Not Exactly Rocket Science

Darwin’s bicentennial – a celebration

i-98324ddbfdec8cddb88f0f1f52af0c0d-Charles_Darwin.jpgUnless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few months (and even caves have wi-fi now surely?), you’ll have noticed that it’s Darwin’s bicentennial on February 12. To celebrate, I will be posting a series of eight consecutive articles, each one focusing on a different aspect of evolutionary biology.

As per usual, each one focuses on a single research paper. Four are reposts drawn from the old site and four will be fresh posts based on papers that have come out just this week.

It’s my way of marking the occasion without too much hyperbole or melodrama. The point is that 150 years later, scientists are still constantly discovering examples that beautifully illustrate the principles of Darwin’s work.

Let the games begin.

  1. Evolution of the eye – Living optic fibres bypass the retina’s incompetent design
  2. The rise of new species – How diversity creates itself – cascades of new species among flies and parasitic wasps
  3. Evolution in real-time – Butterflies evolve resistance to male-killing bacteria in record time
  4. Punctuated evolution – Of flowers and pollinators – a case study of puncutated evolution
  5. Evolutionary arms races – Mud time capsules show evolutionary arms race between host and parasite
  6. Human evolution – A burst of DNA duplication in the ancestor of humans, chimps and gorillas
  7. Co-evolution and horizontal gene transfer – Wasps use genes stolen from ancient viruses to make biological weapons
  8. Virus evolution – How the common cold evolves – full genomes of all known human rhinoviruses

Comments

  1. #1 Lilian Nattel
    February 8, 2009

    I’m really looking forward to that! We’ve just been discussing in my house why Darwin is important and why the controversy today (which I find just mind-boggling).

  2. #2 Richard
    February 10, 2009

    I prefer pictures of Darwin with the huge beard. Not terribly helpful, just thought you might like to know.

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