Search found 466 matches

by Interactive Civilian
Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Famous genetic sequences?
Replies: 5
Views: 1767

Re: Famous genetic sequences?

I don't know any famous sequences, but as an Easter Egg, you could try to spell out words in Genetic Code based on the one letter abbreviations of the amino acids. For example, a common swear word could have the following code: TCCCATATTACG :mrgreen: I highly doubt anyone would get it, though. ;)
by Interactive Civilian
Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:50 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Dirty Finger problem.
Replies: 13
Views: 3008

Re: The Dirty Finger problem.

One thing to note: unless you are keeping the "clean" hand in some kind of sealed chamber or at the very least a sealed glove (in which case it would be pretty easy to distinguish which hand is which), then even without it really touching stuff, it is picking up its fair share of germs any...
by Interactive Civilian
Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:55 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Most recent common ancestor between strangers?
Replies: 22
Views: 7883

Re: Most recent common ancestor between strangers?

Ouch. It appears I was completely wrong and using ideas from an outdated model. My apologies, and I retract my previous. I would like to point out that both my earlier estimate (which would quite possibly have been accurate if they hadn't slaughtered all of the Tazmanians :p ) and the estimates in t...
by Interactive Civilian
Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:51 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Most recent common ancestor between strangers?
Replies: 22
Views: 7883

Re: Most recent common ancestor between strangers?

I do know the most recent common ancestor of all humans lived about two to four thousand years ago. Unless you are a creationist who flat out rejects evidence, this is absolutely wrong. You are off by an order of magnitude. To explain by way of example from Dawkins's "The Ancestor's Tale"...
by Interactive Civilian
Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:43 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Help with DIY and Amateur Biology
Replies: 8
Views: 2260

Re: Help with DIY and Amateur Biology

[edit] All that said, I'm really sorry that your current learning environment is turning you off to biology, because biology is AWESOME. 8) Hope you can stick with it and learn enough on your own to keep you up to speed and hopefully still loving it. Don't give up, because the study of life is just...
by Interactive Civilian
Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:24 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Help with DIY and Amateur Biology
Replies: 8
Views: 2260

Re: Help with DIY and Amateur Biology

Don't know how small or big you want to start, but I always find that paying a little extra attention to your surroundings and rediscovering nature and the living world all around you is often a great re-motivator. And, luckily, there's an app for that. ;) Project NOAH Considering your rant, don't l...
by Interactive Civilian
Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:39 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life
Replies: 12
Views: 4014

Re: Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life

chenille wrote:Is this really something people are wondering about?

As I understand it, the only thing most people are wondering about is how the heck it managed to get published in the first place. :?
by Interactive Civilian
Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:36 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life
Replies: 12
Views: 4014

Re: Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life

Let's see, 66 pages of actual text with 41 pages of references for a "theory ... based upon a straightforward and non-mathematical core model" (quoted from the abstract)... The first table in the document is basically a glossary you will need to learn to even attempt to comprehend what the...
by Interactive Civilian
Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:24 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How can I obtain hard-to-get papers?
Replies: 14
Views: 2783

Re: How can I get hard to get papers?

In your google scholar searches, make sure to click the "All # Versions" link if there is more than one version; sometimes you'll find a direct link to a PDF of a paper you want. Otherwise, the best you can do is find friends or acquaintances online who have access and are willing to email...
by Interactive Civilian
Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:55 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Life origins problem
Replies: 50
Views: 6705

Re: Life origins problem

During an astrobiology course I took last year I heard a pretty convincing argument against panspermia: time. Since the beginning of the universe there probably hasn't been enough time to allow the evolution of (pre-)life elsewhere in the universe and the traversing of what is most likely an enormo...
by Interactive Civilian
Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:15 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Great animations of molecular biology
Replies: 2
Views: 1094

Re: Great animations of molecular biology

If you want to see more of Drew Berry's work, head over to WEHI-TV.

It has the full Body Code video, from which some footage was used in the TED talk. There are also some other excellent videos, like the ones on apoptosis and insulin/diabetes. Good stuff.
by Interactive Civilian
Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:28 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Motion mountain: crackpot?
Replies: 28
Views: 18751

Re: Motion mountain: crackpot?

By the way, if the OP is still looking for introductory textbooks about physics (or many other subjects), why not check out CK12.org. It's basically open access textbooks, and my experience with their biology books has been pretty good.
by Interactive Civilian
Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:28 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Another Question About Evolution
Replies: 3
Views: 1133

Re: Another Question About Evolution

Yes, this seems to be the case. I'll point you to the wikipedia article on Evolvability as a jumping off point. :) Many thanks... interesting. I can't see anything suggesting that rates of mutation might be adaptive (although the section on Robustness comes close), but it seems to fit my question e...
by Interactive Civilian
Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Another Question About Evolution
Replies: 3
Views: 1133

Re: Another Question About Evolution

tomandlu wrote:Since the ability to evolve is itself a useful trait (almost universally, one of the few), does that mean evolution (or at least the mechanisms that allow evolution) itself evolves?


