Stranger Fruit

Category archives for Biology

Linnaeus’ Legacy is live!

I don’t usually do blog carnivals but Linnaeus’ Legacy #4 is up at The Other 95% and mentions a post of mine. Wander on over to see the current best posts on taxonomy and systematics.

Joshua Lederberg (1925 – 2008)

Tara has more details.

BERT binds to ERNI

Scientists have discovered how two proteins called BERT and ERNI interact in embryos to control when different organ systems start to form. Apparently BERT binds to ERNI to unblock the transcription factor Sox2. Seriously. The paper is over at PLoS Biology.

More information here.

White-Crowned Sparrow

White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys We recently planted winter grass and have managed to attract large numbers of white-crowned sparrows, a species that I hadn’t seen before here in Tempe. [image source]

Digital dissection coolness

This is so cool. A one-millimeter long spider (Cenotextricella simoni) encased in amber gets "digitally dissected" using Very High Resolution X-Ray Computed Tomography. The paper is online in Zootaxa 1623:47-53 but requires a subscription.

Arthur Kornberg, dead at 89

Stanford University Hospital is reporting that Arthur Kornberg, the 1959 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, has died aged 89. Kornberg received recognition for his discovery of "the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)". His son, Roger, received his own Nobel (Chemistry) last year.

Just a random image.

A colorized scanning electron micrograph depicts a group of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The bug made headlines this week because of a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association that it caused 94,000 serious infections and nearly 19,000 deaths in 2005 – most of them in hospitals. (Source: Janice Carr/CDC/Handout/Reuters)

Is there a lepidopterist in the house?

Can any one out there identify this little guy for me? Spotted this afternoon fluttering around my yard (suburban Phoenix, AZ) in some distress. If it helps, the grey stripe is approximately a half an inch wide. Update: Looks like it is a White-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata Fabricius, 1775). More information here. Thanks to Gene…

Optimism and the Yangtze River dolphin

ABC (Australia) is reporting that the Yangtze River dolphin or baiji (Lipotes vexillifer) may not be definitely extinct after all (see here and here). Wang Ding – who headed the survey team – is reported as saying: This is only one survey and…you can’t have a sample in a survey, so you cannot say the…