Though It’s Slightly Off-Topic…


…Do not miss the return of evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson’s blog The Wild Side at The New York Times, where you can learn about biology’s cutting edge.  Not only does this Brit appear to be ridiculously pretty, she is the best science writer I can think of, wonderfully witty, provocative, and clear. (The latter is important for dolts like me who never learned a thing about life after Advanced Biology high school senior year.)

Now she’s back every Wednesday, and if her first post–about scientists’ attempt to have mackerel give birth to tunas–is any indication, we are in for another mind-blowing ride. 


  1. That was indeed an interesting blog post in the Times, and let’s also note what she and her employers at the Times have learned about blogging since she first attempted her blog. No more posting daily (by one person, that is) and no more rigidly sticking to themes. Keep it loose!

  2. Well, I must disagree. This isn’t mind-blowing, it’s New Scientist-style gee-whiz bullsh*t. So far transgenic crops have proved nothing but problematic — so now we’re going to engineer animals and hope it works out better, all for commercial purposes? No wonder the Japanese can still claim to be whaling for ‘scientific’ reasons with a straight face. The world lets them get away with it.

    If you want to read something controversial about how cells are incorporated into other beings through evolution, may I suggest ‘Acquiring Genomes’ by Lynn Margulis, a well-respected microbiologist, former wife of Carl Sagan, and associated with James Lovelock’s Gaia theory? She’s the one who pointed out that the mitochondria in animal cells and chloroplasts in plants used to be independent organisms.

    The real ‘gee whiz’ is that Nature is already doing this stuff.

  3. I read the NYT blog entry, desperate for genuine, chewy, thick, luscious science since I left my research job in August. Not once did I see the word “epigenetic” used, or any of the terms usually associated with the biology of reproduction. I guess the blog is okay, but I was expecting Godiva chocolate truffles and what I got was cocoa puffs.


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