Life Science

Islamists have brain leeches!

Susan Blackmore always lectures entertainingly — really, if you get a chance to hear her, you should — so I can guess how surprised she was when students claimed offense and walked out on her talk. They were religiously indoctrinated, and simply shut down their brains when the word “evolution” came up, and when she…

USA Science & Engineering Festival Announces 2016 Event Dates and Plans for Expanded Outreach

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is proud to announce the return of Lockheed Martin as its 2016 Founding and Presenting Host and expanded outreach activities to engage our nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). “The USA Science & Engineering Festival provides an essential introduction and gateway to the exciting world of STEM,”…

I think this is rather awesome: a detailed examination of the Cambrian fossil Hallucigenia, specifically an examination of the fine structure of its claws, has revealed clear affinities of the long extinct form to this adorable little guy, the velvet worm.

Mimicking geckos

Researchers at DARPA are using geckos to create biologically inspired methods of scaling vertical walls. Check out this video demonstration of “Geckskin”:

Why do cavefish lose their eyes?

It’s another Dawkins question! Why do cave-dwellers lose their eyes? They’re useless, but are they harmful? Costly to make? Or eroded by rain of uncorrected mutations? I thought I’d already addressed this in a blog post long ago, but I searched, and I didn’t — it was my inaugural column in sadly defunct Seed magazine,…

Ophelia has summarized a series of science questions Richard Dawkins asked on Twitter. Hey, I thought, I have answers to lots of these — he probably does, too — so I thought I’d address one of them. Maybe I can take a stab at some of the others another time. I like this one, anyway:…

In honor of shark week…

In honor of the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”, check out these shark cams. National Aquarium Reef Shark Cam: Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream SHARK FIN CAM: Video taken from a camera strapped to the dorsal fin of a shark: Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream If you have not yet tuned in to Discovery…

But Mary tells me I have to post a picture of a British bulldog puppy anyway.

A list of reviews of Nicholas Wade’s book “A Troublesome Inheritance,” mainly by anthropologists and others who have investigated issues surrounding the concept of “race” in humans. Bethune, Brian: Inheritance battles Daniels, Anthony: Genetic disorder Dobbs, David: The Fault in Our DNA Fuentes, Augustín: The Troublesome Ignorance of Nicholas Wade Geneticists, Lotsofthem: An Open Letter…