Some thoughts on ecology, evolution and economics

Archive for 2017

Gene therapy

Siddartha Mukherjee is a compelling author and a respected authority on medical science. His latest book, The Gene, traces the history of genetics -the prediction of heredity. Gregor Mendel, the 19th century monk who launched the discipline, features prominently with his experiments on breeding peas . Connecting a particular trait to a piece of DNA is… (read more)

Caring for Americans

Shortly before leaving office in 1974, Richard Nixon proposed a universal healthcare bill that would have assured all Americans of health insurance coverage. Developed countries around the world were passing similar legislation at the time, using some mix of private and public insurance. It was also at this time that the American healthcare system began… (read more)

Caring for Canadians

Four years ago, I highlighted Jeffrey Simpson’s five recommendations for improving the value of  medical care in Canada.  These addressed some of the natural weaknesses of a single payer system, which frequently lead to long wait times.  One of these recommendations, investment in home care, has been seized upon by the Trudeau government as a… (read more)

Small but mighty

Mosses stay close to the ground. Their humble habit belies their importance to evolution and ecology. For one thing, they have been on the banner of this blog right from the beginning. I think I instictively chose mosses as the essential combination of biology and physical geography that underpins all the topics dealt with in these… (read more)

The greener side of trade

In October 1992, shortly before his victory over George H. Bush, Bill Clinton declared that trade deals should “require each country to enforce its own environmental and worker standards”. Clinton was trying to distance himself from the NAFTA trade deal that the Republicans had negotiated with Canada and Mexico without denying its expected economic benefits…. (read more)