Pharyngula

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Junk DNA must be…fractal ballast!

I’ve now read two novel attempts to explain the existence of junk DNA. To a lot of people, the very idea of junk DNA is offensive: whatever process built us, whether divine fiat or the razor-sharp honing of natural selection, must be powerful, omnipotent or nearly so, and incapable of tolerating any noise or sloppiness,…

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Birthin’

This skink looks like it just burst out of someone’s chest, and in addition, it’s full of little baby skinks.

Friday Cephalopod: Seachild

Then he waited, marshaling his thoughts and brooding over his still untested powers. For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next. But he would think of something.

We had a blizzard this week. It’s bitterly cold right now. I was trying hard to think of good reasons to have left the Pacific Northwest, and this is about the only thing I came up with: Devil’s Club.

Friday Cephalopod: Cephalove

Now you can learn everything you need to know about octopus sex. It’s a bit tangly: But just in case you got lost in all the tentacles, here’s a diagram to help you out. By the way, in case you’ve ever wondered where an octopus keeps its nads, they’re maybe not where you expected. There…

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Poop propellors

That’s all I’ve got to say. Hippos are really into scat. Yeah, I’d hide too.

Friday Cephalopod: Winning!

This week, everyone has been sending me a link to that horrible series of photos showing a seal gnawing and dismembering an octopus (no, I will not link to it! I might cry.) So instead I’m showing you a happy movie of a successful octopus gnawing and dismembering a crab.

I built a microscope today

I did! It was an origami microscope, with a single simple lens added. Here’s what it looks like: It’s called a Foldscope, and I got it as part of a beta test program. It’s a bit like the original Leeuwenhoek microscope, which you held up to your eye to see a magnified image.

(via Earth Matters)

That quote is from a good article in Nature on how sex is non-binary — my only quibble would be with that “now”. You’d have to define “now” as a window of time that encompasses the entirety of my training and work in developmental biology, and I’m getting to be kind of an old guy.…