Whales produce echolocation with strange muscles and tissues around their noses. At the Loom, I write about how it all evolved. Art by Keith Kasnot/National Geographic
Bacula (penis bones) from rats and voles. Humans are rare among mammals for lacking one.
(via A Most Interesting Bone – Phenomena: The Loom)
A formula for the entire universe…
(via A Big Universe Deserves A Big Equation (Science Ink Sunday) – Phenomena: The Loom)
What a mouse looks like to its own brain.
(via Mouseunculus: How The Brain Draws A Little You – Phenomena: The Loom)
Illustration courtesy of Andreas Zembrzycki and Jamie Simon, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
A remora with a suction disk on its head, used for attaching to other fish. Fossils now shows how it evolved. See What Good Is Half A Sucker? – Phenomena: The Loom
Photo courtesy of Ralf Britz
Ticks are exquisitely sophisticated blood-extracting, pathogen-injecting tools. In the June 2013 issue of Outside Magazine, I give these little beasts their due.
(The Complex and Pathogen-Laden World of Ticks | Science | OutsideOnline.com)
This Thursday, I’ll be part of a Google Hangout chat about a remarkable fish (and a close cousin to us), the coelacanth. Details here: A most amazing fish: Join our Google Hangout about coelacanths on Thursday – Phenomena: The Loom
Pulling Life Out of Thin Air (Science Ink Sunday) – Phenomena -
Jason Affourtit writes, “The encircling equation represents biologicalnitrogen fixation, which was at the core of my undergrad/graduate labwork. Working in that research lab (which was originally just part of requirements for med school!–my intended goal) totally changed my focus…So it’s an homage to that period of time, my wonderful advisor, and that lab. DNA has been central to my work life in genomics and has run through as a common theme. So to me, a G-C basepair seemed a natural symbol of that.”
You can see the rest of the Science Tattoo Emporium here and in my book, Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.
Here is Martha, the last passenger pigeon. She died in 1914 and is now stored at the Smithsonian. Could fragments of DNA from her cadaver—and those of other passenger pigeon—allow us to bring the species back from extinction? I look at the possibility of de-extinction in the April issue of National Geographic.
Photo by Robb Kendrick