Seen at the Loom of Carl Zimmer: using Play Doh, Sophia Tintori and Cassandra Extavour talk about multicellularity and the specialization of reproductive cells.
The video, made by the evolutionary biologist Casey Dunn, is from Creature Cast, a collaborative blog produced by members of the Dunn Lab at Brown University. The Dunn Lab investigates how evolution has produced a diversity of life. On this newly evoluted “Creature Cast” you can find short, original and good quality posts on zoology in the broad sense often with beautiful photos or videos. You can now subscribe to the CreatureCast video podcast through Brown University at iTunes U.
Another example of a great post on Creature Cast is the Tale of two holes about why some animals have one hole and others two. Does the single hole in one-holed animals correspond to the mouth or anus of animals with two holes? Apparently the same sets of genes appear in many different contexts within and across species. In this case there are two distinct modules for mouth and blastopore (the first hole developed in animals during their development) and they can be decoupled. Again there is a terrific photo made by Dunn showing a sea anemone with a single hole for eating, excreting, and shedding eggs and sperm, and an annelid worm with two holes.
This is a Friday Foolery post, thus permit me to show me something completely different: a successful Play-Doh ad-campaign started in Singapore (what a coincidence, the city I left 26 h ago). These ads talk to parents directly, reminding them about the thousand of possible things you can make with the product, but even more so about how safe it is to play with it. (although someone commented: “what if kids eat those pills? Although Play-Doh is non-toxic…)