Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Dark Humor, Existentialism, Mathematics, Politics Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Mark Twain, also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics A follow-up to Tuesday’sContinue reading “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics…”

Asteroids, Dinosaurs, and Rain Forests…

Topics: Asteroids, Biology, Evolution, Existentialism, Research Note: Working on two reviews, and my research proposal. It’s a very busy writing semester. Dinosaur and fossil aficionados are intimately familiar with the meteorite strike that drove Tyrannosaurus rex and all nonavian dinosaurs to extinction around 66 million years ago. But it is often overlooked that the impact also wipedContinue reading “Asteroids, Dinosaurs, and Rain Forests…”

Women’s History Month, and CRISPR…

Topics: Biology, Chemistry, DNA, Nobel Prize, Research, Women in Science This year’s (2020) Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to two scientists who transformed an obscure bacterial immune mechanism, commonly called CRISPR, into a tool that can simply and cheaply edit the genomes of everything from wheat to mosquitoes to humans.  The award went jointlyContinue reading “Women’s History Month, and CRISPR…”

Our Flexible Molecule…

Topics: Biology, DNA, Physics, Polymer Science, Research DNA molecules are not fixed objects – they are constantly getting broken up and glued back together to adopt new shapes. Davide Michieletto explains how this process can be harnessed to create a new generation of “topologically active” materials. Call me naïve, but until a few years ago I hadContinue reading “Our Flexible Molecule…”

Haplotypes and Neanderthals…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Genetics, Research Abstract A recent genetic association study1 identified a gene cluster on chromosome 3 as a risk locus for respiratory failure after infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A separate study (COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative)2 comprising 3,199 hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and control individuals showed that this clusterContinue reading “Haplotypes and Neanderthals…”

Well Deserved…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Research, Science Anthony Fauci – director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an expert on HIV and immunoregulation, and the de facto public face of a science-based recovery from COVID-19 – has been named the winner of the 2021 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, awarded annually by the American Association for theContinue reading “Well Deserved…”

2020 Nano Highlights….

Topics: Biology, Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Research Snake vision inspires pyroelectric material design Bioinspiration and biomimicry involve studying how living organisms do something and using that insight to develop new technologies. Pit vipers have two special organs on their heads called loreal pits that allow them to “see” the infrared radiation given off by their warm-bloodedContinue reading “2020 Nano Highlights….”

Dark Winter, Brighter Spring…

Topics: Biology, Civics, Civil Rights, COVID-19, Existentialism, Human Rights I have taken the following vaccines this year: Pneumonia, Seasonal Influenza (Flu), Shingles in two booster shots. Therefore, I am very likely to take the Coronavirus vaccine either offered by Pfizer or Moderna. Pfizer is pushing back on the Trump administration’s suggestion that the company isContinue reading “Dark Winter, Brighter Spring…”

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Research With COVID-19 reaching the most dangerous levels the U.S. has seen since the pandemic began, the country faces a problematic holiday season. Despite the risk, many people are likely to travel using various forms of transportation that will inevitably put them in relatively close contact with others. Many transit companies have establishedContinue reading “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…”