gingers appear all over the place, Petra Haak-Bloem offers a good explanation (although it needs some editing: how…

Friday Night nightmares

Taxidermy is art, and art can be disquieting. I think Kate Clark is doing some amazing art here.

Friday Cephalopod: TONMOCON is coming!

Oh, my…the meeting looks very interesting, especially that one titled “Cephalopod Neurogenomics: Insights into the evolution of complex brains”. Can I escape to Florida that early in the semester? Can I afford it? My schedule and my wallet are moaning “noooooo…”