Links 7/24/15

It’s easy to monetize medication: we have lots of new medications all the time.  There’s no real way to monetize medical or surgical techniques: doctors demonstrated ability to grow people new livers in their lymph nodes 50 years ago, still hasn’t been confirmed, much less adopted.

S.O.R.S– Papers, Please crossed with House.  I was super excited about this game but when I played the demo I quit in frustration.  I probably want to read the story summary instead.

Organism doesn’t let the fact that it’s single celled prevent it from having an eye.

Quick review: prokaryotes are very simple cells, like bacteria.  Eukaryotes are more complicated cells, like plants and animals.  One thing that makes them more complicated is they have organelles- very complicated cellular machinery that are probably descended from other single cell organisms the ancestral eukaryotic cell ate.  Scientists are speculating that the eye is one such organism, and it was probably originally photosynthetic (like the precursor to chloroplasts), but evolved into an eye instead.

Start up advice: “Instead of asking “what problem should I solve?” ask “what problem do I wish someone else would solve for me?””

I knew there were sharks that gave live birth, but I thought they were just carrying the egg inside them (meaning the mother gives the fetus all the nutrients it’s ever going to have right at the start). Turns out there are placental sharks (so the fetus is connected to the mother’s blood supply throughout the gestation).  I think this means placentas have evolved more than once.

2 thoughts on “Links 7/24/15

  1. Re: eyes, I found the description of the scientist’s research process pretty staggering:

    To catch his own warnowiid, Gavelis searched seawater samples under a microscope for a year. When he eventually found one… [emphasis added]

    Do you have any idea why someone would have signed up for that? Did they have some premonition that it would turn out to be this interesting?

    1. I would guess that he (and by he I mean his grad students) was (were) doing the same for lots of organisms at the same time and this is the one that happened to pan out. But that’s pure speculation on my part.

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