Life Science

Scientists behaving deviously

There are some scientific technologies that rapidly become ubiquitious and indispensible, and they become the engine that drives tremendous amounts of research, win Nobel prizes, and are eventually taken for granted. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one example: PCR is routine in molecular biology now, but I remember when PCR machines were magical objects of…

Oh rats!

As I was perusing YouTube I came across a video from National Geographic that I must admit was fascinating while at the same time disturbing. The video describes how rats are able to travel from the sewer into your toilet. Although this is reportedly an uncommon occurence, I will be sure to look before I…

Learning new songs

New research shows that premotor neurons are activated in the brains of adolescent male zebra finches whenever a young bird hears their father (a tutor) sing. These are the same neurons that are usually activated in anticipation of movement. What is special about this, is that as the birds learned new songs or pieces of new songs,…

But that’s not how science works!

There will be an interesting meeting in London next fall,

This is a new one: an octopus farm. Kanaloa Octopus Farm is open for business — for $200, you can get your very own pet octopus. Unfortunately, they’re caught in a chicken-and-egg problem. You should not encourage the capture of cephalopods in the wild, so it’s a great idea to have a breeding program to…

A few days ago, David Bowie died of cancer. This morning I learned that the actor Alan Rickman has died of cancer. You all know the rule of threes, right? It has been satisfied, because in his state of the union address Barack Obama announced that he was going to kill American biological research, with…

That’s not a thesis, it’s a junkheap

Well, cool. You can download Judy Wilyman’s anti-vaccination thesis from the University of Wollongong and read it yourself. So click, click, wait a second, and… YAAAARGH! My eyes! I thought the social sciences side of the academic world would possibly have higher standards for writing than the science side, but no…it’s awful. This should have…

My last post on Perry Marshall

Once more unto the breach in Perry Marshall’s cranium, dear friends. He is once again trying to claim that he alone has the one true understanding of Barbara McClintock’s work, and he keeps getting it wrong. It’s just embarrassing to watch. He makes obvious statements like this: Damage is random. Repair is not. Well, duh.…

I’ve been informed that I’ve been at war for a while. I was surprised. Apparently, Perry Marshall thinks he’s been firing salvo after salvo at me…I just hadn’t noticed. My blog war with @pzmyers continues: https://t.co/dgjMeNvGRg — Evolution 2.0 (@cfingerprints) January 9, 2016 Oh, OK. I would just ignore him, but he’s presenting some fascinatingly…

Probably. Every four years, ScienceDebate.org comes along to suggest that the presidential candidates ought to have a debate about the science issues that confront us. It’s a good idea, I think. I’d like it to happen. On the plus side, watching Republicans poop the bed over and over again would be vastly entertaining. Just recently,…