Biology

Belle Benchley and the Creation of the Modern Zoo (Women in Science 34)

Belle Benchley and the Creation of the Modern Zoo (Women in Science 34)

Think back to your last zoo trip. More likely than not, most of the larger animals were contained in open air facilities, with features tailored to the animal’s native landscape. The animals probably had free access to sleeping quarters away from the public view, and diets based upon their natural food sources. You might not have seen it, but there was almost definitely an on-site veterinary... »

The stars in our cells

The stars in our cells

A relatively recent study showed that transcription factors tend to hang out in specific areas of the nucleus, clustering like stars in galaxies. And it’s been rattling around in my head as potentially perfect for Mad Art Lab because they do, in fact, cluster like stars in galaxies — the statistical methods used to model both phenomena are exactly the same. It’s one of those rare... »

Breaking the Shackles Procreative: Margaret Sanger and the Creation Of The Pill. (Women in Science 32)

Breaking the Shackles Procreative: Margaret Sanger and the Creation Of The Pill. (Women in Science 32)

In 1912, it was against the law to publish a book that contained descriptions of birth control methods. It was against the law to even expound the theoretical benefits of birth control as a general notion. It was against the law to put a contraceptive diaphragm into the hands of a desperate mother of twelve in an attempt to save her life from serial pregnancy. It was against the law to give a woma... »

The Monster in Dr. McClintock: The Twisted Tale of Jumping Genes

The Monster in Dr. McClintock: The Twisted Tale of Jumping Genes

Isolation makes monsters, and none so monstrous as those who willingly seek it. It is hard to work up a great deal of sympathy for individuals who, under the banner of intellectual freedom, demand the resources to do whatever they want, however they want to do it, and then routinely bite the hands of those who make their ideal life possible. The heroism of hyper individualism runs hard against our... »

The Illustrated Women In Science: Year One!

The Illustrated Women In Science: Year One!

Thrill to the jungle-crawling entomology of Maria Merian, cheer at the multi-dimensional mathematics of Maryam Mirzakhani, weep at the tragic end of Sofia Kovalevskaya, and gasp at the universe-cracking insights of Emmy Noether!  All 26 of the MadArtLab Women In Science cartoons and essays are now available in one handy volume, dear friends.  With luscious full color interiors and a lovely introdu... »

This is Your Voice on Hormones

This is Your Voice on Hormones

I recently got the privilege to see Laura Jane Grace perform live. Grace is the founder, guitarist, and lead singer of the band Against Me! who made headlines for being the one of the most high-profile musicians to come out as transgender. She was actually a last-minute addition to the show I came to see, and as a result had no backup band — it was just her, a couple of acoustic guitars, and... »

Unearthing the World Jurassic: Mary Anning and the Founding of Paleontology (Women In Science 28)

Unearthing the World Jurassic: Mary Anning and the Founding of Paleontology (Women In Science 28)

As the tide rolls out, a woman in a hardened bonnet and loose fitting clothes scrambles across the crumbling cliffs of Lyme Regis, a large sack flung over her back, and pick axe in hand. She is Mary Anning, out on the hunt for fossils to sell in order to earn enough money to eat, and before her fifteenth birthday, her discoveries will challenge all established wisdom about the Earth’s geolog... »

The Knick on Showtime – Your New TV Habit

The Knick on Showtime – Your New TV Habit

I hope you had a merry Christmas/Newtonmas/Whatevermas! If you are lucky enough to have some time off now and want a new show to watch for 8+ hours in a row, I am your pusherman. »

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