Biology Biophysics Intelligent Design

2018 saw mechanobiology, including biophysics, come to the fore

The mechanome, “the body of knowledge about mechanical forces at work in the molecular, cellular, anatomical, and physiological processes that contribute to the architecture of living structures and their physical properties,” became more prominent this year in discussions of biology (though one story on the physics of biology late last year garnered 354 comments). For Read More…

Cell biology Embryology

At Oscillations: How we go from a sphere to a torus

At her blog, Oscillations, Suzan Mazur reports on the lecture series Simons Center for Geometry and Physics has been hosting at Stony Brook University, on Nonequilibrium Physics in Biology: Among the more interesting presenters is Kim Sneppen, a professor of complex systems and biophysics at Neils Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, who addresses the diversity of Read More…

Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Landmark origin of life conference videos resurface

From Suzan Mazur, author of The Origin of Life Circus and The Paradigm Shifters: Overthrowing ‘the Hegemony of the Culture of Darwin’, links to some vintage films of origin of life conferences funded by chemist Harry Lonsdale (1932–2014): Before he died Harry Lonsdale sent me a package with his book on politics—Running: Politics, Power, and Read More…

Cell biology Intelligent Design

Neutron scattering to help with study of cell membranes

At one time, the cell membrane was thought of as something like a building block made of lipids. Suzan Mazur interviews Swedish physical chemist Tommy Nylander about the study of living cells through neutron scattering (to avoid contamination, the Swedes do the studies without nuclear power or mercury) at Oscillations: Tommy Nylander:I’m very interested in Read More…

Culture Darwinism Evolution horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

At Nature: New evolution book represents “radical” new perspective

Including things you didn’t know about Archaea discoverer, Carl Woese. From a review of The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen (Simon & Schuster, 2018): In The Tangled Tree, celebrated science writer David Quammen tells perhaps the grandest tale in biology: how scientists used gene sequencing to elucidate the evolutionary relationships Read More…

Evolution Intelligent Design Plants

Osaka Group structuralist, 97, publishes new book

With an interesting chapter on carnivorous plants. At Oscillations, Suzan Mazur takes note of the new book by structuralist Antonio Lima de Faria, now an emeritus professor at Lund University, whom she describes as “one of the Osaka Group of ‘structuralists,’ whose other members included Brian Goodwin, Mae-Wan Ho, Peter Saunders et al.” The main theme of Periodic Tables Unifying Living Organisms at Read More…

Cell biology Evolution Intelligent Design Origin Of Life Viruses

Virus expert highlights the conflict over whether viruses are alive

From science writer Suzan Mazur, at Oscillations, interviewing Bogdan Dragnea, who studies the physical structure of viruses via spectrosopy: Suzan Mazur: Do you consider viruses live organisms since viruses can recognize their targets, attach, and infect their hosts—most viruses using a tail spike and needle [see following Parent lab image]—and as you’ve noted, they can Read More…