The Loom

Carl Zimmer

Host Shift: Web Site Evolution

Just a quick note: I’m in the process of changing hosts for my web site, carlzimmer.com. Once the transfer is done, you should be able to get to the article archive, book pages, and all the rest once more. The down time shouldn’t last too long. The site will also be going through some long…

In January, Scientific American ran an article by me about the evolutionary roots of cancer, which you can read here (and about which I blogged here). Now, via Respectful Ignorance Respectful Insolence [d’oh!], I’ve discovered a new review on said subject in the March issue of the journal Nature Reviews Cancer. The review, “Darwinian medicine:…

Jesus and Journalists

This morning I noticed that on top of my blog there’s an ad for an upcoming show on the Discovery Channel that claims to reveal the tomb of Jesus and his family. I haven’t seen a preview of the show, and from an article in this morning’s NY Times, I have very little interest in…

My ancestry forms a smear across northern and central Europe, a region of the world where many people have a peculiar gift: they can drink milk as adults. Almost all people can digest milk sugar (lactose) as babies, but in many parts of the world they lose this ability after they stop nursing. The change…

Evolving Robotspeak

Loyalty, teamwork, cruel deception: welcome to robot evolution.

Woman the Hunter?

There was a time–in the 1960s and 1970s–when the phrase “Man the Hunter” enjoyed a lot of popularity. Some researchers claimed that the evolution of hunting played a key role in the origin of our lineage. That’s what we made tools for, and that’s how we got all the extra energy to fuel our big…

Sources, sources

Behold conservapedia, which calls itself “an online resource and meeting place where we favor Christianity and America”–and where we don’t like Wikipedia at all. My fellow Sciencebloggers have been finding all sorts of factual troubles with the site over the past few days. I didn’t think I had all that much to add, until I…

Build Me A Tapeworm

Darwin gave a lot of thought to the strangest creatures on this planet, wondering how they had evolved from less strange ancestors. Whales today might be fish-like warm-blooded beasts with blowholes and flukes, but long ago, Darwin argued, their ancestors were ordinary mammals that walked on land with legs. His suggestion was greeted with shock…

Dodos: The Terrors of the Night!

The latest joy from the Discovery Institute: an attempt to make dodos look scary.

Ulcers of the World, Unite

There are six and a half billion human stomachs on this little planet of ours, and over half of them are home to a microbe called Helicobacter pylori. Scientists have known about the bacteria since the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that Australian doctors noticed that H. pylori was in the stomachs…