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  Topic: Science Break, Selected Shorts< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
dheddle



Posts: 530
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2011,13:44   

Jason Rosenhouse of JMU and EvolutionBlog fame will speak at Christopher Newport University on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 4:00 pm in Forbes 1022 and on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 3:00 pm in Gosnold 202.

Tuesday's talk will be on The Creationism v. Evolution Wars and is sponsored jointly by the Departments of Mathematics and Biology.

Wednesday's talk is a Mathematics colloquium on the Monty Hall Problem.

Any AtBC'ers in the Hampton Roads area* are welcome to attend.

=========
* The Hampton Roads area includes Yorktown. All you Brits have heard of Yorktown, right? Louis?

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2011,13:58   

Quote (dheddle @ Oct. 05 2011,19:44)
Jason Rosenhouse of JMU and EvolutionBlog fame will speak at Christopher Newport University on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 4:00 pm in Forbes 1022 and on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 3:00 pm in Gosnold 202.

Tuesday's talk will be on The Creationism v. Evolution Wars and is sponsored jointly by the Departments of Mathematics and Biology.

Wednesday's talk is a Mathematics colloquium on the Monty Hall Problem.

Any AtBC'ers in the Hampton Roads area* are welcome to attend.

=========
* The Hampton Roads area includes Yorktown. All you Brits have heard of Yorktown, right? Louis?

Ahhh yes. Yorktown. I remember it well. It was where the Cheating Colonials aided by the Perfidous French Harlots scraped a lucky home turf win over Our Brave Boys (TM Patent Pending) by not wearing red, marching in easy to shoot lines, and fighting at night and during tea time.

No bloody manners, that's your problem.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4116
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2011,16:06   

Quote
No bloody manners, that's your problem.

We're trying!

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2011,17:11   

Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 05 2011,22:06)
Quote
No bloody manners, that's your problem.

We're trying!

Very.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1016
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2011,18:16   

Sweet!:

Quote
Hes trying to see how different this particular strain of organisms is compared with present-day varieties of the bacteria, Schaffner said. We may find to our surprise that the bacteria are somewhat different.

The widespread use of antibiotics, beginning with the 1928 discovery of penicillin, has had a lasting impact on lots of bacteria, particularly on their genes. Blaser told the Journal that he and his team will be looking for how these drugs might have affected Clostridium perfringens.

Weve had 70 years of antibiotics, so the question is, have there been new changes in the bacterial genome from the time of that organism, he said.


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Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 13 2011,15:23   

http://www.sciencedaily.com/release....655.htm

Genome comparison across 29 species reveals many areas related to control of transcription.

Evolution credited with guiding research useful to medicine. Don't tell Dr (only one, sorry) Michael Egnor and Evilution News and Spews.

--------------
Im referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Im not an evolutionist, Im a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1016
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 15 2011,22:44   

Quote (dvunkannon @ Oct. 13 2011,15:23)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/release....655.htm

Genome comparison across 29 species reveals many areas related to control of transcription.

Evolution credited with guiding research useful to medicine. Don't tell Dr (only one, sorry) Michael Egnor and Evilution News and Spews.

Even cooler, the article is open access!

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Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
fnxtr



Posts: 2163
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2011,12:33   

Quote (afarensis @ Oct. 15 2011,20:44)
Quote (dvunkannon @ Oct. 13 2011,15:23)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/release....655.htm

Genome comparison across 29 species reveals many areas related to control of transcription.

Evolution credited with guiding research useful to medicine. Don't tell Dr (only one, sorry) Michael Egnor and Evilution News and Spews.

Even cooler, the article is open access!

I'm in the middle of Kirschner and Gerhart's "The Plausibility of Life".

It's all about regularity... er, regulation.


eta: 360 Megabases in the newly-discovered conserved regions... out of circa 3.4 Gigabases total. Still lots of mystery/junk left. :-)

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"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Henry J



Posts: 4116
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2011,12:19   

Quote
It's all about regularity... er, regulation.

Eat more fiber?

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1969
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2011,22:11   

I have been waiting for someone else to mention;

"Acceleration of Emergence of Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance in Connected Microenvironments" Qiucen Zhang, Guillaume Lambert, David Liao, Hyunsung Kim, Kristelle Robin,    Chih-kuan Tung, Nader Pourmand, Robert H. Austin, Science 23 September 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6050 pp. 1764-1767

Quote
It is surprising that four apparently functional SNPs should fix in a population within 10 hours of exposure to antibiotic in our experiment. A detailed understanding of the order in which the SNPs occur is essential, but it is unlikely that the four SNPs emerged simultaneously; in all likelihood they are sequential (2123). The device and data we have described here offer a template for exploring the rates at which antibiotic resistance arises in the complex fitness landscapes that prevail in the mammalian body. Furthermore, our study provides a framework for exploring rapid evolution in other contexts such as cancer (24).


Multi-site mutations, functional mutations, TEN HOURS, why sequential mutations are functional, and more likely, and with medical applications.

