Category Archives: Natural History

Vitamin F

  Sabine is a mouse midwife. She’s looking after about 20 expectant mouse moms, and the prognosis for the babies is not good. 3/4 of them will be born looking relatively normal, and no one is too concerned about these. … Continue reading

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Lineage-Enders

Teddy Wayne recently wrote a piece for the Sunday New York Times called “The Childless Life” (the digital version is titled “No Kids for Me, Thanks”) which at face value was a discussion of the individual choice to go vocally, self-righteously extinct. In … Continue reading

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Of Mice and Men, and Cats and Women

 Wookie Bear I am infested with parasites. My entire house is lousy with them—the word lousy is derived from the singular form for lice, a particular small mammalian ectoparasite. We categorize our parasites by where they live—the endoparasites like ascarid worms … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics, Natural History, Science | Leave a comment

Yeitse

This post was inspired by Michael Eisen (@mbeisen), who innocently asked about the DNA content of various foods on Twitter a few days ago. As expected, the responses were mostly the rantings of idiots, all sound and fury, signifying nothing. Michael … Continue reading

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Patients in Waiting

When people learn that I have been sequenced as part of George Church’s Personal Genome Project (PGP) they often say, “Wow- I’d like to be sequenced too!” My first response to them is, “Why – are you sick?” If the … Continue reading

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Science is Not Your Enemy

A labored defense of the practice of science – which we will define as scientism – was recently published under the title Science is Not Your Enemy by Stephen Pinker in New Republic magazine. A much more lighthearted approach by Tim Minchin … Continue reading

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Break a Sweat

Salt is one of the most ancient things of value to man, as a moment’s reflection on the origins of words – like salary (something worth working for) quickly brings to mind. Roman soldiers were paid in salt, not silver. … Continue reading

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