Double Helix

“Without Proteins, DNA is Nothing”

When the human genome was first presented to the world it had many gaps in it, especially from regions where there were lots of repetitive sequences.  These tended to be around the two ends of each chromosome, called telomeres, and around a region called the centromere, where the chromosomes are held together and then separated […]

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Aquilegia

Hopeful Monster Flowers 

Darwin proposed that evolutionary changes occur by a long series of small incremental changes over long periods of time.  Six decades later Richard Goldschmidt proposed that evolution happened by sudden large changes resulting in new organisms with new structures and functions, which he called “hopeful monsters”.  A group of evolutionary biologists at University of California […]

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Wolves

Old Wolves Had “Toy Dog” Genes

The many breeds of domestic dogs vary enormously in body size, even though all domestic dogs belong to one species.  An international team of scientists has carried out a wide-ranging study of genes that influence body size in domestic and wild dogs.  A gene named IGF1 is already known to have a strong influence on […]

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Elephants

Elephants Lose Tusks “By Evolution”

Elephants lose tusks “by evolution” claim media reports. During the civil war in Mozambique (1977-1992) ivory poachers killed elephants and sold the tusks to finance their war. During this time the population of elephants declined drastically. The elephant population is now making a comeback, but with a change – more female elephants are lacking tusks. […]

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Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator

‘Shocking!’ They Are Not Evolving!

‘Shocking!’ They are not evolving! according to reports in Bigelow News and ScienceDaily 8 April 2021, Science Alert 9 April 2021, and The ISME Journal, 6 April 2021; doi: 10.1038/s41396-021-00965-3. Originally found deep in a South African mine, a bacterium named Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator was found to survive on a diet of chemicals produced from radioactivity […]

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Fish Fins

Fish Fins Forming Limbs

Fish fins forming limbs found, according to articles in BBC Science Focus and ScienceDaily 4 February 2021 and Cell 4 February 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.01.003. Scientists at Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital have found mutations of two genes that result in the formation of extra bones in the pectoral (front) fins of zebrafish.  Zebrafish are ray-finned […]

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Lemon Tree

Citrus Thorny Problem Solved

Citrus thorny problem solved, according to ScienceDaily 18 June 2020, and Current Biology 18 June 2020; doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.05.068. Thorns on citrus trees are well known to form when branches start to develop, but stop growing and become hard and dry, leaving a sharp spike.  Scientists at Yale University have now tracked down the genetic control […]

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Ghosts Linked Human Ancestors

Ghosts linked human ancestors, according reports in BBC News 14 February 2020, Science (AAAS) News 20 February 2020, and Science Advances 12 February 2020, 10.1126/sciadv.aax5097, and Science Advances 20 February 2020, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay5483. The genome revolution of the last two decades has enabled scientists to analyse whole genomes of people from many living human populations. […]

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Female Male

“I Made It Up”, Writes Gender Theorist

“I made it up”, writes gender theorist in an article in Quillette 17 September 2019. Gender historian Christopher Dummitt of Trent University, Canada, was one of the leading promoters of the idea that gender is a social and cultural construct, rather than being based on the biological fact that there are two sexes – male […]

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Female Male

Christian Doctor Sacked for Transgender Challenge

Christian doctor sacked for transgender challenge, according to a report in Christian Concern 2 October 2019. Dr David Mackereth, an Accident and Emergency doctor in the British National Health Service has been sacked from a position as a disability assessor with the Department of Work and Pensions because he refuses to use ‘transgender pronouns’. During […]

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