Evolution

Category archives for Evolution

Via John Wilkins and John Farrell: A Simple Visualization of How Species Evolve This is basically my dissertation, animated. LOL!! What are you looking at? Every pixel in that square is a genetic sequence. Some of those sequences confer a higher fitness advantage (the red colored peaks) or disadvantage (below the plane). The Blue color…

Though this paper (the one I began talking about before a holiday break) is the reason for this post, this post is also an opportunity to address a question I have gotten a lot over the years: Is HIV evolving to be more deadly? The short answer would be: No, it doesnt appear to be.…

Some people have emailed me this story, concerned about the evolution of a ‘recombinant’ HIV virus that makes people progress to AIDS much faster than ‘regular’ HIV. Scientists Find Aggressive New HIV Strain This is the paper they are referring to: Faster Progression to AIDS and AIDS-Related Death Among Seroincident Individuals Infected With Recombinant HIV-1…

Dammit. Transplant recipients not cured of HIV

Bone marrow transplants and HIV. I have been writing about this topic for a long time. Quick recap. 1. Some people with HIV-1 infection subsequently get blood cancers. 2. Sometimes those blood cancers need to be treated with bone marrow transplants. 2a. If the patient gets a transplant from a CCR5 negative donor, its great!…

Neanderthal and Denisovan retroviruses in YOU!

Well, some of you! And maybe me! Last year, scientists combed through Neanderthal and Denisovian DNA sequences (yeah, those exist!) and found fourteen ERVs that were in Neanderthals and/or Denisovians, but NOT humans. Neandertal and Denisovan retroviruses SUMMARY: Modern humans (Homo sapiens) last shared a common ancestor with two types of archaic hominins, Neandertals and…

ERVs, from three perspectives

I love viruses, and I love ERVs, but I am not the only one Here are some links to pieces people have written about these lovely pirates, from three different perspectives. 1– Nicholas Covington at Humes Apprentice (formerly AIG Busted!) is more a philosopher than a scientist, but even as a ‘layman’, he gets what ERVs…

How the Appaloosa got its leopard spots

I have no idea how the leopard got its spots, but scientists have figured out how horses got their leopard spots! Evidence for a Retroviral Insertion in TRPM1 as the Cause of Congenital Stationary Night Blindness and Leopard Complex Spotting in the Horse Get this! Scientists have known for a few years that it is…

Which came first? The chicken or the blue egg?

After I cleared up everyones confusion on why chicken gonads are lopsided, and why we have white chickens, I thought I would tackle another one of lifes great mysteries. Admit it. Youve wondered where the hell blue chicken eggs come from. I ‘get’ brown eggs. I ‘get’ white, kinda. BUT WHERE THE HELL DID BLUE COME…

CSI: Virology

The best mysteries are ones where the reader, if they are following along carefully, can figure out the answer to the problem as the lead characters do. If you read science blogs and love evolution, then you know exactly where this is headed: Molecular evolution in court: analysis of a large hepatitis C virus outbreak…

The News in HIV the past few weeks has been the same message: Get people tested. Get people antiretrovirals. It saves lives. YAY!!! KINDA! FOR NOW! Test and Treat in Los Angeles: A mathematical model of the effects of test-and-treat for the MSM population in LA County. This group of folks looked at a very…