Mike the Mad Biologist

Archives for May, 2011

One thing I like about PLoS ONE is that it has interesting, if not always groundbreaking, science. Consider this article, “Propagation of Respiratory Aerosols by the Vuvuzela” (italics mine):

Links 5/27/11

Links for you. Science: Ignorance is bliss (sometimes) Giant water bug photographed devouring baby turtle Biology to the masses Other: The financial implications of the US measles outbreaks The role of bank deposits in Modern Monetary Theory The dying of the light Philip Pilkington: Beyond growth – are we entering a new phase of economic…

Whenever I attend ASM, there are always students standing next to unattended posters. It’s somewhat depressing: they’ve cleaned and gussied themselves up, sweated over the details of their posters, and are gamely trying to not look depressed at the complete lack of attention their posters are receiving. Because I like helping, I’m going to provide…

Links 5/26/11

I’m back! And that means links. Science: A map of charismatic canid genomic variation 10 Important Differences Between Brains and Computers Grant Reductions. Sigh. Other: Robert Samuelson Is Too Lazy to Look Up Income Data for the Elderly A Decent Man, Smeared Taxing the rich Sex, hope, and rock and roll The miniskirt made him…

A seminal discovery of modern biology was Joshua Lederberg’s demonstration that bacteria can swap genes through a process known as bacterial recombination. Not only is recombination the mechanism by which antibiotic resistance genes are transferred, but it’s also been turned into a useful tool for genetically manipulating E. coli, which has led to so many…

Creationism and Cybervitalism

Every so often, a creationist will start babbling about “information theory”, and thereby defaming a perfectly legitimate line of research. While I’m at the airport, waiting for my flight back from ASM2011, here’s something from the archives, “Creationists, “Biological Information”, and Cyber-Vitalism” about that topic: In response to us foul-mouthed evolutionists, Casey Luskin asks, “Yet…

When I return from the ASM2011 meeting, I hope to discuss this excellent post by Michael Bérubé about the political centrality of the culture wars. Until then, I’ll leave you with the post from the archives, “Abortion Is a Blessing”: Abortion isn’t the lesser of two evils–it is a just and good thing. So says…

I find reading economist Brad DeLong interesting since, even though I don’t always agree with him on economics, he approaches his subject with the humility that scientific disciplines brutally instill in their faithful practitioners. This was an interesting notion regarding the future of economics education: It is the scale of the catastrophe that astonishes me.…

Links 5/22/11

Links for you. Science: Voracious Feral Camels Are the New Cane Toads (Which Are the New Rabbits…) Filtering Isn’t the Problem Do girls steal some of their mother’s beauty? Sex bias in parental investment Other: Lowenstein Lets Wall Street Off the Hook Yale Suspends DKE House For “No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal” Chants Limits…

Nicholas Kristof has done some excellent reporting on the issues facing the developing world. But he is a case study in how reporting and analysis are not necessarily part of the same skill set. In Thursday’s column, Kristof writes (italics mine): When I was in college, I majored in political science. But if I were…