The Loom

Archives for June, 2008

At noon EST, I’ll be talking on “Word of Mouth,” a radio show coming from New Hampshire Public Radio. The topic will be my recent article on global warming and mass extinctions in Yale Environment 360. You can listen live (look for the mp3 stream here, or look for a podcast on the show page.)

My Microbial Muse

The British edition of Microcosm is coming out on July 3 (Brits can pre-order here, and here’s a link for Americans). In conjunction with its publication, the Telegraph asked me to explain why I love E. coli so. Here’s why.

It’s nice to get book reviews in both the popular press and academic journals. I hope everyone will read my books, but I also hope that scientists will consider them good science. And, speaking of Science, the journal of said name just published a lovely review of Microcosm by the evolutionary biologist Daniel Rankin: A…

The Octopus: Smart, Dumb, Other?

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog while I’ve been off visiting grandparents in other states this past week. But in the meantime, Slate has published a piece I wrote for them on the beguiling mystery of octopus brains. I wonder if this guy would find it enlightening. Update: A couple readers pointed out to…

Hey Angelenos! I hope you can come out to catch my next talk about Microcosm. It’s part of the Zocalo lecture series. I’ll be talking next Wednesday, June 25, at 7:30 pm at the Skirball Cultural Center. Here are the details.

Quick! I’m On the Radio

This is a crazy day–an eight hour drive to visit relatives, followed promptly by a last-minute appearance live on the radio show Science Fantastic, hosted by physicist Michio Kaku. I’m about to go on (6 pm EST) to talk about E. coli, Darwin, and much more. Listen live!

We’ve all heard about the dire straits polar bears are facing if they lose their icy habitat to global warming. But just how many species may global warming drive extinct? One way to find out is to look over the mass extinctions of the past–and the picture there’s not pretty, as I explain in my…

My recent post about a striking new experiment in evolution (E. coli evolving the ability to eat a new kind of food) is still drawing lots of commenters and links. Very cool! Not so cool are the claims that this experiment is evidence of creationism, made by people who have not actually read the paper…

The field of biology has been wildly successful by taking what’s called a reductionist approach, i.e., you tackle a small problem in isolation in order to gain insight into larger questions. In his new book, Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life, Science writer Carl Zimmer took that reductionist approach and applied it…

Parasite Rock

In a couple weeks I head to Texas to the annual meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists to talk about parasites in pop culture. The symposium is called, “Parasitology: Public awareness through literature, art, and film.” Our panel has lots of creepy movie clips in store, plus other sorts of media including books and…