Readings in Biophysics, part III (Popular Science)

I’ll belatedly conclude a three-part series of posts on useful or interesting readings in biophysics with the shortest list: popular science books. I’ve often thought it unfortunate that there aren’t more books for the general public on biophysics.  The physics underlying the squeezing of DNA into viruses,the crawling through tissues of patrolling immune cells, the … Continue reading Readings in Biophysics, part III (Popular Science)

On the injection of thawed meat through garden hoses

Biophysicists are, I think, expected to have broad-ranging interests and skills. When I was interviewing for faculty positions, for example, I was asked in all seriousness, “When I cook a chicken in a pot and it makes a squishy sort of jelly, what is that?” Despite being vegetarian and never having experienced chickens-in-pots, I babbled … Continue reading On the injection of thawed meat through garden hoses

On how impractical cuisine can save the humanities

A few weeks ago, following a post on Steve Hsu’s blog, I read an interesting essay by Steven Pinker on science and the humanities: “Science Is Not Your Enemy An impassioned plea to neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians.” It seems these days there’s a deluge of text on the state of the humanities, … Continue reading On how impractical cuisine can save the humanities

The Mini Lisa

UPDATE: The really amazing media coverage of this is:,33423/   The Onion! I’m very impressed. My friend Jennifer Curtis at Georgia Tech has a paper out featuring a clever nanolithography technique, in which heating an atomic force microscope tip generates a temperature gradient that guides chemical reactions at a surface. Controlling the position and temperature … Continue reading The Mini Lisa


A quiz question for local readers: Where on the University of Oregon campus did I take this photo? Like most people, I tend not to notice things above me. S. (age 4) pointed out these beautiful abstract bicycles as we were wandering through campus. Who knows what other ceiling-situated art there is? Continue reading Up!