You’re made of 10 trillion cells, but you carry 100 trillion microbes – meet your microbiome.
How verbal messages progress from the mind of the speaker to the mind of the listener – gorgeous vintage diagram of the auditory pathways linking your brain with your ear.
Such gorgeous vintage anatomy of plant cells. Complement with Ernst Haeckel’s stunning 19th-century biological illustrations.
The bdelloid rotifer – a tiny, all-female creature – has endured the past 80 million years without sex. Now, researchers discover the asexual animal’s secret lies in gobbling up foreign DNA from other simple life-forms.
Meanwhile, the very first ejaculation “caught” in the fossil record some 400 million years ago tells the story of Earth’s sexual past.
Gorgeous vintage hand-made lantern slide of a protein model by controversial mathematician Dorothy Wrinch, the first woman to receive a Doctor of Science degree from Oxford University, whose seminal work shed light on the molecular structure of proteins.
If an urge to explore rises in us innately, perhaps its foundation lies within our genome. In fact there is a mutation that pops up frequently in such discussions: a variant of a gene called DRD4, which helps control dopamine, a chemical brain messenger important in learning and reward. Researchers have repeatedly tied the variant, known as DRD4-7R and carried by roughly 20 percent of all humans, to curiosity and restlessness. Dozens of human studies have found that 7R makes people more likely to take risks; explore new places, ideas, foods, relationships, drugs, or sexual opportunities; and generally embrace movement, change, and adventure. Studies in animals simulating 7R’s actions suggest it increases their taste for both movement and novelty. (Not incidentally, it is also closely associated with ADHD.)
The people who keep this spirit of playful engagement with the possibilities of the moment closest at hand—the Cooks and Tupaias, the Sally Rides and Michael Barratts—are the explorers.
Restless Genes – David Dobbs on how we evolved to explore.
Complement with Neil deGrasse Tyson on why we’re wired for curiosity.
Peter Larsen transforms data on how microbial populations interact with their environment into music. In this particular piece, the fluctuations in different microbe groups’ abundance throughout the year drive the melody, and the environmental conditions determine the chords and key.
How breathing actually works, animated.
The twisting tale of DNA, animated.