Our croaky Gods: frogs across creational myths

Frogs and toads, the Anurans. When Homo sapiens took their first steps across Eastern Africa, and later spread across the globe, anurans were already present in almost every corner of the world. Currently, the relation between humans and anurans is complicated. While we know more about them than we have ever known, our presence and…

Hornworts, or the nature of discovery

What is discovery made of? Which are the ingredients? And how are the different ingredients combined into “finding something new”? I’ll try to give some perspectives on this, through my personal experience with a botanical discovery (which lead to my first scientific publication). Losing the way is the way I guess most botanists/naturalists have a…

Art and science: navigating the maze in the 19th century

  Let’s begin with a little quiz… Which historical character said…   Classification is Ariadna’s thread in the Dedalus of nature.   So concise and poetic. Any guesses?   The answer is Aurore Dupin, better known by her pen name: George Sand¹‌. Aurore Dupin (1804 – 1876) was a French writer, socialist and feminist. Her…

Are viruses even alive? 2-Viruses and the definition of life

It is not clear whether viruses are alive or not. All life in this planet follows a series of rules that separate them from non-living beings., but viruses do not seem to follow them, exactly. We reviewed how viruses works and what constitutes life in Are viruses even alive? 1- What is life?  Here, we go…

Are viruses even alive? 1- What is life?

Virus literally translates to slime or poison in latin, a sufficient word to define these organisms. It is but a highly simplistic depiction of  a much more complex entity.  The current coronavirus pandemic is defining everyone’s life. There are thousands of articles and videos talking about coronaviruses, and we encourage anyone to get informed only…

Strangers in the animal tree (FINALE)

It has been a long while since the latest post in Onelephantsandbacteria, but we wanted to complete the series of Strangers in the Animal tree. That may represent a new renaissance on the blog, or at least, another small step to keep it alive. Animals are fascinating examples of life on Earth and their evolutionary…

Prof. Hawking, I respectfully disagree………….about aliens

Prof. Stephen Hawking, who sadly passed away last month, was an example both as a person and a researcher. His work on black holes was praised and respected in the scientific community, and through his constant appearances in shows and documentaries he also became a prominent figure in pop culture of the last 50 years….

The plants of Proxima Centaury

The Blue Planet, the “Pale Blue Dot”, as Carl Sagan put it. That’s our planet, Earth. But not everything is blue on the surface, there is also green, tons of it, a living green. Life may seem complicated at a first glance, but its basic requisites are, in fact, only energy and matter. And organisms have…