The Loom

Archives for May, 2008

In case you couldn’t make it to my World Science Festival panel this afternoon, check out my conversation with co-panelist/journalist/book author Peter Pringle on bloggingheads.

I’m heading to the New York Botanical Gardens to moderate a World Science Festival panel on crops, biodiversity, seed banks, and the amazing life of the Soviet scientist Nikolai Vavilov. (For some background, see this New Yorker article from last year.) If you come to the panel, stick around for the Cafe Scientifique afterwards. And…

All Things E. coli

E. coli is, arguably, the one species that scientists know best. If you type the name “Escherichia coli” into PubMed, the database of the National Library of Medicine, you’ll get over a quarter of a million titles of scientific papers. Scientists have sequenced about 30 genomes of different strains of E. coli. It’s the microbe…

Colbert, Microbes: A Love Affair

I would love to introduce him to a certain resident of his gut. (Hat tip: Tree of Life)

I have been meaning for some days now to point your attention to my new article in the June issue of Scientific American called, “What Is A Species?” The hard copy is worth tracking down because it’s got a lot of excellent illustrations and sidebars. SciAm has the full article online for subscribers, and I’ve…

As I mentioned previously, I’ll be moderating a panel at the World Science Festival in New York on Thursday. It will be about art, science, and homeland security. In 2004 artist Steven Kurtz was accused of terrorism when police came across bacteria and biological equipment in his house. After the terrorism charges were dropped, Kurtz…

Blogs are abuzz with the news that E. coli can solve classic math puzzles like the Burnt Pancake Puzzle. The paper itself is available for free here. Judging from the Frankensteinian anxiety this news seems to be triggering, people must think that life is normally not capable of the logic that we’re familiar with in…

New York, New York, New York

I’ll be giving three talks in the next couple weeks in New York. First up, my lecture at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn Tuesday. It’s possible I’ll be able to post the video of the lecture later–I’ll let you know. (Out of curiosity–anybody know a good way to combine video and powerpoint slides online? I’ve…

Had another author told me his publisher was sending me a copy of a book on Escherichia coli, I would have been perhaps quietly unenthusiastic. But best selling science writer Carl Zimmer is a master story teller and superb researcher. He’s also renowned for effortlessly slipping a giant payload of scientific knowledge into the reader,…

On the Microbial Road

Blogging briefly from Chicago. Today’s talk at the Field Museum went well–I managed to lure a fair number of people inside from a beautiful spring afternoon to hear me talk about a gut germ. I also had a chance to walk through the fabulous Shedd Aquarium. The Field Museum has an acquarium of its own–filled…