The Loom

Why don’t I blog more? In part because I’m busy reading other blogs. I finally got around to adding some of my favorite science blogs outside the scienceblogs.com empire to the blogroll over on the left side. Allow me to take a moment to introduce you to them.

The Anti-Toxo: A blog about every new paper or article on Toxoplasma, the resident parasite here at the Loom. If you want to understand our parasitic overlords, this is a must read.

Center for Science Writings Blog. John Horgan, veteran science writer, now runs the Center for Science Writing at Stevens Institute of Technology. Lots of good stuff on the blog.

El Gentraso: British science writer John Whitfield, who has been wandering the weird fields where thermodynamics meet life.

Evilutionary Biologist: Biologist John Dennehy is not actually evil. I particularly like his homages to classic papers. Get your history of science!

Genomicron: T. Ryan Gregory, Canadian biologist who works on genome size evolution.

Greg Laden: U Minnesota anthropologist and battler against creationists.

Heliophage: Science writer Oliver Morton’s latest blog, tied to his new book on photosynthesis.

hpb etc.: History and Philosophy of Biology. Those who don’t know history in science are doomed to erroneously claim they thought of things first.

John Hawks Anthropology: University of Wisconsin anthropologist’s blog. Plenty of news on human evolution, plus potent takedowns.

Knight Science Journalism Tracker: The Knight Science Journalism Foundation’s Charles Petit funnels all the good science journalism (at least the stuff that appears in newspapers) into one place, along with commentary from time to time.

Panda’s Thumb. One-stop shopping for antidotes to creationism.

RealClimate. A paragon of scientist-written blogs. Delivers science on climate change.

Red State Rabble. News from Kansas.

Sandwalk. Canadian biochemist Larry Moran.

Science Made Cool. Diane Kelly first made a name as the world expert on the biomechanics of penises. Seeking new fields of conquest, she’s starting up a company called Zygote Games to develop smart science games for kids. The one I’m looking forward to is, of course, Parasites Unleashed.

Sex Genes and Evolution: John Lodgson, a biologist who studies exactly those three things.

Small Things Considered. I first met Moselio Schaechter through a common interest in obscene mushrooms. Schaechter is also an authority on Escherichia coli, and he kindly looked over the manuscript of my new book on that subject. Now he’s blogging on all things microbial.

Steven Johnson: Author of The Ghost Map and other books on the meeting of science with culture.

synthesis: Rob Carlson, synthetic biology visionary. Sporadic but always interesting.

This Week In Evolution: Does the University of Minnesota actually require their biologists to blog? Because there are an awful lot of them that do. Anyway–R. Ford Denison, who studies how fungi bacteria and plants interact, takes thoughtful looks at new evolutionary research.

The Tree of Life. UC Irvine Davis genome guru Jonathan Eisen blogs on his passions–metagenomics, phylogeny, and open access.

That’s all for now. I’m too lazy to add the links in the post–just scroll down to the blogroll to check them out. And please don’t forget to come back to the Loom!

(Title stolen from Marshall Crenshaw)

Comments

  1. #1 Hank Roberts
    May 17, 2007

    Thank you!

  2. #2 Jonathan Eisen
    May 17, 2007

    Love the list and the reference. But just for clairification, I am UC Davis, not UC Irvine.

  3. #3 Ford
    May 17, 2007

    The University of Minnesota library hosts a blog server, but that’s about it for official encouragement. I imagine the attitude is something like “outreach is good, but don’t neglect teaching and research.” Since I’m adjunct (paid only from my own grants), I get to neglect teaching. I still don’t understand how some of the other bloggers on your list, many of whom I read, have time to get anything else done. Rhizobia are bacteria, not fungi.

  4. #4 coturnix
    May 17, 2007

    Yesterday you blog about opossums, today about Diane Kelly…there is a dark and ominous connection I am detecting here ;-)

  5. #5 Carl Zimmer
    May 17, 2007

    Ford, Jonathan: thanks for the corrections.

    Cortunix: The connection is actually closer (and weirder) than you’d think. Diane Kelly and Patricia Brennan (the scientist I profiled in the duck phallus story) want to build a force-sensitive, transparent female duck, so that they can figure out the biomechanics going on.

  6. #6 mazirian
    May 17, 2007

    What? No links to these blogs?

  7. #7 Carl Zimmer
    May 17, 2007

    As I said in the post, I’m lazy today (or, rather, busy with other stuff). Links are in the blogroll is on the left side.

  8. #8 coturnix
    May 17, 2007

    A-ha! Cool.

  9. #9 Abel Pharmboy
    May 17, 2007

    The blogroll is great, Carl…but then you had me sitting at the computer with my guitar going over Crenshaw’s YouTube video a few dozen times trying to figure out the chords since the web tabs are in a different key and leave out many of the chords Marshall plays. What a great song…and I had no idea that it was covered by Bette Midler. Thanks for being my favorite waste of time this evening.

