Category Archives: Science

Activism and the Academy

I am a member of a thing I call the Academy. It is a club, but without any roster, dues, or membership requirement – other than a preoccupation with science. It is non-exclusive, without judgment of any kind with respect … Continue reading

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1958: Galveston physicians render infants Vitamin F deficient

There seems to be a dedicated readership numbering in the solid single digits who faithfully read each entry I post here. Those who would not be counted in such a group are encouraged to read my last post, Vitamin F, … Continue reading

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Vitamin F

  Sabine is a mouse midwife. She’s looking after about 20 expectant mouse moms, and the prognosis for the babies is not good. 3/4 of them will be born looking relatively normal, and no one is too concerned about these. … Continue reading

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Sympathy for the Devil

Tim Hunt is a 72-year old British Nobel laureate who was forced to resign from his position at the University College of London this week because of things he said at a press conference. Those sentences have been reproduced widely … Continue reading

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Lineage-Enders

Teddy Wayne recently wrote a piece for the Sunday New York Times called “The Childless Life” (the digital version is titled “No Kids for Me, Thanks”) which at face value was a discussion of the individual choice to go vocally, self-righteously extinct. In … Continue reading

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Of Mice and Men, and Cats and Women

 Wookie Bear I am infested with parasites. My entire house is lousy with them—the word lousy is derived from the singular form for lice, a particular small mammalian ectoparasite. We categorize our parasites by where they live—the endoparasites like ascarid worms … Continue reading

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Yeitse

This post was inspired by Michael Eisen (@mbeisen), who innocently asked about the DNA content of various foods on Twitter a few days ago. As expected, the responses were mostly the rantings of idiots, all sound and fury, signifying nothing. Michael … Continue reading

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Winter of our Disrespect

On a cold February morning recently I checked the Great Lakes Environmental Research site and found that only one of the Great Lakes had any waves on it. Superior, Erie, Huron, and Ontario were frozen solid. A small peanut of Lake Michigan … Continue reading

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Lose Weight…and your poop will glow in the dark too!

Sean Davies had a problem to solve: If you genetically modify enteric bacteria to make them more healthful, how can you quickly check to see if they’re happily growing away inside your experimental rat? The solution he chose could represent the … Continue reading

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Testicle Size in Parenting and Sexual Selection

Thanks goes to Laura Deming for pointing out another recent paper whose title, “Testicular volume is inversely correlated with nurturing-related brain activity in human fathers,” proved irresistible to PNAS, enabling them to overlook stunning intellectual flaws.  Problems include: Selection bias. Participants … Continue reading

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