CRISPR as Niche Construction: an Aristotelian View

CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is part of a system, noticed in certain bacteria, by which a cell can make changes in strands of DNA. This mechanism appears to be a proto-immune system: it enables a bacterium to recognize Continue reading

“The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis: A Biography of an Ingenious Species”

CITATION:
R. DeFries. 2014. New York: Basic Books.
BOOK WEBSITE:
ABSTRACT:

The human species has long lived on the edge of starvation. Now we produce enough food so that all 7 billion of us could eat nearly 3,000 calories every day. This is such an astonishing transformation as to Continue reading

The Dust of Civilization

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.

In an earlier post, I emphasized the strong link between the origins of agriculture and the positions of loess (loosely “dust”) regions—arguing in essence that, from dust arises life. If loess bestows habitation and habitability, then loess paved the way for Continue reading

“Loess: The Yellow Earth”

THIS POST IS PART OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT—SEE THIS DESCRIPTION OF OUR SUBMISSION.
CITATION:
Smalley, I., and Rogers, C. 1996. Geology Today, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 186-193.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
A wind-deposited silt forming large deposits in China and middle America, loess is the basis of much grade-one agricultural land, and has sourced the building materials for civilizations. Produced largely as a result of Continue reading