EppsNet Archive: Biology

Free Advice on Free Advice

Today a colleague offered to fix the pain in my shoulder. “Sounds like a problem with the connective tissue,” he said. “I can push it back into place.” “No,” I said. “No no no no no no no.” “Why not? Are you homophobic?” “Not wanting you to touch my shoulder is not homophobic.” Also this guy is not gay. “You… Read more →

A Male Chimp Can Spot an Ovulating Female From More Than a Quarter Mile Away

An ovulating female chimp, that is. Nearly all female primates advertise their days of fertility with colorful genital swellings. It seems like a useful indicator for humans trying to have babies or trying not to have babies, but for some reason evolution has seen fit to conceal the reproductive state of human females from observation. Read more →

I Slept Late But There’s a Reason for It

Think about our distant ancestors . . . energy in the form of food was scarce and hard to obtain. Those who survived had a genetic predisposition to not use energy wastefully but rather to store it up for times when it was really needed. This gave them an evolutionary advantage. And that’s why I slept in and didn’t go… Read more →

HW’s Election Previews: Proposition 37

From the Offical Voter Information Guide: Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as “natural.” Provides exemptions. Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered… Read more →

“Keep it Simple,” Nobel Prize Winner Advises

I soon was taught that [Linus] Pauling’s accomplishment was a product of common sense, not the result of complicated mathematical reasoning. Equations occasionally crept into his argument, but in most cases words would have sufficed. The key to Linus’ success was his reliance on the simple laws of structural chemistry. The -helix had not been found by only staring at… Read more →

Diagnosis Please

What disease is indicated when a fecal sample smells of menthol? I’m asking for whoever used the men’s room before me this morning . . . Read more →