Category Archives: biology

Biomass distribution

image credit A picture is worth thousand words! The diagram above summarizes the most recent understanding of the biomass distribution in the biosphere. The unit “Gt” means gigaton. The “C” refers to carbon. Plants dominate the biosphere in terms of … Continue reading

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Kolmogorov Complexity

Kolmogorov Complexity of a mathematical object is defined as the length of the shortest possible computer program needed to describe it.  For computer scientists, Kolmogorov Complexity which is also known as Algorithmic Complexity is a measure of how compressible a … Continue reading

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China’s Noah’s Ark

China’s first national gene bank officially opened recently. The center will eventually store 300 million genetic samples. Currently, it stores 10 million samples. China National GeneBank (CNGB) will be the biggest genetic research center in the world as well as … Continue reading

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bioRxiv: the preprint server for Biology Descriptions from the bioRxiv website below: bioRxiv (pronounced “bio-archive”) is a free online archive and distribution service for unpublished preprints in the life sciences. It is operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a not-for-profit research and educational institution. Articles … Continue reading

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Smell of space

I recently learned that space has a unique smell. Astronauts described the smell of space with these words: “sulfurous”, “seared meat”, “hot metal”, “distinct odor of ozone”, “a faint acrid smell”, “welding fumes.” Astronauts smell this distinct odor when they return … Continue reading

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Did you know that bananas produce antimatter?

A banana releases one positron (anti-electron) every 75 minutes. Bananas contain a small amount of potassium-40, a naturally occurring isotope of potassium. Potassium-40 decays and emits a positron in the process. Positron which is antimatter annihilates on contact with matter. … Continue reading

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Aziz Sancar: the first Turkish scientist to win a Nobel Prize

Today, the Nobel Foundation announced that Aziz Sancar shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Tomas Lindahl and Paul Modrich.  Sancar was recognized for his work on DNA repair. My heartfelt congratulations to Aziz Sancar! Author Orhan Pamuk received the Nobel … Continue reading

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Biology section of the Quanta Magazine

Free online science magazine Quanta is relatively new but it has emerged as the most inspiring resource in science and mathematics. The Quanta Magazine is published by the Simons Foundation. The person behind the Simons Foundation and the driving force … Continue reading

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Biomass under the oceans

Take heart! Organic life on Earth will continue for millions of years even if the organic life on the surface of Earth is wiped out by cataclysms. There is a huge amount of biomass at the bottom of oceans and … Continue reading

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Inference and Propensity

Dictionary definitions: Propensity: an inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way. Inference: a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning. In the context of spiritual philosophy: propensity: a causal factor influencing an individual entity inference: … Continue reading

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Ontology of Energy

Time has come for a discussion of the ontology of energy. Let’s discuss it without academic pretense and dogmatism. I will start by mentioning the views of a well-known philosopher and a physicist I respect. Shrii Shrii Anandamurti’s views on … Continue reading

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The Mystery of Memory

When I was a teenager I dreamed of inventing a device that would record our thoughts. Recording the memory portion of the thought was a big part of that invention. In those days technology was primitive. Now, there are a … Continue reading

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Prenatal Testosterone Levels and Autism

There is a remarkable new article at the Edge website by Simon Baron-Cohen. He is a  Professor of Developmental Psychopathology and Director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University, a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is also the … Continue reading

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