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Archives for December, 2006

Lab Coats & Gloves

Biologists often wear rubber gloves when doing their research to protect them from the nasty chemicals they’re working with and to protect their samples from contamination. I’ve been known to bitch about people not removing those gloves prior to entering common areas — touching things they shouldn’t be touching with gloves. This could lead to…

Save the Flies!!

Endangered Ugly Things has a post on the eleven Drosophila species listed as endangered and the one listed as threatened in 2006. These flies are known as picture winged for the patterns found on their wings. (The obligatory pictures can be found below the fold.) I’m especially happy that these flies are listed as “pomace…

The Rift in Evolutionary Biology

The rift in the biological sciences may lie between computational biologists and wet labs, but when we look at individual fields, we see other divisions. In an essay in PLoS Computational Biology Carl Zimmer describes the divide amongst evolutionary biologists. On one side are researchers who like to get their hands dirty — ecologists, paleontologists,…

It Happens Again

Why, it seems like just last week that we were kvetching about the ad nominum attacks upon our character — or, at least, the spelling of our blog’s name. The people who add an extra “V” (turning evolgen into evolvgen) are lightweights compared to those who confuse us with Evolution Blog. As of today, we…

Barbaro NOT Cured by Jesus

Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who broke his leg during the Preakness Stakes, is almost healthy enough to be released from his ICU stall at University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. He has been the focus of hopes and prayers of many horse racing fans — and little kids who are fans of horsies…

Scientific American Also Mixes Terminology

The editors at Scientific American are afraid of PLoS ONE, but they’re more than happy to publish articles about Nature papers. Their coverage of the Komodo dragon virgin births contains the following lead in:

Chance, Stochasticity, Probability and Evolution

John Wilkins has replied to Larry Moran on the role of “chance” in evolution (incidentally, Moran replies to Wilkins on the same topic, but a different post by Wilkins). Here’s what Larry wrote: Nobody denies the power of natural selection and nobody claims that natural selection is random or accidental. However, the idea that everything…

James Brown — Overpowered by Funk

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, has passed away at the age of 73 in Atlanta, Georgia. The world is a slightly less funky place today. I’ve posted some videos — in honor of the hardest working man in show business — below the fold.

A Clash of Cultures on the Gridiron

The University of California, Berkeley and Texas A&M University will square off in this year’s Holiday Bowl football game on Thursday, December 28. While not quite as complex as last year’s national championship game pairing, there is a nice dichotomy when one considers the stereotypes of Cal and Texas A&M. In general, Cal is home…

Studying Cancer from an Evolutionary Framework

Carl Zimmer has an article in the upcoming edition of Scientific American that looks at cancer from the perspective of evolutionary biology. The most obvious parallel is that of cancer cells within an individual modeled as an evolving population: Rare mutations, for instance, may cause a cell to lose restraint and begin to multiply uncontrollably.…