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Evolution

Category archives for Evolution

This month’s cover of The Scientist has a mistake that makes me cringe. Can you spot what’s wrong? And they call themselves “The Scientist” humph!

An NSF post on Twitter this morning described an interesting study from the University of Pennsylanvia and Cornell University, that found that some people who call themselves “African Americans” may only be 1% West African, according to their DNA. The University of Pennsylvania press release contains other interesting findings as well. 365 individuals were studied…

Ebola virus has impressed me as creepy ever since I read “

Two interesting events are happening, Monday night, Oct. 27th. At the UW: Josh Rosenau from the National Center for Science Education will be speaking at 6 pm about Creationist attacks on science education. (Josh is also a Science Blogger). In Ravenna, at Third Place Pub: Ted White from the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute will be…

The Galápagos islands rank high on my list of places that I really, really, really want to visit. But for many reasons, it’s always looked like a trip to the Galápagos would be at least a decade or two away. Now, I’ll be able to go in January and so will all of you.

One of the holy grails of modern medicine is the development of a vaccine against HIV, the virus that causes AIDs. An obstacle to attaining this goal has been the difficulty in stimulating the immune system to make it produce the right kinds of antibodies. A recent finding in Science describes a gene that controls…

In the class that I’m teaching, we found that several PCR products, amplified from the 16S ribosomal RNA genes from bacterial isolates, contain a mixed base in one or more positions. We picked samples where the mixed bases were located in high quality regions of the sequence (Q >40), and determined that the mixed bases…

Meet the ribosomes

Ribosomes are molecular machines that build new proteins. This process of synthesizing a protein is also known as translation. Many antibiotics prevent translation by binding to ribosomal RNA. In the class that I’m teaching, we’re going to be looking at ribosome structures to see if the polymorphisms that we find in the sequences of 16S…

I made this video (below the fold) to illustrate the steps involved in making a phylogenetic tree. The basic steps are to: Build a data set Align the sequences Make a tree In the class that I’m teaching, we’re making these trees in order to compare sequences from our metagenomics experiment with the multiple copies…

If you look below the fold, you can see two molecules locked in a tight embrace. These molecules or their closely related cousins can be found in any cell because their ability to evolve is slowed by their need to interact with each other in the right way. In an earlier post, I asked: Who…