Category archives: Biology

Seti: how microbes could communicate with alien species

Seti: how microbes could communicate with alien species

AstronomyBiologyMicrobiologyPhysics

By Invited Researcher

Authors: Predrag Slijepcevic, Senior Lecturer in Biology, Brunel University London and Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, Honorary Professor, University of Buckingham Are we alone in the universe? The famous Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) programme has been trying to answer this question since 1959. American astronomer Carl Sagan, and many others, believed that other human-like civilisations must […]

Evolution of a smile

Evolution of a smile

Biology

By Invited Researcher

Teeth play a central role in the ecology of most vertebrates – for catching prey, processing food and even attracting a mate. It’s no surprise that scientists such as ourselves have long been interested in how teeth first evolved. For many years we regarded shark teeth, with their conveyor belt system of tooth replacement, as […]

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 […]