All entries by this author

Evolution of Cascades

Mar 13th, 2009 | By | Category: Evolution

Regulated cascades pop up all the time in biology–particularly in complex organisms. Whether coagulation, development or differentiation of specific cell types, they all follow the same general pattern.

Some new work, in the field of skeletal muscle differentiation, points to another way beyond the divine to generate a cascade.



Responses to Dire Warnings of Imminent Danger

Mar 12th, 2009 | By | Category: Economics, Science and Society

1. In the best way we can, in the face of no viable alternatives beyond doom. From NOAA: NOAA’s National Weather Service has issued a report that analyzes forecasting performance and public response during the second deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history. The report, Service Assessment of the Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak of February 5-6, […]



Which Doll is the Nice Doll?

Mar 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Science and Society, Your Rights

Preventing “children from being taught in public schools that ‘same-sex marriage’ is the same as traditional marriage” however does cause demonstrable harm. Kenneth B. Clark’s “Doll Test” tells us that letting proposition-8 stand will damage children who are biologically determined to be attracted to the same sex–telling them their capacity for love is wrong and beneath that of the heterosexual majority.



Voyager 2, How I Miss You

Mar 2nd, 2009 | By | Category: Scientific Disciplines

Early in 1986, I snuck out of bed and turned on the ancient black-and-white television set close to my bedroom. Only eight years old, I sat down to watch a PBS special. The Voyager 2 spacecraft was about to send back the first close-up pictures of the planet Uranus. Even at that young age, I […]



Autism is Not Caused By Vaccination

Feb 16th, 2009 | By | Category: Crappy Science Reporting, Public Health

Autism is not caused by vaccination. Autism is not caused by vaccination. Autism is not caused by vaccination. Autism is not caused by vaccination. Autism is not caused by vaccination. Autism is not caused by vaccination: …..a special federal court ruled Thursday that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and vaccines that contained a mercury-based preservative were not […]



Evolution on Darwin’s 200th Birthday

Feb 12th, 2009 | By | Category: Evolution, Featured Articles, Lead Article

Human understanding of life has come in spurts, separated by decades of consolidation and grappling with new data or new ways of thinking about biology. We’re, right now, in midst of another spurt in our understanding of life.



Oh NARN…

Feb 9th, 2009 | By | Category: Science and Society

With Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN) protesting Lark over Foie Gras, and the (expected) backlash, I feel like it’s time to have a pro-animal rights post. Not pro-NARN, mind you. I want to praise the animal rights activists who created, implemented and supported the research animal use regulations. Rather than go after an outright ban […]



Climate Change: Irreversible

Jan 28th, 2009 | By | Category: Environmental, Featured Articles, Lead Article

The optimistic among us assume that, eventually, new technology or new political movements will stop carbon release into the atmosphere. One of the comforting assumptions about climate change is that the effects of humans putting carbon into the atmosphere can be reversed. Plants remove carbon from the atmosphere, right? So, if we just stop adding more, eventually carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere should drop, and the adverse climate changes should reverse.

Nope.



Farts (Maybe) Detected on Mars. LIFE! (Maybe)

Jan 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Lit Round-up

New research reveals there is hope for Mars yet. The first definitive detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars indicates the planet is still alive, in either a biologic or geologic sense, according to a team of NASA and university scientists. “Methane is quickly destroyed in the Martian atmosphere in a variety of ways, […]



How Civilization is Going to End

Jan 8th, 2009 | By | Category: Environmental

Wonder no more. University of Washington climate scientist David Battisti looked at 23 of the best computational models of the climate available to predict the effect of climate change on global crop yields by the end of this century. The results? Our results show that it is highly likely (greater than 90% chance) that growing […]