Mushroom Gills
ActivitiesArtScience & Nature

Making Mycological Masterpieces

Identifying mushrooms can be a lot of fun, but it can also leave you with beautiful artwork. Today I would like to tell you about the mycologist’s art: spore prints. When identifying mushrooms, one of the key features is spore color. The spores of a mushroom are its reproduction unit, …

BiologyMedicineNatureScienceScience & Nature

Yet another high profile paper about yet another epigenome that says the same thing, yet again.

A recent study developed a new way of probing the genome for “accessible” sites, and found the same things that we’ve been seeing for years.

BiologyComicScienceScience & Nature

Gotta Formalin ’em All: The Marine Biology of Eugenie Clark, The Shark Lady. (Women in Science 42)

To the uninitiated, there seems a dizzying amount of carnage wrapped up in advancing biological knowledge. Every scrap of information that we have about the function of an unknown organ or curious behavior of an obscure species is usually bought in the coin of death. Sometimes, that knowledge lets us …

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AstronomyComicFeaturedfeminismScienceScience & Nature

Computing Venus: The Astronomy of Maria Mitchell (Women in Science 38)

In the early nineteenth century nothing about the island of Nantucket made sense. It was simultaneously a hotbed of Quakerism and of the notoriously bawdy and violent whaling industry, a deeply conservative and god-fearing community that was at the same time at the fore-front of gender equality in education and …

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BiologyComicScience & Nature

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 …

BiologyChemistryMathNaturephysicsScienceScience & Nature

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 …

Anna Atkins
feminismNaturePhotographyScience & Nature

Anna Atkins: Bontanist, Photographer, Pioneer

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 216th birthday of Anna Atkins, English botanist and photographer. While that may not sound remarkable at first, those simple credentials take on a new night when we consider the context: at that time, women were considered as amateur scientists only, and photography was new. In …

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ComicScience & Nature

Making Continents Move: The Ocean Cartography of Marie Tharp (Women in Science 31)

If you’re a scientist, and you’ve lived long enough, there’s a good chance that you’ll see your life’s work overwritten and forgotten in a long, piecemeal process blandly punctuated by retrospective award banquets every half decade or so. Science moves on, but usually at a pace that lets you keep …