Biology

Terra Sigillata

Category archives for Biology

NBC now owns www.hornymanatee.com

Many ScienceBloggers are quite fond of manatees; I still keep my ‘Save the Manatee’ fundraising license plate from my days in the Sunshine State. But this made me laugh. From the New York Times, a Conan O’Brien skit on the absurdity of college mascots led NBC to cover its butt: At the end of the…

Chemistry Nobel Prize for Biology?

My colleague, Coturnix, just raised the question of whether the awarding of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Roger D. Kornberg of Stanford University is really an award for biology. A surprise to some of us “youngsters,” Kornberg was recongized as the sole winner for elucidating the basic mechanism of eukaryotic transcription. Not a…

Best as I can tell, our resident MD/PhD student, Jake Young at Pure Pedantry, was first to post on this morning’s announcement. The Nobel Prize website has a very nice press release on why the discovery of RNA interference is so central to our understanding of biology and is likely to result in therapeutic drugs…

Dr Bruce Alberts, recently departed president of the US National Academy of Sciences and Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF, just spoke this morning at a symposium celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Duke University School of Medicine. The overall program is incredible, with four Nobel laureates in three days, plus a number of…

Spontaneous combustion

I have to admit to feeling a bit unnerved by smelling fire all day yesterday, the anniversary of the US terrorist attacks. Little did I know that we’ve got a little case of overzealous municipal composting gone awry: A massive pile of leaves and wood at a city of Durham composting facility ignited over the…

Janet’s post on The New York Times breast-feeding article reminded me that I had a related post in the hopper that I had drafted at the old blog back in May. I wrote it following PZ Myers’ beautiful and scholarly repost from classic Pharyngula on the human breast milk and the origin of the word…