Life Science

Coyne and Moran On Teaching ID

Jerry Coyne liked yesterday’s post about teaching ID. I do just want to clarify one point, though. Coyne writes: Jason has a good point. And that point is that although it’s illegal (as well as dereliction of duty) to teach intelligent design creationism in public schools and universities, it is okay to criticize it, for…

All the biologists out there know about the heath hen: it’s probably the number one most common example of a recent extinction discussed in considerable detail, because it illustrates so well that extinction is a product of so many factors, from habitat loss to inbreeding to predation to competition to climate shifts to you name…

Cosmos Reboot, Episode 2

This week’s Cosmos was all about the evolution of life, and was viewed by millions of people outside of Oklahoma, where they presumably got an hour-long local news promo, or analysis of the Oklahoma State’s chances in the NCAA Tournament. As such, it was a bit outside my area of expertise, but that never stopped…

Only mammals express RAGE

RAGE stands for “receptor for advanced glycation end-products”, also known as “AGER”, and new research shows that it first appeared in mammals (Sessa et al., 2014). Despite the name, the receptor also binds other signaling molecules such as HMGB1, S100 proteins, beta-amyloid, phosphatidylserine, among others (Xie et al., 2013). RAGE is reportedly involved in diabetes,…

This adorable baby gorilla was born through emergency c-section at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a procedure that is not commonly performed in animals. She weighed in at 4.6 pounds. Her mother went into labor Wednesday morning but showed no progress by evening, necessitating the c-section. The baby gorilla remains in intensive care after…

The Need to Connect on An Emotional Level With STEM Learners

By Larry Bock  Co-Founder of USA Science Science & Engineering Festival  No doubt, the influences that move individuals into their chosen field of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) are often as different as night and day, but one thing seems constant: most STEM professionals, in remembering how they made their selection, can trace that ¨A-ha!¨…

I was looking over the Discovery Institute’s Evolution News and Views site, prior to forgetting about it. I mentioned that I am forced to revamp my email handling and was going to be blocking a lot of noise from my work address, and as I was reviewing what domains I needed to allow through, I…

Research published last month in PNAS provides evidence that African elephants (Loxodonta africana) can differentiate human voices. This is a very important skill to an animal that is often threatened by humans. Prior research has shown that elephants could tell the difference between African ethnic groups using sight and scent. The study was conducted by…

HIV-1s ancestors just got older-er

More HIV news! HIVs ancestor, SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus), has been around a LOT longer than we previously thought. As I have mentioned before, we always assumed retroviruses like HIV, lentiviruses, are evolutionarily ‘young’. They are relatively complex, so probably ‘newish’ in retrovirus-world, but they do not fossilize well (we have found very few lentiviral…