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Jul
25
comment There aren't any animals like hornets that hunt large prey (like a rabbit, or even up to a deer), right? Why not?
@Kal: Do you really think that a swarm of hornets would be undetectable to a rabbit? Remember, as well, that even if this strategy would work first it has to evolve and for that you need to have functional, beneficial, intermediate steps - what do you think they could be?
Jul
24
comment There aren't any animals like hornets that hunt large prey (like a rabbit, or even up to a deer), right? Why not?
@Owen_R: The comparison between honey bees and hornets is moot; the comparison which is evolutionarily relevant is to investing their energy in hunting small prey as they do now. In order to start hunting large prey they need to get a benefit from ineffectually hunting these prey since they have not yet adapted to do it well.
Jul
23
comment Why and how does uniprot list ~150,000 proteins in the human genome?
The key point is that there are more proteins than genes because so many genes exist in multiple splice forms. You should not expect number of genes and number of proteins to match up.
Jun
23
comment Is there an advantage to antibacterial soap?
I'd note that less bacteria on your hands is not necessarily a good thing. The natural microbiome on your hands has noticeable protective effects.
Jun
10
comment Recessiveness of allele for protection of organism
Honestly, I think the whole concept of recessive and dominant is unhelpful when trying to understand genetics and we'd be better off teaching the concepts in this answer from the very start.
May
21
comment What is the point at which abiogenesis is complete and evolution begins?
Yeah, that's it. Although even then I'd be wary of assuming that there is a single clear line dividing life from non-life, so the exact end point of abiogenesis will be ill-defined.
Mar
22
comment Why are fruits so large compared to their seeds?
@MarchHo: Okay, fair point. What I mean is that it's not just that they have smaller seeds it's that these seeds are, as you say, totally non-viable.
Mar
22
comment Why are fruits so large compared to their seeds?
Just to note, the Cavendish banana, like all other edible bananas doesn't just have small seeds, it is seedless. In fact, all banana plants (of the same variety of banana) are genetic clones of one another produced by vegetative reproduction rather than sexual reproduction.
Mar
10
comment Reasons why living fossils exist?
@Jay: I'm sorry but I don't understand what you're asking?
Mar
5
comment Does DNA have the equivalent of IF-statements, WHILE loops, or function calls? How about GOTO?
Even in parallel programming languages, each statement in executed sequentially. It's just that there are multiple "threads" of execution going at the same time. DNA is neither data nor program. The analogy is totally inaccurate.
Mar
4
comment Does DNA have the equivalent of IF-statements, WHILE loops, or function calls? How about GOTO?
I'm not saying that DNA needs proteins to execute its functions; I'm saying DNA is fundamentally unlike computer code.
Mar
4
comment Does DNA have the equivalent of IF-statements, WHILE loops, or function calls? How about GOTO?
While your examples are clever I feel the analogy used here (DNA against computer code) is so very poor as to be misleading.
Feb
1
comment Why did life not evolve to use radio?
@DanDascalescu: (1) What do you mean there is no transmitter? Bats create the sound they listen for echoes of and (2) Bats' echolocation works by further evolution of the already-selected-for abilities to hear and make sounds.
Dec
3
comment Why only female mammals have well developed mammary glands?
I addressed your first point in the second paragraph. Male investment is high in humans, it is not in mammals in general and the dimorphism in mammaries did not evolve in humans. As to your second point, it's certainly true that males invest in reproduction to similar levels to females but in the individual offspring the investment is higher in the female.
Dec
2
comment Why only female mammals have well developed mammary glands?
Incidentally, the XY system is not used in all mammals so there is a slight lack of generality here.
Dec
2
comment Why only female mammals have well developed mammary glands?
I think this answer, while of decent quality, does not actually address the question the OP is asking. This is the mechanics of how there is a difference not the reasons why there is a difference.
Dec
1
comment Why are some fungi poisonous?
@Anixx: I'm not aware of such a claim and would be interested in a source? Even if it is true I am quite certain that those mushrooms will not be poisonous.
Nov
25
comment In males, why it is difficult to control orgasm?
Both men and women can learn to control orgasm for prolonged periods. It is a reasonably common part of BDSM sexual practices to insist that the 'sub' requests permission before orgasming.
Nov
5
comment When writing about past research should I use the species name they employed or the modern version?
I think you're confusing more than one thing here. Campylobacter fetus is the correct, current, internationally recognised name for the species. Like many species, it has been moved to a different genus than it was originally assigned to. The principle of priority applies when the same species has been identified by different researchers.
Sep
23
comment How many humans have been in my lineage? Is it almost the same for every human currently living?
@Joe: It's a model. Any model will be, by it's nature, limited. The limitations are discussed in the paper, as is there potential impacts on the resulting number.