What genes make a mammoth woolly? Scientists analyze the genome of an extinct beast.

Several weeks ago I reported on the current state of cloning technology, including its potential to resurrect the woolly mammoth. These efforts are under-way in a cross-continental collaboration with labs at Harvard, a biotech firm in South Korea, and scientists in Russia. As I pointed out in the article, DNA extracted from frozen woolly mammoth specimens is likely in rough shape and can’t directly be injected into an enucleated elephant egg to produce a mammoth clone (see more on science... Read more


The Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change

  “With this declaration, we outline the scale of the threat of climate change, and we provide the best possible advice,” says Brian P. Schmidt, Nobel laureate and a spokesperson for the Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change. He continues that he feels a “moral bound duty as a scientist on an issue that has such lasting consequences.” Four Nobel Laureates met with Brian Schmidt on Thursday, one day before the signing of the declaration on Mainau island of Lake... Read more


Daily Recap, Thursday, 2 July 2015

Video of the day: The video of the day is the inspirational speech by Kailash Satyarthi.     This is not the only video from today! You are more than welcome to browse through our mediatheque for more.   Blog post of the day: The blog post of the day is another one of Akshat Rathi’s interviews. Here are David Gross’ short answers.     Do take a look at even more exciting blog posts.   Picture of the day: The choice... Read more


The CSI effect: fact or fiction?

Fascinated with forensics A long line of television shows, from the venerable Dragnet to the current crop of police procedurals, has piqued the public's interest in criminal evidence and forensic science. What does this public fascination with crime shows featuring forensics mean for the real-life prosecution of a criminal case? One researcher suggests that "television is our principal source of popular legal culture" and crime dramas "take root in our psyches" where they "help construct our understandings of law and... Read more


The ‘Querdenker’: A Bulwark Against Extremism

The annual Nobel Laureate Meeting in the German city of Lindau located at the beautiful Lake Constance is an inspiration hub. Each year, Nobel laureates in the sciences meet up with bright young scientists who are about to embark on their research careers to discuss a broad array of scientific topics and the nature of scientific discovery. These young researchers learn about the Higgs boson, the role of RNA molecules in the evolution of cells, the development of environment-friendly chemical... Read more


Five questions to a Nobel Laureate: David Gross

How much sleep do you need and does it affect your work? I try to sleep for 8 hours, but on average I get about 7 hours. When I’m thinking hard, I need more sleep. Actually, I think a lot of work gets done while sleeping.   Are you addicted to something? Science cannot be the answer New knowledge (says so while smoking). I also prefer coffee.   What’s your idea of a perfect holiday? My wife jokes that I... Read more


The SCICOMM 25 (7.2.15)

The SCICOMM 25 is back! This is where I pull together the week's 25 most talked about science communication stories, determined by the engagement rate of stories I've shared on Twitter. Many are written by the world's leading science communicators. Some offer tips and advice, while others tackle important issues we need to discuss and debate. All of them are worth checking out. I hope you enjoy this week's list. Top Stories (Funny) Taylor Swift announces she will no longer review for... Read more


Daily Recap, Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Video of the day: The video of the day is the footage of Steven Chu’s “Random Walk in Science“.     This is not the only video from today! You are more than welcome to browse through our mediatheque for more.   Blog post of the day: Akshat Rathi who is writing for our blog had the splendid idea of asking the Nobel Laureates he has interviewed the same five questions. Here is what Venkatraman Ramakrishnan answered:     Do take a look at... Read more


Five questions to a Nobel Laureate: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

  How much sleep do you need and does it affect your work? I usually go to bed about 10pm or so. I wake up between 6am and 7am. I can’t function very well without a good night’s sleep.   Are you addicted to something? Science cannot be the answer I’m addicted to surfing news articles on the internet. That’s a very bad addiction, because most of the things I read are not very lasting. If I hadn’t read them,... Read more


“Magical Glasses” – Finding Mutations in Real Time

The human body is constantly attacked by bacteria and viruses, this is also true for animals and plants. And this “selective pressure” was probably part of life on Earth from the start. As a result, the human body has developed many effective defence lines, divided into the categories of innate and adaptive immunity. Bruce Beutler has received the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for finding an important receptor that helps trigger the innate immune response: the toll-like receptor... Read more


Daily Recap, Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Video of the day: Today’s video of the day is the lecture of Jack Szostak who talked about “The Origins of Cellular Life“.     This is not the only video from today! You are more than welcome to browse through our mediatheque for more. Blog post of the day: The importance of venturing beyond is shown in our blog post of the day “Of Polymaths and Multidisciplinarians“. Enjoy reading this interesting Long read.     Do take a look at even... Read more


Do Gambel’s Quail Experience Grief?

Morning and evening, our yard is full of Gambel’s quail, known in scientific circles as Callipepla gambelii. We keep our bird feeders full, luring the ubiquitous house finch, sparrows of several species, the gray and red Pyrrhuloxia and our favorite, the Northern cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis. As the perching birds quarrel over the best seats on the feeder, seed often spills to the ground, drawing the ground-feeding quail. In the spring, quail parents escort their young to the feeders, showing them... Read more


The Best is yet to come

Eric Betzig and his friend Harald Hess have invented a whole new research branch: living room physics. Both met years earlier at Bell Laboratories, and they developed their ideas about super-resolution microscopy while hiking in several National Parks. Hess had been able to take his equipment from Bell with him, so they set up their first super-resolution microscope according to their ideas in Hess’ living room – what would become the first PALM microscope. Next they wrote a patent, then... Read more


Five questions to a Nobel Laureate: Dan Shechtman

  How much sleep do you need and does it affect your work? On a normal day, I go to sleep at about 11pm and wake up at about 5.45am. When I’m travelling, I don’t have jet lag. I just sleep when I can.   Are you addicted to something? Science cannot be the answer Many things. I’m addicted to aesthetics. I like arts: Be it music or paintings. I’m an old-style lover, and I don’t understand modern art. I’m addicted... Read more


The Courage to Venture Beyond: Of Polymaths and Multidisciplinarians

Correspondence to: Jalees Rehman Department of Medicine and Department of Pharmacology University of Illinois at Chicago Email: jalees.rehman[at]gmail[dot]com   Goethe’s symmetric colour wheel with associated symbolic qualities (1809): – Public Domain Image   “Focus! Focus! Focus! Create a narrow area of scientific expertise in which you excel and develop a national or international reputation for excellence!” Established scientists often share this sort of advice with their younger peers who are about to embark on their academic career. It isn’t a... Read more