Transcription and Translation

Archives for March, 2007

Proximal vs Ultimate Causation

There is a divide within the biological sciences, those that are concerned with proximal causes and those concerned with ultimate causes. For every question in biology there are two answers. Ultimate causes have to do mostly with the “why?”s. Why was this structure selected for? But not always. What advantage did this gene give to…

Walter Neupert Talk

Tuesday and Wednesday Dr Neupert was here at the medical school. The topic of his two seminars was mitos. It is amazing how many protein shuttling mechanisms there are in mitos. Mitos only make about a dozen proteins from their own DNA, the rest are synthesized from nuclear genes. These nuclear derived gene products have…

Quebec’s provincial elections are being held tomorrow. I won’t be voting in this one – my green card application is still under review, and I can’t cross the border until all my paperwork is settled. Since the thee main parties are tied in the pre-election poles, it’s likely that like the Quebec will have a…

The BBC on Karl Popper

No video, just 44min of audio on Popper, one of the great philosophers of Science. (No I don’t stricktly hold his views, but his ideas are very insightful.) It’s interesting how Popper’s ideas were shaped by the progression of physics from Newtonian physics to Einstein’s relativity in contrast to the inflexible theories proposed by the…

Next week I’ll be hosting the latest edition of Mendel’s Garden, a blog carnival for genetics blogging. Despite the fact that I’ve been blogging for over two years and participating in many carnivals, this will be my first time as a host (not that your entries are parasites …) So send in your genetics related…

Science Graffiti

from a stairway at Harvard Medical School. Interesting tags … just like street graffiti, scientific graffiti is probably meaningless to the untrained eye. Here’s a closeup:

OK here’s a refresher …nuclear export of mRNA in yeast: Nucleoplasm is on the bottom, cytoplasm on the top. The bilayered nuclear envelope is represented by the two black lines. The top line is the outer nuclear envelope the bottom line is the inner nuclear envelope. The big red/blue thing with the purple basket is…

Yesterday we had a look at the science funding sutation south of the border, today we look up north. In their new budget, the Tories have allotted some extra cash for graduate-student scholarships and university research. The increase will amount to an additional 40% for postsecondary education which now stands at $3.2-billion per year. This…

Click here to watch now. It’s over. To read Elias Zerhouni’s statement click here. A pretty good presentation. Zerhouni was joined by some department heads (including our own, Joan Brugge). Some highlights: -The approval rate of first time RO1s by first time investigators is down from 15% in the mid 90s to 5%. -Students are…

Nice Story

From the Metropolitan Diaries section of today’s NYTimes: