Archive for the ‘biology’ Category

Monkey brain-net

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Wiring together a network of brains cannot go awry, can it?

He dismissed comparisons with science fiction plots, however, saying: “We’re conditioned by movies and Hollywood to think that everything related to science is dangerous and scary. These scary scenarios never crossed my mind and I’m the one doing the experiments.”

Or he could read science fiction, which be uncannily prescient with future-tech concepts. This is wondrous and fascinating research, but the way the ethical concerns gets waved off as Hollywood-induced paranoia, in the same way genetic engineering does, is unnerving.

Matsés Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

It’s a 500 page encyclopedia of the knowledge of five shamans on the uses of local plants in treating ailments. This is a brilliant project, but there’s one kink that bugs me

The Encyclopedia is written only in Matsés. It is by and for the Matsés and no translations will be made into Spanish or English. No scientific names are included nor photographs of flowers or other easily identifiable characteristics of the plants to outsiders.

This is extremely logical, as pharmaceutical companies will sweep in and rip them off immediately. They’ll likely have someone learn Matsés just to glean hints of what to explore and exploit from a pirated copy of the encyclopedia. Currently, I don’t see that the work is copyrighted in any way. Copyright is one of those things that is abused horribly, but if anyone deserves the protection of copyright law, it’s an indigenous culture with unique knowledge that could be of great benefit to mankind. It’s the first thing that popped into my head when I read that passage. It’s also currently the top comment on the article on the site. Hopefully this will be addressed, because this encyclopedia is obviously a great work.

vis Metafilter

the parietal lobes of self-reported alien abductees

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Daily Grail has an interesting take on the findings of a neurologist who studied the electrical activity of the parietal lobe of people who report themselves as alien abductees.

…we still don’t know why a parietal abnormality found in different auto-proclaimed abductees, would end up rendering ‘hallucinations’ with such a persistent narrative.

He relates to to the peculiarly consistent visions from the use of ayahuasca. I’m with him on this.

Paleo-Epigenetics

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Nifty piece on the field of paleo-epigenetics in the near future. I’m to sleep deprived and ignorant to comprehend the stories of knowing what patterns of cytosine methylation will tell, but it’s damned well going to be interesting.

 

 

No one is expecting Barsoom anymore

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

Why Discovering Martians Could Be Disappointing. Nope. That title is wrong. It’s a nicely written article about the research dedicated to finding life on Mars, but in no way is any possibility of discovery of life on Mars going to be disappointing.

Even I had to give up on my beloved Martian banyan trees years ago, but non-terrestrial bacteria will still be world-shattering news.

new Voynich manuscript theory: It’s written in Nahuatl

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Nah, this isn’t any Carlos Castaneda junk…

It’s an actual botanist recognizing the plant illustrations as similar to species found in central Mexico.

I like it!

However, Alain Touwaide makes a statement that makes even more sense: “I believe that it doesn’t prove anything. If it’s a forgery, someone could very well have had the idea of creating the forgery on the basis of New World flora. At the most, it shows a possible source of the forgery.”

African genes tracked back

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

This is more like it. I need to come back to this article when I’m not simultaneously getting ready for work.

African genes traced back to Africa.

and John Hawks’ comments on article.

TB followed humans out of Africa

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

TB followed humans out of Africa.

Neolithic snail shells show wetter western Mediterranean

Monday, February 4th, 2013

When the agricultural revolution swept into Europe, the area around the western Mediterranean was a lot more humid than it is today. The chemistry of snail shells from Mediterranean caves dating from 2,500 to 9,000 years ago are proving this.

quantum biology

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Anyone feel daring enough to make a fool of himself, to venture a guess that anything we recognize as psychic phenomenon (by that, I mean the things which aren’t total bullshit to begin with) and the soul might come out of the research in quantum biology? The New Age quacks will be all over this, building elaborate systems out of these fragments of information that will rival any role playing game. However, simple universal mechanism isn’t going to work for explaining every biological system much longer.

And honestly, I look forward to the weird mess that results.