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Stories by Christopher Mims

Testosterone's Bad Rep

Hormones don't necessarily make men violent, but they do cause them to seek social dominance

December 6, 2007 — Christopher Mims

James Watson retires, gives statement, has media ties questioned

Watson has done the wise thing and decided to distance himself from his by all appearances much-beloved Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. A statement from the board lauded his 40 years of service, during which he "[transformed] a small facility into one of the world's great education and research institutions." Simultaneously, he released a statement of his own, in which he declared "That the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is now one of the world's premier sites for biological research and education has long warmed my heart." Watson's statement did not directly address his comments to the Sunday Times (of London) about Africans and African Americans that set off this firestorm, but earlier this week he apologized, saying that he was surprised by what he was quoted as saying, and that "there is no scientific basis for such a belief." Both statements, and more on Watson's ongoing ties to Seed Media Group, publisher of Seed Magazine, after the jump...

October 25, 2007 — Christopher Mims

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has suspended James Watson

Just to be clear: They didn't fire him, they didn't take away his position as Chancellor of the university, and they probably won't ever take his name off of their graduate school (The Watson School of Biological Sciences), but the board of trustees at CSHL has decided to "suspend the administrative responsibilities" of James D...

October 19, 2007 — Christopher Mims

James Watson's greatest hits

Lest anyone imagine that the recent comments regarding race by James Watson, Nobel Prize-winning co-discoverer of DNA, not to mention board member of Seed Media Group, publisher of Seed magazine and ScienceBlogs, are in any way uncharacteristic of this particular scientist's descent into senescence: I've compiled this helpful guide to Dr...

October 18, 2007 — Christopher Mims

Last year there were two trillion stalks of corn in Iowa, and a lot of it went to corn syrup

In the year 2000, the average American consumed 73 pounds of corn syrup. King Corn, which, depending on where you live, is coming to a theater near you sometime this fall, is the story of two guys who decided to find out what would happen if they moved to Iowa, grew an acre of corn, and traced its path through the giant metabolic engine that is the American food system...

October 17, 2007 — Christopher Mims

Frightening new maps of U.S. coastal areas to be inundated by global warming

These maps correspond with a one meter rise in sea level -- the amount of sea level rise scientists predict will occur whether or not we cease emitting carbon today, on account of all the warming the earth has yet to do in order to reach equilibrium with the amount of C02 we've already put into the atmosphere...

September 24, 2007 — Christopher Mims

Humans turn out to be as genetically different from one another as it was previously thought they were different from chimps

Proponents of Evo-Devo, whose practitioners inquire into the developmental significance of various genes, and in so doing have discovered that, among other things, some genes have much more power to shape body plans than others, like to point to the supposed similarity between humans and chimps -- ~99% shared DNA -- to illustrate the power of just a few genes to effect radical changes in the phenotype of an animal...

September 5, 2007 — Christopher Mims
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