Tag Archives: biology

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Medical Anthropology

Medical Anthropology: How culture influences the experience of illness

I would be translating between the med students and the patients, and sometimes the patient would express things that I could translate in literal terms—like “bone pain” or “kidney pain”—but I often felt the medical student and or doctor would, in their diagnosis, transform what that meant. Bone pain might become rheumatoid arthritis, for example—but I always was uncertain about the jump to a diagnostic conclusion and found myself wondering, “What is this person really trying to say? What does he really mean by bone pain?”

 In an interview, Kristin Yarris tells us about how illness is experienced and expressed in various ways across cultures. With this in mind, it might not be that easy to give out Western diagnosis to people of various cultures. It is then important to figure out how the culture works — get to know people — so as to give a sound diagnosis of illness.

Primates

Tiny tarsier makes big, ultrasonic noise

The tarsiers communication is “comparable to the highly specialized vocalizations of bats and dolphins, which are used primarily for echolocation,” says lead author Nathaniel Dominy with Dartmouth in a press release. He calls the Philippine tarsier’s sounds “extreme,” and listening to a sample slowed down eight times so we can hear it, one comprehends the adjective.

 

Scientists find out that the tiny tarsier, found in the Philippines, communicate with each other through ultrasonic sounds (70 Hz-91 Hz). This is to avoid detection from possible predators. Hearing ultrasonic sounds can also help them catch insects. It may also be used as an alarm signal.

Archaeology

Trowelblazers: In search of the female Indiana Jones

Why hadn’t I heard of these women? Not the individual names — I can barely name any male archaeologists from that period — but the idea of these women, working in such numbers and even leading their fields. It was as though we’d blithely wiped them all from our popular imaginations, and thus allowed each woman to be easily dismissed — albeit with an approving pat on the head — as anachronistic and an exception-to-the-masculine- rule.

The article lists down kickass women in the world of archaeology. I just find it sad that the history of archaeology as written in books is dominated by male archaeologists. We also need to know about women who made their mark in the discipline as they will inspire more female archaeologists in the field. Their appearance in the archaeology modules will also show a more realistic view of archaeology — that it is for women as much as it is for men.

 

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Art

Drugs by Bryan Lewis Saunders

Bryan Lewis Saunders takes different sorts of drugs and expresses his experiences through art.

 

100 mg Seroquel

I’m surprised he can still draw after taking Seroquel. I used to take 10mg of it for my manic depression and it always made me feel dizzy, lethargic and all around crappy. Nevertheless, props for this man for being so brave in trying those drugs and chronicling his experiences. I wonder how far should a man go in the name of art?

Society

The Internet is a surveillance state by Bruce Schneier

Welcome to an Internet without privacy, and we’ve ended up here with hardly a fight.

Bruce Schneier writes about how panopticons are now everywhere through the internet and it’s almost an impossibility to stop them. George Orwell would be surprised how efficiently his work of fiction has come to life. After I publish this, companies and government agencies are probably analyzing what I have written in this post. Unwanted collection of personal data really is creepy and rather scary.

Evolution

Essentialism Revisited by John Wilkins

In fact it is my opinion that essentialism in biology postdates Darwin, and was in fact due to the revival of Thomism among German and French speaking Catholic biologists who were reacting to the metaphysical views of people like Herbert Spencer and Ernst Haeckel.

John Wilkins talks about how essentialism in evolution is most probably not what we think it is. For one, he’s of the opinion that essentialism was not the norm in the pre-Darwinian era as most people believe and as stated by Ernst Mayr. In fact, it may be more of a post-Darwinian thing and even so, only a few people held it to be true.

If that’s the case, we have to change a whole bunch of textbooks. It would also give us a different perspective of the history of evolution. I wonder, if not essentialism, then what was the general paradigm before Darwin’s evolution? And was it really a backward paradigm compared to the Darwinian thinking?

Comics

Banned and Challenged Comics Revealed! by Betsy Gomez

Click on the link to see the list of banned and challenged comic books in the US. In all honesty I believe comic books are more than just a piece of entertainment. It is a reflection of life and reality so I don’t see the point of removing it from shelves. It may actually teach people a thing or two.

 

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by Kert

Here’s a round-up of interesting things I’ve dug up in the bowels of internet:

Anthropology:

Anthropology is the worst college major for being a corporate tool, best major to change your life (Living Anthropologically) —

Anthropologist Jason Antrosio talks about how Anthropology is beyond cashing in and more about gaining knowledge and learning life. It’s not always about the money. But if you’re really keen about money, Anthropology can just be as competitive as other courses in the employment market.

Politics:

Dynasties threat to democracy (Philippine Daily Inquirer)–

Philippine politics has been marred by political dynasties since time immemorial. This political system is ephemeral and renders Philippine society unstable. Prof. Jose Abueva discusses this very pressing issue in Philippine politics.

Neuroscience:

An Interview with John Cacioppo: The Science of Loneliness (Being Human)–

Dr. John Cacioppo talks about loneliness in an interview. He discusses the roots of loneliness, its nature and how it may be prevented.

Biology:

Last life on Earth: microbes will rule the far future (NewScientist) —

Scientists say that 2.8 billion years from now, when the entire human race have disappeared, only microbes will remain — that is until the sun dies out. However, scientists give a positive response about the possibility of life outside Earth.

 

This is the way the world ends <i>(Image: Jjguisado/Flickr/Getty)</i>(Image via NewScientist)