ecological variation

What about birds?

A sex researcher who typically fails to respond to my comments and questions recently noted that: “New species are only supposed to arise when a population separates into two.” She asked: “So what’s going on with the birds on tiny Santa Cruz Island?” I would have been happy to tell her — if ever she had responded to my past comments. Instead, her question makes good cannon fodder for this blog. See: This Jay Is Evolving in a Very, Very…

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What if Darwin was not still dead?

What Would Darwin Think About Modern Darwinism? Excerpt: “Imagine if Darwin could be transported to the present and learn what has become of his theory. What would excite him the most? Would anything disturb or disappoint him? TVOL has polled some of the most distinguished evolutionists of our day and we are pleased to provide their answers as our gift to Darwin and his admirers on his 206th Birthday!” It would be interesting to compare answers from distinguished serious scientists…

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Constrained evolution is ecological adaptation

See also: Unconstrained evolutionary innovability Ideas that evolution is not constrained can be compared to experimental evidence of biophysically constrained ecological adaptations. The most recent relevant open access published work from the Jakobsson lab is: TRIM28 Represses Transcription of Endogenous Retroviruses in Neural Progenitor Cells. This is a link to a prior publication (also open access): microRNA-125 distinguishes developmentally generated and adult-born olfactory bulb interneurons Taken together these two published works extend our 1996 model of RNA-mediated cell type differentiation…

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Models by evolutionary biologists are not models

How Networks Are Revolutionizing Scientific (and Maybe Human) Thought By John Edward Terrell, Termeh Shafie and Mark Golitko | December 12, 2014 | Excerpt: “…evolutionary biologists are now modeling series of complex networked relationships at multiple levels ranging from individual “letters” in the genome to protein-gene networks to interaction networks between organisms, thereby demonstrating that our genes are only our destinies to the extent that they link to each other and to the surrounding world—both social and natural.” My comment: That’s…

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Intelligent viruses and cancers?

The Very Intelligent Ebola Virus Takes Front and Center Excerpt 1) “Ebola doesn’t enter the nucleus. It uses the cell’s machinery of ribosomes and transfer RNA to make proteins from the viral messengerRNA.” Excerpt 2) “Normally, mechanisms inside the nucleus have complex relations with messenger RNA and the alternative RNA editing process (see RNA alternative editing post). Specific protein complexes help splice the messengerRNA before it is sent from the nucleus to the ribosomes in the cytoplasm to make proteins.”…

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Probable changes in connectivity

Table of Contents: Nature Reviews Neuroscience October 2014 Vol 15 No 10 Excerpt from: Research Highlights: Learning and memory: Uncoupling memory traces “The emotional valence of a memory can be changed, and this probably involves a change in the connectivity between hippocampal and amygdalar memory traces.” My comment: 1) The connectivity change is epigenetically-effected by olfactory/pheromonal input. 2) Epigenetically-effected RNA-mediated events link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in species from microbes to man. 3) Conserved molecular…

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