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Feb
27
comment What can you tell about a person, having only their whole genome as information?
@nico True, as far as pieces of information are concerned. But as far as the information content goes, the numbers work out. Note that in information theory the information content is a logarithm of the number of different possible outcomes. Same here.
Feb
26
comment How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored?
“the analogy to an electrical circuit breaks down here” – it’s not really an analogy, and it doesn’t break down. This is how the brain works: not an analogy, but rather the actual mechanism. The only part missing is the dynamics in structure.
Feb
26
comment What can you tell about a person, having only their whole genome as information?
The first paragraph is (unintentionally?) misleading since you cannot extrapolate from the 0.00001% and conclude that the genome holds 10000-fold more information than 23andme is using: they are obviously picking their 0.00001% rather carefully. Given that there’s a SNP about every 100 bases, this then is the total increase of information you could gain about a single person – that is, a factor 100 over what 23andme is currently offering, not 10000.
Feb
26
comment What can you tell about a person, having only their whole genome as information?
More every day.
Feb
20
comment Defining paper(s) in epigenetics
Disappointingly, the papers so far all highlight the heritability of epigenetics whose usefulness is rather limited, rather than epigenetics itself.
Feb
14
comment What is the distinction between F' plasmid and R plasmid?
Can’t help myself …relevant (but here the better word would be “explanation”). Ed Yong thinks to, too.
Feb
14
answered What's the advantage of autocrine signalling?
Feb
14
comment Can protein structure be determined by X-Ray Diffraction in a single image?
@MadScientist I think the implication is that superimposed images are also used in EM to reconstruct the structure. The case is somewhat different of course since EM in general doesn’t use crystallised structures so that the proteins in the image don’t all have the same orientation, which is crucial.
Feb
13
comment Do humans have Coelom?
@Masi Well, where is the mesoderm in an adult human? Or any other adult animal? As far as I know, all of these definitions apply to (some stage of) embryo development. Not only for humans and not only for vertebrates but in general.
Feb
12
revised Do humans have Coelom?
More precise answer, not only based on phylogeny (flawed).
Feb
12
answered Do humans have Coelom?
Feb
7
awarded  Nice Question
Feb
7
awarded  Scholar
Feb
7
accepted How many times did life emerge from the ocean?
Feb
7
comment How many times did life emerge from the ocean?
Perfect, this is exactly the kind of answer I’d hoped for.
Feb
7
awarded  Editor
Feb
7
revised How many times did life emerge from the ocean?
Adapted the title as suggested in answer
Feb
6
awarded  Critic
Feb
6
comment Is it the case that all changes in phenotype during life are not inheritable?
–1, the paper didn’t actually provide evidence of epigenetic inheritance in any meaningful sense of the word, as is the more general conclusion: so far as we know, there is no single naturally occurring case of passing on of acquired traits. This isn’t unthinkable (see Prader-Willi syndrome), but remains yet to be demonstrated. I’ve written my take on the subject on Skeptics.SE: skeptics.stackexchange.com/a/7338/82
Feb
6
awarded  Student