Turn your smartphone in a microscope ocular.

If you’re up for some Sunday biological geekerys, you might enjoy this video introducing the iDu Optics’ LabCam microscope adapter, that will fit your iPhone into a microscope ocular to show the image on the screen. On my old blog ATCGeek, I wrote a couple of comments on the possible role smartphones might have in biological research, and described some Android apps for genome browsing, or that geeky idea to build a microscope with a smartphone and a couple of pieces of plexiglass. Despite the comment of many is that these devices won’t be of much help in wet and dry labs, we can affirm that they can still provide “a little help” in many situations, such as easying the visualization of a genome sequence when you cannot leave the bench, or just helping in a better and more comfortable visualization of a microscope sample, as in this case.

iDu Optics LabCam Microscope Adapter is mostly designed to work for iPhone, even if a Samsung S6 version is available. You can buy it on the website  via PayPal, or on Amazon, but the price is still someway prohibitive. All the models range around 250$. Ok, you might want not to go blind each time you have to view something on a microscope, but maybe this is not worthwile this price, that is the only read drawback I get to see in this amazing product.


The evolutionary level of human violence — Why Evolution Is True


There’s a new paper in Nature about the level of intraspecific violence in humans and other species, written by José Maria Gómez et al. (free reference and download below). The question is how often members of single species kill each other in the wild, and whether humans are outliers. It’s already gotten a lot of attention in the press, […]

via The evolutionary level of human violence — Why Evolution Is True

GMOs, flatmates and lateral gene transfer.

Right about one year ago, I was sharing a flat with some Spanish guys in the deep heart of Grácia, an historical neighbourhood in Barcelona. To be honest, those guys fitted quite well into the definition of “friki” – Spanish transliteration of the term “freaky” – that indicate that kind of people attracted by oriental spirituality, organic food, ecological behaviours, flea market handmade clothes and hemp derivatives of all kinds. Boldly and briefly: hippies. Being an ecologist activist with radical autonomist positions (I am a bit hippie too), I tend to have a good relationship with this kind of people, at least till the moment when they understand that I am working in Science, in Biology, and most importantly in Plant Biology. The path from me explaining my work, and they asking about GMOs is very short, and my efforts to explain that I just study the evolution of plants without modifying them are normally useless. And right about one year ago, I had to spend a whole afternoon defending my work, and debunking a lot of misconceptions of them. Continue reading →