Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Academic journals have a higher profit margin that almost any legal business. “This lucrative nature of academic publishing comes at a price–and that weight falls on the shoulders of the full higher education community which is already bearing the burden of significantly decreasing academic budgets. ‘A large research university will pay between $3-3.5 million a […]

On Limited Sloppiness

“The meeting was called to discuss photoreactivation, which had recently been discovered by Kelner in bacteria, and by Dulbecco in phage. It just amazed me that this very striking effect had not been discovered before. Many scientists had irradiated bacteria and phage with ultraviolet light, including Luria, myself, Dulbecco, and so on and so forth, […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

“Their dream is to create a technology that reads signals from people’s brains and uses them to control machines. The machines might be robot arms that people could use to feed themselves, or computers to compose emails, or perhaps even exoskeletons that could enable people to walk.” Carl Zimmer at the Loom on the amazing implants that […]

Walking Fish & Chicks With Tails

I still remember my disappointment as a kid when, after taking me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark, my father explained to me that destroying thousand-year-old temples to get one gold statue wasn’t what archeologists normally did. The memory surfaced in my mind last week when I had a conversation with McGill University’s Hans […]

Tuesday Double Feature I: John Maynard Smith

A friend used to say that my most treasured possession was a letter (not an email, a signed letter) from one of the great biologists of the 20th Century, John Maynard Smith, declining a conference invitation (very politely). I’ve since lost that letter when changing countries, upgrading my Luke Skywalker in Hoth action figure to […]