Stem Cell Research

Sorry for the long absences, but my priorities lie elsewhere, especially since I’m not actively teaching these days. I will still post stuff, but it will be at a relaxed pace since I only have the time to write during random bouts of insomnia. Anyway, the topic here is stem …

Developmental Plasticity

Before starting, a small note: I currently have 4 time-consuming projects running in parallel, so updates will be sporadic. Sorry. In this post, we’ll look at how the environment can influence development, including phenotypic plasticity (what is an ecomorph?) and epigenetics. Also, for the first time ever, I will put …

Molecular Clocks, Part 4: Usefulness?

We’ve looked at the theory behind the molecular clock and at some results obtained using it. We saw that they don’t match the fossil record. But is this necessarily a bad thing or is it expected? This diagram (from the modern bird molecular clock paper [Free PDF!] I quoted earlier) …

Molecular Clocks, Part 2: Practice

Here we will look at how a molecular clock analysis is actually done (in no great detail). The first step is gathering molecular data. You have to choose relevant taxa and appropriate outgroups. The outgroups are basically there as a calibration. Then you choose what you will be basing your …

Molecular Clocks, Part 1: Hypothesis

This is meant as an introduction to the molecular clock hypothesis. As a disclaimer, I have to say that I am a zoologist and palaeontologist, not a specialist on genomes. Anything stated in this series is based in organismal biology. The molecular clock hypothesis was first proposed by Zuckerkandl and …