Syrphid flies engaged in Batesian mimicry: striking iPhone zoom pics

My garden was teaming this weekend with what seemed to be tiny wasps.

I was impressed with their numbers in the hundreds at any one time, and they seemed really hyper. See the image of one below that I captured on my iPhone camera. Note that interesting rainbow effect on the wings and the striking wing veins.

What are these insects I wondered and what are they doing in my yard?

Hoverflies Batesian mimickry


A friend of one my kiddos who was playing in our backyard gave me a lesson on them and I was impressed with her knowledge.

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Is REGROW Act anti-embryo research? Pluripotent stem cells excluded

REGROW ActThe REGROW Act has attracted both support and criticism, including on this blog, for the changes it would mandate in the way the FDA regulates stem cell products. More specifically it would greatly reduce regulation of experimental stem cell products. I believe that would be dangerous to patients and to the stem cell field more generally.

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Favorable review in Cell of my new book on CRISPR in humans, GMO Sapiens

GMO Sapiens Book CoverMy new book GMO Sapiens is the first such work written for both a lay audience and scientists to cover the potential use of CRISPR in humans for genetic modification

The journal Cell has just published a review by George Annas on GMO Sapiens. For the most part he seems to have liked it.

If you’ve read my book, I’m curious if you have any feedback or thoughts on the key issues I tackled in it.

I’ve also hidden a $250 Easter egg in the book and so far no one has successfully found it. I’m going to provide a hint for the egg in the coming week.

Sweet 16 Science Twitter Accounts To Follow Innovative Medicine

STAT logoBelow are 16 Science Twitter accounts that I think are musts to follow for those interested in transformative science and also medicine from a wide range of diverse, thought-provoking perspectives.

I could list 160, but I’ve picked these 16 as a nice sampling with a lean towards those willing to take a risk in what they say or with unique views.

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Stem cells run amok: Jill Howlin’s satirical cartoon look

Jill Howlin’s drawings about science and policy have a unique, edgy style that packs a punch. I have invited her to weigh in here now and then with new illustrations that touch upon stem cell or other innovative biomedical matters.Jill Howlin stem cell treatment run amok

Jill’s new drawing today relates to some key stem cell issues such as clinical safety, choice of stem cells, homologous use, and more. You can read my post from this week on the myth that stem cells are homologous to all tissues.

Jill tells me that she put an Irish humour spin on this cartoon.

Also see her past cartoon on Donald Trump and pay walls in science and medicine. I have also drawn some of these science political cartoons as well for the blog myself (see examples here) at times, but I think Jill has a lot more talent.

You can follow Jill on Twitter.