Category Archive: Genetics

Jun 15 2013

I’m a professional “biologist”!


Vox Day/Theodore Beale really is hilariously easy to trigger into paroxysms of foolishness. He now refers to me as a professional "biologist" in those lovely scare quotes, because he thinks his understanding of “genetic science” is better than mine. He explains what he meant by his remarks that he, a white man, and NK Jemisin, …

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Jun 13 2013

The Supreme Court decision on patentable genomes

I’m shocked. Just totally surprised. And it was unanimous — the Supreme Court determined that human genes cannot be patented. This is excellent news. Why is it a good decision? Because medical DNA analysis was turning into a patchwork of competing landgrabs. Sequencing technology is coming along so nicely that more and more diagnostic tools …

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May 07 2013

The first day of the rest of my summer!


It’s going to be a good season, I can tell already. It’s finals week, so I’ll still have an abrupt pile of grading to do on Thursday, but otherwise, my teaching obligations are done for the semester. Now I’m trapped, trapped I tell you, in Morris for almost (I do have two quick trips to …

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Apr 27 2013

Musings from the mind of a mouse


Casey Luskin is such a great gift to the scientific community. The public spokesman for the Discovery Institute has a law degree and a Masters degree (in Science! Earth Science, that is) and thinks he is qualified to analyze papers in genetics and molecular biology, fields in which he hasn’t the slightest smattering of background, …

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Apr 23 2013

Junk DNA in the coffee shop


I’m giving you a heads-up in advance: the last Cafe Scientifique in Morris for the school year is next Tuesday, the 30th, and you-know-who is giving it. I expect to see you all there. If you’re not, don’t come around asking me for a Christmas present later.

Apr 22 2013

There are no marching morons

For some random reason, this post from the Scienceblogs era Pharyngula, “There are no marching morons“, is getting some sudden attention, so I thought I’d bring it here. Most people have probably never heard of Kornbluth, or read The Marching Morons, but now you can! It’s on scribd, or you can just read the summary …

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Mar 29 2013

John Logsdon hits the big time

Last night at #nwc36 we were talking about evodevo, and one of the topics that came up was the importance of Drosophila reasearch in providing the foundation for comparative genetic analysis…which led to Sarah Palin. Remember Palin’s ignorant mockery of fruit fly research? This is what we get from the Republican party. Now Michelle Malkin’s …

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Mar 23 2013

We need a sociologist of science…or a philosopher


There’s another paper out debunking the ENCODE consortium’s absurd interpretation of their data. ENCODE, you may recall, published a rather controversial paper in which they claimed to have found that 80% of the human genome was ‘functional’ — for an extraordinarily loose definition of function — and further revealed that several of the project leaders …

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Mar 19 2013

How about if we just retire Dollo’s Law altogether?

Earlier this month, there was a flurry of headlines in the pop-sci press that exasperated me. “Have scientists discovered reversible evolution?” was one; “Evidence of Reverse Evolution Seen in Dust Mites” was another. They failed because they always tried to express a subtle idea in a fluffy way that screwed up a more fundamental concept …

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Mar 17 2013

Hamza Tzortzis is playing gotcha with Lawrence Krauss now


After that debate between Tzortzis and Lawrence Krauss that was overshadowed by the disgraceful anti-egalitarian exhibition of Muslim misogyny, iERA is now trying a new tactic: they’re releasing tiny snippets of the debate that they believe they can spin into anti-Krauss sentiment. Here’s a perfect example, Krauss’s reply to a question about the morality of …

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