ID is DEAD HaHaHeeheeHaHa HoHo
Dead as the cat down the well, HaHa
Dead is as Dead as ID, HeeHee HaHo

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Quack



Posts: 1804
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2011,06:36   

Quote
Multi-site mutations, functional mutations, ..., why sequential mutations are functional

As you all know, IANAS, but I have expected that to be true for a long time.

Glad to chalk up another 'confirmed' on my blackboard.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.
                                                                                               Richard Feynman

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10326
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 30 2011,20:25   

ID PREDICTS THIS:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_rel....511.php

With it's 'abundant universe" hypothesis.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1016
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2011,22:10   

This is pretty cool. In case you haven't read it here is the abstract:

Quote
Locomotor strategies in terrestrial tetrapods have evolved from the utilisation of sinusoidal contractions of axial musculature, evident in ancestral fish species, to the reliance on powerful and complex limb muscles to provide propulsive force. Within tetrapods, a hindlimb-dominant locomotor strategy predominates, and its evolution is considered critical for the evident success of the tetrapod transition onto land. Here, we determine the developmental mechanisms of pelvic fin muscle formation in living fish species at critical points within the vertebrate phylogeny and reveal a stepwise modification from a primitive to a more derived mode of pelvic fin muscle formation. A distinct process generates pelvic fin muscle in bony fishes that incorporates both primitive and derived characteristics of vertebrate appendicular muscle formation. We propose that the adoption of the fully derived mode of hindlimb muscle formation from this bimodal character state is an evolutionary innovation that was critical to the success of the tetrapod transition.


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Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
Kristine



Posts: 3046
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2011,16:10   

This is an important bioethical ruling.

Quote
Minnesotas highest court ruled Wednesday that parents will have a say in how the government handles the DNA of their newborn babies.

In Minnesota, unless a family opts out when a baby is born, blood is taken and sent to a lab to be tested for dozens of disorders. When the testing is done, the sample is sent to the Minnesota Department of Health for storage, and can sometimes be used for studies.

After years of legal battles, parents will have more of a say in that last step.

Until now, parents had to ask for the form after giving birth to opt out of the storage program.

On Wednesday, a ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court said that doesnt go far enough and written informed consent is required for the use, storage or dissemination of any remaining blood samples or test results after the completion of the newborn screening.


Of course, the World Nut Daily twists it again: "Court tells government: Hands off babies' DNA." First of all, the MN Supreme Court is the government as well, and secondly, it did not say "hands off" - newborns will still be tested, but the blood spots will not be kept under the previous "opt out" program, but only after the parents are asked and give their written consent. This means that some babies' blood spots will be kept, hardly negating any "danger of eugenics," which was not the issue. The issue was that the MN Department of Health is not exempt from the 2006 Genetic Privacy Act. However, under certain circumstances, the MNDOH may keep blood spots without parental consent, as subject to federal law. (The WND article finally states this - at the end.)

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2011,09:54   

http://www.sciencedaily.com/release....050.htm

Virtual photons observed!

Don't tell Stephen B over at UcD.* He's been talking up uncaused objects as Deities for a looong time now, and I don't think he'll welcome having to worship gazillions of them flickering in and out of existence every second.

*But Denews O'Leary republishes about half of ScienceDaily on UcD, so she could wind up stepping on Stephen's toes unwittingly.**

**Unwittingly - is there any other way Denews does things?

--------------
Im referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Im not an evolutionist, Im a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 27 2011,08:35   

Quote
The Cambrian Conundrum: Early Divergence and Later Ecological Success in the Early History of Animals
Douglas H. Erwin1,2,*, Marc Laflamme1, Sarah M. Tweedt1,3, Erik A. Sperling4, Davide Pisani5, Kevin J. Peterson6,*

1Department of Paleobiology, MRC-121, National Museum of Natural History, Post Office Box 37012, Washington, DC 200137012, USA.
2Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA.
3Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
4Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
5Department of Biology, The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Kildare, Ireland.
6Department of Biology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.

ABSTRACT

Diverse bilaterian clades emerged apparently within a few million years during the early Cambrian, and various environmental, developmental, and ecological causes have been proposed to explain this abrupt appearance. A compilation of the patterns of fossil and molecular diversification, comparative developmental data, and information on ecological feeding strategies indicate that the major animal clades diverged many tens of millions of years before their first appearance in the fossil record, demonstrating a macroevolutionary lag between the establishment of their developmental toolkits during the Cryogenian [(850 to 635 million years ago (Ma)], and the later ecological success of metazoans during the Ediacaran (635 to 541 Ma) and Cambrian (541 to 488 Ma) periods. We argue that this diversification involved new forms of developmental regulation, as well as innovations in networks of ecological interaction within the context of permissive environmental circumstances.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content....bstract

  
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1016
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 30 2011,18:51   

Sweet! The neural and cognitive correlates of throwing poop Chimps, gotta love them...



Also, on an unrelated subject Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S

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Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 01 2011,09:20   

http://www.nature.com/nature....55.html

The summary for the subscription deprived:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/release....855.htm

Article discusses the Earth's earliest atmosphere, concludes on the basis of laboratory calibrations that it was not reducing.

