Melville on Science vs. Creation Myth

From Melville's under-appreciated Mardi: On a quest for his missing love Yillah, an AWOL sailor...

Non-coding DNA Function... Surprising?

The existence of functional, non-protein-coding DNA is all too frequently portrayed as a great...

Yep, This Should Get You Fired

An Ohio 8th-grade creationist science teacher with a habit of branding crosses on his students'...

No, There Are No Alien Bar Codes In Our Genomes

Even for a physicist, this is bad: Larry Moran, in preparation for the appropriate dose of ridicule...

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Michael WhiteRSS Feed of this column.

Welcome to Adaptive Complexity, where I write about genomics, systems biology, evolution, and the connection between science and literature, government, and society.

I'm a biochemist

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Last fall I had a chance to hear a presentation by Doug Berg, a microbiologist here at Washington University. Berg's work is a great combination of new technology, genomics and evolution, and it happens to also have potential medical relevance. He's studying the evolution of drug resistance in Helicobacter pylori, a usually benign bacterium that is responsible for stomach ulcers. (Recall that the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded in 2005 to Barry Marshall and Robin Warren for their discovery of the link between H.

Tom Friedman, in his Friday's NY Times column (subscription required) comments on Walter Isaacson's new biography of Einstein and asks:

"If Einstein were alive today and learned science the boring way it is taught in so many U.S. schools, wouldn’t he have ended up at a Wall Street hedge fund rather than developing theories of relativity for a Nobel Prize?"

Just recently Science published the paper describing the latest primate genome - the rhesus macaque genome. (Check out Science's macaque website for some good (and free) articles on the subject.) Sequencing a large genome like this one is resource intensive (unlike microbial genomes, which are now easily and routinely sequenced), so why did scientists sequence yet another primate genome? In addition to the human genome we already have the chimp genome, and we also have several non-primate mammalian genomes - the mouse, rat, cow, dog, and opossum genomes. Is this a good use of our money?