As I was growing up in boreal Russia, I remember reading many children books about travel and adventures in exotic countries. One book was about a tropical island where bread grew on trees… it all sounded like a fairy tale. But later I learned it was true! There is a real plant that i
I recently finished reading Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminets. It’s a great book and I recommend it to all, who are not afraid of delving into the rather technical issues of health and diet. What I part
This morning a colleague sent to the department, with a snide comment, an article that just came out in Biology Letters, Wet-induced finger wrinkles improve handling of wet objects. At first glance it looked like a joke or a hoax, but I opened the text anyway. On the second glance, af
Two interesting news were reported this week. Forbes Magazine reported that the net worth of the wealthiest 400 Americans increased by 13 percent compared to last year. This is hardly surprising, since the magnitude of the top fortunes have been growing rapidly over the last 30 years.
The scientific community is abuzz with the publication of 30 articles in Nature and other journals (Genome Research and Genome Biology) resulting from the Encode project. As Gina Kolata reports in New York Times, The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that
As I wrote in this blog, in early May I started on a new diet, which is misleadingly (for reasons I will come back to) called the ‘Paleo Diet.’ First, a progress report. Over the 3.5 months I lost 15 pounds, or around a pound per week. Not particularly impressive by the standards of s
If you are in North America or Western Europe and look around, on any particular day, you will find most people wearing pants. But why is it the standard item of clothing for people, especially men belonging to the Western civilization. Why not a kilt, a robe, a tunic, a sarong, or a
Cultural evolution is what created the – in many ways – wonderful societies that we live in. It created the potential to free our lives from hunger and early death, and made possible the pursuit of science and art. But cultural evolution also has a dark side, in fact, many ‘dark sides