Posts

August 29, 2014

+
7:01 AM | Italian bread with no salt - an update
The question of why Italian bread has no salt has raised two hypotheses and here are some of the ideas about this from the local natives, Italians themselves. First, they all agreed on exactly one thing; no salt in the bread is a Tuscan thing. Further south and further north in Italy the bread has salt. So it's only Tuscan bread that tastes bland.  Who knew? The favored hypothesis is that Tuscan cured meats, their ham and their favorite salamis are pretty salty, so you just don't need salt […]
+
7:00 AM | Why mitochondrial donation is not about making ‘designer babies’
The UK Government is considering legalising a specialised form of IVF called mitochondrial donation, which aims to prevent potentially fatal mitochondrial disease. As Parliament prepares to debate the issue on […]
+
6:51 AM | The future body: An exhibit in the Science Centre Singapore
While walking along the rows of exhibits in the Science Centre Singapore, my gaze fell upon a small, interesting exhibit called the Future Body. Intrigued, I took a few steps closer and I started reading the description of it (on the info panel) and I watched the accompanying short video. The exhibit delved into the… Continue reading »
+
6:47 AM | Friday Fabulous Flowers - Italian Renaissance Edition
Several thoughts came to TPP while perusing the Uffizi Museum. Could there really be that many works of art featuring the Madonna and Child? (Yes!) You really had to have some big houses to commission some of those paintings. (Yep!) Some of the small details of paintings are their most interesting feature. And lastly,TPP is certain that one of the portraits was of Sansa Stark. So putting some of this together, and getting the most out of the museum's new no flash photography policy […]
+
6:00 AM | PHOTO DU BoB-218
No summary available for this post.
+
6:00 AM | Zin en zotheid in evolutie
Er is een bekende stelling van de bioloog Dobzhansky: Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution. Ik vind dit een mooie uitspraak, en ben het er roerend mee eens. Maar helaas kan alles overdreven worden, dus ook dit idee. Want dat iets meer ‘sense’ heeft in een evolutionaire schijnwerper, betekent niet dat die verklaring ook automatisch toepasselijk is. Dat klinkt... Lees meer op www.sciencepalooza.nl
+
3:34 AM | Notes from a quantum mechanics boot camp: day 2
I didn’t have the energy to write about quantum computing last night, but fortunately I can make up for it …Continue reading →

