Microbes are Striking Back

by Amit Sengupta

People’s DemocracyJuly 29, 2018

THE development of new knowledge is a fascinating exercise. Since humans evolved, they have been driven by curiosity to learn more and more about nature. Over time the knowledge accumulated came to be systematised and this is what we call science. The hunger for knowledge deepened and expanded our collective understanding of nature. This knowledge is utilised to create tools and other artifacts that humans use to improve conditions of living. Science has always been a collective activity, though under capitalism today there are attempts by corporations to claim ownerships over knowledge through the exercise of intellectual property rights – in the form of patents, copyrights, etc.Read More »

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If Earth Were a Novel, Would the Historical Sciences Be Reliable Narrators?

by C.P. Rajendran

The Wire | August 03, 2018

If Earth Were a Novel, Would the Historical Sciences Be Reliable Narrators?

The idea is that geology or even cosmology is imprecise because it deals with incompleteness, poor data resolution and lack of experimental control. Credit: skeeze/pixabay

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), the American palaeontologist and writer, delivered a memorable extemporaneous speech upon receiving the ‘History of Geology Division’ award during the 100th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Denver, 1988. A copy of its transcription had been sitting quietly among some paper clippings in my possession, having followed me around all these years, and I recently rediscovered it by accident.Read More »

Report: Scientists Have Advanced Bio-Weapon Capabilities

teleSUR | June 20, 2018

The ability to make bacteria more resistant to treatment or creating harmful biochemicals is a possibility.

The ability to make bacteria more resistant to treatment or creating harmful biochemicals is a possibility. | Photo: Reuters
The field of synthetic biology can facilitate altering the structure of bacteria to make them more harmful.

Advancement in synthetic biology now gives scientist the tools to recreate dangerous viruses, a 221-page Department of Defense report has disclosed.

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53% of scientists in Cuba are women

by  

Granma | June 14, 2018

Gissel Saldívar, a 19 year old chemical technician, supervises work at the Immunoassay Center’s Biosensors plant in Havana. Photo: Irene Pérez/ Cubadebate.

Some 86,426 individuals work in Cuba’s science sector, 53% of whom are women, according to the President of the Cuban Academy of Sciences (ACC) Dr. Luis C. Velázquez Pérez speaking during the First International Science and Education Congress taking place in the Havana International Conference Center.

The Cuban expert described this achievement as one of the sector’s strengths, highlighting the importance of science, technology and innovation (CTI) toward overcoming the country’s challenges and promoting development.Read More »

Mental illness and the psychological trap – a political problem

Amandla Ulutsha Newsletter |Issue 11 Editorial | 17 May 2018

The problem with society and the framing of mental illness as a social ill.

Mental illness is a serious problem, reaching epidemic status, and the problem is increasing rapidly amongst young people not only in South Africa but globally. There is a tendency in society to either: (1) disregard mental illness as a serious problem, or (2) to recognise mental illness as a problem but fail to treat the underlying causes that result in mental illness. In this piece we will attempt to explain why this is the case, and what needs to be done about it.Read More »

Vladimir Vernadsky and the disruption of the biosphere

by Ian Angus

Climate & Capitalism | June 05, 2018

Vladimir Vernadsky, 1863-1945

As we’ve seen, metabolism, a defining feature of all life, always involves exchanges with the world outside the organism. Life cannot exist without ingesting matter and excreting waste. The fact that the Earth is a sphere surrounded by a vacuum, and that we have access only to its outer few kilometers, means that the amount of matter available for life to use is finite, and that life’s wastes have nowhere else to go.Read More »