I reviewed four new science books for The New York Times. They span millions of years, beginning with the birth of humanity and ending with a serious look at AI.
The sins of the fathers may be visited on the deoxyribose nucleic acids of the sons. I wrote about the "Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance" for Slate.
Lice are humanity's most ardent companions. I couldn't stop scratching my head while I wrote this for The Monthly.
The sensation of suddenly realising you can do something reprehensible, and no one is there to witness it
I Cook, Therefore I Am. How dropping food in fire made us human. Slate
WHY is it that 20th-century physicists could ask some of the most grandiose questions in science, but if a researcher wondered aloud where language came from, the response was derisive at best. Not only can you not answer the question, they were told, you shouldn't even ask... New Scientist
The Bengalese finch is an aviary bird, bred over centuries for its attractive plumage. It comes in various combinations of white, black and brown. One particularly pretty version is silver. It is also prized for its gregarious and easy-going nature and its complex warbling song. Which is strange because the finch's closest wild relative, the white-rumped munia has a simple, predictable song as well being incredibly shy and easily upset. How could the finch, bred for its colour, have evolved these other elaborate traits as well?
Solving the puzzle of the Bengalese finch promises to throw light on a much larger question in biology: how nature creates complex things.