Tag Archives: Species

Uncommon Knowledge

by James Morris

On the first anniversary of this blog, I thought it would be interesting to look at what we know, what we think we know, and what we don’t know. Enjoy.

We walk around with all kinds of knowledge. Most of us can name the first president – George Washington. Around New England, and certainly elsewhere, we all know that Boston is the capital of Massachusetts. Most of us realize that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.

And then there are shared, common sayings: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Everyone knows that. Or, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Whatever that means.

Most of us probably know that DNA is the “blueprint of life.” Its structure is iconic – a double helix, like a spiral staircase. Those of us who recall high school biology might even be able to remember DNA’s four bases – A, C, T, and G.

That’s all common knowledge.

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Nature’s Medicine Cabinet

Last week, scientists reported the discovery of a new antibiotic in the journal Nature. The antibiotic was isolated from bacteria growing in the soil right here in New England. This got me thinking about all of the various medicines that come from nature, which you can read about in WBUR’s Commonhealth blog.

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