Science Matters

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Science Matters-Simple things can morph into complex structures

I have previously explained how complex eukaryotic cells, the cells that make up the tissues in our bodies, developed. They arose in an early stage of the evolution of life from simpler bacteria cells called prokaryotes.

Science Matters-Symbiotic cells give rise to more complex life forms

Life’s history on Earth is punctuated by some important transitions. One of the more important ones was the development of symbiotic, interdependent relationships between simple prokaryotic cells, such as bacteria. This made possible a new kind of life form: the more complex eukaryotic cells that make up body tissues in complex organisms.

Science Matters-Physicists on path of invariance in the universe

Physics is the mother of all the sciences. It strives to describe characteristics of the physical universe with parameters that are unambiguous and measurable. Those measurements can’t depend on who makes them, where or when they are made, the orientation of the measuring apparatus or the thing being measured.

Science Matters-Human harm to climate is clear; why wait to act?

My wife and I recently returned from a vacation in Patagonia. One thing that struck me were the repeated reminders people in this southern South American region gave us to keep covered and apply sunscreen liberally.

Science Matters-Human progress tied to evolution of our brains

The neural circuits and hormones that give rise to the functions of the human brain were optimized for the survival of our ancestors.

Science Matters-Ideas Darwin synthesized brewed for centuries

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was a synthesis of ideas that had been brewing for centuries, indeed millennia, about the origins of and relationships between the organisms inhabiting the planet.

Science Matters-Evolutionary theory grows stronger with age

As all good theories should, the theory of evolution has grown to account for new discoveries.

Science Matters-Ocean currents set stage for world's weather

The world’s ocean currents play a critical role in climate. Those currents are influenced by atmospheric conditions. These interactions between the oceans and atmosphere determine how vital rain and snow are distributed around the globe.

Science Matters-Political pressures twist science to fit agendas

The past two decades have seen ever increasing efforts to distort science in support of one political agenda or another.

Science Matters-Feynman's joy in discovery a lesson for us all

One of the greatest minds and most intriguing personalities of the twentieth century was Richard Feynman.

Science Matters-Feynman's joy in discovery a lesson for us all

One of the greatest minds and most intriguing personalities of the twentieth century was Richard Feynman.

Imported-, Science Matters-What a drag as Olympics gear up

I swim laps at noon several times a week. I enjoy the water, and the gentle exercise is good for my aging joints.Like other old ladies in the pool, I'm no speed demon. Even a bucketful of performance enhancing drugs would not make me slice through the wat

Imported-, Science Matters-Patterns evident in Milky Way, other galaxies

Few things are as awesome as a crystal clear night sky far from city lights.

Imported-, Science Matters-Genes hold keys to diseases, cures

The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, demonstrated humans have approximately 20,000 genes. How these genes interact with one another and respond to environmental factors goes a long way toward explaining a person's health history.

Imported-, Science Matters-No silver bullet for diverse enemy: cancer

Controlling health care costs is one of the most difficult problems facing society. Because we are often talking about life-and-death decisions for ourselves or our loved ones, we unquestioningly accept that more is better. It is not always the case that