The Loom

Archives for March, 2006

Learning To Ignore Your Viruses

A couple weeks ago I post, over the generations these viruses tend to lose their ability to make new copies of themselves and infect other hosts. But murine leukemia virus can still break out. Until now, the virus had only been found infecting rodents. Now, however, it turns out that it is infecting humans as…

Not Dead, Just Deadlines

No, there’s nothing wrong with your RSS feed. This blog has just gone very quiet as I’ve become insanely busy with an upcoming talk and my new book project (more on both later). I don’t expect to have time to blog till the first week in April. But I’ll have some delicious items to discuss…

I have a fondness for collecting brain lore–memes about the wonders of the human brain that race around the world for decades. The classic of brain lore is the “ten-percent myth.” As I wrote

Kate Wong on the Hobbit Trail

Kate Wong, Scientific American’s excellent paleo reporter has a two-parter on the latest dish on Homo floresiensis a k a the Hobbit. No cymbal crashes, I’m afraid, but interesting nonetheless.

Pharyngula on penguins

Check out Pharyngula on the new paper that uses penguin fossils to time the evolution of living bird groups. In October I

Gross, and then really gross

Even I have my limits.

Hipster Dodos

Randy Olson, who sparked a massive

Evolution Resumes in November!

Harper has put up a new page on Amazon for the reissued paperback of Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea. It will include an introduction I’ve written that surveys some of the important developments in both the science and politics of evolution in the five years since the book was published. The Amazon page doesn’t…

Frivolous Creationist Lawsuits

Last October, a lawsuit was leveled against an evolution web site at UC Berkeley, based on the claim that government funds had been used to promote religious belief. I contributed the section on the history of biological thought. Judy Scotchmoor, the project’s coordinator, just dropped me an email letting me know that the judge has…

Natural selection can favor genes that allow children to grow up healthy. But in order to grow up healthy, they need nurturing from their mothers, both before and after birth. If a baby’s development puts a strain on a mother, she may end up having fewer children. That means she may spread fewer copies of…