Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for June, 2007

Some Sunday Links

Here are some links for you. Go read some science, you goddamn kids:

What Does Henneberger Want?

Scott LeMieux exposes the illogic of Melinda Henneberger‘s NY Times op-ed about abortion and Democrats. What I can’t figure out is what does Henneberger want?

Anything that lowers the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in agriculture is a good way to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance. Fromt he NY Times:

Fumarase Deficiency and Gay Marriage

With Massachusetts having prevented the attempt to de-legalize gay marriage, there is much discussion about the topic. But this story about a splinter Mormon group highlights the importance of outlawing one type of marriage: marriages between close relatives. By way of Lance Mannion, from Reuters (italics mine):

We Didn’t Create Hamas, But We Did…

…help them win the election. Over at Thoughts from Kansas, ScienceBlogling Josh has a post about who and what are responsible for the current civil war in the West Bank and Gaza. In any discussion of the Middle East, all sorts of things will be claimed, but there is one awful historical fact: American and…

An Evo-Devo Kerfuffle

In the May edition of Evolution, Hopi Hoekstra and Jerry Coyne have an interesting commentary, “The Locus of Evolution: Evo Devo and the Genetics of Adaptation.” They raise two points about “evo devo” (the fusion of developmental and evolutionary biology) that have always bothered me. From the abstract (boldface mine):

The Bestest Exclusion Cage EVAH!

The Mad Biologist loves this experiment. In the April 2007 issue of Ecology, there’s a nice article by Ellis et al. demonstrating how sea gull predation regulates community dynamics in the rocky intertidal. One of the methods used was the construction of exclusion cages. Essentially, these keep various critters of interest out of a patch…

Scientists and Journalists, Part Deux

Having been encouraged by ScienceBlogling John Wilkins, I’m going to follow up on my post about science journalism, and, no doubt, get myself into further trouble. First, though, I want to clarify some points.

Over at MyDD.com, there’s some consternation about how a generic Democrat beats a generic Republican in opinion polls, but named Democrats do poorly against named Republicans. As you might imagine, everyone is arguing that this is the reason why his or her electoral strategy MUST BE FOLLOWED. I think the explanation is pretty straightforward:

NIH, in about six months, will release a huge sum of money to fund the study of the human ‘microbiome': those microorganisms that live on or in us. One of the things that will be done with this money is meta-genomics which is “the study of genomes recovered from environmental samples as opposed to from…