Extinct is forever
. Or is it?
Scientists are hard at work reconstructing entire genomes of our common ancestors. The present technology is a far cry from Jurassic Park, but we're getting there.
posted by mowglisambo
on Dec 8, 2004 -
The Dawkins FAQ.
Interesting Q&A session about evolution, biology, genes, etc with an expert
. Dawkins claims no final answer on the "gay gene" or a Darwinian explanation of homosexuality.
posted by skallas
on Nov 27, 2004 -
Real-Time Biological Natural Gas Generation.
A research lab has discovered that microbes living in Wyoming's Powder River Basin are generating methane (natural gas) through their natural metabolism of local coal beds. In relation to the many Peak Oil discussions here, could be way to get more energy for the future. (via SpaceDaily.com)
posted by zoogleplex
on Nov 17, 2004 -
"We have [a substance]
that extends the life of every species it's given to. We're 50 years ahead of where I thought we would be 10 years ago." While Harvard Medical School rules prevent David Sinclair
from recommending product
, "I know a number of scientists who think [it]
is their best shot. Others satisfy themselves with a glass of red wine
," which contains the compound. Too good to be true?
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 6, 2004 -
the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.
posted by semmi
on Sep 20, 2004 -
The Starving Ocean
: A large collection of articles by Debbie MacKenzie on the death of the ocean. The idea is that removing most of the fish from the sea might be sort of bad for the marine ecosystem as a whole. Her writing style is a bit kooky, but she has been right on some points (ie. the Grey Seal thing). Oh, and fishing is also responsible for the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide
posted by sfenders
on Sep 14, 2004 -
The story of Ohh!
For men it is quick, easy and essential for reproduction. For women, it is slow, difficult and purely for pleasure. Yet despite such differences, it brings the sexes together and is the basis of the monogamy that distinguishes us from other animals. In his new book, Jonathan Margolis examines the phenomenon of the orgasm
posted by Postroad
on May 2, 2004 -
Thou shalt not make scientific progress.
"Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way."
posted by homunculus
on Mar 24, 2004 -
Plants in motion
is a comprehensive archive of time-lapse movies (Quicktime format) of plants germinating and growing, flowers opening, tropic responses and circadian movements. Some of the video is quite eerie. The plants really seem...erm...alive... The site also has a guide to making your own time-lapse film
posted by Jimbob
on Oct 19, 2003 -
- learn about the world's most poisonous plants, the fastest growing, the most painful, the oldest, the ongoing debate about the largest, and much more. Also discussed is the rare coconut pearl
- botanical jewel, or hoax?
posted by Jimbob
on Oct 2, 2003 -
The Visible Embryo.
"This spiral represents the 23 stages occurring in the first trimester of pregnancy and every two weeks of the second and third trimesters. Use the spiral to navigate through the 40 weeks of pregnancy and preview the unique changes in each stage of human development." via The Eyes Have It
, which sadly looks as if it hasn't been updated since February, but still has much of interest to offer.
posted by jokeefe
on Jul 27, 2003 -
We are because of others. We are born into this world with minds as naked as our bodies and we have to rely on others to feed, clothe us, and to teach us to think of ourselves as selves. The key is language -- grammatical speech and human culture build upon the brain's biological capacities to create a mind that is something different again than that with which we are born. We are conscious because we can speak to others and ourselves, because we can speak of ourselves to others and ourselves. Language gives us as individuals, memory, and as groups, culture, the social memory. Or so thought Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky
, among others. Welcome to the the neuronaut's guide to the science of consciousness
posted by y2karl
on Jul 11, 2003 -
'Provided for your delight are a small number of the world's butterflies and moths, taken from Dru Drury's three-volume monograph entitled Illustrations of Exotic Entomology.'
Related :- Schreber's Fabulous Beasts.
'In 1774 Johann Christian Dan Schreber authored a multivolume set of books entitled Die Saugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen. Focusing on mammals of the world, these books were lavishly illustrated with 755 hand-colored plates ... '
posted by plep
on Jul 5, 2003 -
What am I?
