Sun 19 Aug 2007
Sarah and I arrive at the cinema to see a screening at the film festival only to find a long line of at least fifty people out front. Being our first time at this theater, I did not know where to buy tickets. Leaving Sarah to guard our place, I follow the line to its [...]
Mon 30 Jul 2007
At the Omaha Zoo by John Sypal
I sympathize with the figure in the center. They survey the seen cooly, disinterestedly, neither for nor against the motion parading towards them.
We used to posit that animals ran around randomly before we conceived that they have an internal life. The children carry on this randomness exactly, super-heated particles [...]
Thu 26 Jul 2007
I’ll sum up my visit to the Japan Monkey Centre and PRI with a photograph of a ring tailed lemur.
After a year of working with fruit flies, from hereon out I will work only with cute organisms.
Wed 27 Jun 2007
Folding Farmer is a service for Folding @ Home, the protein folding distributed computing project. Instead of downloading the @home client and running it on your own machine, you can subscribe to Folding Farmer and utilize their computing cluster to process work units on your behalf.
Because the Folding @ Home project assigns credit to people [...]
Sun 03 Jun 2007
Svante Pääbo and Frans de Waal spoke at the lecture series for the fortieth anniversary of Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute. I will summarize their talks.
The Gene for Language
Pääbo, who directs evolutionary genomics at the Max Planck Institute, is best known for his characterization of FOXp2, a gene that is thought to be associated with [...]
Sat 31 Mar 2007
Fifty years ago Umesao Tadao began a comparative study of civilizations. His ecological view of history （文明の生態史観） holds that the functional analysis of how the components of a culture work together is more telling than knowing where each of the components came from. For example, the development of Japanese society is more similar to Western [...]
Thu 15 Feb 2007
I found a delicious vegan restaurant near the Kyoto University campus. The food I ate had been fried, so in Japan ‘vegan’ and ‘organic’ don’t seem to automatically equate with ‘healthy.’ Still, I got to thinking about the label ‘organic,’ and it really bothers me. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with avoiding food that [...]
Tue 06 Feb 2007
Dog breeders are having a row with other dog breeders. Some strains have been inbred—in the evolutionary history of “the dog”— ever so slightly longer and these strains get to be registered. Strains that have been constructed more recently (i.e., within your lifetime) are labeled ‘designer.’ These organisms cause controversy for some.
To paraphrase, “Love [...]
Fri 29 Dec 2006
Watch this film, “Jokro: The death of an infant chimpanzee,” about what happens to the infant’s corpse. The film moved me, both scientifically and emotionally. Having witnessed a similar incident on Yakushima, I am very curious about the psychological motivation behind the mothers’ behavior.
Tetsuro Matsuzawa, the researcher at Bossou who made the film, also wrote [...]
Mon 11 Dec 2006
Tishkoff, et al. have found small genetic differences responsible for lactose persistence (the ability to digest milk as an adult) in some African populations. This ability is well known among some European populations. However, the mutations underlying lactose persistence among Europeans is different than those among Africans. Two populations struck upon two solutions to the [...]