Gene Expression

Archives for November, 2009

During the first few years of ScienceBlogs there was a lot of talk about religion. Yes, there’s talk about religion now, but it’s toned down in the wake of the ebbing of the publicity around The God Delusion. Naturally in the wake of the New Atheism a raft of conventional apologetics have been published, The…

Firelight

I actually saw this SNL Digital Short parody of the Twilight movie trailer before I saw the real one on YouTube. Make sure to watch the real thing after the parody, makes it way funnier.

Ancient DNA & the moa

The evolutionary history of the extinct ratite moa and New Zealand Neogene paleogeography: …We synthesize mitochondrial phylogenetic information from 263 subfossil moa specimens from across NZ with morphological, ecological, and new geological data to create the first comprehensive phylogeny, taxonomy, and evolutionary timeframe for all of the species of an extinct order. We also present…

In the post below I pointed to an article which claimed: It’s hard to say exactly how much support the theory of evolution enjoys in the world’s Muslim countries, but it’s definitely not very much. In one 2006 study by American political scientists, people in 34 industrial nations were asked whether they agreed or disagreed…

Charles Darwin was quite the infidel

There was recently a conference on evolution in Egypt. Some interesting numbers: Dr Guessoum, who is a Sunni Muslim, said that in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia, only 15 per cent of those surveyed believed Darwin’s theory to be “true” or “probably true”. This stand was equally prevalent among students and…

From population genetics to linguistics

The relationship between language families and historical population genetics has a long history. In the 19th and early 20th centuries anthropologists were wont to substitute and synthesize the connections discerned in linguistic relationships with those of presumed biological affinities. This resulted in great hilarity. Older works sometimes labeled the Finns a “Mongoloid” people because of…

Personal genomics bubble bursting?

Changes in the world of personal genomics. Dan MacArthur has the details on 23andMe changing up its offerings, perhaps signalling that the money gush is long over. And deCode is finally dead. Of course, just because the .com bubble burst doesn’t mean that the internet is no longer a part of our lives. New players…

The other denialisms

This discussion between Michael Specter & Chris Mooney pointed me to an interesting new book, Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives. Instead of Global Warming or Creationism, Specter addresses less pervasively disputatious issues such as genetically modified food, the anti-vaccination movement and the politics of the FDA…

Box office retardiculosity!

‘2012’ Opening Earns $65 Million: It is rare for a movie not based on a pre-existing brand, franchise or hit novel to deliver such robust results. Sony said “2012,” with a budget of $200 million, had the highest worldwide opening ever for an original movie.

2012, “retardiculous”

Peter Suderman on 2012, the stupid new film based on the stupid 2012 phenomenon: And with its never-ending parade of glorious, ludicrous, and utterly improbable catastrophes, it more or less succeeds. 2012 is the sort of movie so aggressively hyperbolic and devoutly over-the-top that it makes traditional descriptive labels obsolete and thus requires the invention…