Carl Zimmer has two new posts on his blog for this week. Also, I noticed Brain Cuttings, another of Zimmer’s brain books — published in 2010. I need to read that one. Now for the blog postings.
The earlier one entitled The Verge of Human discusses Australopithecus sediba, a hominin, or relative of humans, that is 1.98 million years old. Zimmer’s piece discusses the paleoanthropologist, Lee Berger, who found the hominin and unveiled those findings in April 2010 in Science. Science is now presenting many of the papers resulting from Berger’s team’s find. Hominins branched off from apes 7 million years ago and stand between apes and humans. Zimmer discusses some of the findings and says there are still riches to be explored.
In his second blog posting, Zimmer discusses the just-released film, Contagion. Zimmer and Arthur Allen (author of Vaccine) were asked by Slate to write about the film and the issues. The exchange is called Contagion: A Dialogue, and since I don’t plan on seeing the film, I’ll go ahead and read.
Allen and Zimmer each have two pieces. They applaud some of the science in Contagion, critique other parts. Talked about how long it takes to produce a vaccine, discussed other pandemics. I’m not finding anything inspired to write about this exchange.