Category Archive: Development

Oct 26 2013

How to make a funny-looking mouse


I’m going to tell you about a paper that was brought to my attention by some poor science journalism, so first I have to complain about the article in the Guardian. Bear with me. This is dreadfully misleading. Though everybody’s face is unique, the actual differences are relatively subtle. What distinguishes us is the exact …

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Aug 29 2013

Cloning brains with Science


While we’ve been waiting and waiting for the physicists to get their act together and deliver on Mr Fusion home energy sources and flying cars, the biologists have been making great progress on the kinds of things that turn biologists on. The latest development: growing tiny little human brains in a bucket. Only let’s not …

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Aug 22 2013

Hamza Tzortzis can learn

Tzortzis has learned that claiming miraculous knowledge in the Qu’ran has “become an intellectual embarrassment for Muslim apologists”. Progress! Regrettably, the scientific miracles narrative has become an intellectual embarrassment for Muslim apologists, including myself. A few years ago I took some activists to Ireland to engage with the audience and speakers at the World Atheist …

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Jul 18 2013

Spontaneous abortion explosion

Now that we’re regularly getting small numbers of eggs and embryos every day, we thought we’d test out all the other gear by making an extended timelapse video, letting it run overnight. Unfortunately, in the wee hours of the morning, God apparently struck and slaughtered the little baby fish in its chorion, and embryo went …

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Jul 02 2013

The MFAP Hypothesis for the origins of Homo sapiens

I know you’re thinking we’ve had more than enough discussion of one simplistic umbrella hypothesis for the origin of unique human traits — the aquatic ape hypothesis — and it’s cruel of me to introduce another, but who knows, maybe the proponents of each will collide and mutually annihilate each other, and then we’ll all …

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Jun 21 2013

Crypsis through disruptive coloration


This is pretty nifty. I’ve found and lost the snake twice already. Trust me though: it’s there, as plain as day, not obscured in any fashion. Via the Cowboy Team Roping Facebook page.

May 09 2013

For the ambitious budding cancer biologist

I’m teaching cancer biology in the fall, and if you want to get a head start over the summer, here are the texts we’re going to be using: Biol 4103: Cancer Biology Introduction to Cancer Biology, by Robin Heskith Cambridge University Press, 1st ed. ISBN 978-1107601482 The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, …

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May 07 2013

The first day of the rest of my summer!


It’s going to be a good season, I can tell already. It’s finals week, so I’ll still have an abrupt pile of grading to do on Thursday, but otherwise, my teaching obligations are done for the semester. Now I’m trapped, trapped I tell you, in Morris for almost (I do have two quick trips to …

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May 03 2013

What I taught today: FINAL EXAM TIME!

I’m in Arizona, on my way to Orange County, but that doesn’t stop me: I’ve given my students a take home final exam. I wouldn’t want them to be bored over finals week, you know. 1. In the last lecture, I tried to give you a little context, and explained that a dynamic picture of …

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May 01 2013

What I taught today: toroids!

Hox 11/13 expression in an echinoderm blastula

It was the last day of classes for us. I brought donuts. Dammit, I just realized I missed a golden opportunity. I should have talked to them about Thrive and Pivar and Fleury and Andrulis. Crackpot fringe developmental biologists all seem to have a thing for donuts. Rats. Well, I’ll just send all my students …

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