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Tag Archives: biology

The Beauty of a Cancer Cell

HeLa cells resemble fireworks in this image, one of the finalists in Nikon’s 2010 Small World Photomicrography Competition. The cancer cells are descended from an immortal cell “line” grown from a sample originally taken, without consent, from Henrietta Lacks. More amazing micro-images at the Nikon competition site.


I recently posted about a great project in New York City called the Biobus. In August, the Biobus, in conjunction with the awesome science advocacy and investment group the Science House, will commence an ambitious program to distribute high-quality microscopes to schools around the world (free!), encouraging students to share and compare their discoveries online. […]

The BioBus!

How about funding for 100 of these around the country? Learn more about the NYC-based Cell Motion BioBus here.

DIYBio State of the Union

Jason Bobe, one of the “founders” of the DIYBio movement and director of community for the George Church-led Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School, recently gave a talk as part of a forum on biosecurity at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Bobe’s slides, which can be downloaded here, neatly describe the current scope of (known) […]

Undersea Glow: Art & Science in Miami

‘Cleaner’ from MORPHOLOGIC on Vimeo. A Periclimenes yucatanicus shrimp cleans itself upon its symbiotic host, a Condylactis gigantea anemone, in a gorgeous aquarium installation by Miami-based Morphologic Studios. From their website: Morphologic is a scientific art endeavor led by marine biologist Colin Foord and designer Jared McKay. With the aquarium as our primary medium, we […]

Molds and Map Making

When presented with oat flakes arranged in the pattern of Japanese cities around Tokyo, single-cell slime molds constructed networks of nutrient-channeling tubes that are quite similar to the layout of the Japanese rail system, with a larger number of strong, resilient tunnels connecting centrally located oats. Researchers from Japan and England reported their finding in […]

Green-Gene Swapping

Via Scientists have discovered a sea slug that takes the green photosynthetic organelles called chloroplasts from the algae it eats and hold them inside its own cells. The result: an animal that can feed itself using photosynthesis, like a plant. From the article: “[O]nce a young slug has slurped its first chloroplast meal from […]

Communication Skills, Bacterial and Human

The Howard Hughes Medical Institutes Holiday Lectures for 2009, presented last week, introduced selected high school students to microbiologist Bonnie Bassler and Baldomero Olivera, an expert on poisonous snails, who discussed their seemingly esoteric studies and the powerful practical applications they are leading to. I’m a huge fan of Bonnie Bassler, a professor of molecular […]

Ferment This! Biotech Basics

Here’s a Scrabble word for you: zymurgy. Apparently, the ancient science of fermentation — using microorganisms like yeast and bacteria to release enzymes that transform complex molecules in food into chemically simpler, although more complex-tasting ones — is a hot topic on college campuses. And it’s not just beer that’s being made. The New York […]

Not Necessarily Stoned, But Beautiful

One of seven new species of bioluminescent fungi whose discovery was recently announced in the journal Mycologia, bringing the known total of such species around the world to 71. How do you find glow-in-the-dark mushrooms? In the rainforests of Belize, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico, San Francisco State University mycologist Dennis […]