Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

I really had no idea of that this had happened on this scale: “The dark shadow of thalidomide is still with us. The original catastrophe maimed 20,000 babies and killed 80,000”. Harold Evans at The Guardian on new research by the UK Thalidomide Trust uncovering evidence that this was a crime and not a tragic […]

Water Strider: a Short Conversation with Abderrahman Khila

“I like students who take chances” Abderrahman Khila, an evolutionary biologist from the Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon (IGFL), tells Leila Shirai, the PhD candidate he is here to examine. Dr Khila came by this respect for risk-taking students honestly. A quick glance at his CV reveals a long walk down the road less […]

Quote of the Day

“When fruit flies crossed the threshold of the experimental laboratory, they crossed from one ecosystem to another quite different one, with different rules of selection and survival. Once in the lab they were physically reconstructed and adapted to experimental uses. They were, however active players in the relationship with experimental biologists, capable of unexpectedly changing […]

Tuesday Double Feature II: Photo 51

“May 1st, 1952 (…) at this very moment (…) close by, in a London lab, an X-ray camera is clicking off a 100 hour exposure of something called DNA.” This is a long one (55 minutes), a NOVA episode on Rosalind Franklin‘s picture, a serious contender for the title of most important photograph of all time.

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Former IGC resident artist and London University of the Arts Professor Rob Kesseler has a new image gallery online at the New Scientist: enjoy the “Psychedelic Plants” slide show. Sheri Fink at the New York Times reviews Atul Gawande’s ‘Being Mortal’, on modern medicine’s struggle to deal with the terminally ill. ‘Gawande argues against the treatment-at-all-costs model that once prevailed in […]

Quote of the Day

“Sadly, however, a close study of his book and of the related literature has shown me that what was true in his book was not original, and most of what was original was known not to be true even when the book was written … the apparent contradictions between life and the statistical laws of […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

“(N)obody really believes that a cat can be simultaneously dead and alive” says Johnjoe McFadden at Aeon Magazine. “Nevertheless, wrote Schrödinger in What Is Life? (1944), some of life’s most fundamental building blocks must, like unobserved radioactive atoms, be quantum entities able to perform counterintuitive tricks.” Are there important quantum phenomena in Biology? Ed Yong […]