Yes, this seems to be the case. I'll point you to the wikipedia article on Evolvability as a jumping off point. :)
by Interactive Civilian
Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:18 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is there a set amount of Water on the Earth?
Replies: 16
Views: 3014

Re: Is there a set amount of Water on the Earth?

Most certainly not. Since photosynthesis involves the breaking of water into it's components to build complex molecules, and most (but not all) life relies on these complex molecules that result from photosynthesis for energy, the total biomass of life on this planet represents a deficit in the amo...
by Interactive Civilian
Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:12 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favorate classical discovery?
Replies: 5
Views: 1581

Re: Favorate classical discovery?

Mendel's discovery of particular-ate inheritance (of at least some traits) and Darwin & Wallace's elucidation of evolution by natural selection are probably my top choices. However, the discovery of Neptune due solely to the predictions made by Newtonian mechanics is also one of my big favorites...
by Interactive Civilian
Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:32 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why Are Space Elevators Always "100 Years Away"?
Replies: 32
Views: 6586

Re: Why Are Space Elevators Always "100 Years Away"?

We won't be able to build a space elevator until a good time after we have a well established industrial infrastructure in space. You'll need to build the cable from geosynch. down, and you will probably need to capture an asteroid in order to do it (for raw materials and a base of construction). Fo...
by Interactive Civilian
Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:38 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is the big bang really the beginning of time?
Replies: 38
Views: 4701

Re: Is the big bang really the beginning of time?

Space and time are interconnected as Space-time, according to relativity. If that is correct, then, as it was the beginning of space, yes, the Big Bang was the beginning of time. Trying to have time before the big bang is like trying to have space with a volume less than zero. At least, that is my u...
by Interactive Civilian
Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:11 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Eye transplant
Replies: 69
Views: 6196

Re: Eye transplant

Let's make a "consider a spherical cow on a frictionless plane" style assumption. ;) Assume: You are somehow able to transplant the eye perfectly with a 1 to 1 matching of axons in the optic nerve. If you could do that, and the transplanted eye had receptors sensitive enough to UV and a le...
by Interactive Civilian
Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:36 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Memes vs. Genes and the nature of life
Replies: 15
Views: 2587

Re: Memes vs. Genes and the nature of life

So, why are viruses not alive? Well, like you said, life is an emergent property of self-organising chemical reactions. Viruses do not fit into this description. On their own, viruses don't really do anything. They do not really have any chemistry. They are effectively inert unless they come into c...
by Interactive Civilian
Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Memes vs. Genes and the nature of life
Replies: 15
Views: 2587

Re: Memes vs. Genes and the nature of life

I'm thinking that life isn't an emergent property, simply because I can't find a definition of life that draws a clean line anywhere between things that are alive and things which have no trace of life . (emphasis mine) But that is precisely what you would expect of an emergent property. It arises ...
by Interactive Civilian
Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:39 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Memes vs. Genes and the nature of life
Replies: 15
Views: 2587

Re: Memes vs. Genes and the nature of life

TrlstanC wrote:I think the point is that life is a fundamental feature of our universe.

How can an emergent property be a fundamental feature of a system?
by Interactive Civilian
Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:38 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What are some good scientific journals for free online?
Replies: 6
Views: 1863

Re: What are some good scientific journals for free online?

One of the best is the Public Library of Science . They've got several open access journals in a few different fields and they are definitely the rising star of high quality peer reviewed open access research publishing. There's a lot of amazing research to read there, mostly in biology, genetics, a...
by Interactive Civilian
Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:18 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Memes vs. Genes and the nature of life
Replies: 15
Views: 2587

Re: Memes vs. Genes and the nature of life

The distinctions we make between living and non-living things are not arbitrary, they are based on real, significant differences. While I generally agree with you on most points, I will have to disagree with you here. Definitions of life and the boundary between living in non-living certainly IS ar...
by Interactive Civilian
Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Books on Genetics
Replies: 7
Views: 1280

Re: Books on Genetics

Then I'd say definitely start with a textbook. The one I mentioned above, "Essentials of the Living World" is very readable (as I was trying out different possible textbooks for my classes, I spent a weekend just reading it and enjoying it), and it will get you back up to speed on everythi...
by Interactive Civilian
Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:26 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Books on Genetics
Replies: 7
Views: 1280

Re: Books on Genetics

If you read any more Dawkins (and if you haven't read it yet), you need to read "The Selfish Gene". It really does a great job giving a "genes'-eye view" of evolution, and greatly expands on the few points he touched upon in "The Ancestor's Tale" (great book, by the way...
by Interactive Civilian
Fri May 20, 2011 5:04 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Testing survey (test subjects needed!)
Replies: 11
Views: 1840

Re: Testing survey (test subjects needed!)

