Category Archives: Science & society

scene from Frankenstein 1931

Golden Rice, Frankenfood, and the torch-wielding mob

Most scientists hate the term “Frankenfood” applied to genetically engineered (GE) crops. Activists certainly use it as an insult. But did those activists actually read Mary Shelley’s book? Mary Shelley’s …

Homo Frankenthalensis ready to take revenge on the world (Modified fron Neandethal museum)

Can scientists clone a Neanderthal?

Is it possible to clone a Neanderthal? In theory, maybe. Last year the scientific community was outraged when the Daily Mail published an article claiming that George Church, from Harvard, …

Going for a run after work? You can skip the “organic” from the organic chicken breast you will have later

Organic food, health and ABC1 living

Most of us know that people who eat a balanced diet, exercise and have disposable income live longer. This may sound unfair to unemployed coach-potatoes but it is a blessing …

In the 2005 film “The Island” Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson played two human clones that were produced as a source of spare organs for their very reach originals.

Cloning, the Nobel Prize and the philosopher’s stone

I was a wide-eyed science student when I witnessed a prime-time TV debate between two scientists; the Oxford-styled atheist (not the famous one) vs. the Catholic. They had been my …


Science is based on evidence not authority

The triumphs of science have provided its practitioners with an aura of respect*. Many people would have problems describing what the job of a scientist is. However, if someone can …

Bauer im Weizenfeld bis Horizont

Let’s do the evolution

  Before us, pre-human creatures roamed the earth. For the best part of one million years these creatures used simple, unchanging, stone tools (1). Apparently, the thought of improving those …

DNA helix, biochemical  background with defocused strands, eps10

Why I am not too worried about companies patenting genes

  A gene patent is a dodgy concept; genes can’t be patented –that’s right– natural genes can’t be patented; they simply cannot be patented. An analogy will serve as an …

City of London at twilight

Can markets erode moral values?

They can -claims a recent experimental article published in Science Magazine (1). Armin Falk and Nora Szech from University of Bonn studied the effects of markets on moral values and …


A guide to detecting bogus scientific journals

Following on a previous post discussing how bogus magazines pretending to be scientific journals can affect the judgement of non-specialists, a brief 5 steps method to pin-point dubious publications is …

ratonera + queso

Scientific journals: The risks of a free meal.

  Funding bodies in the US and the UK are pressing scientists to publish their research in open access journals (1). Open access journals are free for readers. The reason …

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