Antibodies are used a lot in research labs around the world and scientists tend to trust what’s on the label. But antibodies aren’t as reliable as researchers may think, with some scientists now arguing that “due diligence” in their use should include considerable time and money. I remember comparing my own experimental results to published … Continue reading
Tag Archives: biology
Read: Does Being Short Mean a Higher Risk for Bad Heart Juju?
Short people are at a higher risk for adverse cardiac events. Tall people are at a higher risk for heart attacks. Short people live longer. Tall people live longer. Which is it? A new study came out (in the much revered New England Journal of Medicine) apparently showing that short people are at an increased risk … Continue reading
Darwin Day 2015: Refute Erroneous Arguments
On February 12, 1809, Charles Darwin was born. Along with Alfred Russel Wallace, he formulated the theory of evolution, according to which the struggle for life leads to the survival of the species most fit to their environment. If you are skeptical about evolution (“it’s just a theory!”) or if you know people who are … Continue reading
Cracked Science Video 2: Code
A follow-up to my first video, this is a quick-and-dirty look at how the DNA code gets translated to make proteins. Enjoy! Il y a des sous-titres en français disponibles en cliquant sur le bouton “CC” sur YouTube. Continue reading
Cracked Science Video 1: Dogma
It has begun. I am starting a series of public science videos in which I will be explaining scientific concepts, criticizing bad science, and debunking pseudoscience. You can think of it as a video version of this blog. Before you watch the first video, a few caveats born of my self-awareness and perfectionism: 1. I … Continue reading
Read: Vitamin D, Dementia, and the Missing Link
Do low levels of vitamin D increase your risk of developing dementia? From reading recent headlines, you might think it does. But what did the scientific study actually show? HealthNewsReview.org is a great resource to help separate facts from hype, and they most recently tackled the erroneous reporting that low levels of vitamin D cause dementia. Correlation, … Continue reading
CRTKL: The Critical Reasoning Tool Kit Lecture (McGill, April 9, *ROOM CHANGE*)
I have been graciously invited by the brand-spankin’-new Freethought Association at McGill to give a talk in the evening of April 9 on critical thinking skills. Why me? I used to head the Montreal chapter of the Centre for Inquiry; I have a background in biochemistry, molecular biology, and human genetics; and as one of the … Continue reading
Melatonin: How Strong Is the Evidence for Morpheus-in-a-Bottle?
While my body embraces rest, my mind, despite its organic roots, plows on ahead. It foregoes running and projects itself at stressful speeds, branching out and accelerating, carrying my heart beat with it. The pillow is only slowly warming up. The time is 1:30 AM. I have learned to protect myself against insomnia but, once … Continue reading
From Rags to Riches: A Tale of the Little Enzyme that Could
When I worked in forensics, we had access to a boiling water tap as a way to bypass the kettle when making tea. Little did I know that our instant hot water dispenser was potentially worth 450 million dollars. The story starts with ecology. Yawn. I know. Most people dislike ecology. But trust me: this … Continue reading
Darwin Day: What It Means to Be a Scientist
Bill Nye used mathematics to disprove creationism. It was only one tool in a rather large box, a box that might as well be bigger on the inside. The bow-tied man did a rapid calculation to help show the incredulity that should follow the claim that evolution is wrong and that the Bible got it … Continue reading
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