I expect ENV or DeNews to use this to flog the meme that Urey-Miller experiments were worthless because they used the wrong atmosphere.

Question: I had understood that Earth's 'first' atmosphere was hydrogen rich and quickly stripped off by the solar wind, and that our current atmosphere was likely the result of cometary bombardment. That calls into question for me the relevance of magmatic outgassing as a determinant of the early atmosphere. If anyone with access can relay if this article discusses cometary bombardment, thank you.

--------------
Im referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Im not an evolutionist, Im a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
Henry J



Posts: 4116
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 01 2011,23:05   

Quote
Article discusses the Earth's earliest atmosphere, concludes on the basis of laboratory calibrations that it was not reducing.

If it wasn't reducing, does that mean it was gaining weight?

  
Starbuck



Posts: 18
Joined: July 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 02 2011,09:15   

Aren't chondrites more than enough to get the job done?

  
sledgehammer



Posts: 531
Joined: Sep. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 02 2011,21:38   

From UCLA Life Sciences:
Powerful mathematical model greatly improves predictions for species facing climate change

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The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny is alleviated by their lack of consistency. -A. Einstein (H/T, JAD)
If evolution is true, you could not know that it's true because your brain is nothing but chemicals. ?Think about that. -K. Hovind

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3353
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 06 2011,19:55   

Higgs Boson baby!

126 GeV... time to go tweak forastero's nose

https://indico.cern.ch/confere....=150980

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1016
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 07 2011,18:57   

This is interesting! Protein 3D Structure Computed from Evolutionary Sequence Variation From the abstract:

Quote
he evolutionary trajectory of a protein through sequence space is constrained by its function. Collections of sequence homologs record the outcomes of millions of evolutionary experiments in which the protein evolves according to these constraints. Deciphering the evolutionary record held in these sequences and exploiting it for predictive and engineering purposes presents a formidable challenge. The potential benefit of solving this challenge is amplified by the advent of inexpensive high-throughput genomic sequencing.

In this paper we ask whether we can infer evolutionary constraints from a set of sequence homologs of a protein. The challenge is to distinguish true co-evolution couplings from the noisy set of observed correlations. We address this challenge using a maximum entropy model of the protein sequence, constrained by the statistics of the multiple sequence alignment, to infer residue pair couplings. Surprisingly, we find that the strength of these inferred couplings is an excellent predictor of residue-residue proximity in folded structures. Indeed, the top-scoring residue couplings are sufficiently accurate and well-distributed to define the 3D protein fold with remarkable accuracy.

We quantify this observation by computing, from sequence alone, all-atom 3D structures of fifteen test proteins from different fold classes, ranging in size from 50 to 260 residues., including a G-protein coupled receptor. These blinded inferences are de novo, i.e., they do not use homology modeling or sequence-similar fragments from known structures. The co-evolution signals provide sufficient information to determine accurate 3D protein structure to 2.74.8 C?-RMSD error relative to the observed structure, over at least two-thirds of the protein (method called EVfold, details at http://EVfold.org)./....d.org). This discovery provides insight into essential interactions constraining protein evolution and will facilitate a comprehensive survey of the universe of protein structures, new strategies in protein and drug design, and the identification of functional genetic variants in normal and disease genomes.


--------------
Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
fnxtr



Posts: 2163
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 07 2011,21:18   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Dec. 06 2011,17:55)
Higgs Boson baby!

126 GeV... time to go tweak forastero's nose

https://indico.cern.ch/confere....=150980

The correct spelling is "boatswain".

--------------
"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10326
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 12 2011,12:04   

Steiner trees / GAs came to mind - some cool math teaching here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....d#!

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 15 2011,13:07   

Stopping Alzheimers

http://www.sciencedaily.com/release....108.htm

And how did this team find this drug?? Evolution! Vary, select, iterate. Egnor, eat crow.

--------------
Im referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Im not an evolutionist, Im a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 20 2011,12:16   

http://www.plosone.org/article....0028893

Covered in numerous outlets, but not yet ScienceDaily, so DeNews hasn't heard about it yet.

Evolution of Genitals and speciation

Pearl clutching in 5, 4...

--------------
Im referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Im not an evolutionist, Im a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 09 2012,13:37   

Happy 2012!

http://www.pnas.org/content....238

Genetic adaptation to captivity can occur in a single generation

Selection pressure must be really high in salmon hatcheries...

--------------
Im referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Im not an evolutionist, Im a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
Henry J



Posts: 4116
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 09 2012,16:21   

Yeah, I can see how a sudden drastic change of environment could do that - wipe out some varieties that don't do well in the new scenario, while leaving the varieties that can cope with it.

I wonder if the phrase "founder effect" applies here?

  
Henry J



Posts: 4116
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 09 2012,16:46   

Quote
After 150 years of being "extinct," a species of giant tortoise may be on the verge of a comeback tour, scientists report today (Jan. 9).

The researchers "found" the lost species, called Chelonoidis elephantopus, by analyzing the genome of a closely related species, Chelonoidis becki, which lives on Isabela Island, the largest of the Galpagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

'Extinct' Galapagos Tortoise Reappears

  
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