03
Sep
09

Wow, really?

I just realized that September 17 is, in fact, my first blogoversary at WordPress. Also, I’m over the 250 spam comment mark and just over the 500 non-me comments mark. In that time, I’ve had well over 10,000 unique viewers with about 300 of those viewing me at least once a month and 50 or so viewing me once a week with several individuals viewing every day.  To celebrate, leave your suggestions here for a super-science-y posts relating to  evolution, genetics, herpetology, or biochemistry* on ANY biological topic which I promise to cover during the following week.**

I still have the promised giant post on Autism which is in the works (I did not forget about it) but that one definitely will take more than two weeks to finish. There is a ton of literature just on PLoS to sift through…

*limit two per household

**at a rate of no more than two per day

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9 Responses to “Wow, really?”


  1. 1 Colloquy
    September 4, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Here’s one …

    “Why”? Why are you interested in biology? What intrigued you so much that you would spend time learning about RNA – DNA – and genetics?? (and other “sciency” stuff like that) 🙂

  2. 2 jaredcormier
    September 4, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Check, will be finished by the 17th

  3. 3 Richard
    September 7, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Recently, I’ve read about retro-viral insertion as yet another way of proving common descent. I think it’s an excellent example of bit of evidence supporting modern biology.

    I think this would make for an excellent post. Also, what does ‘ERV’ stand for in this context?

    Also, are there any really elegant ideas you’ve come across in biology?

  4. 4 Richard
    September 7, 2009 at 10:06 am

    What sorts of debates are going on in modern biology? Are there any theories being tested where there’s active disagreement and roughly equal support for each side?

  5. 5 jaredcormier
    September 7, 2009 at 11:41 am

    ERV=”endogenous retroviruses”
    Endogenous retroviruses are retroviruses which inserted into an ancestral gamete. Some of them have been silenced or mutations have reduced them to non-functional units.

    As for theoretical debates, they’re pretty few and far between, but there are many discussions about how we define “life” regarding the inclusion or exclusion of viruses. Other ongoing debates include how to define “species” and what constitutes a “gene.” I’ll write about what is actually being debated and why, however the implications for understandings aren’t really that substantial, just how it is explained.

    My favorite debate involves “units of selection” with the sides being centered around Dawkins view of gene-centric evolution and Mayr’s organism-centric evolution. I think that might make for an interesting post on its own.

  6. 6 Pliny-the-in-Between
    September 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I’d love to see your take on one of my favorite false metaphors – living fossils.

  7. 7 jaredcormier
    September 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    THAT, Pliny, is a REALLY good one…

    tuataras, coelacanth, nautilus species, cycads, monkey puzzle trees, paddlefish, etc. That’s a pretty good falsehood.

  8. 8 Pliny-the-in-Between
    September 7, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Ah, I deserve having my chain pulled 😉 I should have been more specific. I may be totally wrong but it seems to me that the metaphor of living fossils confuses a lot of people who have been indoctrinated to think that evolution is goal oriented toward the propagation of more ‘advanced’ species. That speciation does not imply that there was something particularly wrong with the predicate species nor that the modern descendants are necessarily genetically identical to their fossil relatives. There seems to be this assumption that evolutionary branch points always imply a winner and a loser, while sometimes true, it isn’t necessarily the case.

    They see coelacanths (still a personal favorite from childhood) and can’t imagine how their line could have survived this long, oblivious to the wonderful videos of them gracefully moving about a niche to which they remain marvelously well adapted. They appear little changed over millions of years presumably because they are successful and because nothing with a particular sweet tooth for coelacanths has come along to spoil a perfectly good existence.

  9. 9 jaredcormier
    September 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    OK, so I’ve got a few posts so far
    “Why Biology”
    “ERVs and You”
    “Falsehoods: genes OR organisms evolve”
    “Falsehoods: ‘Great Chain of Being'”
    “Review: Performing Kinship”
    “Falsehoods: living fossils”
    “Falsehoods: evolution can stop”
    “Biology: What is alive and what isn’t?”
    “Speciation: What Really Happens”


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