Category archives: Biology

Prepared to kill: Some ideas to debate

Prepared to kill: Some ideas to debate

BiologyEvolutionPsychology

By Invited Researcher

Original: Eduardo Angulo (2017) Preparados para matar: algunas ideas para el debate. Translated and adapted by Julio Nicanor Ozores, M.D. “…the proper application of Darwinian thinking to human issues- of mind, language, knowledge, and ethics, for instance- illuminates them in ways that have always eluded the traditional approaches, recasting ancient problems and pointing to their […]

An ocean like no other: the Southern Ocean’s ecological richness and significance for global climate

An ocean like no other: the Southern Ocean’s ecological richness and significance for global climate

BiologyGeosciences

By Invited Researcher

Authors: Ceridwen Fraser, Associate professor, University of Otago; Christina Hulbe, Professor and Dean of the School of Surveying (glaciology specialisation), University of Otago; Craig Stevens, Associate Professor in Ocean Physics, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, and Huw Griffiths, Marine Biogeographer, British Antarctic Survey In 2018, a map named after an oceanographer went viral […]

How can we improve the communication between mathematics and life sciences?

How can we improve the communication between mathematics and life sciences?

BiologyMathematicsSociology

By Pablo Rodríguez Sánchez

Preamble In the period 2015-2019, I was hired as a mathematician by a biology department in order to perform a research that eventually would become my doctoral thesis. This text is adapted from the last chapter of that thesis, “Cycles and interactions: A mathematician among biologists” (full text available here). The symbiosis between mathematics and […]

A common gene variant associated with short height in Peruvians

A common gene variant associated with short height in Peruvians

Biology

By Rosa García-Verdugo

Like intelligence, height is genetically determined, however there are thousands of genes implicated in height determination. That is why the finding by researchers from Harvard Medical School of a gene variant responsible for shortening the average height of Peruvians in about 2.2 centimetres is so interesting. There are other rare gene variants known that cause […]

Bees seeking bacteria: How bees find their microbiome

Bees seeking bacteria: How bees find their microbiome

BiologyMicrobiology

By Invited Researcher

In late summer last year my doctor prescribed a monthlong course of antibiotics for an infection. Medicines like antibiotics are great at wiping out bacterial infections. The problems is that these drugs don’t differentiate between eliminating the “good” bacteria that may benefit our health and the “bad” bacteria causing infection. I was absolutely miserable and […]

A Tale of Primary Cilia: from overlooked organelles to key mechanically-sensing antennae

A Tale of Primary Cilia: from overlooked organelles to key mechanically-sensing antennae

BiologyPhysiology

By Invited Researcher

Author: Jose V. Torres-Perez (@Jovitope) is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the School of Biological and Chemical Sciencies, Queen Mary, University of London (UK). This is the story of primary cilium, a cellular structure discovered at least 122 years ago. It was soon regarded as rudimentary and then forgotten for most researchers. Nonetheless, recent advances proved […]

Bad companies

Bad companies

BiologyEthologyNeurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Forming large groups (flocks, banks, swarms, herds, schools, …) is characteristic of many species. The generally accepted idea is that it is an adaptive process, in which the individual improves its chances of survival by being part of a numerous group. A shark does not know which fish to attack in a sardine bank and […]

Computation can push optical microscopy towards unsuspected limits

Computation can push optical microscopy towards unsuspected limits

BiologyComputer sciencePhysics

By Daniel Moreno Andrés

Man does not live by hardware alone. Indeed, great material and conceptual improvements in the machinery of optical microscopes have occurred in recent decades. The examples are numerous (some example here; https://mappingignorance.org/2013/12/23/bessel-beam-plane-illumination-microscopy-another-smart-solution-for-an-old-challenge/). However, what is being achieved only with software and computing power seems a matter of magic. It is not only that programs and […]