Top 100

Top 40 Carl Zimmer Quotes (2023 Update)

Carl Zimmer Quote: “The reason that viruses are so hard to fight, the reason for example we need a flu virus every year is that they evolve very fast.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “We really depend on viruses for our complete survival.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “The hand is where the mind meets the world.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Evolution is a large political controversy as to what should be taught in the schools. But there is no scientific controversy that we evolved when we talk about evidence from fossils and DNA.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Over millions of years the viruses in our genome mutate more and more so the look less and less and less recognizable as viruses and so if there was a virus that infected our pre mammal ancestors like 250 million years ago, which it probably did, we can’t see it because it just looks totally random.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “About 1.2% of the human genome is made up of genes, things that encode for proteins, the stuff that we consider us. There is about 8.3% that’s a virus. In other words we’re probably about seven times more virus than we are human genes, which is kind of a weird way to thinking about yourself.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “It is we who are the parasites, and Earth the host.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “We have Borna virus genes. We’re part Borna virus, which is weird, but apparently our cells and our genomes in a weird way might actually be grabbing these viruses, grabbing genetic material from the viruses that are infecting it and pulling them into their own genome.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “We’d be better prepared for these emergencies if they didn’t always come as such surprises. The next plague may start when yet another virus in some wild animal jumps into our species – a virus we might not yet even know about. To reduce that ignorance, scientists are surveying animals, searching for bits of genetic material from viruses. But because we live on a planet of viruses, that task is enormous.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Poverty may be powerful enough to swamp the influence of variants in our DNA.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “When you get sick with the flu you get infected with flu viruses and they make lots of new flu viruses, but those new viruses are not exact copies of the old ones. They have mutations in them. A lot of those mutations are harmful.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Scientists have found that when test monkeys spent five minutes learning how to use a rake, some of the neurons that responded to touching their hands began behaving in a new way. They began to fire in response to stimuli at the end of the rake, not on the monkey’s hand. Other neurons in the brain respond to things that appear to lie within arm’s reach. Training the monkeys to use the rakes caused these neurons to change – reacting to objects lying within rake’s reach rather than arm’s reach.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “To my surprise, I discovered that anesthesiologists are a bit in the dark themselves. “How anesthesia works has been a mystery since the discovery of anesthesia itself,” writes Michael Alkire, an anesthesiologist at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine, in the new Encyclopedia of Consciousness.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “If the world goes crazy for a lovely fossil, that’s fine with me. But if that fossil releases some kind of mysterious brain ray that makes people say crazy things and write lazy articles, a serious swarm of flies ends up in my ointment.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “And of those responding neurons, 51 fired in response to only a single person or thing. One neuron responded only to Halle Berry, for example. Amazingly, the “Halle Berry” neuron responded to any picture of her, including one in which she was dressed as the masked Catwoman. Even the name Halle Berry triggered that neuron, which was silent at the sight of other actresses or their names.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “The stubborn inequalities in the Unites States are not the result of some people living in a physical environment. Their environment is built by social forces, and those forces last for centuries because they are regenerated across the generations.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Human rhinoviruses may help train our immune systems not to overreact to minor triggers, instead directing their assaults to real threats. Perhaps we should not think of colds as ancient enemies but as wise old tutors.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “The problem is not that dolphins are dumber than we thought, but that our anthropomorphism inevitably makes it hard to understand an intelligence other than our own.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “I am a single, useless snail-loathing datum.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “They found that the fetal cells from their sons reached their brains, sprouted branches, and pumped out neurotransmitters. Their sons helped shape their thoughts.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Borna virus is not a retrovirus. It doesn’t actually insert its own genes into our cells. What it does is just hangs out near our DNA and uses some of the molecular machinery to copy itself.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Evolution has led to some populations of people being able to digest milk without much trouble when they’re adults as well.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “The Europeans unwittingly brought a biological weapon with them that gave the invaders a brutal advantage over their opponents. With no immunity whatsoever to smallpox, Native Americans died in droves when they were exposed to the virus. In Central America, over 90 percent of the native population is believed to have died of smallpox in the decades following the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the early 1500s.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “We may be sucking in all sorts of viruses and we really don’t know the full range of them. Maybe we’ve got flu virus inside of us. That’s a possibility. Maybe we’re part flu.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “When we see faces, we don’t just recognize them; we also make the same face, if only for a moment.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “When Europeans colonized Africa, they helped trigger giant epidemics by forcing people to stay and work in tsetse-infested places. In 1906, Winston Churchill, who was the colonial undersecretary at the time, told the House of Commons that one sleeping sickness epidemic had reduced the population of Uganda from 6.5 million to 2.5 million.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Viruses don’t just make us sick. They can actually sometimes end up in our genomes.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “He might breed them for years before reaching the proper form. After a few years of breeding a type of lily, Burbank found a single specimen that met his standards. A rabbit ate it.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Influenza. If you close your eyes and say the word aloud, it sounds lovely. It would make a good name for a pleasant, ancient Italian village.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Two hallmarks of Homo Sapiens are decoration and self-identification.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “I wouldn’t be a very good hunter without these glasses. I’m not a very good hunter with these glasses, but I’d be even worse without them, so that would put a crimp in how many kids I could have, so all of these medical advances have at least in some parts of the world blunted natural selection.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “If you’re looking for your own idea of your own identity you know the human genome may not be the best place to look for it. You’re just looking at a bunch of viruses.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “What is striking about them is that the father-leaning disorders tend to produce autistic symptoms. The mother-leaning disorders tend to produce schizophrenic ones.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “It used to be thought that only a certain kind of virus could get into our genome and it’s called a retrovirus and that’s a virus that might be HIV for example.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Everybody can digest milk when they’re little.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “One of the big challenges now is to figure out just how many viruses there really are in the human genome. So far the estimate is 8.3% of our genome is virus, but it actually could be a lot higher.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Among children who grew up in affluent families, the heritability was about 60 percent. But twins from poorer families showed no greater correlation than other siblings. Their heritability was close to zero.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “Dolphins may even be able to name each other with signature whistles. But their society may nevertheless be one of an overlapping network of minds, wandering linked through a transparent ocean.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “They have come up with a bold idea: Our minds, too, are shaped by conflict between our parents’ genes.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “The idea of a pure race is not even a legitimate abstraction,” Dobzhansky wrote. “It is a subterfuge to cloak one’s ignorance.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “It was a biochemical Jackson Pollock: a field of strings, tangles, loops.”
Carl Zimmer Quote: “The question of when life begins is answered according to the purposes for which we ask it.”
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