Category: Evolution

Applications of Phylogenetics in Medicine and Public Health

Applications of Phylogenetics in Medicine and Public Health

One of the most common charges levied against evolutionary biology is that it's a useless science with no applications in the real world. If this was true it wouldn't do anything to tarnish the validity of the evolutionary biology research, despite what many anti-evolutionists would have you believe. After all, the mark of a valid … Continue reading Applications of Phylogenetics in Medicine and Public Health

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Chromosome 2 Fusion and Bayes Theorem: Addendum

In the final hours of 2016, I published a blog post discussing the fusion of human chromosome 2 and its implications for evolution versus creationism in the light of Bayesian probabilities. I walked through the simple maths demonstrating that contrary to what might seem intuitive, the fusion does in fact lend evidentiary support in favour … Continue reading Chromosome 2 Fusion and Bayes Theorem: Addendum

Testing a Strong Prediction of Universal Common Ancestry

Testing a Strong Prediction of Universal Common Ancestry

In 2013, a paper was published by researchers from New Zealand in the journal PLOS ONE  entitled "Beyond Reasonable Doubt: Evolution from DNA Sequences". After reading it recently, I was surprised to find that it seems to have flown under the radar in popular science circles. I couldn't find any references to the article in … Continue reading Testing a Strong Prediction of Universal Common Ancestry

Alcohol Tolerance in Fruit Flies: A Classic Case of Molecular Adaptation Refuted

Alcohol Tolerance in Fruit Flies: A Classic Case of Molecular Adaptation Refuted

Two weeks ago, an article was published online in the inaugural issue of the new journal Nature Ecology & Evolution entitled "Experimental test and refutation of a classic case of molecular adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster". As the title suggests, the article soundly refutes a classic example of molecular adaption that was first established in a seminal paper by McDonald and … Continue reading Alcohol Tolerance in Fruit Flies: A Classic Case of Molecular Adaptation Refuted

Chromosome 2 Fusion and Bayes Theorem: Support for Common Ancestry After All

Chromosome 2 Fusion and Bayes Theorem: Support for Common Ancestry After All

(Since this was published I've written a short addendum, found here.) By now I would hope everyone is familiar with the fusion resulting in human chromosome number 2, but for those who aren't, or would like a quick refresher, here is a short video of Dr Ken Miller explaining it: Note that that the fusion … Continue reading Chromosome 2 Fusion and Bayes Theorem: Support for Common Ancestry After All

Dating Shared Processed Pseudogenes in Primates

Dating Shared Processed Pseudogenes in Primates

I'm sure most of you are already pretty familiar with pseudogenes - they can be considered "vestigial" genes because they've lost their original protein-coding function, and are often totally non-functional. Processed pseudogenes are a specific kind of pseudogene that has been produced through the action of reverse transcriptase. A functional protein-coding gene is transcribed into … Continue reading Dating Shared Processed Pseudogenes in Primates

The Evolution and Function of the Type VI Secretion System

The Evolution and Function of the Type VI Secretion System

Here's a recent review paper about the bacterial Type VI Secretion System (T6SS), or for the laymen out there, this video gets the message across: I was first introduced to the T6SS as part of my undergraduate studies, in a class all about the effectors of disease possessed by bacteria and other microorganisms. I've been learning more about … Continue reading The Evolution and Function of the Type VI Secretion System