Skip to content

Inspiring and Thought Provoking

Inspirational Talks at TED

Imagine bringing some of the world’s greatest talkers and thinkers in a conference and challenging them to give the best talk of their life, on whatever they want to talk about. Wouldn’t that be an amazing event? And if someone videoed all of the talks and put them on a website, what a great resource…

Read More

Biotechnology Imitates Nature

“A collaborative effort of Janine Benyus’ Biomimicry Guild and Gunter Pauli’s ZERI Foundation, Nature’s 100 Best brings to light fascinating secrets of nature capable of revolutionizing nearly every aspect of our economy, and changing our destructive relationship with the environment to one of mutual benefit.”

Read More

A Microcosm for Biology

The theme running throughout is that E.coli is a microcosm for understanding all of life. Zimmer reinforces this theme with repeated mention of a Jacques Monod quote, “What is true for E.coli is true for the elephant.

Read More

Notes of a Biology Watcher

Part science, part prose, Lewis Thomas’ books Lives of a Cell and The Medusa and the Snail are creative, thought-provoking, and entertaining.

Read More

The Slowing of Drug Discovery

The June 20th issue of Science had an interesting story worth noting (interesting to anyone into molecular pharmacology, anyway), on Drugs, Industry, and Academia. It caught my attention because of some conversations that I’ve been having recently with colleagues and friends in the industry – how is Big Pharma going to maintain itself amid slowing…

Read More

Reductionism and Biology

Here is an excerpt from a great article that I found recently on Reductionism in Biology from The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Read More

How Cancer Begins

Every major field has its leading thinkers, and the biology of cancer is no different. What makes their impact heard better is when one of those leaders writes a book about it. Given my interest in molecular biology of cancer, I naturally have my favorite such book on the topic – Robert Weinberg’s One Renegade…

Read More

Defining Life Itself

What is this thing called ‘Life?’ One popular game in the relevant area of philosophy is to provide robust counter examples, which reveal failures in operational definitions of life. Failed attempts include physiological, metabolic, biochemical, genetic and thermodynamic definitions of life, all of which face problems. For example, a metabolic definition finds it hard to…

Read More

Top 5 Books from Experimental Biology

I just got done reading Ernst Mayr’s The Growth of Biological Thought, which is on the history and philosophy of biology, from Aristotle to ~1980 (written in 1982). Of particular interest to me was the section on the Modern Synthesis, where the views on evolution of the geneticists and other experimental biologists were reconciled with…

Read More

The Math of Free Will

One of the common arguments from religionists against scientific determinism is that of Free Will. Clearly, we humans possess the capacity for making choices, and have some influence over the direction of our lives. Our cells, too, possess the capacity for choice, as do bacteria and even molecules. For us, our choices are reducible to…

Read More

10 Reasons NOT to be a Scientist

Ok, this week has been a bad week in the lab so far. A few weeks ago I wrote a post describing 15 reasons to be a scientist. Today I am in the mood to cross over to the dark side and give you 10 reasons NOT to be a scientist! Strangely I could only…

Read More
Scroll To Top