Neuronal Plasticity

Genotype, observed phenotype, and distinctly disordered behaviors

Schizophrenia not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders September 15, 2014 By Jim Dryden News article excerpt: “Genes don’t operate by themselves,” said C. Robert Cloninger, MD, PhD, one of the study’s senior investigators. “They function in concert much like an orchestra, and to understand how they’re working, you have to know not just who the members of the orchestra are but how they interact.” My comment: Robert Cloninger and Jay R. Feierman were psychiatry post-doc residents at…

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Pulses of olfactory/pheromonal input

Signal and noise: Spike correlations in the olfactory system by John Hewitt Excerpt: “The olfactory system is not so much a hard-wired telephone network where channels can be instantaneously specified and connected by number codes, and then used to transmit further codes. There is significant overgrowth and back-pruning in olfactory networks during development, and some ongoing cell replacement, but once etched, many of its larger features remain stable.” My comment: This comparison is meaningful: “…any message can not stand out…

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Your comment is awaiting moderation

After I posted 5 of the 14 comments to the National Geographic site during discussion of Mercenary Ants Protect Farmers With Chemical Weapons by Ed Yong, I got the message: “Your comment is awaiting “moderation” Typically, that means I will not be allowed to continue participation in the discussion I started, which is why I am blog-posting my comment here. Perhaps I have been too harsh in my responses to people who keep politely telling me I am WRONG. Perhaps,…

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Evolution: innovations may have non-adaptive origins (sans mutations)

Q & A: Evolution Makes Do By Chris Palmer Evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner argues that many evolutionary innovations may have non-adaptive origins. Excerpt: “If exaptations are pervasive, then natural selection—which few doubt is critical for the preservation and spreading of traits—may not be that important for the origin of innovations in life’s history.” See also: Rapid detection of positive selection in genes and genomes through variation clusters Excerpt: “They occur in well-defined domains of a protein’s tertiary structure and show…

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  • What Darwin proved: there’s no such thing as a species
    GENETICS As Animals Mingle, a Baffling Genetic Barrier A short stretch of DNA is challenging what it means to be a species. By: Emily Singer August 5, 2014 Excerpt: “Scientists have dubbed such regions of the genome “islands of speciation.” The persistence of such islands is a phenomenon that has been observed in a variety of […]
  • Randomness and Divine Providence
    A Q&A on randomness and God’s providence …the main goal is to really put together a collection of scholarly studies of these issues: physicists, biologists, mathematicians, statisticians, philosophers and theologians. replaced: Randomness and Divine Providence Supported by the John Templeton...Read more