biology


Lies, Damned Lies, and Tissue Culture

I originally wrote this in Feb 2008, and later updated it for the old Lay Science. While making sure that this website was up-to-date, it occurred to me that this post would have disappeared with the rest of the Lay Science site. I have forgotten what updates I made when […]


Model splicing

This is another archival repost, written for the old blog in January 2008. The central dogma of molecular biology, first described by Francis Crick in 1958, describes the flow of information between DNA, RNA, and proteins.[1] The central dogma is interesting, but I believe that its use in teaching is […]


Scientists bend observation to fit evolution

This is another archival repost, originally posted on the old blog in feb 2009, during the Darwin 200 celebrations. I wrote the majority of this post a couple of years ago, when I had the intention to do a regular “creationist claim” feature, but for some reason never got around […]


Bisphenol A might make you fat

(This is another archival repost, written for the old blog in 2009.) If you’ll excuse my tabloid headline writer… A year ago, I wrote Lies, damn lies, and tissue culture, describing some of the reasons why caution and healthy skepticism are required when assessing the conclusions of tissue culture studies. […]


The selfish gene drives an operon

This is another archival repost first written for the old blog in 2007. On Monday I mentioned John Maynard Smith’s videos at People’s Archive. They really are marvelous, and you should watch them all. One of the topics he discusses is horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, a subject I discussed […]


Lay Science: The Selfish Genius

This was originally written a year ago on a now disused blog. I’m reposting it here because I enjoyed writing it so much that I wouldn’t want it to disappear. People love a good argument with Richard Dawkins. So many people are so desperately seeking reassurance that he is wrong, […]


Evelyn Fox Keller on genes, evolution, and epigenetics

This is another archival repost from the old blog, first published way back in March 2008. I’ve been following CBC’s How To Think About Science series, and caught the Evelyn Fox Keller episode the other day. It was interesting, but there were a couple of issues that I just can’t […]


Lay Science: Lies, damned lies, and tissue culture

Skepticism is about critical thinking and knowing how to avoid being fooled by charlatans and the honest but mistaken. ¬†Over at Lay Science I explain one way that you can get fooled: by people citing the activities of cells in a dish as scientific proof for anything and everything. ¬†Read […]