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Exploring evolution through genes, computers and history

Did life evolve in a `warm little pond'?

"But if (and oh what a big if) we could conceive in some warm little pond with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity etcetera present, that a protein compound was chemically formed, ready to undergo still more complex changes [..] "~Charles Darwin, in a letter to Joseph Hooker (1871) All life on earth is related...

February 16, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

The tragic fate of the Brighton octopus

These are good times to have tentacles. Thanks to the internet, even the most ordinary of octopuses can be catapulted to worldwide fame. Exceptional skills or abilities are not required...

February 8, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

Coelacanths are not living fossils. Like the rest of us, they evolve

It was supposed to be extinct. Yet here it lay, with fins round and fleshy, scales as hard as bone and a tail unlike any living fish. "Lass, this discovery will be on the lips of every scientist in the world", James Smith said to Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, curator of the East London Museum...

February 6, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

More than Just Pretty Faces

Specks. Stripes. Red fur. Black fur. Eye masks. Bald spots. Beards. Moustaches. New World monkeys are nature's motley crew. Their faces display an extraordinary range of colours and patterns...

January 16, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

My first year as a MSM science writer

Happy belated new year everyone! 2011 was a wonderful year for me. Not only did my blog move to its shiny new abode at Scientific American, I also joined the science desk of NRC Handelsblad, a daily Dutch newspaper...

January 6, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

Return of the Yeti Crab

Remember the dancing Yeti Crabs? They're back! Check out this amazing illustration of two farming Yeti Crabs by Irene Goede: So white, so hairy.. I want to pet them!Irene is a freelance illustrator who has specialized in nature and history...

December 15, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

Evolving between the echoes

Isolation can be a blessing. I am most productive when I'm not connected to the web. If I'm writing in a train or plane, severed from the thoughts of others, it is easier to capture my own trails of thought and let them expand...

December 14, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

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