An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump is a remarkable 1768 oil-on-canvas painting. It depicts a period of time characterized by a great upheaval in philosophical thought – a high point of the Age of the Enlightenment that saw the fascination with a mechanical philosophy defined by reasoned knowledge and empirical method and that […]Read more "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump"
Today would have marked the 137th the birthday of influential biologist Sir Alexander Fleming, most notably known for his work with penicillin for which he won the 1945 Nobel prize in Medicine along with colleagues Howard Florey and Ernst Chain. Fleming’s story highlights the underlying serendipity behind many of the greatest discoveries in science, particularly […]Read more "The Wonder Drug"
Epigenetic mechanisms which involve biochemical alterations to DNA structure have been documented to result in heritable changes in gene expression. Unlike mutations, however, epigenetic changes do not involve changes in the primary DNA sequence, such that a nucleotide would change into a different nucleotide. Nevertheless, the field of epigenetics has been a fertile ground for […]Read more "The Charade of Epigenetic Evolution"
August 21st 2017, the effulgent glares of the sun are quelled by the shadows of the Moon into a spectacular phenomenon that unites the entire of North America. The sun’s much fainter corona are projected into prominent display and the sky is gradually darkened into an unearthly hue bedecked with bright stars and planets. The […]Read more "Path of Totality 2017"
In 18th century Europe, a most potent killer was ravaging entire populations. It had been claiming the lives of 400,000 victims a year. Those who survived its horrors were left disfigured or blinded. Those who did not internally bled to death. The destruction caused was so great, the dread so severe enough to merit its […]Read more "The Speckled Monster"
The vast expanses of interstellar space make the notion of contact with intelligent life seem rather bleak. Attempts to detect extraterrestrial civilizations have so far been in vain. The awe that such a possibility might engender and the concerns and fears that it might equally evince have fueled much of traditional thinking about the universe. But, in all […]Read more "The Prospect of Alien Life"
It only takes the rational discipline of the scientific method to look beyond the filters of romanticism that the whimsical belief of human intuition so inconveniently sets upon our views of the natural world. The natural world operates not according to our prejudices of sense and subjective value but rather to the logical consequences of […]Read more "Remembering Charles Darwin"