The Opposing Thumb

An opinionated digit leafs through the biological literature

Visitors: Hans Meinhardt

It is a truth universally acknowledged that whenever someone begins a session with “the next speaker needs no introduction (insert here ‘from me’/’to this audience’/’in this house’ variant)”, an introduction will follow. So it was with Hans Meinhardt, of the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen. The audience knew him, and he had been in this […]

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 […]

Why MTA? *apologies to the Village People*

Science has some surprising roadblocks. There are the expected obstacles, ones that are easy to grasp- the contaminated cell culture, the mislabeled reagent, the power outage in the middle of a crucial gel’s run. All of these things fall under the heading of ‘shit happens’. They are inevitable, the risk they will occur can be […]

Tuesday Double Feature I: Fibonacci & Hilton

Friend of the blog Luis Rocha wrote a very critical (but concise) review of the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, which included inaccuracies he reports based on personal conversations with one of the Bletchley Park code breakers portrayed in the film:  “I had the great fortune of speaking with Peter Hilton a few times in real life. […]