symmetry human body biology science

The beauty of symmetry

rats live on no evil star / ta ke ya bu ya ke ta

When I had a routine brain-scan years ago, the doctor exclaimed excitedly: “What a beautiful symmetric brain you have!So I wondered, aren’t all brains supposed to be symmetric?

In fact, are we humans not members of the large group of animals know as ‘Bilateralia’, in which left and right sides of the body should be mirror images? Continue reading

hair naked ape human biology

Human hairiness

Why is the “naked ape” not really naked?

Desmond Morris called the human species ”The Naked Ape” in his famous book of the same title. But even without clothes, when we are indeed naked, we are not hairless. Our entire body (with the notable exceptions of the insides of our hands and feet, the area around the nipples, and the lips) is covered with hairs. Continue reading

fashion biology science evolution studies

Fashions in biology

Fashions come and go

Hairstyles, music we listen to, travel destinations, even words and expressions that we use are subject to fashion. Biology has its fashions, too. Right now it is fashionable to specialize in Molecular Genetics or Biotechnology. And who wouldn’t be fascinated by reports on unravelling the genome of Neanderthal man or by prospects of re-creating extinct species like mammoths or Tasmanian tigers. Genetically engineered food stuffs and cloned animals, after all, are already part of our lives. Continue reading