Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

Science In The News: Jan 28, 2009


Natural Selection Not The Only Porcess That Drives Evolution?

“The researchers identified fast evolving human genes by comparing our genome with those of other primates. However, surprisingly, the patterns of molecular evolution in many of the genes they found did not contain signals of natural selection. Instead, their evidence suggests that a separate process known as BGC (biased gene conversion) has speeded up the rate of evolution in certain genes. This process increases the rate at which certain mutations spread through a population, regardless of whether they are beneficial or harmful.”


January 28, 2009 Posted by | evolution, News, science | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Science In The News: Turtle, Hamsters, and Babies

1) New fossil provide insights into the evolutionary origins of the turtle shell.

“Over millions of years, rows of protective armour plates gradually fused together and to the reptile’s vertebrae, eventually creating a complete shell.”

2) Hamsters reveal details about the role of the circadian clock in memory.

“Working with Siberian hamsters, biologist Norman Ruby has shown that having a functioning circadian system is critical to the hamsters’ ability to remember what they have learned. Without it, he said, “They can’t remember anything.””

3) Infants seem to be capable of distinguishing happy music from sad music.

“One of the first things babies understand communicatively is emotion, so for them the melody is the message,” Flom said. “Our study showed that by nine months, babies are categorizing songs as happy or sad the same way that preschoolers and adults do”

– Chalmer

October 9, 2008 Posted by | biology, science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment