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Genome Sequenced, Published via Press Release

Back in the day, you could sequence a genome and get a Nature paper out of it. Pretty soon, the sexiness of genome sequencing wore off, and it took a bit more to get into a vanity journal. You had to sequence something cute and cuddly, something extinct, or a lot of genomes at once.…

The Great Chain of Phylogenetic Wrongness

Phylogeny Friday — 18 July 2008 When they published the initial analysis of the complete platypus genome (doi:10.1038/nature06936), Nature, as they’re wont to do, also put out a news item announcing the major findings (doi:10.1038/453138a). That news article included a phylogeny illustrating the evolutionary relationships of various animal species in various stages of having their…

Darwinism is Dead

Olivia Judson says Darwinism is dead. She’s right. Anyone who talks about “Darwinism” or “evolutionists” gets my attention. That’s not to say that any use of those terms is incorrect. But they are often used as framing devices by creationists, and those frames get carried over into the lay discussion of biology. You should read…

The End of Theory?

Wired Magazine has published an article by Chris Anderson arguing that theory is dead (The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete). The argument: with our ability to generate vast amounts of data, there is no need for theory. Now, it’s hard to parse what Anderson means by “theory” from the…

PLoS Biology’s press releases have taken another step toward being dismissed as “crap” by people who know jack shit about evolution, thanks to a new press release published last week. It starts off like so: Evolution has taken another step away from being dismissed as “a theory” in the classroom, thanks to a new paper…

Sleep, Sex, and Drosophila

60 Minutes ran a special on the science of sleep this week. The special included an interview with Scott McRobert about sleep deprivation and mating in Drosophila. So if lack of sleep impacts our appetite, our metabolism, our memory, and how we age, is there anything it doesn’t affect? How about sex? Scientist Scott McRobert…

How Easy is it to Write About Junk DNA?

Alex is pissed about science writers neglecting important discoveries in cell biology: Why are cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology never covered in the media? I’ve spoken to so many science journalists – most of whom have no science training. I’ve come to the conclusion that the barrier is too high – as a result…

Science on the Opinion Pages

John Timmer has a must read post on the coverage of science in the New York Times editorial pages. The science section of the NYTimes is probably the best in the country. Carl Zimmer leads the way, and there are many other solid science writers published by the NYTimes. Even Nicholas Wade, who has a…

There’s been a whole lot of hype around the Hawks et al. paper describing a recent burst of adaptive evolution in the human genome. The problem is a lot of people are conflating accelerated adaptive evolution with accelerated evolution. Take this for example: 12/11: Accelerated Human Evolution In recent years, humans have evolved at a…

Genetics Links

There are two recent genetics related posts on other blogs that evolgen readers might find interesting: First, check out Query Gene (via ScienceRoll). This web-ap allows you to couple a nucleotide blast search with a Google search for a term related to your blast query. Here is how the creators describe it: Query Gene is…