How to lie with scaling

Occasionally, things go exactly as I’d hoped. We’re discussing scaling in my Physics of Life class, starting with things like the scaling of volume and area with size. I mentioned in passing that this issue comes up in advertising, and since students seemed interested, I brought the following to the next class — an interactive … Continue reading How to lie with scaling

The creation of the birds

In general, there’s little or no correlation between the length of a eukaryotic organism’s genome and any other “obvious” characteristics, such as the creature’s overall size. Humans have a genome of about 3.4 billion base pairs; those of mice and giraffes are a bit smaller (2.7 billion base pairs), for example, and orangutans’ and guinea … Continue reading The creation of the birds