About the blobologist

I’m a former biologist now learning about rhetorical grammar and robot hands at Carnegie Mellon University. I’m also an editor at ScienceSeeker, which is where you can find the rest of the science blogosphere. I’m either from Australia or from New Zealand, depending on who’s asking the question

You can follow me on twitter @CristyGelling


2 thoughts on “About the blobologist

  1. object: request a picture of juvenile lancewood


    I am writing a paper entitled ” Replaying the tape of life in the twenty-first century ” and I would like to include pictures of organisms we would not have thought of, to show that our imagination is limited. Would you accept me to include your nice picture of juvenile lancewood that I found on the following webpage:


    Just in case you are interested in the manuscript I am writing, here is a draft of the abstract:

    Should the tape of life be replayed, would it produce similar living beings? A classical answer has long been “no”, but accumulating data is now challenging this view. This paper reflects on how to address the problem of replaying the tape of life with available experimental approaches and recent data from biology. A survey of the alleles described in the literature that cause non-deleterious phenotypic differences among animals, plants, and yeasts indicates that similar phenotypes have often evolved in distinct taxa through independent mutations in the same genes. Despite the unpredictability of the basic mutational process, a certain kind of predictability can emerge at higher levels. Does it mean that the range of possibilities for evolution is limited? Does it mean that the tape of life would play the same if rerun? Imagining other possible paths for evolution runs into four important issues: (1) finding the relevant concepts for predicting evolution, (2) imagining living organisms that are different from the ones we know, (3) resolving the influence of contingency, and (4) estimating the probability of occurrence for complex evolutionary events that occurred only once during the evolution of life on earth.

    If you have more questions, please feel free to ask!
    All the best,


    Virginie ORGOGOZO
    Institut Jacques Monod – CNRS UMR7592 – Université Paris Diderot
    Bâtiment Buffon – 4e étage – 420B
    15 rue Hélène Brion
    75013 Paris
    tel : (33) 1 57 27 80 43
    fax : (33) 1 57 27 80 87

    • Dear Virginie, yes, feel free to use the image as you like. Could you please send me a link to the paper when it’s published or otherwise available? It sounds very interesting!

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