Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The leafy-green in the coal mine

June Medford PhD has used the techniques of synthetic biology to create a plant that can detect the chemicals present in a bomb. In this interview with PBS Dr. Medford reveals additional potential of this environmental monitor.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Who runs the Interwebs?

This week's Freakonomics podcast with hosts Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt was so good I had to listen to it twice. A major highlight is Dubner's conversation with NYU internet scholar - Clay Shirky. In my mind Shirky makes soem excellent points about the absurdity of trying to regulate technology before it is born. This is playing out right now on kick-starter as the people who run kickstarter have banned people from offering home-made genetically modified organisms in the wake of the glowing plant project's success. Keep your eyes on this blog as I have glowing plant seeds on the way sometime next spring. I will write about my experience. In the mean time, have a listen to this week's incredibly engaging Freakonomics!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wise words from Baron d'Holbach

From the skeptics guide to the universe I present this epic skeptical quote of the week all the way from the eighteenth century.
“If we go back to the beginnings of things, we shall always find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that imagination, rapture and deception embellished them; that weakness worships them; that custom spares them; and that tyranny favors them in order to profit from the blindness of men.” ~Baron d’Holbach