This unrestrained clumping on a cactus, called fasciation, is a cancerlike phenomenon. CreditLon&Queta/Creative Commons
George Johnson, The New York Times, JULY 27, 2015
Maybe it was in “some warm little pond,”Charles Darwin speculated in 1871, that life on Earth began. A few simple chemicals sloshed together and formed complex molecules. These, over great stretches of time, joined in various combinations, eventually giving rise to the first living cell: a self-sustaining bag of chemistry capable of dividing and spawning copies of itself.
Erik Andriesse (Dutch, 1957-1993), Amaryllis, 1992
Can evolution explain acts of kindness, and morality? We arranged a debate between a sceptical Tom Stoppard and the evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson. Stuart Jeffries acted as referee
The Conference is designed to offer a platform for the exchange of information and knowledge and to hold discussions, lectures, workshops and an exhibition of program and databases.
Several distinct neurons in a mouse retina that have been mapped by volunteers playing a game developed by Sebastian Seung. CreditPhoto illustration by Danny Jones. Original images from EyeWire.
By GARETH COOK, The New York Times, JAN. 8, 2015
In 2005, Sebastian Seung suffered the academic equivalent of an existential crisis. More than a decade earlier, with a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Harvard, Seung made a dramatic career switch into neuroscience, a gamble that seemed to be paying off. He had earned tenure from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology a year faster than the norm and was immediately named a full professor, an unusual move that reflected the sense that Seung was something of a superstar. His lab was underwritten with generous funding by the elite Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was a popular teacher who traveled the world — Zurich; Seoul, South Korea; Palo Alto, Calif. — delivering lectures on his mathematical theories of how neurons might be wired together to form the engines of thought.
written by Imogen Greenhalgh on February 12, 2015
Today marks the 206th birthday of scientist Charles Darwin, an important figure in Europeana’s collections. He was only 22 years old when he set off for the Pacific aboard HMS Beagle in 1831, embarking on what would become one of the most famous scientific voyages in history.
Giorgione – Three Philosophers
Philosopher Julian Baggini fears that, as we learn more and more about the universe, scientists are becoming increasingly determined to stamp their mark on other disciplines. Here, he challenges theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss over ‘mission creep’ among his peers
Does philosophy or science have all the big answers?
Credit Brandon Blommaert
By KENNETH D. MILLEROCT. 10, 2015
The New York Times
SOME hominid along the evolutionary path to humans was probably the first animal with the cognitive ability to understand that it would someday die. To be human is to cope with this knowledge. Many have been consoled by the religious promise of life beyond this world, but some have been seduced by the hope that they can escape death in this world. Such hopes, from Ponce de León’s quest to find a fountain of youth to the present voguefor cryogenic preservation, inevitably prove false.