Category: Genetics

Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies, Part 2

[cross posted at CEU IDCS, Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies, Part 2] Part 1 laid out the claim that most nucleotides in populations cannot as a matter of principle be under strong selection, but must be neutral. MOST certainly does not mean ALL. Clearly some deleterious traits if they appear would be lethal, […] more

Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies, Part 1

[cross posted at CEU IDCS Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies, Part 1 ] The Darwinian view: Natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, the slightest variations; rejecting those that are bad, preserving and adding up all that are good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers Charles Darwin […] more

Information killed the Central Dogma too

Riva: the information stored in DNA is only a small portion of the total, and that the overall picture is much more complex than the one outlined by the dogma. more

“GATTACA” turned out to be personal bust—for Ars Technica editor

Farivar: What I learned from the process, in short, is that they’re not quite ready for prime time. more

Reductive evolution of complexity — can we say square circle?

Walter Remine mentioned in passing about a parasite that slowly evolved to lose all its organs except for its anus. Unfortunately he didn’t recall the name of the creature or whether he got all the details right, but rather than peppered moths, if that creature really exists, it should be the poster child of Darwinism. […] more

First epigenetics, now epigenomics

The people standing athwart epigenetics and yelling “Stop!” probably won’t like epigenomics either. more

DNA doesn’t even tell teeth what they should look like

More from the tortured world of gene-centricity. more

How much does DNA influence cell shape?

In short, we don’t know how even these single cells get their shape, and it doesn’t seem to be as simple as “from their DNA, moron!” more

Thanks Larry! If a species can lose its stomach, it must mean the mutation was neutral

Larry actually had some rare kind words for me. He said here Cordova is correct. Thanks for the kind words, Larry! Larry goes on to argue that organisms can tolerate lots of mutations and still reproduce. Yes, I agree, but reproduction is not the real thing in question, it is the existence of designs. I’ve […] more

If DNA really rules, why did THIS happen?

Would the human neurons implanted in developing mouse brain have a mouse or a human morphology? more

Summer position: Designing genetics card game

You must be a student at the University of British Columbia, but this may spark some ideas elsewhere as well. more

Jonathan Wells: Far from being all-powerful, DNA does not wholly determine biological form

Mutate a fruit fly embryo in every possible way, and observe only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly. more

Fixation rate, what about breaking rate?

Hats off to VJTorley for vindicating claims I’ve made about neutral theory (non-Darwinian evolution) for almost the last eight years at UD. He found this by PZ Myers: M]aybe we should be honest from the very beginning about the complexity of modern evolutionary theory and how it has grown to be very different from what […] more

New Royal Society paper demotes genes: “merely a means of specifying polypeptides”

It’s getting a lot of play in the medical science press because it basically says, among other things, you are not your genes. Thoughts? more

Sea anemone is genetically part animal, part plant

They’re suggesting the system dates from 600 million years ago, but one doesn’t get the impression they really know. This isn’t a tree of life, it’s a grab bag. more

DNA can “teleport”?

TechWorld: Alternatively, it could be that life itself is a complex projection of these quantum phenomena and utterly depends on them in ways not yet understood because they are incredibly hard to detect. more

Yes, there might be a “genius gene,” but … how much does it account for?

It’s quite possible that intelligence will turn out to be driven in large part by epigenetics, the critical question of how, when, and where genes are expressed or silenced. more

Beyond de-extinction: Frankengenetics?

We’re waiting to see what happens when this crowd collides with the Whole Foods Market, for which, see “Journalist wonders, why Creation Museum inspires rage, whole foods scams don’t (sky fell last night too, by the way).” more

Flash news!: 100 percent of our genome is identical to chimp genome ;)

Is the point of Mooney’s claims to constantly diminish the claimed figure but never quite get there? All he is really diminishing is the apparent value of the genome as a source of information about life forms. If he never quite gets to 100%, he still has a story. more

Gene regulation: “More complex than previously thought”

… the fact that the researchers find interesting deviations in the first system they look at implies that it is not unlikely that it is important in many cases. more

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