You can get a jump on the Darwin Day festivities.
Once again the Alliance for Science is sponsoring an essay contest for Darwin Day. If you download their suggestions for good essay writing, you can get your essay done over winter break and have a good crack at winning on those cash prizes!
The Alliance for Science is pleased to announce our second annual National High School Essay Contest. We invite interested students to submit essays of up to 1,000 words on one of two topics -- Climate and Evolution or ... Read more
'Tis the holiday season and, according to ancient lore, the time when miraculous events are most likely to take place.
One of those well-known and miraculous events of ancient days was the birth of a son to a young girl, who, although she was married (Okay, I'm not sure about this part of the story) she was said to be a virgin and the birth to be a miracle.
Hmmm. ... Read more
Sexual attraction is all in your brain. At least if you're a nematode.
Ricardipus has a great image if you want to see a nematode picture.
I always thought worms were hermaphrodites (both male and female) but the story, as usual, turns out to be a bit more complex. Researchers at the University of Utah have found that worms have definite preferences for one sex or the other. And, if they kill off certain kinds of cells, the preference for one sex or another can change.
From the University ... Read more
A reader from the UK sent me these lovely photos that he took of a jellyfish and asked for my help in identifying it. Unfortunately, while I'm pretty good with bacteria, plants, and tropical fish, my taxonomy skills don't go much farther unless I have a sample of DNA.
These photos were taken at La-Manga off the coast of southern Spain.
Charles Darwin was so fascinated by beetles he paid people to help him build his collection. The Coleopterists Society and the Smithsonian Institute want to help kids explore the wonders of beetles, too.
They're providing grants for kids, in grades 7-12 to work on beetle biology.
Applications are due by November 15, 2007.
Some maggots have gotten good press lately because of their helpful ability to clean out wounds by consuming dead tissue. Screwworms however; also known as Cochliomyia hominivorax, will never be welcomed in an operating room or anywhere else.
What do malaria, sleeping sickness, yellow fever, and dengue virus have in common? Sure, they're all tropical diseases, but there's something else.
All of these diseases have some kind of insect vector.
We don't have the sorts of wild kingdom experiences in Seattle, that they have in Alaska, but we do see nature taking its course, from time to time, right out on our city streets.
This morning, while walking the dog, I heard a gawdawful noise coming from around the corner. Naturally, the dog and I had to investigate.
We found two crows playing tug-of-war with a dead rat.
One crow had a tight grip on the rat's tail, the other crow had its ... Read more
I found it in the MeSH database.
Really!Looking for a quick answer? Don't ask a scientist
It doesn't take long to realize that scientists can spend countless hours debating the meaning of words. Our very own ScienceBlogs is a great example, just look at the many ways we can define (and debate) the meaning of a small, four-letter word like "gene". We also like to qualify our answers with a thousand conditions "usually, it's like this, but...."
This ... Read more