Mindblowing molecular biology animations

You simply have to watch this TED talk. Some new animations are revealed that show our latest understanding of how cellular and sub-cellular structures, such as our DNA, RNA machines, chromosomes etc, work.

The sheer beauty, complexity and magic of our cellular reality will blow you away.

TED talk on Animations of unseeable biology


On dairy milk

Interesting article about whether milk is healthy to drink. It’s an old topic but no doubt it’s of continued interest as milk is being consumed and increasingly pushed by a politically powerful dairy industry.

I don’t think there’s a one size fits all answer with dairy, some do well on it, many really don’t.

I now do quite well on some dairy (my initial low allergy went down after pregnancy) but won’t touch anything low fat. I never drink milk but I’m very happy on lots of leafy greens, tahini, tofu etc which do help build bones. I also eat cheese but tend to go for organic and always full fat. I wouldn’t want to rely in dairy for my calcium or protein needs alone (or even mostly, perhaps).

The most interesting sociological insight in this article may even be more fundamental in rethinking our approach to dairy: the dairy industry is politically powerful and dictates food and even agricultural policies. This is most pronounced in the US but also true in Australia and Western Europe.

The dairy industry doesn’t really care about our health, it cares about its financial livelihood only. They sponsor science that shows what they pay it to show.

“Let’s just forget the science and spend taxpayer’s dollars to promote foods that we know are harmful, because money runs politics. To heck with the health of our citizens”.

What did you think of the article?

Some of you, no doubt, would lament the narrow focus on health. How about the environment and animals themselves? Is our focus on our health alone really selfish?

Got proof? Lack of evidence for milk’s benefits


vampire squid from hell :)

vampire squid from hell :)

So cute, isn’t it?

Thank you ABC Science for this awesome photo and description of a truly unique species.

This is the vampire squid from hell or Vampyroteuthis infernalis which feeds on decaying bodies in the great depth of 600-900m in temperate and tropical oceans. It’s so unique that it also has its own branch of the taxonomic tree; half octopus, half squid.

The creature is not particularly huge at 13cm but it has huge eyes to detect any moving objects and has dark blue bioluminescence against predators. It entirely feeds on dead bodies that drop to the ocean floor, it’s the quiet yet amazing looking sweeper of debris.

This cephalopod has sticky filaments that it uses to snare in small morsels, stick them together with a glue like substance then bring the parcel to the mouth. Ie it makes its own deep-ocean cake pop.

Sad to think that biodiversity is shrinking at such a pace that we are going to lose many many unique species such as this one, some even before we get to discover them… but for now, let’s revel in the mind-blowing uniqueness of this awesome little vampire.

‘Squid from Hell’ secrets revealed