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July 05, 2008


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Thanks to Tim O'Reilly for pointing me to an odd and fascinating biological time waster called BioNumbers. It's a database of mathematical values related to the living world.

The best way to explain it is with some typical random values spit out by the site...

Water locked up in ice worldwide3e+7 cubic kilometer
Number of African clawed frog eggs
laid per spawning
Number of alveoli in human lung274 to 790 million
Length of E. coli flagella15 microns

This site is no doubt useful to biologists who sometimes have to put their finger on a number related to their work, in much the same way that a chemist sometimes really needs to know the melting point of Tungsten. But me, I just like viewing the quirky disjointed parade of values as yet another way to appreciate the extraordinary range and wonder of the living world.


Posted by Chris Spurgeon at July 5, 2008 09:08 PM