Books of interest Cell biology Culture Darwinism Evolution horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design

Jerry Coyne continues to be unhappy over David Quammen’s book on Carl Woese

Readers will remember science writer David Quammen’s new book, The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life, a biography of Carl Woese, who first identified the Archaea (and doubted Darwinism). They will also doubtless remember Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, who does not life Tangled Tree, and… Well, he still doesn’t like it and has Read More…

Darwinism Evolution horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design

Jerry Coyne minimizes the significance of horizontal gene transfer

As we might expect. Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne offers his thoughts on science writer David Quammen’s new book about Carl Woese, The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life: Quammen is right that the horizontal transfer of genetic information does complicate our effort to understand the evolutionary past, but he goes too far in claiming Read More…

Epigenetics Evolution horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design Tree of life

At New York Times: Darwin skeptic Carl Woese “effectively founded a new branch of science”

David Quammen, author of The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life, a biography of Darwin skeptic Carl Woese, who discovered the Archaea, offers a long reflection at the New York Times on how biology is moving away from Darwinism: Woese was a rebel researcher, obscure but ingenious, crotchety, driven. He had his Warholian 15 Read More…

Genetics horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design Natural selection

Does horizontal gene transfer enable genetic parasites to survive natural selection?

Researchers Iranzo and Koonin ask: Typically, natural selection results in deletions of harmful genes, so the main question is, why hasn’t natural selection wiped out genetic parasites? They mean “transposons, plasmids, viruses” etc., that offer no benefit to the hosts. They offer a hypothesis: In a new study published in EPL, researchers Jaime Iranzo and Read More…

Culture Darwinism Evolution horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

At Nature: New evolution book represents “radical” new perspective

Including things you didn’t know about Archaea discoverer, Carl Woese. From a review of The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen (Simon & Schuster, 2018): In The Tangled Tree, celebrated science writer David Quammen tells perhaps the grandest tale in biology: how scientists used gene sequencing to elucidate the evolutionary relationships Read More…

Darwinism horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design

Horizontal gene transfer from tunicates helps beetles against fungus

The genes were transferred to the beetles, researchers say, from sea squirts (tunicates) , with whom they have, may we say, not much in common, by microorganisms (symbiont bacterial strains). From ScienceDaily: An international team of researchers led by scientists of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Read More…

Darwinism horizontal gene transfer

Bats “steal” genes from ebola-related virus

Which now seem to serve an as-yet-unknown function in the bat. From ScienceDaily: Some 18 million years ago, an ancestor of mouse-eared bats “stole” genetic material from an ancient virus related to Bola. The swiped genetic sequence — a gene called VP35 — has remained largely intact in the bats despite the passage of time, with few Read More…

horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design

Researchers: Cross species transfer has been “an important driver of evolution”

From ScienceDaily: Far from just being the product of our parents, University of Adelaide scientists have shown that widespread transfer of genes between species has radically changed the genomes of today’s mammals, and been an important driver of evolution. In the world’s largest study of so-called “jumping genes,” the researchers have traced two particular jumping Read More…

horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design

Researchers: Horizontal gene transfer drives global infectious disease

From ScienceDaily: A new study by scientists at the University of Liverpool documents, for the first time, how the ability of bacteria to swap genetic material with each other can directly affect the emergence and spread of globally important infectious diseases. Known as ‘horizontal gene transfer’, this phenomenon is understood to have played a role Read More…

horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design

Sure we need to teach evolution: How about horizontal gene transfer in antibiotic resistance?

Not how we are all apes but how bacteria can get the better of us? Jathink? From ScienceDaily: That may sound scarce; however, .” ..as only a small number of strains (<10%) were isolated from farm and urban environments, we were surprised to find one with mcr-1 on a transferable plasmid, which is a relatively Read More…

Evolution horizontal gene transfer Tree of life

Giant virus shares genes (core histones) with complex life forms. But what exactly does that imply?

From ScienceDaily: “It’s exciting and significant to find a living family of giant viruses with eukaryote-specific genes in a form that predates the latest common ancestor of all eukaryotes,” says Albert Erives, associate professor in the Department of Biology. “These viruses are like time machines that tell us more about how life on our planet Read More…