Category Archives: Uncategorized

Herbert West

Just ran into an interesting question from a biology problem set: ” Using the laws of thermodynamics, explain why it’s impossible to re-animate organisms that have died ( making Frankenstein’s monster and zombies impossible so we don’t have to worry … Continue reading

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Homo Japonicus

Near glacial maxima, archaic humans could have walked to Japan, so they surely did. Elephants made it. Most of the time, even in the ice ages,  Japan was fairly isolated. Maybe the northern path through Sakhalin was open  (although glaciated) … Continue reading

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LINEs, SINEs, and Sundaland

Maybe ten years ago,  Henry was analyzing some retrotransposons, sequences that randomly make and insert more copies of themselves. These mutations are statistically simpler in some ways that nucleotide substitutions:  insertions are unique. Henry had gotten some sign reversed while … Continue reading

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No, No, Not Rogov!

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If  Amerindians had a lot fewer serious infectious diseases than Old Worlders, something else had to limit population – and it wasn’t the Pill. Surely there was more death by violence. In principle they could have sat down and quietly … Continue reading

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Early reading

There are a few small children, mostly girls, that learn to read very early. You read stories to them and before you know they’re reading by themselves. By very early, I men age 3 or 4. Does this happen in … Continue reading

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Genetic Canalization

“Canalization is the reduced sensitivity of a phenotype to changes or perturbations in the underlying genetic and nongenetic factors that determine its expression. ” as long as environmental ( or genetic) perturbations aren’t too large, they have little effect. Makes … Continue reading

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