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Okay, after a long, long gap (on the blogosphere timescale) and/or almost zero elapsed time (by scientific literature standards), we’re going to attempt to wrap up this mini-series on heat capacity effects in biology. Parts 1 and 2 are here and here, respectively. So: How do you know if your reaction has a heat capacity…

I’ve been strangely fascinated by the “arsenic-eating” and maybe “arsenic-utilizing’ bacteria report from NASA researchers and the so-called “backlash” (“arsenic-gate”) in the blogosphere. Many others have posted on this topic. What I’ve found most interesting is that there seem to be several parallel and barely intersecting universes: 1) the scientific literature, 2) the traditional media,…

Although I can’t remember where I saw “play with duct tape” on the list of learning objectives, I figured it would be cool to make a paper pinball machine with the kids – it’s kind of “educational.” (right?). Anyway, this ended up being a lot of fun, and (if I do say so myself) our…

Crickets chirping and Collider Whales

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet here lately. Things have been busy at the museum, and I’ve also been writing in other places. In particular, These days I’m a guest blogger at Boing Boing, and on top of that, I’m also having fun starting a children’s novel. This novel has a mouthful of a title,…

Just a quick note for you Brits out there (and specifically Londoners I guess). Tonight (Sept 24th), the Natural History Museum is hosting a “Science Uncovered” evening, whereby scientists and staff from various departments will be on hand. As well, there will be a place where cocktails can be purchased, which will probably make all…

The laws of thermodynamics are empirical laws – they were not derived from some first principles of the universe: they were derived by doing thousands and thousands of experiments, and then coming up with some relationships that could quantitatively explain all those experiments. In biological thermodynamics, we are at the beginnings of trying to define…

Robots, hamsters, and biodiversity.

Or something like that:… I just noticed, with some amusement, that the 2010 Toy of the Year is something akin to a cute robotic rodent. Specifically, they are called Zhu Zhu Pets, a mechanical universe of furry and mobile hamsters, expandable with a hamster-like ecosystem complete with wheels, balls, and see through tunnels. The fact…

Heat Capacity in Biology 101

Scienceblogs is promoting the writing of “Science 101″ general topic posts all through the “back to school” month of September. So, here is the first in a multi-part series on Heat Capacity in Biology: Heat Capacity in Biology 101: What is it? Heat capacity is basically a proportionality constant. For any substance, the heat capacity…

Image: Nagoya Congress Center plus Millenium Falcon reworked from original photo by Paula Pedrosa. link. Originally made for a series of Nagoya COP10 primers at Boing Boing (1 | 2 | SB | 3 | 4) I: SORTING OUT THE VERNACULAR So what is up with this Nagoya thing? Well, it’s a big international meeting…

The Speed of Money

Wow! Either it’s an odd coincidence, or the Latisse marketers are highly vigilant monetizers, because in less than 24 hours after I posted yesterday’s rambling little piece about the eyelash wonder drug, a tasteful little ad for it showed up on the Scienceblogs homepage (cue spooky music now). Robot voice: “Oh yes, I will go…