More on genes and origins at Aeon.
Ed Yong, who is on fire with some good articles, has a piece on the 3-D structure of chromosomes.
Also Ed Yong on the electric eel. Exotic sensory systems are good gateways into how evolution proceeds and the diverse life forms and neuronal systems that can be created.
Ken Weiss on the unknowables of Biology.
Two articles on free will. Greg Caruso has a new blog at Psychology Today. Jerry Coyne responds to his first post.
This New Yorker article, "The Strangers in Your Brain," about the expression of transposon genes in
neurons, is rather fascinating. An aside on the article, Clancy brings
in a study about measuring the behavior of genetically identical
mice. I always find this study to be underwhelming. I read it
as they released ten mice into the same cage or environment and then
measured their behavioral programs. They then point to the expression
of vast differences of behavior in genetically identical mice. It is
underwhelming because once you release identical creatures into an
environment together, you are already gearing up for significant
behavioral differences. For instance, say we have bad tasting water
over here. Well, the first mouse, by chance, goes and tastes it. His
identical sibling is slightly behind and watches him (his facial
expressions). These identical siblings just had a significantly
different “environmental” experience. When you have multiple
beings together, and they are not perfectly mirrored somehow (if such
is possible), then you are already gearing up for a “significantly
different environment” between them. That is, you quickly lose the
idea that these identical creatures were released into the “same
environment.” Now, if you release identical mice into their own
banal environment, and you see significant behavioral differences,
that may be more informative, but you would still have a great many
Though it's a bit obsolete now, John Oliver had a good segment on the Canadian elections, urging people not to vote for the Conservative candidate Harper.
And lastly, humans have now fulfilled the purpose they were put on this planet to fulfill: Star Wars.