Tag Archives: genetics

Biology for Worldbuilding: Immutably Mutable Genetics of Octopuses

[Above: Drawing of Octopus vulgaris by  Comingio Merculiano (1845-1915) circa 1896, published in Jatta Giuseppe (1860-1903). Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.]  This post is the first in the series aimed at people who write speculative fiction–sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc–and are looking for worldbuilding inspiration. In each post, we’ll take a look at a biological trait and explore …

Hybrid Problems: Chimerism, Synthetic Life, and Mixed Heritage

[A hybrid orchid. Photo by Mark Freeth.]  [“Molecularization of Identity” Workshop Recap, Part 2] Genomes of indigenous people, which often include genes found nowhere else in the world, can be powerful symbols for nations that want to showcase their uniqueness.  But when the Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica  (INMEGEN)  set out to find examples …

“Perceive. Identify. Regulate.” How to be Racist with 21st Century Science

[Image via Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary & Creative Commons] [“Molecularization of Identity” Workshop Recap, Part 1] The diagram of racism was shockingly simple: four highlighted brain regions with black arrows between them, forming an almost-isosceles triangle. [Diagram by Elizabeth Phelps’ group at NYU via The Brain Bank blog] Perception. Identification. Regulation.  Those are the …

5 Amazing Feats Performed by “Meta-Genes”

[Image via the NIH Image Gallery. Photo by Alex Ritter, Jennifer Lippincott Schwartz, and Gillian Griffiths. Full video, complete with narration here.]  Under the Radar: A series of listicles about biology concepts you definitely won’t find in newspaper headlines. #1: Be a Navigation App for Immune Cells Natural killer cells, or “NK cells” are the …

Splice of Life: 3 Examples of How Nature Edits Its Own Genes

About the “Under the Radar” series: Some scientific concepts come up again and again in interviews with scientists but never find their way into newspaper headlines. Each post in this series follows one of those biology “bogeys” that fly under journalism’s radar through 3 different mini-stories. Story #1: Scientists splice up a CRISPR chicken…and find …