Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Biologist Point-of-view-review: Amazing Spider-man

As you may have gathered from some of my other posts I'm a bit of a comic-geek. I thought this would be a good place to do some reviews of films with "biology" in them and the "amazing spider-man" is a good place to start.

The film is good, solid fun. It makes some welcome changes to the previous films and Andrew Garfield is inspired casting. My main focus is on the biology presented in the film and in order to discuss that there will be some spoilers with regards to the film's plot. So I wouldn't read any further if you don't like spoilers.

Name the Biologist - "week" 16

Sorry for the tardiness. A busy couple of weekends has prevented me from doing the feature justice. Luckily "anonymous" is good at getting these right so hopefully people weren't pulling their hair out trying to discover the answer.

This one should be realtively easy. I will try and make the next one more of a challenge.
As for last week, from top to bottom we have Theodor Boveri, Walter Sutton and Walther Flemming. Boveri and Sutton are famous for working out that the chromosomes are the carriers of genetic material. this is one of those things we take for granted now but it was a major breakthrough for linking genetic theory with molecular biology. Case in point is Walther Flemming, the scientist who first described chromosomes but because he was unaware (of the then lost) work by Mendel never quite realised just how important his observations were.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

You couldn't make it up

This video explains the utterly bizarre mating process of the Angler fish. Nature is utterly bizarre. EDIT: as is my use of the same description twice in a row.

The ultimate clingy boyfriend or a metaphor for marriage?

Name the Biologist - Week 15

Busy couple of week meant I was a bit slow at finding a new candidate. But I've managed to dig up another one continuing the historical theme.

The sizes don't really reflect their relative importance. As a little bonus this guy should also be included although he didn't come up with the importance of what he found.

Although he wins in terms of owning the facial hair contest.

As for the previous edition, which was "off the hooke" it was none other than Robert Hooke, the scientist who coined the phrase "cell". He was one of those super scientists in that he wasn't content with describing and coining the word "cell" but also described a physical law too. He also wasn't that far off working out gravity and he made his own microscopes so he could draw small creatures. Basically if he was around today he'd put a dozen different types of postdocs out of work. I'm jealous as I'm more likely to break a law than have one named after me.

Science Songs

My PhD was in spindle formation and how the centrosome isn't essential, so you can forgive me for thinking this songs has the lyrics "End of the Centriole. It's nothing special"  You'd have to work on the subject to appreciate it, I guess...

Stat's more like it

Brian Cox lays down an inconvenient truth about the banking crisis and science,

The jury is out on whether mentioning Jesus is a good call but the gist of his point is mind boggling. It's one of his favourite stats and he explains it in more detail at his lectures.

As for him getting into politics, I'd probably vote for him but I'd want Jim al-khalili as his deputy prime-minister and Dawkins as the background politician that winds voters up.