Like monarch butterflies. Apparently, the shimmering dragonfly migrates like the Monarch butterfly, taking three generations to loop across North America: At least three generations make up the annual migration of common green darner dragonflies. The first generation emerges in the southern United States, Mexico and the Caribbean starting around February and flies north. There, those […]
From ScienceDaily: According to a new study led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin that looked at 10 species of vertebrates, evolution used a kind of universal formula for turning non-monogamous species into monogamous species — turning up the activity of some genes and turning down others in the brain. “Our study […]
It’s certainly worth reflecting on: It’s fair to say that PCBs and fluorocarbons have altered the biochemical composition of the food web and the interior of the human body, and in the case of the PFASs, the water we drink. (Some PFASs can even fall with rain.) These have been swift, sweeping changes over the […]
The genome isn’t what it used to be.
And the advent of genome mapping has kept them in the science news too. Think “mitochondrial Eve” and quarter million-year-old Adam. It’ll get more interesting still with new finds, we can be sure.
If so, it’s remarkable outcome for genome mapping: So it has been dawning on us is that there is no prior plan or blueprint for development: Instructions are created on the hoof, far more intelligently than is possible from dumb DNA. That is why today’s molecular biologists are reporting “cognitive resources” in cells; “bio-information intelligence”; “cell […]
“If you duplicate at a different place and time, you might assemble a completely different structure,” Gilbert said. “A cell has different things available to it at different times. Changing when something replicates changes the packaging of the genetic information.”
From ScienceDaily: When a building is damaged, a general contractor often oversees various subcontractors — framers, electricians, plumbers and drywall hangers — to ensure repairs are done in the correct order and on time. Similarly, when DNA is damaged, a molecular general contractor oversees a network of genetic subcontractors to ensure that the diverse cellular […]
He thinks the Central Dogma of mitochondrial DNA needs to be rethought.
It was hardly heard of before and hardly widely predicted; now the Darwinian question is, why isn’t it more common? Why? Because there are two conflicting evolutionary forces at work. In the short-term, mixing mitochondria can be beneficial to individuals because the father’s mitochondria, say, can compensate for a harmful mutation in the mother’s mitochondria. […]
From ScienceDaily: The birder and biologist was Tom Smith, who has spent his career studying finches — specifically, black-bellied seedcrackers (Pyrenestes ostrinus) — in Cameroon and in his lab at the University of California-Los Angeles. He and his colleagues have spent years investigating why some of these finches have small beaks while others have large […]
At her blog, Oscillations, Suzan Mazur offers suggestions for panelists and explains why more public input is needed in this area, which is ramping up in the United States: NSF says it cares about the “social and ethical dimensions of such research.” So who gets to say what synthetic cell research meets society’s approval? I think […]
Seventeen individuals from three unrelated multi-generation families have shown the trait (a high level of mtDNA heteroplasmy, ranging from 24 to 76 percent): A new study led by geneticist Taosheng Huang from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre shows human mitochondrial DNA can be paternally inherited, in a landmark case that started with the treatment […]
From Nature’s editors: “A move to classify people on the basis of anatomy or genetics” should be abandoned. According to a draft memo leaked to The New York Times, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposes to establish a legal definition of whether someone is male or female based solely and immutably on […]
Researchers Nigel Goldenfeld and Thomas Kuhlman noticed that “half of the human genome is made up of retrotransposons [jumping genes, “junk DNA”], but bacteria hardly have them at all” and wondered what would happen if they just inserted some: “We thought a really simple thing to try was to just take one (retrotransposon) out of […]