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How do you really feel, Dr. Wakeley?

I’m currently working my way through John Wakeley’s book on Coalescent Theory. (The website has a few pre-publication chapters if you want to take a peek.) In his introductory chapter, Wakeley introduces the concept of gene genealogies. He’s careful to point out that, unlike the phylogenies we construct using inter-specific data, we don’t actually use…

Is There Too Much Hypothesis Testing?

About a month ago, we were told that theory is dead. That was the thesis of Chris Anderson’s article in Wired. Rather than testing hypotheses using the scientific method, Anderson argues that scientists are merely generating loads of data and looking for correlations and stuff. The article was a bit muddled, but that’s Anderson’s main…

Sex & SMBE in 2009

The University of Iowa is hosting next year’s meeting of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, SMBE 2009. I usually go to the annual SMBE conference, and I was probably going to attend SMBE 2009. Now I’m definitely going. Why? Because John Logsdon just announced that they’ll be hosting a pre-conference meeting on the…

Crocodile Fishing

So, I’m just hanging out here by the side of the water waiting for my lunch. Sure, I could go in the water and get my lunch. But that’s not how I roll. I wait patiently for my prey to get within striking distance, and then I attack. So, here I am just hanging out…

Attack of the Horny Peacock

Last month I mentioned that I had been in Barcelona at the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution conference. I arrived in Spain early in the morning, and, after I got checked in to my hotel, I went with a couple friends to the Barcelona Zoo. This zoo is famous for housing Snowflake, the albino…

A Sizzling Hypocrisy

Randy Olson left a career as a marine biologist (Titleist!) to become a film maker. His first feature project was Flock of Dodos, a movie I enjoyed. His second film is Sizzle, a movie reviewed by lots of ScienceBloggers a couple weeks ago. The gist: a lot of ScienceBloggers didn’t like sizzle. Neither did a…

The Evolution & Medicine Review

All good medicine is evidence based — that is, diagnoses and treatments are developed via the scientific method. Oftentimes, evolutionary biology is employed to understand human health and diseases. This is known as evolutionary medicine. Evolutionary medicine is a growing field that takes an interdisciplinary approach toward studying human disease. Tools from population ecology, molecular…

New Gene Makes Flies Less Gay

We all know that Drosophila are the gayest bunch of gays that ever gayed up genetics. This is especially true when you create mutations in fruitless (nee fruity), “the gay gene”. Male flies with mutations in fruitless will try to get it on with other males (e.g., doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81802-4). That’s gay! But fruitless is an old…

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…

Oh Deer!

Until yesterday, there was a span of about two weeks in which this blog laid dormant. I did that on purpose because I didn’t want to give you all the blogging you crave. All three of you who may crave my blogging. And I’m guessing not one of those three even noticed the silence. Ah,…