My daughter has to memorize a poem for a school performance, and asked me if I knew a good poem about nature. There are, of course, many good ones, but I really wanted her to have the most poetic thing ever written about nature – the last paragraph of Darwin’s Origin of Species – rendered [...]
In 1968 Motoo Kimura published a short article in Nature in which he argued that “most mutations produced by nucleotide replacement are almost neutral in natural selection”. This fantastic paper is generally viewed as having established the “neutral theory” of molecular evolution, whose central principle was set out by Jack King and Lester Jukes in a Science paper the [...]
I have watched the escalating hysteria about recent NIH-funded experiments to humanize H5N1 influenze (aka bird flu) with a mixture of amusement, horror and confusion. The amusement is born of the predictable hysteria that always infuses media coverage of research on lethal virus. The horror comes from the largely unchallenged move to censor publication of the [...]
PLoS Genetics just published a paper from my lab describing our analysis of the binding and activity of a remarkable protein, known as Zelda, that appears to be a master regulator of genome activation in the earliest stages of Drosophila development, and thereby plays a major role in shaping the form and function of the mature [...]
Via John Tierney, this video about development is awesome:
We have a new paper out in PLoS One that I think is particularly cool: Peterson BK*, Hare EE*, Iyer VN, Storage S, Conner L, et al. (2009) Big Genomes Facilitate the Comparative Identification of Regulatory Elements. PLoS ONE 4(3): e4688. The paper is about species with big genomes – in particular species from the [...]
For those of you still with a chance to listen to NPR’s Morning Edition, there’s a really nice piece withJoe Palca following Sean Carroll as he gets a chance to look at the notebooks of Darwin and Wallace during a recent visit to London. Of course you can also listen to it online.