When astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth after a year floating about the International Space Station, he was noticeably different from his identical twin, Mark Kelly. For one, Scott temporarily grew two inches taller, but what really fascinated people were the change in his genes. “There are over 50,000 genes in the human genome, and when floating in zero gravity, the body is trying to manage that situation in new ways,” Chris Mason, one of the principal investigators of the Twins Study and a geneticist at Weill Cornell Medicine, told PBS NewsHour. “Both DNA and RNA were found to express genes in order to compensate for a lifestyle in space.”
Which is really cool, and really important for long periods of space flight. Say, for example, to Mars…
Read about it here!
I have written exhaustively about CRISPR-Cas technology, and its potential to change science and the world as we know it.
But with this change in science as we know it, we’re faced with some pretty important ethical questions (also not the first time I’ve talked about this on NiB). However, what is new is this excellent post by Osagie K. Obasogie, who researches ethical issues surrounding reproductive and genetic technologies.
He addresses how the Trump administration, and the rise of white nationalism is concerning with the new CRISPR possibilities. It’s not like we haven’t experienced scientific projects trying to engineer better humans, one only needs to remember the aftermath of the Holocaust and the public Nuremburg trials.
It’s an interesting line of thought to walk down, and I strongly recommend reading the piece here.
If you’re not reading everything that Ed Young writes, you’re missing out.
And he’s once again hit it out of the park with this great post about America’s Largest Collection of Parasites (although when my coauthor Kim Lackey and I cleaned our the parasitology lab a few years ago, it could have been in the running).
These jars of wonder/parasites are kept in my favorite of the Smithsonians, the Natural History Museum. Read all about Ed’s exploration of this TREASURE trove of awesome here.
And remember, Parasitism really is the sincerest form of flattery.
You may remember that ResearchGate is under a brutal assault and may not survive to tell the tale.
Excerpt below is from Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe. Lisa is the Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction in the University Library and an affiliate faculty member in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“ResearchGate is under assault. As a scholarly collaboration platform that enables both public and private sharing on a networked scale, ResearchGate is seen as dangerous, not only because it is potentially infringing copyright, but because it is doing so on a massive publisher-independent scale. A group of publishers tried to tame ResearchGate through a proposal that it endorse the STM Voluntary Principles on Article Sharing on Scholarly Collaboration Networks and implement antipiracy measures, but ResearchGate rejected this proposal. Though ResearchGate now faces the threat of thousands of takedown notices and a lawsuit, it is positioned to emerge at least unscathed, if not strengthened, from these assaults.”
Want to know where we stand? Read about it here!
It’s no small feat to become “both one of the best-loved and one of the most hated men” of an age. But Ernst Haeckel, a German naturalist and scientific illustrator who lived from 1834 to 1919, earned this mantle from his contemporaries, according toThe Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel, a new art collection just out from TASCHEN.
The collection compiles 450 of Haeckel’s most consequential prints of flora and fauna, alongside trilingual commentary by zoologist Rainier Willman and art historian Julia Voss.
Read about it here!