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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 […]

Minor revisions only

  A new journal, Molecular Metabolism has the following policies: one week for reviews, and three possible outcomes only: Reject, Accept, or Minor Revision. Good for them on both decisions. Bonus: your editors are  Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange and Mr. Pink. And they are professionals (although they may not tip).  

Dirty Genomics

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 […]

Shakespeare’s Birthday and Evolution

William Shakespeare was baptized April 26, 1564. His birthday is traditionally commemorated on April 23 (incidentally, that is also the date of his death, in 1616). One interesting connection between Shakespeare and evolution was made by Richard Dawkins in his book The Blind Watchmaker: I am talking about the Weasel program. Weasel is an elegant illustration of the […]

Peter Yates 24 July 1928 – 9 January 2011

Two of my favorite films were directed by Peter Yates, who died yesterday at the age of 82. Bullit which features a great car chase scene through the streets of San Francisco. A 1968 Mustang GT 390 Fastback driven by Steve McQueen, playing Lieutenant Frank Bullitt. Bullitt chased a black Dodge Charger R/T driven by suspected […]

What do you mean “Flash Gordon approaching”?

Just saw Flash Gordon (1980 movie) with my kids. I was about the same age when I saw it first. Being a child lacking any humor, and professing myself to be an avid and serious science fiction fan, I considered watching this campy over-the-top self-parodying science fiction movie a complete waste of time. OhOne and […]

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.

Technical specifications for Little Red Riding Hood

This has been going around the intertubes for a while now. Still very cool.

The Science(?) in Avatar

Saw Avatar with OhOne last weekend. Awesome cinematography, cool effects, great work. A few random observations, with no particular theme in mind. Note that James Cameron says that “Avatar [is not] science fiction, it is an action/adventure/science fantasy film”. So, I might just being too sciency here. 1. All of Pandora’s animals are hexapods, except […]

The Incredible Shrinking Genome

Mass Extinctions and Genomics The geological signs for mass extinctions are very distinct: the photo shows the boundary of the Cretaceous-Tertiary KT extinction that happened ~65 million years ago (Mya), and killed some 70% of the species on Earth, most famously the dinosaurs. This was the last mass extinction, and its effects on Earth’s life […]

Movie: My Name is Lisa

Beautiful and sad. Extra points if you recognize the source of the sentence Lisa reads at the end.

Naturally Obsessed

A new documentary film follows life in a molecular biology lab in Columbia University over the course of three years. It looks very promising: the title is certainly something many of us identify with.

Every Man an Island, Pt. 2

(Continued from  part 1) Why we are islands In the previous post we have seen how  our bacterial population affects  our weight  and that by changing our dietary habits we can change the species composition in our guts. Also, we saw how a metagenomic analysis can lead to verifiable hypotheses: using a metagenomic analysis, Gordon’s […]