Masha Gessen was faced with a terrifying choice: cut off her breasts, and possibly save herself from cancer, or use them to feed her child.
It was late at night when I walked back to my empty dorm room at the conference. Shivering, I stood on the narrow bed, quickly shut the windows, tore the blankets off the other bed, and wrapped myself up, trying to get warm. Too cold to sleep, I picked up my copy of Masha Gessen's " ... Read more
"Did you know," my friend whispered, "that the Humane Society funds terrorists?"
I was stunned. What? That's crazy! I've adopted pets from there. No way! How could those be the same people??
My friend and I were suffering from "brand confusion." In business, this happens when different companies use similar names for their products in order to confuse the marketplace. In the animal rights movement, brand confusion is used to misdirect the funds that would otherwise help groups who do genuine humanitarian work. ... Read more
I got my copy of "A short guide to the human genome" by Stewart Scherer today from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (2008, ISBN 978-087969791-4). Usually, I would wait until after I've read a book to write a review, but this book doesn't require that kind of study. As soon I skimmed through it and read some of the questions and answers, I knew this would be the kind of quick reference that I would like to have sitting above my desk.
Scherer has compiled a wonderful text that not only answers many of the kinds of questions that I can think to ask about the human ... Read more
Genetics textbooks abound with stories of European royalty and the hazards of having children after you've married one of your cousins. It struck me as an interesting parallel that the lion is such a popular symbol in so many royal coats of arms. Like the royal families of Europe, certain lion populations have also suffered from a few too many copies of certain recessive genes.
I first read about the Florida panthers a few years ago while researching material for a class that I teach on using bioinformatics. It wasn't my first encounter with ... Read more
When purified, it glows with an unearthly light. You can't go "chemical free" and try to escape it. It's part of our bones and it forms the backbone of our DNA. A tool for good, a tool of war, essential for gardening, and infamous as a pesticide; phosphorus is truly an amazing element. Amazing too, are the stories about it's discovery and our history with using it. Many of the stories in ... Read more