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In this post: the large versions of the Life Science and Physical Science channel photos, comments from readers, and the best posts of the week.


Life Science. From Flickr, by angela7dreams


Physical Science. A “true color” mosaic of the Orion Nebula captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. From NASA/C.R. O’Dell, via on Flickr

Reader comments of the week:

On the Life Science channel, ERV describes how viruses have co-evolved with humans in Viruses know us better than we know ourselves. Certain viral molecules can mimic human proteins—called chemokines—that attract fresh immune cells for the virus’s taking. How did such an efficient mechanism arise? The viruses have been infecting us and adapting to our immune systems for millions of years.

Reader Torbji?1/2rn Larsson, OM pointed out that it’s a two-way street:

But this goes both ways – we, our genome, knows them as much as they know us. Co-evolution, remember?

But admits:

(Okay, perhaps we are slow learners compared to the speed freak capabilities of the HIV quasispecies genome. Then again we have a large house with recipes. And matching capabilities in the adaptive immune system.)

In The Earth Will Not Be Sucked Into A Black Hole, Greg Laden posts an excerpt from a paper which claims to resolve fears about the Large Hadron Collider. Some people worry that miniature black holes created by the LHC could cause a chain reaction which would destroy the Earth. Though the paper is largely unintelligible to non-physicists, as Greg points out, its conclusion still comes as a welcome relief.

Well, not to reader phisrow:

I must confess a slight degree of disappointment. I’m not actually in favor of global annihilation; but, out of the endless parade of possible ways that humanity will meet its end, “Engulfed by Black Holes of own Faustian Creation” does rather catch the eye.

Some other Life Science posts we thought were cool this week were:

When Giant Wombats Ruled the Earth…

Too Many Species, Too Few Scientists

Death-trap or fortress – the two web designs of black widow spiders

A Cancer-Causing Virus…Protects Against Cancer?

Apres to receive extended protection in Spain

And from the Physical Science channel:

Biographers (and Physicists) Are Pigs

A Brief History of Physics

pv=nRT and the Exploding Bra

Explosive Volcanism in the Deep

Old Light

Look for highlights from other channels coming up!