the genetics of dog hair

Aside from containing about eleventy hundred papers on Ardi–our new 4.4 million year-old ancestor–this week’s issue of Science has an interesting article on the genetics of dog hair. What is there to know about dog hair, you ask? Well, it turns out that nearly all of the phenotypic variation in dog coats (curly, shaggy, short-haired, … Continue reading the genetics of dog hair

diamonds, beer, bars, and pandas: the 2009 Ig Nobel prizes

Apparently I missed this, but the 2009 Ig Nobel prizes were awarded a couple of days ago. There’s a lot of good stuff this year, so it’s hard to pick a favorite; you have people making diamonds from tequila,  demonstrating that beer bottles can crack human skulls, turning bras into facemasks, and reducing garbage mass … Continue reading diamonds, beer, bars, and pandas: the 2009 Ig Nobel prizes

younger and wiser?

Peer reviewers get worse as they age, not better. That’s the conclusion drawn by a study discussed in the latest issue of Nature. The study isn’t published yet, and it’s based on analysis of 1,400 reviews in just one biomedical journal (The Annals of Emergency Medicine), but there’s no obvious reason why these findings shouldn’t … Continue reading younger and wiser?

creation! …and duplication.

So, I thought I was being clever, but apparently there are at least three other “citation needed” blogs. Curiously, all three have the same square parentheses (what do you call those things anyway?). Actually, strictly speaking, one of the citation neededs is an x[citation needed], and not just a [citation needed], so that’s technically a … Continue reading creation! …and duplication.