Pharyngula

My students in Developmental Biology 4181 have been blogging away all term, and here are a few of the topics they’re thinking about this week.

We’ve been reading Zimmer’s At the Water’s Edge, and this is the week we start talking about cetacean evolution.

Comments

  1. #1 Snail
    November 14, 2006

    The giant snail link goes to the whale story. Darn it!

  2. #2 Bro. Bartleby
    November 14, 2006

    Gee, I’d love to audit your class (that way I could bypass those pesky exams), for all these ‘thinking’ points for your students are worthy of much thought and discussion, my only fear is that if I were to be seated in your class I would not be able to control my almost Tourette’s-like uncontrollable urge to shout “Hallelujah!” at any given moment, but especially so when I peer into microscopes (and telescopes). I better stop here, for I feel a “Hallelujah!” coming on …

  3. #3 Warren
    November 14, 2006

    Lung cancer vaccines … that’s intriguing. Now all we need is a vaccine for emphysema. Oh, and oral cancer. And throat cancer. And hypertension.

    But hey … a lung cancer vaccine!

  4. #4 Warren
    November 14, 2006

    Lung cancer vaccines … that’s intriguing. Now all we need is a vaccine for emphysema. Oh, and oral cancer. And throat cancer. And hypertension.

    But hey … a lung cancer vaccine!

  5. #5 Hank Fox
    November 14, 2006

    Re: Cetacean evolution.

    Carl Buell has painted a number of whale ancestors, such as pakicetus, etc. I think I remember that he worked with the discoverer of pakicetus to develop the first visual image of the thing.

    Fly him out to give a talk on the illustration of ancestral whales.

  6. #6 Gremlin
    November 14, 2006

    A lung cancer vaccine. Heh – I consider myself a test case.

    Over a decade ago I accidently injected 5 million human lung adenocarinoma cells into my own left thumb (we were injecting nude mice – masked and gloved – and the mouse jumped while my goggles were fogged).

    While sucking on a stogie I’m occasionally asked “aren’t you worried about lung cancer”? I just smile superiorly and demonstrate that the pad on my left thumb isn’t any bigger than the one my right (OK, nit-pickers, don’t bring up the “appropriate microenvironment” hand-waving – it’s one of my few amusing anecdotes).

    Checking. Damn, my left thumb _is_ bigger than my right…

  7. #7 Carl Buell (OGeorge)
    November 14, 2006

    Thank you Hank my friend, but PZ has MUCH better uses for his money. I DO need a vacation however.
    Actually, a number of additional discoveries have changed the way I’ve reconstructed a few of the animals since I did those little line drawings for Carl Zimmer’s book. And of course, recent DNA studies have shown that Hippos are the whales closest relatives and the ancient Mesonychids have been “demoted” to sister group statis as opposed to directly ancestral.

  8. #8 Ryan
    November 16, 2006

    Ok… I have nothing of substance to add. (Great way to start a comment huh?). I’m just going to bask in the surreality of this moment. I just finished reading Zimmer’s book and lo and behold, here’s a contributor posting on this incredible blog.

    And I agree with Bartleby, I’d love to audit your class PZ. Maybe I should have been a developmental biologist.

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