Archive | February 2009

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Will this dog hunt?

By Jeremy Manier Will Saletan of Slate gave this new blog a very gracious shout-out yesterday – many thanks. He also replied to my earlier post taking Will to task a bit about “designer dogs.” I’d suggested that dog breeding is a bad analogy to bring home the problems of genetic trait selection in humans, because […]

Detecting pancreatic cancer

By Jeremy Manier There’s a fine pancreatic cancer piece in the Chicago Tribune today by Robert Mitchum, a friend of the blog who recently got his Ph.D. in neurobiology at the University of Chicago. Rob uses a new study on a potential method of detecting pancreatic cancer to talk about the urgent need for such […]

Who’s afraid of designer dogs?

By Jeremy Manier William Saletan of Slate has a nice piece this week warning of recent developments that could bring genetically selected “designer babies” a step closer to reality. He begins by noting that the idea is so shopworn that he’d stopped taking it seriously – me, too. Then he goes on to list some […]

Science blogs and science in newspapers

By Jeremy Manier A confession: as much as I like the idea of, I often find the thing itself unwatchable. Too much chit-chat, not enough substance. One longs for an irritating Chris Matthews-like presence, badgering everyone to stay on topic. But this is a worthwhile exchange between two very good science bloggers – biology […]

Why artificial livers are so hard to make

By Jeremy Manier You’d rather not live without any organ, but some are easier than others to replace with technology. Kidney fails? Get dialysis. Diabetes saps your pancreas? Take insulin. Heart gives out suddenly? Try a left ventricular assist device. But the liver poses a special problem. Its biochemistry is so complex that no one […]

“The Inner Life of the Cell”

By Jeremy Manier Kenneth Miller gave a typically captivating talk at the AAAS meeting yesterday in which he showed an eye-popping video illustrating what goes on in our cells all the time. Ken was kind enough to send us a link to the full library of videos, by the BioVisions group at Harvard University. Here’s a YouTube video […]

Aliens under our noses?

By Jeremy Manier If life has emerged more than once in the universe, where would we look for it? That was the subject of “Weird Life,” a symposium held this morning at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago. A natural step is to use instruments like the Kepler telescope to […]

Beyond Stem Cells

Photo credit: University of Wisconsin-Madison By Jeremy Manier Suddenly George W. Bush is no longer the easiest target for anyone frustrated at the pace of scientific progress. He started to occupy that position at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 9, 2001, when he went on national television to outline restrictions on federal funding for […]

Neandertal news? Eh…

By Jeremy Manier Like PZ at Pharyngula, I’m still looking for some concrete news in today’s seemingly big announcement – at the AAAS conference here in Chicago –  that scientists have sequenced most of the Neandertal genome from 38,000-year-old bones taken from a Croatian cave. In some ways the feat itself is an amazing story – getting […]

Stephen Colbert, A Fool for Darwin

By Jeremy Manier Neil Shubin is far more than a renowned evolutionary biologist – he’s actually been on the Colbert Report. That gives him a special kind of authority that’s hard to get merely from uncovering an historic missing link between fish and land animals. Neil said Colbert tells his guests to think of him in […]


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