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Archives for January, 2008

Lewontin Reviews Gould

Everyone’s blogging about Stephen J. Gould’s Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Razib, John Lynch, Laelaps). I’m not. The book’s too long, and I’m too busy. But that doesn’t mean I can’t link to them, and to another review of Gould. The other is Richard Lewontin’s review of two Gould books: The Richness of Life: The Essential…

How Easy is it to Write About Junk DNA?

Alex is pissed about science writers neglecting important discoveries in cell biology: Why are cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology never covered in the media? I’ve spoken to so many science journalists – most of whom have no science training. I’ve come to the conclusion that the barrier is too high – as a result…

Gene Chips and Conspiracy Theories

What’s a gene chip? Well, it’s not a gene chip, that’s for sure. It’s a microarray. It has various parts of a genome arrayed on a small chip. The parts of the genome you put on the chip depends on what you’re interested in studying. You then take some DNA you’re interested in and apply…

Competitive Release and Antibiotic Resistance

While much of the research in evolutionary biology is purely academic in nature — designed for the purpose of understanding the biology of a system rather than for immediate human benefit — there is some research that yields immediate practical uses. One research area that is particular fruitful in this regard involves applying evolutionary theory…

Scientists for Better PCR

Let’s pretend this never happened: Those are the Scientists for Better PCR, complete with their own wanna-be Boss. Because when you need to find out who the daddy is, you turn to PCR.

Science on the Opinion Pages

John Timmer has a must read post on the coverage of science in the New York Times editorial pages. The science section of the NYTimes is probably the best in the country. Carl Zimmer leads the way, and there are many other solid science writers published by the NYTimes. Even Nicholas Wade, who has a…

There’s a large element of “chance” in all biological systems. Whether it’s a biochemical process within a cell, the movement of cells throughout an organism, or the evolution of the those organisms, stochasticity plays a large a part in biology. Unfortunately, this is often missed by most students of biology — either because they fail…

Matt Nisbet thinks that Francis Collins should be the next presidential science advisor. He does this after rejecting excellent popularizes of science, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and E.O. Wilson, on the following grounds: Most science popularizers such as Wilson or Tyson don’t have the years of government experience to understand the machinations of Federal…

One “Art”, Please

I can’t draw for shit. And I’ve got crappy penmanship to boot. All in all, I don’t end up with aesthetically pleasing creations when I put pen or pencil to paper. So it’s ironic that my one blog post selected for the 2007 edition of the Open Lab is a comic that I made. It’s…