Pharyngula

Archives for November, 2007

Last week, I reported on this new breakthrough in stem cell research, in which scientists have discovered how to trigger the stem cell state in adult somatic cells, like skin cells, producing an induced stem cell, a pluripotent cell that can then be lead down the path to any of a multitude of useful tissue…

Living Clocks of Arctic Animals

The seed of this mornings discussion in neurobiology was “Time, Love, Memory” by Jonathan Wiener. As has been the norm in past weeks we met in the on campus cafe bringing along with us four insightful questions each to keep the discussion rolling along throughout the hour. Wiener describes later in his book (p192) the…

Has everyone else heard of the Secret Science Club, though? It sounds a bit like Cafe Scientififique, but with a New York attitude — you lucky New Yorkers ought to go (it’s a bit far for this lucky Minnesotan to make the commute). It’s got a good writeup in the Gothamist, too. And a nice…

Losing a Lott to gain a Chip?

Trent Lott may be bailing out of politics, but it looks like his successor may be Chip Pickering, Pentecostal kook who had a brief appearance on Borat. Is it an improvement to replace a mean stupid thug with a religious airhead with a nice haircut?

For the science teachers

T. Ryan Gregory has announced that you can now read the inaugural issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach, which includes his own article. This is the new journal set up by Niles and Gregory Eldredge (father and son) to “provide direct linkage between the worlds of scientific research and the K-16 classroom.” It is definitely…

Disco Institute is vamping in Iowa

I almost feel sorry for Guillermo Gonzalez. The Discovery Institute is turning him into a political football, and making his denial of tenure a far greater mess than is warranted. They’re going to hold a press conference on Monday. The fight will rage on over Iowa State University astronomy professor Guillermo Gonzalez, who advocated for…

Don’t be put off by the subject

Aww, what a sweet song…about Ann Coulter.

Student Post: Immortalized Mules

I spent a summer working on an Arabian horse ranch when i was 17. I loved that place and am crazy about Arabians but… let’s face it. We’ve severely inbred horses for show. Exhibit A: It’s not uncommon for an Arabian pedigree to boast seven lines of relation to one horse. Bask, for instance, was…

Yowch!

Whether you love Christopher Hitchens or hate him, there’s something here for you: you can read Hitchens’ account of getting a full Brazilian. There are photos (don’t worry, nothing to make one stagger to the fainting couch). I think I’m going to have to cancel my appointment, though. It sounds like it hurts.

Gay Genes? Genetics?

While reading Jonathan Weiner’s book – Time, Love, Memory, I ran across several topics that are quite controversial. I thought that the book did an excellent job of presenting the science of these subjects while remaining neutral. One such topic is the genetic component of homosexuality. Studies have shown a tenative link between certain genes…