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Exercise May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

Risk of incidence and recurrence of colon cancer appears to be reduced with exercise, according to a report by the American Society of Clinical Oncology reported in EurekAlert.  Data now supports what was once just a good idea. Make exercise a part of your routine.  Your body needs it in more ways than one.  This […]

Design Language Gushes Out of Article Describing Cell Quality Control

Here are the design words found in a press release from Michigan State describing the editing mechanisms of the cell DNA-to-RNA transcription process: high fidelity, quality control, inner workings, genetic coding, exquisite nanotechnology in living systems, genetic control, blueprint for life, industrial assembly line, conveyor belt, preloading, criteria, backs up to correct the error, sensed […]

Stegosaur Plates Were for Decoration

Berkeley scientists are disputing the notion that the rows of plates on the backs of stegosaurs served as heat exchangers.  Instead, they were for show.  EurekAlert and Science Daily explain that this was probably true of other dinosaur decorations: “The team’s analysis of stegosaur plates lends support to a growing consensus among paleontologists that the […]

Rotary Clock Discovered in Bacteria

What could be more mechanical than a mechanical clock?  A biochemist has discovered one in the simplest of organisms, one-celled cyanobacteria.  Examining the three complex protein components of its circadian clock, he thinks he has hit on a model that explains its structure and function: it rotates to keep time.  Though it keeps good time, […]

New Rodent Discovered in Southeast Asia

“To find something so distinct in this day and age is just extraordinary,” says Dr. Robert Timmons of a stubby-legged, hairy rodent discovered in Thailand.  “For all we know, this could be the last remaining mammal family left to be discovered.”  It’s not exactly like a squirrel, rat, chinchilla or guinea pig: it belongs in […]

Can Gene Duplication Promote Evolution?

Imagine you had no mouth but needed to eat.  A hamburger comes flying at you.  When it hits your body, your skin folds around it and pinches off, sealing it inside.  Dozens of 3-armed parts form a geodesic dome around it and carry it to the stomach.  Once delivered, all the parts are recycled for […]

Heat and Light Emitted in Collisions of Darwin vs ID

Rhetoric over evolution is increasing in the media largely because of the school board debates in Kansas (see 04/29/2005 entry and previous Education links).  The largely pro-Darwin press seems to be giving a little more coverage to the ID side; the anti-Darwin alternative media are getting more bold about asserting their views. MSNBC News says […]

Stanford Student Debate: Is Intelligent Design Science?

Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box, spoke recently at Stanford.  This led two students to publish reviews, one pro and the other con, about intelligent design in the Stanford Review.  Tristan Abbey asked, “Are Darwinists Chickens?” for their reluctance to allow critical scrutiny of their theory.  Paul Laddis tried to debunk irreducible complexity in […]

Weird Jellyfish Eyes: Are They Missing Links?

“Missing Link?” asks the cover of Nature May 12, next to what looks like an alien head with a giant eye staring out.  The article by Nilsson et al.1 suggests that the box jellyfish has optical sensors that could represent primitive eyes that evolved before the more advanced eyes of vertebrates.  Most of us don’t […]

How Privileged Is Our Planet?

Several recent news stories touch on the uniqueness of Earth. Eccentric neighbors:  A story in Science Daily draws attention to the highly eccentric orbits of most extrasolar planets found so far.  The press release from Northwestern University begins, “Except for the fact that we call it home, for centuries astronomers didn’t have any particular reason […]

Honeybee Dance Wins Ovation

In the 1960s, Karl von Frisch announced the surprising discovery that scout honeybees announce detailed information to their hivemates about food sources with a “waggle dance”.  This information, conveyed via the dance’s vigor and angle, tells recruit bees what angle to fly relative to the sun, how far to go, and how good the food […]

Your Eyes Do Layered Image Processing

Computer users familiar with Photoshop and other image processing programs know that an image can be divided into “layers” for making color corrections, evening out contrast and enhancing details.  Your eyes do that, too, says Alan Gilchrist in Current Biology.1  He shows a stunning optical illusion to make the point: transparent chess pieces against differing […]

David Attenborough Finds Living Fossil Tree Romantic, Not Devastating

England’s famous Kew Royal Botanical Gardens is getting a Wollemi Pine, and David Attenborough, naturalist and evolution popularist, is proud of it.  This “living fossil” was thought extinct for 200 million years, but was found alive and well a few years ago in Australia (see 12/15/2000 entry).     Grinning like a kid at Christmas, […]

Self-Replicating Robot: Is It Alive?

The news media are all excited about a cube-shaped robot that, when stacked in threes, can make a copy of itself.  The device, invented by Hod Lipson of Cornell, was illustrated in Nature.1  For a video demonstration, see MSNBC News.  The BBC News quotes Lipson claiming that this achievement “shows the ability to reproduce is […]

Flower Sets Catapult Speed Record

An American team of two biologists and a physicist found that a common mountain flowering plant holds the plant acceleration record.  Reporting in Nature,1 they calculated that the bunchberry dogwood flower propels its pollen at speeds approaching 14 mph when the catapult-like petals explode open, accelerating at 24,000 meters per second squared within 0.3 second.  […]
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