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Jan
28
comment Why people like to see pornographic scenes, but do not feel the same about eating scenes?
@octern And yet I don’t see a multi-billion dollar industry around food videos. Sure there are cooking shows but their economic relevance compared to pornography … is … to say the least … you see?
Jan
28
comment Human evolution: Where *exactly* did the first human come from, whose parents were not?
@shigeta I’m uncertain – a single individual with a mutation does not a species make. That said, speciation can be fairly abrupt simply because (separated) subpopulations have to respond to sudden changes in environment.
Jan
28
revised Human evolution: Where *exactly* did the first human come from, whose parents were not?
deleted 1 characters in body
Jan
21
comment Refutation of Darwin's Random Evolution Theory
@user1909257 I think your stumbling block is that you don’t account for the vast time span involved. I’s very hard to grasp how much time evolution had. We can estimate the rate of evolution from experiments and observation, and let me tell you, even though evolution is happening really slowly, there was plenty of time since the beginning of the world. It’s simply unimaginable how old Earth is. The book Climbing Mount Improbable illustrates how tiny changes can accumulate over time.
Jan
4
comment What are the biological mechanisms behind the increase in cancer risk and alcohol consumption?
Am I missing something here or is it just for the rather obvious reason that alcohol is a strong cell toxin that, taken often, causes constant low-level inflammation and stress (and thus accumulating damage) in tissues?
Jan
4
comment Can cancer grow forever if supplied with unlimited resources?
@leonardo In my understanding most cancer cell lines are in fact not immortal. When they found that HeLa wasn’t dying they had in fact already been searching for an immortal cell line for quite some time without success, and finding HeLa was a big surprise.
Jan
4
comment Why is the frog genome so much larger than a fish's?
I think the last paragraph nails it (and, incidentally, the controversy about ENCODE’s 80% figure) – although intronic DNA is just a small part, much more is in repeat elements.
Jan
4
comment Why is the frog genome so much larger than a fish's?
I think this question, like at least a few others, is based on a misunderstanding of ENCODE’s use of the word “function”. Maybe we should have a kind of FAQ for that. (Disclaimer: I agree with their usage of the word. Others, e.g. Larry Moran, disagree – vehemently.)
Dec
18
awarded  Yearling
Dec
17
comment How to map the Gene name to its Gene Symbol?
Well, I agree that it’s a nuisance but we have stable identifiers (= don’t change) and services to translate between the different ones. It’s a solved problem (in that it may still require manual work, but not intellectual work).
Dec
17
answered How to map the Gene name to its Gene Symbol?
Dec
17
comment How to map the Gene name to its Gene Symbol?
“one of the greatest problems” – uh.
Dec
17
revised Why does the cold make us sick?
Typography
Nov
21
comment Can species back-evolve?
@Andrei I agree with your (implicit) points about cognition and, what Popper has termed, “world 3”. However, this is strictly outside of the scope of biological evolution (even though it’s a consequence). The “aim” of evolution is simply: to reproduce. This is the only measure of evolutionary fitness that counts. And by this measure, humans are usually not better, and sometimes worse, off than other species.
Nov
15
accepted How are antibodies designed?
Nov
15
comment How are antibodies designed?
@MattDMo Thanks for the info.
Nov
14
comment How are antibodies designed?
@MattDMo I know how the immune system does it. I was unclear of how you get from your choice antigen to a tailored antibody. KT8’s answer covers that (i.e. you do it by exposing an animal to your antigen and let its immune system do the work for you).
Nov
12
comment How are antibodies designed?
Very nice. However, where I’m still lacking understanding is the very first step, before the cloning process: how do you synthesise an antibody that binds to a target antigen?
Oct
13
comment How are the boundaries of a gene determined?
@ghchinoy Just as an example, I’m currently working on tRNA genes and since they’re using a different polymerase their promoter and termination site look markedly different. The same is true for all the other non-coding RNAs and then there are things like pseudogenes and LINEs/SINEs (those are not usually considered genes but due to their similarity to non-coding RNA genes they complicate the analysis). Still, there actually are bioinformatical methods to find those genes. They predominantly use motif search as far as I know.
Oct
2
awarded  Civic Duty