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I am currently working towards a PhD in microbial genetics. Before that I spent a bit over a decade working as a programmer, with most of that time spent writing computer games. I have degrees in Mathematics (MMath), Life Sciences (BSc) and Molecular Genetics (MSc).


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.
Sep
23
comment How many humans have been in my lineage? Is it almost the same for every human currently living?
@Joe: It's not my claim. It's the number given in the primary literature source I linked to. Other estimates exist but even then they only push it back to around 8000 years ago, still a small period of time in comparison to the time since the human/chimp split.
Sep
23
comment How many humans have been in my lineage? Is it almost the same for every human currently living?
@MooingDuck: Perhaps you'd like to read the link I gave.
Sep
22
comment How many humans have been in my lineage? Is it almost the same for every human currently living?
Apparently I fail at cut-and-paste, corrected.
Sep
2
comment Collective name for the X- and Z-chromosomes
While your point about hetero/homo is valid, I think that it's likely to be a more readily understood and less confusing term than major/minor.
Sep
2
comment Collective name for the X- and Z-chromosomes
I'm not a fan of this usage since the mechanism of function varies so widely and the major/minor distinction implies something about the functional role of the two types.
Aug
13
comment Why is oxygen needed for the electron transfer phosphorylation?
@GreekFellows: It depends on the anaerobic process you're thinking about. In anaerobic respiration there is a terminal receptor and electron transfer; however the majority (I think) of anaerobic energy production is not respiration but rather the shortened process you are thinking of.
Jul
30
comment “Same” DNA vs genes
It is not a duplicate of the marked question; that question only considers genes vs. DNA - this question asks about the conflict between 50% of genes being shared with siblings and 99% of DNA with chimps.
Jul
29
comment “Same” DNA vs genes
Sorry, I should have specified: the bolded bit of the answer is completely and utterly wrong. In fact the sequence similarity between chimps and humans is higher for genes than for non-coding DNA as you should expect. The rest of the answer is fine.
Jul
29
comment “Same” DNA vs genes
The proportion of the genome that is coding has absolutely nothing to do with the answer to this question. The same conditions would hold for, say, yeast which has a much higher C-value.
Jul
14
comment Which phylum appeared most recently
Actually, I've decided I was wrong about most phyla being clearly paraphyletic. I think it's true, but we don't have the direct evidence needed for many phyla. The Echiura and Spinuncula group inside the Annelida.
Jul
14
comment To what extent is it possible to understand if a bacteria can produce a protein? (in silico only!)
Are you talking about whether the Bacterium naturally produces a protein or whether it could express a particular protein?
May
20
comment Evolutionarily speaking, why do humans have 46 chromosomes
It seems to me this answers the 'how' question but not the 'why' question. I would guess the answer to 'why' is random chance but there could be a selective advantage? Is there any evidence either way?
Mar
31
comment Effect on fitness of mutations
@fileunderwater: If it's left skewed and has a central spike at an exact value it therefore will be poorly approximated by any take on the normal distribution.
Mar
28
comment How does the creative process of Biological Evolution work?
@LotusBiology: When you rock up repeating a bunch of creationist misinformation using creationist language I'm going to assume you're a creationist. Trotting out "religion of evolution" in your response doesn't make me think this is any less likely.
Mar
27
comment How does the creative process of Biological Evolution work?
Creationism is off-topic on Biology SE.
Feb
5
comment Can you answer Ray Comfort's question on Biological Evolution?
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about Creationism.
Jan
13
comment Do humans have enough biological differences to be grouped into races or subspecies?
@Herman: No, although that can also be a factor. Have a look at this image - bit.ly/1iHOMss - and note how there is no clade that includes both Africans but not the Europeans. This is because the European population is a subpopulation of the African population. The two African populations shown are as different from each other as the European population can be from the first African population. In reality, there are many more distinct African populations than shown here.
Jan
13
comment Do humans have enough biological differences to be grouped into races or subspecies?
@Herman: Evolution follows a branching, hierarchical structure (broadly, it's more complicated than that) and Europeans group within the various African populations, i.e., they're essentially a subpopulation of a particular African population.
Jan
13
comment Do humans have enough biological differences to be grouped into races or subspecies?
@Herman, from the answer to the question you link "So to sum up, DNA analysis can tell the gender, skin color, and eye color of the suspect, but very little about height and weight, and virtually nothing about age."