Archives for November 8, 2007

HIV: Congo to Haiti to Pandemic

Lots of people are talking about this latest paper on HIV. It is an “open access” paper in the PNAS, and you can get it here. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that can cause AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). It is a member of a larger group of viruses (the Smian immunodeficiency viruses) which…

Are you having trouble reading this?

You roll your head, hoping to loosen the knots in your neck, and shut your eyes. After rubbing them you settle back into staring, hunched inches away from the computer screen. Despite the brief reprise your vision remains cloudy, causing the words on the monitor to blur. At this point, you need to know: With…

Why is global warming important?

When discussing global warming (and more broadly, climate change), especially here in the Great White North, it is often quipped that a little global warming is not necessarily a bad thing. So what if cold regions get warmer? That would be good for growing more food, having a warmer winter, and so on. Also, when…

Improving Brain Function

How the brain works … what it does, how it does it, and how well it does it … is a matter of how neurons are arranged in relation to each other, in circuits. But that is only part of the story. These neurons also need to function properly, and the connections between them need…

Giraffe at Augrabies

Giraffa camelopardalis .. the tallest of all land animals. It is said that giraffes evolved a long neck in order to feed off the top of trees, avoiding competition with other browsing mammals. However, most leaves are actually eaten by insects who can get to these leaves as well as any other. Personally, I think…

YA Genome: Fruit Flies

I’m sure you’ ve heard, but in case not: Not one, not two, not even three, but TEN new genomes were just released, bringing the total for fruit fly genomes to twelve species. These fruit flies diverged several tens of millions of years ago, which in the large picture, is kinda recent. This will allow…

Bell Museum (Minneapolis) Happenings

Bell Museum of Natural History Events In addition to the regular menu of science and culture programs, this month the Bell Museum will be hosting the second annual Diorama-rama on November 16th from 7-10 p.m. – featuring dioramas made by you, plus live music, tours and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to revisit the Bell…

Ten years ago, thirteen lucky lemurs were taken from Duke’s primate center and the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, and other facilities, and let loose in their native lands in Madagascar. These were black and white ruffed lemurs, Varecia variegata variegata. They are rain forest dwellers native to Madagascar. Several were almost instantly eaten…

Let’s Play Sue the Blogger

IN Galveston , Texas, Sandra Tetley, the parent of a student in the local public school district, runs a blog called “GISD Watch: Galveston Alliance for Neighborhood Schools.” SHe is being told by that school district to take her blog, or parts of it down, or else. The blog, here, is or has been making…