Monday, October 8, 2012

Repost: CoE #37

The Carnival of Evolution #37- Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all you other Canadians. I haven't ever done a carnival before, but unfortunately if things go the way they are going multiple blog carnivals will face extinction before we have even seen them, I may never get a shot at doing it again, that is true for me, for instance I never had seen "I and the bird" until last month's CoE and that is why I am going to post this brief excerpt from the last edition at Greg Laden's Blog which I totally agree with:
Do you have a facebook account? Good. Open up a selection of the following posts and if you like them or find them interesting, post them on your wall. Let your facebook friends see some of this interesting blogging. Do you tweet? Then tweet them! Oh, and go ahead and facebook-share and tweet this very carnival. Stumble, Digg, Reddit, Whatever. The idea is go get the word out that there is some interesting stuff to read, about evolution, on the intertubes. We want Evolution Blogging to be more linky and socially networked than other topics such as, well, creationism for example.
I have made the following categories for this edition of the CoE (thanks to past writers for the ideas):
  1. Evolution in Action.
  2. Predicting, Correcting, and Reconfirming
  3. Phylogeny and Systematics.
  4. "Controversy" and Education (creationism, etc)
  5. Genes and Molecular Biology.
  6. Applied Evolution and Computation.
  7. Darwin and history.
  8. The Ecological Connection and Extinction.
  9. Miscellaneous.
Thank you for your time, with no further ado, lets begin.
Evolution in Action
  First of all, we have a post from Empirical Zeal called "Why Moths lost there spots, and cats don't like milk. Tales of evolution in our time." It discusses to examples of evolution in action, these are the peppered moths (apparently the origins of carbonaria forms has been found in their genome) and the evolution of adult digestibility of milk is also discussed. I was tempted to place this in the Molecular biology section, places that would have suited this post just as well.
  Over at the Mermaid's Tale they discussed earlier this month the two mutations involved in the evolution of the deadly E .coli responsible for the outbreak in Europe.
  How have viruses changed to vaccines? This is an interesting subject especially in this example where it has become evolutionarily advantageous to be more virulent in chickens (more interesting than I make it sound).
Predicting, Correcting, and Reconfirming
  So you wanted to hear about chemical warfare in the cocktails of fruit fly ejaculate? No you say? Well here is what I would describe as almost the most significant post of this Carnival edition from Empirical Zeal, I give you "Flies alter their ejaculate to get the most bang for your buck".
  Also from Empirical Zeal, the origins of sex and a brilliant confirmation of the Red Queen Hypothesis, an interesting story of ducks and snails evolving to outwit a hoard of platitudinous Platyhelminthes.
Phylogeny and Systematics
  The tree of life has long represented evolution, but an article at "Byte Size Biology" suggests this is a false image because of the amount of endosymbiosis, I personally always thought the coral (which I believe to have heard to be Darwin's own suggestion) was a better model.
"Controversy" and Education
  Over at the Dispersal of Darwin we see a post dealing with quote-mining in a newspaper close to where said author lives.
  Over at "Evolving Thoughts" they are discussing the often loaded question; "Do you "believe" in evolution?" and it's implications.
  Over at Pleiotropy, crossing fitness valleys, and how the ID advocates are totally misunderstanding the concept of epistasis, it is amazing how much they can warp a notion to be favourable to them.
Genes and Molecular Biology
  "Beacon" a NSF centre for the study of evolution in action had this interesting article by a researcher trying to confirm hypothesis' discussing why proteins conferring immunity to colicin are so diverse, even though they are extremely vital (normally meaning they stay with what works instead of changing too much). This is a real controversy in evolutionary biology, discussing an important issue, a breath of fresh air after discussing the all too familiar creationist lunatics.
Applied Evolution and Computation
  In the Beacon there is a story about Digital Organisms and how it is possible to make them evolve, they were inspired by a book called "Prey" by Michael Crichton, a book I was planning on reading until someone through my copy in the river from what I saw it is a great book.
Darwin and History
  Have you ever wondered what Darwin would have had on his book shelf? What collections of writers would have had the opportunity to get into his life? Well now it is online, a significant portion of his personal books have been put online in Darwin's Virtual Library, go over to this post at the Dispersal of Darwin for more details.
The Ecological Connection and Extinction
  Over at the Mermaids Tale in a post labeled "Evolutionary Cascade" Anne Buchnan discusses the implications of our environmental impacts on the world and how it could lead to a cascade of extinctions after you remove just a few species that are important to the eco-system causing "eco-quakes".
  Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution is True has been discussing the neutral theory of ecology, a theory that is complex but recently has been put on trial by the President of the American Society of Naturalists.
  Now to NeuroDojo where we look at how the introduction of invasive species and how even in amphibians, reptiles braininess is a favourable feature if you are planning on invading, incept in Australia.
  Showing an interesting case of mutualistic symbiosis in plants and ants, "Denim and Tweed" shows how if you offer free lunches you don't always get payed for them...
  This post at Beacon describes how we study soil bacterium, metagenomics, how they are involved in the nitrogen cycle and how they react to fertilizers, this technical article may interest many, if you think you can deal with technical language this article is for you.
  From"Books and Beasts" we find a review of the recent "Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle". I had heard very little about the book until this but this review sparked my interest, I will be sure to buy the book given the opportunity.
  Thanks to "Byte Size Biology" we can look at "Zombie Science Round up" a look at forms of zombie making wasps and fungi who effect insects.
  NeuroDojo has some interesting looks at warning colours in mammals, I for one before this could not think of any warning colourations I had seen I had seen in mammals (incept perhaps the skunk).
  Anyways, here is a self-proclaimed physicalist perspective of behaviour, I think it is pretty interesting although still at issue, take a look.
 Ever wondered what material is rejected from the Carnival of Evolution? See here for one crazy, sexist example.

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