Lamarckian evolution might be real. How’s that for mind-blowing? Lamarck hypothesized, basically, that traits developed by a parent are passed down to offspring. If a giraffe stretches its neck to reach leaves high on a tree, its children will have longer necks. That was long ago discarded as goofy and improbable, particularly since there’s no […]
The three researchers behind the 1998 link between vaccines and autism are charged with deliberately skewing the results of their research, the Times of London writes. The paper re-researched the study—based on just eight children—and found that the authors deliberately ignored the data that showed that there was no connection, which is to say they […]
An extinct Ibex was brought back to life via cloning. The last one went extinct in 2000. The new one died from a lung disorder. Details, details—where’s my mammoth burger?
Professor Josh Silver invented fluid-based glasses that can have their prescription adjusted by the wearer, and 30,000 pairs have already been provided in 15 of the world’s poorest nations. But he’s thinking much bigger—Silver wants his brilliant invention on the heads of one billion people by 2020. This would fundamentally change the lives of millions […]
All that stands between the world and a living, breathing wooly mammoth is $10M. I’m in for $20.
Here’s a fascinating observation: ancient Eurasian civilizations tended strongly to cluster along the boundaries of tectonic plates. Why? Nobody knows, but people are tossing on hypothesizes. (Via Metafilter)
Olivia Judson provides some delightful example of creatures caught in the act of evolving over the past few decades. The generation-to-generation natural selection of Galápagos finches is particularly fascinating—it shows evolution as a process that isn’t always slow, and anything but steady, but something very much alive.
Biologists aren’t reading “On the Origin of Species”? That’s a shame—it’s a really interesting, really enjoyable book. Charles Darwin walks you right through his thinking, so that you can appreciate anew what now seems obvious. If evolution is a topic in which you’re at all interested, add this to your reading list. Or, if you […]
Ice on Mars. Or, at least, something frozen and white found underground that melted when exposed to the sun. If this is, as it appears to be, H2O, then there has got to be life on Mars.
That “new car smell” is, in fact, the smell of cancer. The adhesives and plastics all emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dozens in all, including benzene, a carcinogen. A new study shows that the same is true of new shower curtains. They’re made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and offgas dozens of VOCs and even phthalates […]