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)

DUKTalks + Fish Guts

Earlier this Fall, I was part of the University’s “DUKTalks” event — rather like TED talks but (i) featuring speakers from UO, and (ii) without the vast audience. It was a fun and interesting program, with fifteen minute talks on medieval runes, Facebook, and more. My talk, “The Physics of Life,” was about (unsurprisingly) biophysics. … Continue reading DUKTalks + Fish Guts

Readings in Biophysics, part II (Readings not in Biophysics)

I’ll continue writing on useful or interesting readings in biophysics — Part I, a few weeks ago, dealt with textbooks.  There are many technical or scientific books that either aren’t actually about biophysics, or that are about a narrow aspect of biophysics, that are nonetheless particularly useful or stimulating. Here are some that come to … Continue reading Readings in Biophysics, part II (Readings not in Biophysics)

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

Bees see *E*s

Perhaps my favorite thing about the fascinating recent report [1] that bees sense the electric field of flowers, and learn from these electrical cues what flowers to visit, is that reminds me that it’s still possible to do simple, elegant experiments. To test bees’ field recognition, the authors built “E-flowers” consisting of metal and epoxy … Continue reading Bees see *E*s