Reductio ad absurdum

“By then I had entered graduate school [in molecular biology at Harvard], but I’m a purist, and I started working my way back through the sciences. I took physical chemistry first, then mathematical physics, and then straight math, which I found most compelling of all. I ended up taking the entire math sequence—linear algebra, algebra, […]

Ransoming Your Liver

James Surowiecki gives us a short & sweet look at unbridled market logic applied to drug prices: “Sovaldi can cure ninety per cent of (Hepatitis C) patients in three to six months, with only minor side effects. There’s just one catch: a single dose of the drug costs a thousand dollars, which means that a […]

A Brief History of the Mind

Neurologist  Oliver Sacks & humble earthworm, by Madalena Parreira. Oliver Sacks runs through the natural history of mental life, from illuminated worms to electric carnivorous plants. Along the way, we encounter the young Father of the Neuron, who abandons it for other pursuits, probably contributing to this cell’s notorious behavioral issues: ‘Freud was able to […]

Cretaceous Cooperation Continues

The Cretaceous, 145 to 66 million years ago, marks the definitive end of what used to be called the Age of Reptiles. Asteroid, superflu, volcanoes (super or just lots of regular)- something bad happened, and an estimated 75% of all living species disappeared. Martin Kaltenpoth and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology […]