Model Organisms

From deep time into real time: What evolutionary processes?

Rapid evolution of a native species following invasion by a congener Abstract excerpt: “…the lizard Anolis carolinensis moved to higher perches following invasion by Anolis sagrei and, in response, adaptively evolved larger toepads after only 20 generations.” My comment: This indicates that the behavior evolved before the species, in response, evolved larger toepads. Reported as: Florida lizards evolve rapidly, within 15 years and 20 generations Karl Grammer’s comment: “Proofs for evolutionary processes…” What evolutionary processes? RNA-directed DNA methylation links the…

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Are evolutionary theorists 'nob ends'?

Interview – Prof Brian Cox and Robin Ince Robin Ince “Am I wrong to sometimes be scared of science idiots?” Brian Cox  “…my favoured response would be: ‘you bunch of utter nob ends’.  See also:  “The problem with today’s world is that everyone believes they have the right to express their opinion AND have others listen to it. The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly…

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Eliminating evolutionary theory

Does evolutionary theory need a rethink? Excerpt 1) “…the theory neglects key processes, say Kevin Laland and colleagues.” My comment: “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans (Keller et al., 2007; Kohl, 2007; Villarreal, 2009; Vosshall, Wong, & Axel, 2000).” — Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. (2012) Excerpt 2) “Theory accommodates evidence through relentless synthesis…” My comment: “An…

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Behavioral ecology: please continue to believe in our fantasies

Behavioral ecology and genomics: new directions, or just a more detailed map? Excerpt 1): “Transcriptome sequencing, often called RNAseq, both sequences and quantifies the portions of the genome being transcribed under conditions of interest (Wang et al. 2009; De Wit et al. 2012). Such information can be used to identify differentially expressed genes and the mutations underlying variation in gene expression and can lead to the identification of functionally important genes or suites of genes that function together (“modules”) to…

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2014 and 2004 Nobel Prize in Medicine

2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine is Awarded for Discovery of Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’ Excerpt: “… gray lines show the path followed by a rat as it moves around a box looking for pieces of food.” 2014 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for finding brain’s ‘you are here’ cells Excerpt: John Stein, professor of physiology at Oxford University, said: “This is great news and well deserved. I remember how great was the scoffing in the early 1970s when John first…

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RNA-mediated events: chromosomal rearrangements and genomic rearrangements

The Architecture of a Scrambled Genome Reveals Massive Levels of Genomic Rearrangement during Development Excerpt: “Genome-wide DNA rearrangements are most exaggerated in ciliates, particularly in the model organism Oxytricha trifallax, which programs not only DNA deletion, but also total reorganization, through RNA-mediated events (Fang et al., 2012; Nowacki et al., 2008). ” My comment: The RNA-mediated events that lead to DNA rearrangements were reported as: In one of nature’s innovations, a single cell smashes and rebuilds its own genome Excerpt:…

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Color vision refutes the evolutionary dogma of gene duplication

The Rainbow Connection Color vision as we know it resulted from one fortuitous genetic event after another. By Kerry Grens | October 1, 2014 Excerpt 1: “The fact that we have the same few amino-acid substitutions as New World monkeys argues there was a single ancestral variation that gave rise to [the cone opsins of] both Old and New World primates,” Nathans says. “It leads to an interesting twist on the evolutionary dogma of gene duplication.” My comment: The fact…

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Unassailable evidence vs assumptions

Putting the theory before the data: Is “massive modularity” a necessary foundation of evolutionary psychology? Excerpt 1) “Anyone who attends HBES, EHBEA, ISHE or any of the other conferences dedicated to the approach will discover that new fields of study are constantly being approached through the lens of evolutionary theory.” Excerpt 2) “There is little to be gained by prematurely formalising the foundations of the field – putting the theory before the data – particularly if those foundations later turn…

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Genomic surveillance ends our world of RNA-mediated ecological adaptations

Why is this woman smiling? 1) Identifying Recent Adaptations in Large-Scale Genomic Data Senior author: Sabeti with co-author Rinn Excerpt: “As natural selection can only act on mutations that drive phenotypic variation…”. 2) Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak  Senior author: Sabeti. Excerpt: “Because many of the mutations alter protein sequences and other biologically meaningful targets, they should be monitored for impact on diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies critical to outbreak response.” 3) RNA and…

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Systems biology and memory disorders

Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program Reported as: Memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s reversed: Small trial succeeds using systems approach to memory disorders News Article Excerpt: (1) eliminating all simple carbohydrates, leading to a weight loss of 20 pounds; (2) eliminating gluten and processed food from her diet, with increased vegetables, fruits, and non-farmed fish; (3) to reduce stress, she began yoga; (4) as a second measure to reduce the stress of her job, she began to meditate…

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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, […]