Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sagar's New and Hot (Week 6)

During the recent Republican debate, a moderator asked Senator McCain whether or not he believes in evolution and then asked the entire field the same question. The short clip can be found on youtube here . Although the transcript has already been posted, I think actually seeing it being played out makes it easier to take the journey. One interesting note about the three Republicans who raised their hands against evolution is that it seems that none of them intend to actively pursue placing intelligent design into science classes. This question arose in this article and Huckabee, one of the three candidates, responded that he does not expect public schools to teach creationism.

On to a more scientific new and hot: the first marsupial genome has been completely mapped!!!! And the lucky marsupial is none other than the lucky opposum. It was found that that oppossum has 18,000 to 20,000 protein coding genes, many of which have counterparts in placental mammals. When scientists looked at the newer elements of the human genome that are not present in marsupials, they found that 95% of the new changes did not affect protein coding genes but rather the regions of the genome that regulate gene activity. This means that lots of recent (and by recent I mean from 180 million years ago to now) evolution has involved regulating genes differently rather than making or altering protein coding genes. The article can be found here . Check it out!

Also here is my review of Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle.

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