The fight for control over virtual fossils
Biology / Palaeontology

The fight for control over virtual fossils

From Nature, March 6, 2019. (Image: Diprotodon skull by AC Sharp, Museum Victoria, downloaded from phenome10k) Palaeontologists have been urged to share 3D scans of fossils online, but a Nature analysis finds that few researchers do so. A decade ago, palaeontologist Jack Tseng set out on a treasure hunt. Not the typical boots and pick-axe affair you … Continue reading

Turtle deaths highlight precarious environmental situation
Biology / Climate / Environment

Turtle deaths highlight precarious environmental situation

(Image: Jarrad Prangell from Symbio Wildlife Park holds a Bellinger River Snapping Turtle) Four summers ago, death swept through the small population of Bellinger River Snapping Turtles. Thankfully, the species wasn’t wiped out completely. But the virus that wrought devastation was aided and abetted by drought and diminishing food supply — the hallmarks of climate … Continue reading

Biology / Evolution

Review: Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony by Kevin N. Layland

A version of this review appeared in Issue 75 of Cosmos Magazine, July 2017  The runaway evolution that drove human brilliance Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind by KEVIN N. LALAND Princeton University Press (2017) Evolutionary biologists are often loath to admit the vast gap that exists between our own brilliance and … Continue reading

The next generation of weapons against antibiotic-resistant superbugs
Biology / Evolution / Medicine

The next generation of weapons against antibiotic-resistant superbugs

From Cosmos Magazine, June 30, 2017 (Image: naturalismus via Flickr)  At his North Adelaide practice, Peter-John Wormald has the unenviable job of unblocking the noses of people with chronic sinusitis. Many of his patients have spent years on antibiotics that have failed to budge their infection, providing the perfect breeding ground for resistant superbugs. For … Continue reading

Biased for Benefit: Stimulating the world’s most popular drug targets with more nuance
Biology

Biased for Benefit: Stimulating the world’s most popular drug targets with more nuance

From Nature Medicine, June 2017 (Image: Nick Page via Flickr) In September 2012, a small biotech startup named Trevena unveiled preclinical trial results for its front-running compound, TRV027. The fledgling Philadelphia-based company had been going strong since its founding five years earlier, raising $24 million from investors in 2008 and securing a position in BusinessWeek’s … Continue reading