The Loom

Carl Zimmer

Darwin Day Festivities

In celebration of Darwin’s 198th birthday, there will be lots of events–talks, etc.–going on around the world next week. I’ll be doing my part, heading to the Rockies to talk at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. My talk is entitled, “The Descent of Man, From Darwin to DNA.” I’ll be speaking at 7 on…

Soft-Covered Hominids

Speaking of hobbits, the paperback edition of my human evolution book is just about to come out, and you can order it now on Amazon. And if you prefer the resounding thwack of hard covers, the hardback edition is still available. For information on the innards of the book, see this post from last year.

Could 2007 see some new hobbits? I certainly hope so.

Head For the Cool

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is about to release its newest edition of its report on global warming. In this AP report, one of the scientists who co-authored part of the IPCC study promises that it will contain much more than a smoking gun. It will contain “a batallion of intergalactic smoking missiles.” The…

An Odious Mixture

Mark Twain once discovered to his horror that his story “The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” had been hideously translated into French. He went so far as to publish the original story, the translation, and his own retranslation of the French back to English to show just how badly it had been abused. “I claim…

That Was Fast

Over at Blog around the Clock, Bora has the details on the new science blog anthology book he has put together and which is now for sale. (My posts on eye evolution (1, 2) are included.) Bora apparently got the idea for his book three weeks ago, and now he’s got an honest-to-goodness tome between…

Cancer: An Evolutionary Disease

Cancer, many biologists aruge argue, is an evolutionary disease. It is a burden of being multicellular, and a threat against which natural selection has only managed mediocre defenses. Making matters worse, cancer cells can borrow highly evolved genes for their own deadly purposes. And even within a single tumor, cancer cells get nastier through natural…

The Beast Takes a Break

On the last day of December, I turned in the final draft of my book about E. coli and the meaning of life. This is the sixth time around for me, and I’m getting familiar now with the havoc the experience wreaks on my nerves. In the final few weeks, the book becomes a monster…

Up and Down Life’s Staircase

One reason I love writing about biology is that it has so many levels. Down at the molecular scale, proteins flop and twist. Higher up, cells crawl and feed and divide. They organize into animals and plants and other big organisms, which must obey their own rules in order to survive. For some organisms, a…

Fellow scienceblogger Coturnix is assembling some posts about science for an anthology. He’s been asking for people to contribute suggestions. I’ve been meaning to thumb through my old posts in order to send one over, but it’s been more of a challenge than I thought. Part of the problem is that pieces of writing are…