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Archives for August, 2006

What’s that stuff?

Have you ever wondered about Cheeze Whiz? why new cars have a distinctive smell? or what makes golf balls so springy?

The fall soccer season is well underway and the Hummingbirds soccer team is kicking everything in sight. The hummingbirds in these two series of photos are much quicker, considerably smaller and certainly cute. A friend sent me this link since I manage the Hummingbirds soccer team. Hopefully, the person who posted these shots of baby…

One of most wonderful things about the Internet has been the emergence of research projects that involve the general public. Universities like Cornell, Kansas University, and the University of Minnesota, to name a few, have established web sites and on-line databases that encourage both students and amateur biologists to participate in biological field studies. Not…

Like biology, all bioinformatics is based on the idea that living things shared a common ancestor. I have posted, and will post other articles that test that notion, but for the moment, we’re going to use that idea as a starting point in today’s quest. If we agree that we have a common ancestor, then…

Just a Box of Rain

We heard quite a bit about rainforest destruction in the 80’s and 90’s. Even the Grateful Dead joined the efforts to raise awareness and gather support for rain forest preservation. In the past, the Dead stayed away from political activism because (quoting Jerry Garcia): Power is a scary thing. When you feel that you are…

Did HIV become resistant to Atazanavir because of a genetic change? Was that genetic change inherited? Did HIV evolve? Can we explain why genetic changes at specific sites might help HIV escape the effects of the drug? Let’s find out.

Have you ever wondered how people actually go about sequencing a genome? If they’re sequencing a chicken genome, do they raise chickens in the lab and get DNA from the eggs? Does the DNA sequence come out in one piece? Why is there so much talk about computers? What are Phred, Phrap, and Consed? What…

In which we see the results and come to our own conclusions. If you want to let other people tell you what’s right and what’s wrong, they will surely do so. Turn on the TV and hordes of happy actors bounce around, only too happy to help you purchase the right deodorant. Open your e-mail…

August is the time when gardens look their best. Fruit becomes showy, flowers abound, and plants are large and plentiful. Mendel’s Garden #4, currently blooming at The Inoculated Mind, is no exception. Evolgen pointed this out, so I had to go take a look. I enjoyed this trip through the experimental garden at UC Davis.…

Let the experiment begin.