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  1. The Galàpagos Islands

    Evolution

    For a modern reader, the most surprising thing about the Galàpagos Islands chapter in Charles Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle is probably its brevity. Darwin describes the apparently recent volcanic origin of the place, runs through a quick list of its notable species, includes a figure of some ...

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  2. If You Cheat Pseudomonas, You Get Gassed

    A paper published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals an interesting new twist in the complicated social lives of bacteria. No, I'm not anthropomorphizing. By any reasonable definition, bacteria really do have social lives. Indeed, in recent years bacteriologists have focused intently on ...

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  3. Epidemics and Travel Bans

    Here’s something that doesn’t happen often: I disagree with my friend, podcast co-host, and former mentor Vincent Racaniello. He’s generally right about most things. But I have to part ways with his take on public health-related travel bans, which he explained in a recent post on his ...

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  4. Coprolites and Paleofeces: The Importance of Knowing Your Shit

    As research on microbial diversity – or as it’s now been rebranded, microbiomics – continues, microbiologists are studying more environments, often overlapping with other fields. One interesting tendril of this new expansion extends into archaeology, where biologists armed with the latest DNA sequencing tools are exploring the microbiomes of lost tribes ...

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  5. Pricing Freedom in Science Publishing

    There’s been another dustup between advocates of open access science publishing and the world of traditional subscription-based scientific journals. That’s pretty much like having my old friends shouting at my boss, so yes, I’ve paid attention.

    In case you missed it, the American Association for the Advancement ...

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