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Not “Ancient”. Still Cool.

 This commentary appeared in Nature  recently. Title:  Ancient Fungi Found in Deep Sea Mud. Quote: Researchers have found evidence of fungi thriving far below the floor of the Pacific Ocean, in nutrient-starved sediments more than 100 million years old….To follow up on earlier reports of deep-sea fungi, Reese and her colleagues studied sediments pulled up from […]

DNA half life, and my dream of an Allosaurus Army

Let’s get this clear: Tyrannosaurus rex, the best selling figurine of class reptilia is not my favorite bad-ass top-of-the-food chain predator. Come on. Did you see its arms? I mean…   As a kid, I always thought the Allosaurus was much cooler. For one thing, it was on the cover of my favorite dinosaur book, “The […]

Thursday Odds and Ends

  A woman in Chesterfield, Ohio robbed a convenience store using her MRSA-infected arm as a weapon.  Warning: graphic picture of MRSA infected arm. Or a zombie limb. You can never know in northwestern Ohio. A US vector biologist got infected with Zika virus which is  a mosquito-borne pathogen causing joint pain and fatigue. He […]

The Oxygen Rush: late January, all of February and a Day in November

I have just returned from British Columbia in Canada. I have to admit that their license plate motto is quite accurate: BC is incredibly beautiful. Another thing that struck me is the provincial flag of BC: the Union Jack at the top (OK, it is British Columbia), there are white and blue horizontal stripes, and […]

There is a little bit of Neanderthal in many of us

Big party at Science journal today, with the publication of a comprehensive draft Neanderthal genome. (Free access, nice going Science). Actually, it is a partially assembled draft of 60% of the total genome, but 60% of the genome from a human that was last seen on Earth 28,000 years ago is quite an achievement. The […]

What they really found in Niger

A big buzz over the discovery of a skeleton of an early Sauropod dinosaur in Niger. The finding looks amazing even to my paleontologically-ignorant eyes. It is beautifully intact and well-ordered, as opposed to the mixed jumble of bone fragments that are usually found. It has that lovely aesthetic quality that would cause anyone to […]

Coast to coast (almost) pt. 5: a visit to the Eocene

We drove into Colorado Springs last  night (Friday). In the morning we had a superb breakfast, the best so far, at Smiley’s. Across the street from Smiley’s there is Poor Richard’s Bookstore, a used bookstore large enough to spend whole days in, yet small enough to feel local-neighborhood-y. Definitely a welcome change from the Borders […]