BiologyComicScience & Nature

Vibrating Spiders and Waggling Bees: Madeline Girard’s Multi-Modal Menagerie. (Women in Science 57)

It’s not what you say, it’s how you vibrate your opisthosoma while you’re saying it.                                                                         – Ancient Peacock Spider Proverb.              We humans tend to think very highly of our behavioral complexity.  Two people out on a date are a jaunty jamboree of visual, olfactory, and linguistic cues simultaneously …

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Blue Babies with Crossword Puzzle Hearts: The Pediatric Cardiology of Helen Taussig. (Women in Science 56)

It’s sometime in the 1930s, and you’re walking into a ward full of crouching children with blue-tinted lips.  Something is wrong with their hearts, something that is preventing their blood from getting enough oxygen, turning the red fluid a deep, thick black.  At the slightest exertion, the children can pass …

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Primal Screams: Sophie Germain’s Mathematical Labors (Women in Science 55)

It’s a well known fact of humanity that the chances of a group of people electing to do something decent and necessary is inversely proportional to the number of people in that group.  We enshrine and attempt to forgive that principle under the banner of Institutional Inertia, but the fact …

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The Strangers Within: Lynn Margulis and the Rebirth of Endosymbiosis (Women in Science 54).

  In terms of cell count, ninety percent of you isn’t you at all.  Bacteria, though by mass they only make up about two percent of a human being, account for nine out of every ten cells inside you.  Some of them are beneficial, like the bacteria in your digestive …

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The Women in Science Reading List: The Twenty Best (And Four Not Best) Books To Read and Own

When I first started collecting biographies of female scientists, I thought the genre, thanks to the historical and systemic neglect of the subject matter, would be fun to collect and relatively easy to complete.  Some Curie, some Meitner, a Franklin or two, and done.  Six years later, and my shelves …

ChemistryComicScience & Nature

The Queen of Wind-Blown Sediments: Kelly Deuerling’s Aeolian Geochemistry (Women in Science 53)

Life is an ion-hungry enterprise.  Sure, carbs, proteins, and fatty acids get most of the press, but without a steady stream of calcium to help regulate signal transduction in cells, zinc to promote proper growth, iron for oxygen transport, and a host of other minerals besides, things start going very …

AstronomyComicFeaturedScienceScience & Nature

8 Comets, 2500 Nebulae: Caroline Herschel’s Century of Astronomy

In 2092, if there are still humans on our planet to look and to see, a comet will appear in the night sky that has not been viewed since 1939, and will not be seen again until the twenty third century.  It was first noted against the stellar background by …

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Cyanobacteria and Misery: The Many Hats of Anna Zakrisson (Women in Science 51)

A large black labrador pushes through the snow, pulling a sledge of scientific equipment to the foot of a glacier while behind him plods a scientist and his determined five year old daughter.  They are here, in northern Sweden, to measure the rate of glacial melting.  Within a year, he’ll …