tough times

Getting Through Tough Times

Living organisms have come up with lots of interesting ways to get through tough times. Sometimes, “tough” means stuff like… winter. Other times, there might be a food shortage or the puddle dries up. Whatever the stressor, being adaptable is the key to survival. In this post, we’ll take a look at how 3 weird organisms survive tough times. Tardigrade Myth Rotifers and tardigrades react to crappy times by desiccation. They dehydrate their cells, their DNA fragments, and they roll up into a cocoon (aka: a tun). There’s a misconception that tardigrades can live in space, but no. Tardigrades are…

evolution of language

Evolution: Science & Language

Like Words, Like Genes Languages, like living organisms, change and evolve over time. Some languages have survived in isolation, while other languages have taken over large populations. Just like our genes, we humans are the vessels in which language spreads. In this post, I’ll show you some pretty cool examples of language evolution; it’s surprising how similar it is to biological evolution. Cerevisiae The scientific name for beer yeast, specifically ale yeast, is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This yeast, as you’ve learned, has been used in both beer and bread-making for thousands of years. It is, if you will, the OG of…

Neural Networks, Genetic Algorithms

Mimicking Biology Neural networks and genetic algorithms are a type of machine learning that mimics biological systems. Like the name suggests, the way neural networks work is similar to how the nervous system works. Same thing with genetic algorithms, they mimic how genomes evolve over time. Neural Network Nodes make up the different layers of a neural network. These nodes act like neurons and accept or process information. The diagram below is an example that you commonly see when talking about neural networks. The hidden layers between the input and output layers are the algorithms that process information. Hidden Layers…