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Evolution

Category archives for Evolution

If we asked any biologist to pick the five most important techniques in biology, that list would certainly include PCR.  PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction. It’s used everywhere. We use it to amplify DNA for cloning, we use it for diagnostic tests, for DNA sequencing, for identifying pathogens, for identifying our long-lost relatives (and…

The first research assignment for our Alaska NSF Chautauqua course has been posted. Your task is to find a wound-inducible plant gene, learn something about it, and post a description in the comment section. We’ve already had one excellent answer, but I know there are at least 54 wound-inducible genes, so I expect to see…

An introduction to our Alaskan NSF Chautauqua course and a pre-course assignment. I don’t know how well this will work, but I thought it might be interesting this year to experiment with blogging about our course and sharing some of our experiences with the rest of the world. Here’s your chance readers, if you’d like…

tags: evolution, science education, Alliance for Science A few months ago, I wrote about a contest, sponsored by the Alliance for Science, in celebration of Darwin Day. High school students were asked to write an essay on the topic: “Why would you want your doctor to have studied evolution?” The winners have been announced and…

Yes, yes, I know Darwin Day was Februrary 12th. Nevertheless, the Alliance for Science is sponsoring an essay contest in Darwin’s honor and, if you’re a high school student you can still celebrate by writing an essay. And if you’re a high school teacher, and your student wins, you win $$ for buying lab supplies. …

Evolution! Wow! A jolt of electricity went down my spine. I feel like Harry Potter saying “Voldemort.” Apparently, in biomedical journals, drug resistance and other phenomena can “emerge,” “arise,” or “spread.” It can “appear“, “develop“, “become common“, or “be acquired.” As long as you don’t say it “evolves.” A group of researchers, at the University…

Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor (dubbed the Tripoli six) may be executed soon by the Libyan government for the crime of deliberately infecting over 400 children with HIV. If they did infect the children, this would be a horrendous crime. If they did not infect the children, it’s the Libyan government that will…

White people are mutants

Razib inspired me to share some of the story behind why white people are considered derivatives. Reposted from the Classic Digital Bio. No red herrings, here! Lamason et. al. found a single gene that controls human skin color while studying pigmentation in zebra fish (1).

If we compare sections 1, 2, and 3, we see that section 2 matches very well in a number of different samples, and that there are differences between the sequences in sections 1 and 3. We also learn something about the people who did the experiment.

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…