Clearly the most pressing question facing the human race today. Every individual human brain contains around 10^12 (1 trillion) neurons and 10^15 (1 quadrillion) synapses, capable of changing in milliseconds, and there are 6x10^9 (6 billion) people on this planet, all potentially capable of interacting and influencing one another. Last year alone 1.6x10^11 (160 billion) minutes of international telephone calls were made between people talking at a rate of 120 to 150 words per minute.
A collection of articles at newscientist.com.
posted by mokey
on Jun 14, 2003 -
Cuba is best known for its legendary cigars
and bearded dictators
, but it's also home to some of the healthiest ecosystems in the Caribbean. Pygmy owls
, bee hummingbirds
, and solenodons
share the islands of Cuba with tiny tiny tree frogs
, and one of the largest groups of snails
in the world. There are problems, though. Many species such as the giant cursorial owl
, the ivory-billed woodpecker
and the smallest of the giant sloths
have been wiped out over the last 5,000 years, and other species are threatened
posted by bshort
on May 23, 2003 -
The world's smallest seahorse.
'The creature, to be known as Hippocampus denise
, is typically just 16 millimetres long - smaller than most fingernails. Some were found to be just 13 mm long. '
posted by plep
on May 12, 2003 -
I yearn for your tasty flesh
[ Gene Study Finds Cannibal Pattern ] - "Deep in the recesses of the human heart, lurking guiltily beneath the threshold of consciousness, there may lie a depraved craving — for the forbidden taste of human flesh.
The basis for this morbid accusation, made by a team of researchers in London, is a genetic signature, found almost worldwide, that points to a long history of cannibalism" (NYT)
posted by troutfishing
on Apr 11, 2003 -
The Bacteria Whisperer
“Bonnie Bassler discovered a secret about microbes that the science world has missed for centuries. The bugs are talking to each other. And plotting against us.”
posted by o2b
on Mar 21, 2003 -
World's first brain prosthesis revealed.
Well, first hippocampus replacement at least. If this is not a dead end for science (which I doubt), I am gonna get my soul fully digitalized in 2020, then spreading it on the whole net with some new version of a code-red virus. :-)
posted by zerofoks
on Mar 13, 2003 -
Don't believe in evolution? Don't get a recommendation.
The Justice Department has been asked to look into the case of a Texas Tech biology professor who has made it clear that you won't get a recommendation from him if you believe in creationism. In his online notes to students
, Dini writes "If you set up an appointment to discuss the writing of a letter of recommendation, I will ask you: 'How do you think the human species originated?' If you cannot truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer to this question, then you should not seek my recommendation for admittance to further education in the biomedical sciences." The Liberty Legal Institute
, calls the policy "open religious bigotry." Texas Tech supports Lini, saying the decision on whether to recommend someone is a personal one. Clearly, it should be a professor's call on whether to give a student a recommendation or not, but did Lini make himself a target by laying out this criteria this way?
posted by Gilbert
on Jan 30, 2003 -
This news item
turned out to be a hoax. Has Reuters been fooled again
? I certainly smell a rat...
(I know the original mefi link pointed to the BBC, but the BBC picked it up from Reuters)
posted by titboy
on Oct 19, 2002 -
Gene Prevents 'Brains Everywhere'
The human version of the gene probably is not involved in keeping the human brain inside the skull, but likely plays some other role in nervous system development in human embryos, says Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, a developmental biologist at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
posted by Grod
on Oct 11, 2002 -
The All Species Inventory
is a non-profit organization dedicated to the complete inventory of all species of life on Earth within the next 25 years - a human generation. It's an interesting project, based on open-source ideology (check out their "Principles
") but seems to be limiting itself to strictly Linnaean
posted by Irontom
on Sep 23, 2002 -
Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct,
yet scientists insist that we make a great effort to save endangered species
. If extinction is the natural course of evolution, why bother? And if humankind is the cause of these lastest extinctions and endangerments, should efforts be made to save people so that their exploitation of the natural world can continue? Aren't our efforts to fight diseases such as the aids epidemic in Africa not only a denial of evolutionly forces but also adding to the problem of overpopulation exerting unbearable pressure on the environment? If evolution is truely the force it's claimed to be can it's course be changed by mankind and if so, should it be? Should evolution be allowed to take its course?
posted by Mack Twain
on Jul 8, 2002 -