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Tag evolution

The life cycle of the enigmatic Trichoplax

Way back in 2008 I wrote a brief blog article about the sequencing of the genome of a rather poorly unusual organism, Trichoplax adhaerens (What the heck is a Placozoan, anyway?).  The interest there was that the genome had a… Continue Reading →

Darwin 200: Re-Reading "On the Origin of Species"

The journal Current Biology invited a number of prominent biologists from a number of disciplines to re-read Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and to write commentaries – they can be found at (Re)Reading The Origin. Charles Darwin’s 1859 book On… Continue Reading →

Neanderthal genome

After a bit of teasing in the blogosphere that the draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome would be released in time for Charles Darwin’s birthday this week, I was eagerly looking for a paper.  Instead what I find are three… Continue Reading →

In the Journals – Chemical evidence of multicellular life 635 million years ago

A paper in the current issue of Nature [Love et al (2009) Nature 457; 718-722] suggests that multicellular life existed about 100 million years before the explosion of bilaterian animals in the Cambrian. The evidence comes from analysis of rocks… Continue Reading →

Fossil foetal (proto-)whale

Quite a few of the bloggers at ScienceBlogs have been writing about an exciting new fossil find: a newly discovered fossil ancestor of whales.  The exciting thing here is that the fossil contains the remains of foetal whales.  Here’s the… Continue Reading →

Darwin 200 – Damian Hirst on Damian Hirst's 'Origins' cover

A short article at the Guardian (Damien Hirst salutes Darwin’s ‘courage’ in On the Origin of Species painting) initially passed me by.  It’s by Hirst himself, and he says nice things about Darwin.  Apparently the painting is called ""Human skull… Continue Reading →

Darwin 200 – Damian Hirst's 'Origins' cover

The new Peguin Books’ edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species… features a cover by celebrated/reviled (dependent on one’s opinion!) modern artist Damian Hirst. Now, while I quite like some (but not all) of Hirst’s work – and recall… Continue Reading →

Darwin 200 – Popular science writing

There’s been a bit of a rumpus echoing through the blogosphere following a series of pop sci articles about Darwin and his legacy (see for example this review of recent stories).  Generally, and presumably to attract readers, many make some… Continue Reading →

Darwin 200 – iconography of evolution

There’s been a profusion of articles in the popular press as he big Darwin anniversary swings into top gear.  Many of these make over-stated cases that Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection has been "shaken up", or "over-thrown" (see… Continue Reading →

Bryan Appleyard on Darwin and Evolution in The Times

Via the excellent Pharyngula blog, I came across this ridiculous article by Bryan Appleyard in The Times:  For God’s sake, have Charles Darwin’s theories made any difference to our lives? – published on 11th January (so I got to it… Continue Reading →

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