Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Indira Raman has some light-hearted fun at eLife imagining Hamlet as a grant application. “Understanding the human condition is potentially of high impact. It should be pointed out, however, that previous investigators have tried and failed, so this should be seen as a high-risk-high-gain endeavor.” Much more seriously, Marina Warner at The London Review of Books […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Life is tough, and then it’s dry. “As a new pond forms, turquoise killifish eggs buried in the mud spring from suspended animation. The eggs hatch, and in just 40 days the fish grow to full size, about 2.5 inches. They feed, mate and lay eggs. By the time the ponds dry up, the fish […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

John Rasko and Carol Power at the Guardian take a scenic slide down a slippery slope to understand what can compel scientists to lie. “Carrel’s most famous experiment was a sham, but not why. If it was fraud, it was one of the most outrageous cases in the history of science. However, the cause may have […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Plants were never my thing in college- an extraordinarily bad Botany 101 professor instilled in me a pavlovian aversion to all things photosynthetic that took years to overcome. So great writing about Plant Science is something that I grudgingly bow to. Ian Street is doing an amazing job of it at his blog, The Quiet […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Is free will just the illusion that we can decide which tapeworm to obey? Daniel Cressey at Nature on how “When two parasites want different things, only one can triumph.” “In October, a woman in Guinea died of Ebola, leaving behind two daughters, one of them two years old, the other five. A relative named Aminata Gueye Tamboura […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

“The Twitter version of plant science history might say agriculture invented, Mendel experimented with pea plants, and GMOs get planted.” Apparently there’s more. Ian Street at his blog The Quiet Branches on the history of plant science. There is no “I” in TEAM, CANCER, or TUMOR. Coincidence? Carl Zimmer at the New York Times doesn’t […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Species get introduced and isolated by all sorts of interesting mechanisms. Drifting in the wind, or on a tree trunk. A new land bridge. Migration following prey. Migration running from predators. Dynamic Ecology on the previously neglected mechanism of transport by drug lord and release in to the wild following said drug lord’s slaying. Pablo Escobar’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

Monday Morning Smörgåsbord

Towards a web of life- Ferris Jabr at Aeon Magazine on jumping genes and evolution. “As far as anyone knew, the gene (…) existed in only two types of plants separated by hundreds of millions of years of evolution: ferns and algae. It was extremely unlikely that the gene had been passed down from a […]