evolgen

Archives for May, 2006

(Pseudo)Science News

Bad science reporting is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. LabLit has an article on the death of the science section in the Grauniad.

You Break It, You Buy It

The Wannabe Biologists are bragging about all the expensive toys physicists get to play with . . . and break. Philip scratched a 2.5″ diameter gold mirror. I guess glass isn’t expensive enough for physicists. I don’t think I’ve ever broken anything really expensive. Sure, I cracked some glassware in freshman chemlab — which I…

Phylogeny Friday – 12 May 2006

I’ve been busy this past week (and I’ll be busy in the next couple of weeks to come), so I don’t have much time to post to evolgen. For this reason this week’s Phylogeny Friday is a recycled post from the old site. Check out the comments on the original entry for some remarks from…

Bad Astronomy has a rant up on Tony Snow (the new White House Press Secretary) and his creationist tendencies. I won’t linger on the political implications of having an anti-science advocates in our government, but one quote from Snow is so ridiculous it needs to be pointed out:

Adaptive Hybridization

Not all beneficial alleles come with deleterious side effects, in case I gave that impression. Of course, not all beneficial alleles come from mutations either. Hybridization between closely related species can lead to advantageous alleles introgressing into a population from another species. Loren Rieseberg, who has been studying hybridization between sunflower species for some time,…

Endangered Drosophilids

Twelve Drosophila species from the picture wing clade are now protected under the Endangered Species Act, according to this LiveScience article. The picture wing flies are endemic to Hawaii and characterized by their colorful wings. They are also larger than most other Drosophilids. D. grimshawi (pictured above) is the lone picture wing fly in the…

The Side Effects of Beneficial Alleles

Razib linked to some press surrounding an unpublished (although presented at a conference) finding that an allele that causes deafness in homozygotes may allow wounds to heal better in heterozygotes. This appears to be another example of an allele simultaneously under balancing selection (due to overdominance) and purifying selection. Other such examples include the sickle…

Tangled Bank 53 Wants to be Read

Tangled Bank 53 has been posted at Science Notes. Go get your science on.

Fancy Ethanol

The NYTimes has an article on bartenders using some science tricks. I have a new favorite drink: For the martini, they blend olive juice, vermouth and gin with xanthan gum and calcium chloride and drop it into a sodium alginate and water solution to form stable olive-shaped blobs. It is served as a lone olive…

Mount Biodome Part Deux

So we’re fusing two crappy mid-90s movies here — Bio-Dome and Hot Shots! Part Deux — but bear with me, this has nothing to do with the cinema. Inspired by Chad’s attempt to come up with a Mount Rushmore for all of science, I decided to narrow the scope and create a Mount Biodome (limited…