Thymely Thoughts

If you love the thymus, few speakers compare the the Max Planck’s Thomas Boehm.  Me, I love the thymus. It’s my favorite organ (my current infatuation with the Zebrafish swim bladder notwithstanding). So it was a real treat to hear Dr Boehm speak at the IGC this Friday on The Life and Times of the Thymus. Incidentally, if […]

Quote of the day: The sacred mysteries.

“‘Do you have children?’ I was asked by the very distinguished Professor of Theoretical Physics shortly after I joined the staff of Birmingham University. ‘Four,’ I replied, ‘equally spaced and alternating in sex’; and because my interlocutor was a theoretical physicist known to be privy to the dark secrets of the atomic bomb, I added […]

Rainy day reading

I’ve reviewed a pair of books for Lab Times magazine. If you don’t get a print edition, here are the links: the first is Daniel Davis’ historical account of the origins of modern immunology, with a particular emphasis on the genes responsible for transplant rejection; the second is Stanley Prusiner’s autobiographical story of the discovery […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Daniel Parker at The Mermaid’s Tale on the geography and genetics of malarial parasite drug resistance evolution. “Southeast Asia appears to be a “special” place with regard to the evolution of antimalarial resistance.  For whatever reason, parasites that are resistant to new antimalarials always seem to be first documented here and then sometimes appear to subsequently […]

Mostly Dead

As Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) explained in Rob Reiner’s 80s classic, The Princess Bride, “There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.” Shahragim Tajbakhsh of the Pasteur Institute recently stopped by to present his work on skeletal muscle stem cells (for quick primer on what stem cells are, here is a […]

The View from America After WWII

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote a letter to the Director of his wartime Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, requesting a plan to keep up the high pace of innovation set during the conflict in the coming peace (though Roosevelt, no Fukuyama he, could certainly see new clouds on the horizon). A copy […]