Took the test. Please post your results and analysis when you have them. I'm rather interested to see what you make of things. Obviously don't read the following if you haven't taken the test, unless you don't intend to participate I had no idea the test was timed until it cut me off while I was wor...
by Interactive Civilian
Thu May 05, 2011 10:52 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Things that don't move shouldn't be considered alive
Replies: 50
Views: 6248

Re: Things that don't move shouldn't be considered alive

However, their complexity does raise the question of their being alive, and how the HELL they fit into evolutionary theory. As imperfect replicators made of the same genetic material used for heredity in all known life on Earth, they fit just fine. Theories of Evolution have no problems with viruse...
by Interactive Civilian
Tue May 03, 2011 1:50 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How come there are no beneficial diseases?
Replies: 69
Views: 12803

Re: How come there are no beneficial diseases?

I'm unaware of any human genes that are used for mitochondria, but wouldn't be terribly surprised if there were surface magigits that were used now. How do you draw a distinction between a "human" gene and not, especially when considering that DNA from the original endosymbiont has been i...
by Interactive Civilian
Mon May 02, 2011 2:02 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How come there are no beneficial diseases?
Replies: 69
Views: 12803

Re: How come there are no beneficial diseases?

The mitochondria's DNA which has been incorporated into our own DNA (which I'm a bit fuzzy on the exact how) According to genetic evidence among many bacterial (and archaea) groups, they have always been champions at horizontal gene transfer. Exchanging genes with the host cell would not have been ...
by Interactive Civilian
Mon May 02, 2011 5:18 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I'm doing science, and I need test subjects.
Replies: 79
Views: 10830

Re: I'm doing science, and I need test subjects.

Both your login name and the URL are going to bias results, I think. Unless that is what you are testing. :? Don't unspoil the following if you plan on participating but haven't yet... My thinking went something like this. "Name the first vegetable you think of" -> Me: "Tomato... wait...
by Interactive Civilian
Sun May 01, 2011 4:14 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Things that don't move shouldn't be considered alive
Replies: 50
Views: 6248

Re: Things that don't move shouldn't be considered alive

That caused me to rethink these questions, but my ultimate conclusion was that genes are no more fundamental than any other element of the system. Dawkins famously said that an organism is just a gene's way of making more genes, but we could as easily say that a gene is just a protein's way of maki...
by Interactive Civilian
Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:02 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Things that don't move shouldn't be considered alive
Replies: 50
Views: 6248

Re: Things that don't move shouldn't be considered alive

i remeber being taught a mnemonic at school about what makes something alive, just looked it up, it was MRS GREN (Movement; Respiration: Sensitivity; Growth; Reproduction; Excretion; Nutrition) http://www.sambal.co.uk/mrsgren.html That mnemonic will include most of what we consider life, so for a s...
by Interactive Civilian
Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Things that don't move shouldn't be considered alive
Replies: 50
Views: 6248

Re: Things that don't move shouldn't be considered alive

A a biologist I consider anything to be alive if it can: ~snip~ However, as said before, definitions are artificial and there is no distinct line between what is and is not truly alive. Indeed. As an example of that flexibility, you almost need to make an artificial distinction between viruses and,...
by Interactive Civilian
Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:37 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Death of all Regnum Plantae
Replies: 27
Views: 2442

Re: Death of all Regnum Plantae

Oh, WOW! My apologies, then. The mind has difficulty grasping such large orders of magnitude on occasion. :shock:

Thanks for the correction. :)
by Interactive Civilian
Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:21 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Death of all Regnum Plantae
Replies: 27
Views: 2442

Re: Death of all Regnum Plantae

I looked in wikipedia, so I don't really trust the numbers, but apparently, total sunpower is about 170e15W, and energy captured by photosynthesis only around 100e12W. The difference shouldn't be huge. I'm not sure that's a valid comparison. It looks like you are comparing the total output of the s...
by Interactive Civilian
Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:46 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Death of all Regnum Plantae
Replies: 27
Views: 2442

Re: Death of all Regnum Plantae

Huh... I wonder if there's any non-photosynthesizing microbe that produces oxygen... They'd probably suddenly do really, really well. They would only do well if they also fix carbon dioxide into organic molecules. Producing oxygen is just a by-product of photosynthesis, a means (by way of stripping...
by Interactive Civilian
Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:44 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Skydiver
Replies: 39
Views: 4210

Re: Skydiver

If your chute doesn't open, chances are you will be dead no matter what. Landing on a slope and tumbling may allow you to survive as it will be a gentler deceleration than the sudden stop of landing a flat surface like water or land (if you think water is going to just give way and let you through, ...
by Interactive Civilian
Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:46 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: RNA primer during DNA replication
Replies: 13
Views: 4243

Re: RNA primer during DNA replication

Or just remember that polymerases always add a new nucleotide onto the 3' end of a growing chain. That's true for both RNA and DNA polymerases. The former can start new chains with the first nucleotide, while the latter can only add to a pre-existing chain, but either way the new nucleotides always...
by Interactive Civilian
Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:02 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why are there so few great apes?
Replies: 18
Views: 2739

Re: Why are there so few great apes?

The *bigger* issue is that quantitatively speaking, the entire taxonomy above even at the species level is essentially arbitrary. The way we have it set up under the Linnean system preserves (ideally) branches of evolutionary history, but what makes a genus, and what makes a family is basically jus...

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