The Loom

Archives for May, 2005

Today in Science scientists reported a potentially big advance in creating embryos that can be used for stem cell transplants. Briefly put, they figured out how to take skin cells from patients, inject them into donated eggs emptied of their own DNA, and nurture them along until they had divided into a few cells. The…

Brain Revolutions, Old and New

Blogging will be light for a few days because my hard drive devoured itself last night. I just wanted to mention a couple brain-related items. First off, I’ve got a profile in today’s New York Times of Michael Gazzaniga, one of the most fascinating people involved in science today. His research on the split minds…

The Mutiny Down Below

Judging from fossils and studies on DNA, the common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos lived roughly six million years ago. Hominids inherited the genome of that ancestor, and over time it evolved into the human genome. A major force driving that change was natural selection: a mutant gene that allowed hominids to produce more…

Cheating on the Brain

Evolutionary psychologists argue that we can understand the workings of the human mind by investigating how it evolved. Much of their research focuses on the past two million years of hominid evolution, during which our ancestors lived in small bands, eating meat they either scavenged or hunted as well as tubers and other plants they…

On Thursday I predicted that pundits would make the rediscovery of the Ivory-billed woodpecker an opportunity to criticise predictions that humans are causing mass extinctions–while conveniently ignoring evidence that goes against their claims. Today I came across the first case I know of, which appears a short Week-in-Review piece about the woodpeckers in the New…