Oscillator

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Chemical Cartography

Everything has a unique chemical signature. Every body, every place. When you smell home you’re sensing all the chemical traces that make up the place you grew up. When you smell your mate, you’re smelling the unique combination of their body and the microbiome of their skin. The unique smell of a city is something…

Nick pointed me to a fabulous podcast series by CBC radio called “How To Think About Science.” Each episode is a long and fascinating interview with a prominent scholar of science–scientists, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, and historians who explore how science is done, how scientists work, and how scientific ideas and facts are communicated. Check it…

Scientific Color

We can babble philosophically about whether or not what we call “red” looks the same from another person’s eyes, we can compare the adjectives we use to specify colors–is it maraschino red or cayenne?–but when we’re talking to our computers, categorizing flowers, designing objects for mass production, branding a company, or establishing a flag’s official…

Holding on to cells with DNA

Mammalian cells need something to hold on to before they can stick to each other and form tissues. The plastic dishes that cells grow on in the lab need to be first coated with special chemicals that grab the cells and convince them to stick. Once the first batch of cells is down they start…

It’s not just Scott Kern who thinks that science is only about tedious benchwork and that grad students should be boring robots moving small volumes of liquid around 20 hours a day for the greater good. An unscientific analysis of the 169 comments and numerous comment thumbs ups of Hydrocalypse Industries’ most popular video shows…

iGEM on YouTube

iGEM students are nothing if not creative, fun, and super nerdy. Here is a taste of some of the awesome videos being made by this year’s crop, enjoy! Cambridge, with a catchy song about new techniques for joining pieces of DNA together: (via LabRat) Hong Kong University’s Inception trailer: TU Delft, finding science in pop…

Engineering Hybrid Silks

There was some big news yesterday in transgenic silk from Notre Dame and the University of Wyoming, where scientists have genetically engineered silkworms to produce silk that is a mixture of spider silk and the regular silkworm stuff. Silkworms produce the strong and versatile silk that is used to make clothes, but spiders produce silk…

So I was browsing the internet for info on G-protein coupled receptors and ended up finding some interesting facts about sperm. It turns out sperm don’t just swim blindly, hoping to randomly bump into eggs. Instead, like bacteria, sperm can sense their chemical environment and adjust their swimming accordingly. Sperm have a sense of smell.…

Your Name in Protein

Thanks to the internet, you can find out your pirate name and your Jersey Shore name, and now thanks to the EMBL-EBI learning tools, you can find your protein name too! When you type your name into the box, the program reads the letters of your name as if they were the single-letter codes for…

Meet Ginkgo BioWorks!

Our friends at Ginkgo BioWorks are hiring and they asked Hydrocalypse Industries to make them a video! Who Is the Bioengineer of the Future? It could be you!