Oct 08, 2009 •
I've known for ages about the enzyme called telomerase, & I've known why it's important - but I have to confess that I've never actually thought particularly hard about why we need it. 'Why' being in the practical, 'what's going on...
Oct 06, 2009 •
After writing about 'Ardi', I remembered that this wasn't the only paper I'd read recently suggesting that our ancestors were not knucklewalkers and that knuckle-walking must have evolved independently in the gorilla & chimp lineages. (We can say this because,...
Oct 03, 2009 •
- critical thinking,
- human evolution,
- new science stories,
- scholarship biology
A friend of mine's sent me an item from National Geographic with the headline 'Oldest "human" skeleton found - disproves "missing link"'. (Thanks, Heather!) The story itself is based on the publication this week of a series of papers describing aspects...
Oct 02, 2009 •
Last night I caught parts of Caveman (starring Ringo Starr & a dinosaur) while playing with the puppy - the daughter & her friend were watching it. Um, er, what can I say? ...?? I liked the dinosaur, he had personality...
Sep 30, 2009 •
This is a re-post of one I wrote earlier this year. For a bit of background: one of the topics that year 13 Biology students can study requires them to do research around a ‘current’ or ‘controversial’ issue such as stem cells or xenotransplantation. I wrote a brief one on stem cells (really, more a case of pointing in the right direction), but then did a longer piece on xenotransplantation, which follows here. The daughter said recently that having done stem cells, I should also look at some of the other topics you can choose from for your research exercise. She suggested xenotransplantation, as it seems quite a few of her friends have chosen that one. So I’ll have a go 🙂 Xenotransplantation is where cells, tissues, or organs from an individual of one species are transplanted into an … Read More
Sep 29, 2009 •
Commenting on my last post about plant behaviour, Jim mentioned a paper by Marian Smith on plant responses to being touched or shaken. Unfortunately I couldn't get the link to work, but I did a Google Scholar search on the...
Sep 28, 2009 •
A couple of weeks ago Brian Switek's blog Laelaps included a post on transitional fossils (those things that some creationists will tell you simply don't exist... ) Brian's post was sparked by this story (OK, maybe the writer of was aiming for...
Sep 27, 2009 •
One of the Biology Standards year 13 students study is called 'Describe animal behaviour & plant responses'. Now, if 'behaviour' = response to a stimulus, then that's really what plants are doing too. I guess it's just hard to think...