  10. #10 SG
    May 17, 2007

    Great reference to an obscure song (B-side of the Someday, Someway single, if memory serves) by a criminally underappreciated artist.

    Thanks for the links- now all I need is a 28 hour day and I’ll be all set.

  11. #11 Noumenon
    May 18, 2007

    Hey, guys, how about working together to give Carl something back? I’ll start — here’s the first five blogs with hyperlinks added:

    The Anti-Toxo: A blog about every new paper or article on Toxoplasma, the resident parasite here at the Loom. If you want to understand our parasitic overlords, this is a must read.

    Center for Science Writings Blog. John Horgan, veteran science writer, now runs the Center for Science Writing at Stevens Institute of Technology. Lots of good stuff on the blog.

    El Gentraso: British science writer John Whitfield, who has been wandering the weird fields where thermodynamics meet life.

    Evilutionary Biologist: Biologist John Dennehy is not actually evil. I particularly like his homages to classic papers. Get your history of science!

    Genomicron: T. Ryan Gregory, Canadian biologist who works on genome size evolution.

  12. #12 jackd
    May 18, 2007

    All these great blog references and now two^W three of your comments are about a sadly obscure pop musician.

    Now I must top SG at Crenshaw trivia by recalling that “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time” was attributed to MC “and his handsome, ruthless, and stupid band”, using a Dorothy Parker line to describe a one-man recording done in his living room.

  13. #13 VMartin
    May 19, 2007


    Panda’s Thumb. One-stop shopping for antidotes to creationism.

    Panda’s Thumb and especially AtBC are pack of liars – they banned me under pretext I am John Davison sockpuppet. They have no arguments, they dont know to check IP address and they just repeat darwinistic mantras. Having nothing to say they denigrate you. They have no slightest idea about mimicry and how complicated the phenomenon is. Of course there are many scientists that considered behind evolution of mimicry “internal” or other forces – Punnet, Heikertinger and nowadays Suchantke (Metamorphosen im Insektenreich).


    I first met Moselio Schaechter through a common interest in obscene mushrooms.

    Mushrooms are other part of biology where darwinism – to my opinion – is totally lost as to explain their coloration and toxicity. “Knowledgeable evolutiosts” from AtBC and Pharyngula have no notion about the problem. They tried without any knowledge to apply darwinistic mantra – poisonous should be colored (aposematic) and edible cryptic. Of course it is nonsense.According latest research: “Poisonous mushrooms do not tend to be more colorful or aggregated than edible mushrooms, but they are more likely to exhibit distinctive odors even when phylogenetic relationships are accounted for.” One most poisonous mushroom Amanita phalloides (responsible for 95% of the fatalities. One cap have enough poison to kill three people) have inconspicuous green cap.

    Of course the striking coloration of mushrooms are unexplainable by darwinistic aposematics/crytic mantras considering the fact there are – except squirrels – no vision oriented mushroom eaters.

    The other problem is their toxicity – some poisons start to take effect after many days – sometimes after three weeks after disgestion. No animal would remeber what is the source of their nuissance.

    And yet: Wild animals eat fungi, yet mushroom poisonings in nature are unknown.

    They have probably instincts which mushrooms are edible and which are poisnous (by smell I would say). I don’t know how darwinists would explain such instincts if learning is not “wired” into DNA somehow. The same problem are some interesting instincts of parasites mentioned in Mr. Zimmer book “Parasite Rex”. Yet author of the book is maidenly silent as to origin of evolution of such instresting insticts (eating poisonous leaves after being infected by parasites).

  14. #14 TR Gregory
    May 20, 2007

    Thanks for the plug, mon ami. :-)

  15. #15 l_johan_k
    May 21, 2007

    Loved your book “Where Did We Come From”!.
    Next: “Soul Made Flesh”.

    Best wishes,
    Johan, Sweden

  16. #16 DianeAKelly
    May 21, 2007

    >Diane Kelly and Patricia Brennan (the scientist I profiled in the duck phallus story) want to >build a force-sensitive, transparent female duck, so that they can figure out the >biomechanics going on.

    Oh no! Our secret is out!

    Thanks for the shout-out, Carl.

    (and coturnix — it was *armadillos*, not opossums. I was far too grossed out by opossum parasite loads to use them as a model species.)

  17. #17 dougjnn
    June 7, 2007

    I wonder why you don’t include GNXP and the related scienceblogs.com/gnxp in your blogroll.

    Both sites are focused on genetics and biology and are extremely incisive, intelligent, lively and prolific.

    Could it be that they both, but particularly the former, are sometimes a bit too controversial, or non-PC — though always in open minded, evidence evaluating sort of way?

  18. #18 Carl Zimmer
    June 7, 2007

    Doug [17]: Please read my posts more carefully before you imply that I’m too PC to handle a particular blog. I was listing non-scienceblog.com blogs, as I explained. I see no need to include scienceblog.com blogs on my blogroll, since they’re already listed on the upper right hand corner of my blog. And, for what it’s worth, I do regularly read the sci blog version of gnxp.

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