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Family genetics in Star Wars (Warning: Episode VII spoilers)

So I saw Star Wars VII: “The Force Awakens” the other day. Great movie, which has mostly erased the shame of episodes I-III. Despite even more than the usual suspension of science, it’s a great SF flick. (Major spoilers below! You have been warned!) One mystery which will hopefully be resolved in the upcoming episodes […]

Microbial Art

  We have some really talented students in our department. And I don’t just mean the science. I am honored to present the colorful and hilarious microbial artwork of Amber Beckett. Created between gel runs at Natosha Finley’s lab:      

Microbial marketing

An original viral (or rather, fungal and bacterial) marketing campaign for the movie Contagion. Although the film tells the story of a fictional viral outbreak, the marketers of Warner Brothers Canada kept it in the realm of microbiology by teaming up with 25 microbiologists and creating what is probably the first agar-plated billboard, which they […]

Money and Science

Writing grants all the time (another deadline coming Monday, yikes) made me think about money and science, but in a rather oblique way: coins and notes commemorating scientists and scientific achievements. While looking for examples, I found that Alex Pasternack from Motherboard.TV has done a really nice and thorough job already. So have a look, […]

Life on earth in 60 seconds

Gives a nice temporal perspective.

Motivating people: the illustrated version

The art of motivating employees. Interesting insights and beautiful illustrations. Also, a good mention of the open source and collaborative content movements. Dan Pink – Drive


For old-school geeks who spent the better time of their childhood prefecting their Space Invaders and Donkey Kong skills. A NYC disaster movie meets… well, something. Hat tip to Mickey.

Henry Reed Feb 22, 1914-Dec 8, 1986

To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday, We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning, We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day, To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens, And to-day we have naming of parts. — Henry Reed “Naming of Parts” To-day we […]

The new natural history

Before the 20th century biology was, to a large extent, “Natural History”. It was an observational rather than the experimental science it is considered to be today. At that time, the typical biologist, a natural historian, was going about the (European colonized) world, collecting specimens of new and fossilized species, classifying and recording them for […]

A Romantic, Maybe too Romantic, Scientist

In the Hatena story about symbiosis, I posted the following picture drawn by Ernst Haeckel: Beautiful!  In this day and age of imaging, high resolution photography, and molecular graphics, we forget that scientific drawing was a skill as necessary to life scientists  as microscopic imaging, or molecular graphics is today.  Indeed, biology was very much […]