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In the Journals – 15 Evolutionary Gems

In this year of not only the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, but the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species, we can expect the major celebratory events to be countered by the usual mediaevally-minded creationist… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Reproductive isolation in Drosophila hybrids

Of the many questions in evolutionary biology, the genetic basis of reproductive isolation between species and subspecies is a pretty hot topic. Drosophila pseudoobscura is a new world Drosophila species that has been used in evolutionary biology studies for many… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Ayurvedic Rasayana therapy in brain aging

 While browsing through Biogerontology looking for the citation details of one of my publications (which appears to still be available only online), I came across this review, which kind of stands out because of its subject matter.  And any paper… Continue reading →

In the Journals – The strange origin of the Drosophila Y chromosome

The Y chromosome in Drosophila is a strange thing, and it has several unique features.  While, just as in humans, male flies are XY and females XX, flies differ in the the Y chomosome doesn’t determine “maleness”.  Rather the sex… Continue reading →

In the Journals – The origin of digits

Once again, I find myself interested in a paper about the analysis of a fossil! This time the point of interest is origin of the tetrapod limb digits. The origins of the proximal elements of the tetrapod limb are well… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Antimicrobial Defense in Insects

This recent paper caught my eye, as as some of my recent research has related to the regulation of antimicrobial defence in Drosophila.  Insects have a two ways of coping with microbial infection.  Firstly, microbes may be dealt with by… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Selfish Genetic Elements and Polyandry

This interesting paper investigates whether there is a relationship between polyandry and selfish genetic elements, in the fruit fly Drosophila pseudoobscura.  Polyandry – where females have multiple mating partners – is widespread in animals, but despite its frequency, little is… Continue reading →

Trace fossils and giant marine protists

The BBC has this report on an interesting marine biology discovery, relevant to explaining trace fossils.  Unfortunately it’s a bit vague (exemplified by its title – ‘Grape’ is key to fossil puzzle), and doesn’t have a link to the original research… Continue reading →

My Research: DmWRNexo is a 3'-5' exonuclease

The latest publication from our project investigating a Drosophila homologue of WRN exonuclease is now online.   Ivan Boubriak, Penelope A. Mason, David J. Clancy, Joel Dockray, Robert D. C. Saunders, Lynne S. Cox (2008). DmWRNexo is a 3′–5′ exonuclease: phenotypic… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Wolbachia infection and protection agaist viral infection in insects

 Wolbachia pipientis is a rather peculiar bacterium.  It’s an intracellular organism, and is found in a wide variety of tax, including nematodes, crustacea, and arachnids.  About 20% of insect species are thought to have Wolbachia.  Wolbachia has evolved a number… Continue reading →

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