August 28, 2014

+
11:16 PM | La fiebre del oro negro
Muchos coincidirán en decir que actualmente nos encontramos en la “Era de la Información”. Antaño quedaron la Edad de Piedra o la de los Metales. Se antoja que reciban este nombre, por haber supuesto en su momento la base tecnológica de las sociedades contemporáneas a este periodo. En una mirada al pasado, podemos contemplar descubrimientos que han supuesto un gran salto tecnológico en la historia de la humanidad; un aumento en el bienestar […]
+
11:00 PM | GM Watch finds GENERA useful, “badly needed”
In a discussion about the scientific literature on genetically engineered crops, Claire Robinson of GM Watch has previously said: ”I am, as you say, unaware of your GENERA project. A comprehensive list of studies on all aspects of GMOs is badly needed but beyond our means to gather together.” Biology Fortified, Inc., with our limited resources and volunteer staff, have come to the rescue and created this “badly needed” resource. Happily, GM Watch is now aware […]
+
8:10 PM | Know your methods
In the September 2014 issue of Nature Methods, authors at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology argue in a Commentary that a productive way to frame the discussion about the reproducibility of biological results is to focus on how best to make good measurements. In other words, increasing the confidence in measurements is likely to also increase the reproducibility of the results of those measurements. Notably, in complex biological systems, making good measurements is not […]
+
6:16 PM | Domestication – rabbits now catching up with plants
Domestication of species is critical for our farming and own nutrition, as well as being important for retrospective studies of evolutionary genetics and future applications in animal and plant breeding. The genes involved in the first stages of domestication in plants are relatively clear: a single, tasty, energy-rich, product over-produced with a high proportion easily […]
+
6:00 PM | When You Move House, Your Microbial Aura Moves Too
As I type these words at my desk, I’m seeding my house with bacteria. I touch the desk, …
+
5:07 PM | Genomic cold fusion? Part I. Rational and irrational aspects of mapping
I’m sitting here on a smooth, quiet train from Zurich to Innsbruck, a few days after the mini-course that we taught in Helsinki. In this post I want to make a few reflections on things said by people reacting to Facebook or Twitter messages about the course, comments that were too short to do justice to what we actually said.In particular, the issues have to do with the nature of genome mapping strategies and what they are or mean.  There seems to be a good bit of confusion in this […]
+
5:02 PM | Ecology beyond the yakjam
Corey Bradshaw has a post on his trip to see the ecology of the Tibetan plateau. Away from high population pressures, the plateau has incredible diversity among its plants.
+
4:43 PM | Who is a botanist?
The Phytophactor is a botanist. His official title is Professor of Botany Emeritus, his graduate degrees are in botany, and the courses he taught were botany courses. Too many of my colleagues think botany is an old fashioned label rather than one of great distinction. Plant science is a favored label of some, but plant science, plant science, plant science, it just doesn't have a ring to it. The problem is that some of my colleagues prefer a narrower perspective. TPP […]
+
4:16 PM | Hawk moths in action, and how biologists study them
As a follow-up to CJ’s post about hummingbird moths—more generally known as hawk moths—let me recommend this episode of Plants are Cool, Too, which features the work of Chicago Botanic Garden conservation scientist Krissa Skogen. At White Sands National Monument, Skogen tracks the nectar rewards that attract hawk moths, and how far the moths carry […]
+
4:14 PM | Arabidopsis Research Round-up
Here’s your UK Arabidopsis Research Round-up for this week.  Today we feature a mixed bag of new work from the Universities of Cambridge, Leicester, Leeds andLiverpool. One of the Leeds authors, Emily Hawkes, has been selected to present her work at GARNet 2014, which takes place in just two weeks’ time (9–10 September 2014)! If you haven’t already registered for[...]
+
4:06 PM | Developmental plasticity is not Lamarckism
Sometimes, people email me with good questions. Here’s one. When I was a kid, my own visualization of evolution was Lamarckism. But I didn’t know it. In reading Dawkins and others, I know it doesn’t exist. But it seems this article is claiming it does to some extent. Can you comment? I’m curious as to…
+
4:00 PM | One Species Becomes Two, Inside an Insect
It’s easy to imagine how a physical barrier, like a river or a mountain range, could create new …
+
3:45 PM | Pomeranian Is Guinness' Fastest Dog on All Twos
Spry pup holds speed records in two categories.
+
3:18 PM | The Common Scorpionfly (Panorpa Communis)
Common ScorpionflyNotice the enlarged sting-like genitaliaCredit: Gailhampshire  (CC BY 2.0)Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: InsectaOrder: MecopteraFamily: PanorpidaeGenus: PanorpaSpecies: Panorpa CommunisConservation Status: Least Concern (Not Threatened)Common Name(s): Common scorpionfly or just scorpionflyThe common scorpionfly is a weird, scorpion-like insect found throughout the UKs. As you can see on the images, males appears to have a stinger-like tail. No wonder why P. […]
+
1:59 PM | Dal lievito del pane la morfina del futuro
In un futuro prossimo i fiori potrebbero essere soppiantati dal lievito. Almeno per quanto riguarda l'estrazione di oppio: come suggerisce uno studio pubblicato su Nature Chemical Biology dagli scienziati dell'Università di Stanford, guidati da Christina Smolke, sarà possibile riprodurre gli alcaloidi dell’oppio (le sostanze narcotiche) a partire dalla tebaina, un prodotto intermedio della sintesi della morfina, per mezzo di enzimi […]
+
1:36 PM | Anche per i lupi lo sbadiglio è contagioso
Niente è più contagioso di uno sbadiglio. Se vediamo o sentiamo qualcuno sbadigliare, è probabile che lo faremo anche noi, soprattutto se si tratta di un nostro parente o amico. E lo stesso avviene in diverse specie animali, compresi i lupi, come dimostra uno studio pubblicato sulla Public Library Of Science One. Un gruppo di ricercatori dell’Università di Tokyo ha infatti osservato come la probabilità di sbadigliare in risposta allo stesso comportamento […]
+
1:12 PM | What’s the Answer? (resource gone missing)
Biostars is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions and issues. We are members of the community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at Biostars that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Every Thursday we will be highlighting one of those items or discussions here […]
+
1:00 PM | A summer of science journalism with the Wellcome Trust-New Statesman scholarship
 Earlier this year the Wellcome Trust and New Statesman announced a joint programme offering paid internships to aspiring science writers from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. The recipients of the first two scholarships spent eight weeks working at New Statesman. Ajit Niranjan, tells us about the experience… This summer I worked as a science writer for the […]
+
12:55 PM | Most African Ivory Headed for Asia
Poached African elephant ivory is a billions of dollars business and it is Asians, especially Chinese humans, who make it such through their demand, according to Born Free USA. Ivory has no "real value" to humans. No more than a like weight of human teeth. But that hasn't stopped the killing within a rapidly decreasing population of elephants.That is why we must not be part of the supply chain...and must demonstrate ivory's real lack of value.The Chinese government is one of several which has […]
+
12:37 PM | These Sharks and Rays Just Got Protected: Photos
Five new shark species, along with two species of manta ray, gain new worldwide protection next month.
+
12:30 PM | On the Case: An Internship in Detective Work, Library Style
Facade, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural HistoryMy earliest memory of the Natural History Museum is climbing the steps to see the “stuffed animal zoo.” It was a very rainy day and our plans of visiting the National Zoo were put on hold. However, my mom had an idea so that I- only about four or five at the time- could still see animals. I had no idea at the time what exactly she meant by “stuffed animal,” but I had a blast and returned frequently during our […]
+
12:05 PM | Non-Native Anole in Florida — What Species Is This?
Can you identify this species?  It was recently observed in Pinellas County in Florida, where Anolis sagrei is established but not any other Anolis spp.  This photo is your only clue.
+
11:19 AM | Spiders self-amputate legs after wasp stings
Firstly, once again I find myself apologising for not writing more regularly. I WILL become better at this! I’ve been somewhat engrossed in writing up a report for my dreaded first year PhD appraisal, but on the way I have … Continue reading →
123456789
1,155 Results