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Sep
13
comment How are the boundaries of a gene determined?
Just to clarify: we’re talking about protein-coding genes here, right? There are many more for which the methods are completely different.
Sep
13
comment Have proteins been observed to come into existence through mutations and natural selection?
The “real time” requirement is an incompatible criterion with the rest. It’s designed to make this question essentially unanswerable.
Sep
9
comment Microbiome Data
Purely computational questions are better suited for biostars.org
Sep
9
answered Is DNA mutation locally energetically stabilizing the DNA molecule
Sep
8
awarded  Cleanup
Sep
8
revised Robotic surgery for treating cancer?
rolled back to a previous revision
Sep
6
awarded  Nice Answer
Sep
5
comment Is “computational biology” different from “bioinformatics”?
I don’t think this definition is commonly agreed on. Where we work, most people are self-proclaimed bioinformaticians (heck, we even have it in the institute’s name) but according to this answer they’d be classified as computational biologists. They may also do the latter (because the topics are usually intrinsically linked) but the focus is definitely biological study, not development of tools.
Sep
5
comment What is the Edward O. Wilson fuss about?
@Abe I’m not an expert but as far as I know none of those actually requires group selection. Many phenomena are simply explainable by kin selection. And while we don’t have comprehensive explanations for large-scale phenomena such as religion etc., you can construct potential explanations without invoking group selection. Indeed, just because there’s interaction within and between groups involved doesn’t mean that evolutionary selection happens on the level of groups, just like genetic selection doesn’t happen on the level of individuals, it happens on the level of alleles.
Sep
4
comment What is a focal copy number variation?
You could probably even call an aneuploidy (variation in chromosome number) a CNV. So that’s pretty large-scale.
Sep
4
revised What is the Edward O. Wilson fuss about?
Speling & grammer. Duh.
Sep
3
answered What is the Edward O. Wilson fuss about?
Aug
30
comment Evolutionarily speaking, why do humans have 46 chromosomes
@nico Sure. What I meant was: given that our close ancestors had a different number of chromosomes, when/why did it change? That’s an interesting question, and essentially what OP is asking.
Aug
30
comment What kind of fruit is this?
So you can eat it? Damn, I wasted my childhood! I always walked by such a tree but was too afraid to try.
Aug
30
comment Evolutionarily speaking, why do humans have 46 chromosomes
@nico Sure, but there was certainly (some) selection on conserving the number. Normally, large-scale mutations such as chromosome fusions are immediately fatal and even when they are not they potentially prevent procreation with individuals which don’t have that mutation. So at least superficially there should be quite strong selective pressure to preserve ploidy.
Aug
27
comment What is an organism?
@ymar Sure. But a desert is not an organism which can proliferate by itself: mitochondria are restricted in their proliferation by the surrounding cell, but together with the cell they can proliferate beyond that single cell. The cod can proliferate more or less limitless within its biotope but the biotope itself isn’t an organism with which the cod can cooperate to reproduce further.
Aug
27
comment What is an organism?
@ymar Literally, proliferation without (theoretical) limit. Mitochondria can try as hard as they want, they cannot proliferate beyond their host cells. On the other hand, humans can theoretically proliferate to the bounds of the biosphere, which, itself, has no fixed bounds (except the edge of the Universe if you’re so inclined).
Aug
27
comment What is an organism?
@ymar No. They form an organism with their host cell. Endosymbionts are organisms but mitochondria are derived from endosymbionts. They are no longer endosymbionts (according to the common definition of the term).
Aug
27
revised What is an organism?
added 297 characters in body; added 48 characters in body; added 2 characters in body; added 95 characters in body
Aug
27
answered What is an organism?