A few weeks ago, I came across a fascinating review article in Science with the instantly compelling title, Poor human olfaction is a 19th-century myth . Like most people, I’ve been told that compared to many other animals, humans aren’t very good at smelling. Apparently this isn’t true, and stems more from 19th century notions of … Continue reading You smell fine
How can we describe a population expanding into a new environment, like an invasive species spreading into virgin territory, or a disease infiltrating a community of susceptible hosts? Would the speed at which the population’s front advances be constant, like a car driving along a highway, so that if it travels 60 miles in one … Continue reading Muskrats, Arts and Crafts
(A follow-up to my election day post.) Tuesday’s surprising presidential election has been on everyone’s mind for the past week, and has stirred up lots of emotion. I thought it worth acknowledging this event at the start of class on Thursday. My aims were that this would be very brief, that I wouldn’t expresses displeasure … Continue reading Post-election-day biophysics
(A short election day post!) I always start off my “biophysics for non-science majors” class with an interesting picture. Today, since it’s election day, I tried to think of something that links politics and science and came up with these photos that I took at the Library of Congress this past summer, where there’s a … Continue reading Election day biophysics
An extremely long post, mainly written to have something to point people to as a commentary on some recent work. A new paper from my lab came out recently in PLOS Biology, on watching and learning about the competition between gut microbes. I like the paper a lot, and, with one possible exception, it took more hard labor … Continue reading How are your intestines like a tide pool?
A few evenings ago I gave a “science pub” talk — part of a long-running series of public presentations that the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry runs at several sites in the state. (This was at a local pizza place, so thankfully I could just bike to it.) I called the talk “Glimpses of … Continue reading Science Pub 2016
I’ll continue describing a graduate biophysics course I taught in Spring 2015. In Part I, I wrote about the topics we covered. Here, I’ll focus on the structure of the course — books, assignments, in-class activities, and the students’ final project — and note what worked and didn’t work. (What didn’t work: popsicle sticks.) Click … Continue reading Recap of a graduate biophysics course — Part II