Archive for September, 2011

Howard Knox

IQ Tests as a Measure of Intelligence

Many of the old theories relating to eugenics were tied deeply to intelligence levels as predicted by IQ tests. As a matter of fact, popular IQ tests that are still in use today have their roots in the eugenics community. But just how well does an IQ test fare as a measure of intelligence?

Before we can measure something, intelligence in this case, we must define it. This presents a challenge on its own. How do we define intelligence? Merriam-Webster defines intelligence as:

  1. the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations. also: the skilled use of More >
Fungi_of_Saskatchewan Wikipedia

How Many Species are on Earth?

For several years scientists have tried to estimate the number of species living on Earth. This is not an easy question to answer and multiple approaches have been developed to calculate how large Earth’s biodiversity is. All of the estimates obtained so far have a large prediction range, hundreds of thousands or even millions of species from the smallest estimates to the largest ones. On top of this shaming ignorance, our planet’s biodiversity is highly threatened. Solid evidence indicates that we are facing a massive extinction event, driven unfortunately by our own activities. The most recent evidence indicates that a More >

Biological Warfare

Scientists at the Universities of Nottingham and Maastricht have engineered a strain of bacteria that may be able to fight cancer!

Clostridium sporogenes are anaerobic soil dwellers which cannot survive in the presence of oxygen.   Researchers have genetically modified these bacteria so that they produce an enzyme that activates a cancer drug.  It turns out that the centers of solid cancer tumors contain very little oxygen.  Researchers hope to inject cancer patients’ tumors with the engineered Clostridium spores, which would not survive in the rest of the oxygen-rich body.   After a tumor is infected with the Clostridium, a patient would also be More >