Category Archives: Biology

One Evolutionary Origin of Domesticated Rice

Yesterday on the Gene Expression blog, Razib Khan wrote an extensive summary of a paper by Molina et al., “Molecular evidence for a single evolutionary origin of domesticated rice.” Khan, an excellent science writer, provides useful background information into the … Continue reading

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Fasting May Reduce Heart Disease

Nearly a month ago, Patrick Morgan at 80beats posted “A Day Without Food May Help Maintain a Heart Without Disease.” Morgan describes a study that has shown that people who report that they fast for 24 hours once a month … Continue reading

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The Weasel Program

Iddo Friedberg at Byte Size Biology observed Shakespeare’s birthday a few days ago by writing a Python version of the Weasel program. The Weasel program is a simplified computer simulation of random variation and natural selection invented by Richard Dawkins in his … Continue reading

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Three Enterotypes (So Far)

Biologists are beginning to make a thorough exploration of the human microbiome, the approximately hundred trillion bacterial cells associated with each human body. Yesterday members of the Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract (MetaHIT) Consortium published a paper in Nature stating … Continue reading

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Lack of Sleep Makes Us Stupid

This weekend’s New York Times Magazine contains an eye-opening article by Maggie Jones, “How Little Sleep Can You Get Away With?” A quick summary of the results: Eight hours of sleep each night for two weeks: No cognitive impairment. Six hours … Continue reading

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Visualizing Biological Data

On March 16–19, 2011, the Workshop on Visualizing Biological Data was held at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, less than a mile from where I work. I am deeply interested in this topic, and I would have loved to … Continue reading

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The Impossibility of Long Distance Space Travel

Alan Finkel writes today on the Cosmos website: The clash of two titans – physics and chemistry – are major barriers to human space travel to Mars and beyond, and may well make it impossible … at least with current … Continue reading

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