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revised Why “broad” instead of “large” cross-immunoreactivity?
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revised Is there a name for the evolutionary loss of vestigial structures?
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comment Is there a name for the evolutionary loss of vestigial structures?
Your examples are fine, but in general you should try to avoid "just-so" stories when considering evolutionary events. The truth is always a combination of the kinds of reasons you listed. The most you can say for sure are post-hoc phenomenological observations, ie "The fitness of the population which lost its tails increased relative to the fitness of the population which retained them".
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answered Is there a name for the evolutionary loss of vestigial structures?
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comment Is there a name for the evolutionary loss of vestigial structures?
Natural selection?
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comment Why “broad” instead of “large” cross-immunoreactivity?
@canadianer Stone correctly identified a scientific buzzword by its somewhat awkward placement. This is not about general English usage.
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answered Why “broad” instead of “large” cross-immunoreactivity?
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comment Do DNA supply houses maintain a watch list for dangerous oligos (Anthrax, Smallpox, etc.)?
@chris But this is kind of pointless when you know how to handle and manipulate DNA. Yeah, that's my real question: how could such a list even work? How would it handle silent mutations? How would it handle SNPs, or other mutations easily fixed with PCR? Combinations of SNPs?
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asked Do DNA supply houses maintain a watch list for dangerous oligos (Anthrax, Smallpox, etc.)?
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Jan
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comment Why is ATP the main nucleoside triphosphate used to exchange energy?
In terms of experiments, you could find an organism (probably some extremophile archaea or something) that produces mostly GTP during glycolysis in place of ATP. Alternatively, you could synthetically alter one of the ATP producing enzymes so that they instead produce GTP. Either one would provide strong evidence that the preference for using ATP in metabolism is mostly a matter of coincidence.
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comment Why is ATP the main nucleoside triphosphate used to exchange energy?
@user137 Yes, so maybe the best version of the question is "Why ATP and not GTP?", since the two molecules are so similar in terms of their chemistry and biological role.
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comment Why is ATP the main nucleoside triphosphate used to exchange energy?
This was a question I too asked, during intro biochem. I still don't know the answer. I'm not sure if there's a satisfactory one beyond "evolutionary contingency".
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answered How many different kinds of polypeptides, each composed of 12 amino acids, could be synthesized using the 20 common amino acids?
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answered How semi-synthetic cell with artificial DNA works
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revised What effects does being cryogenically frozen have on a person's body?
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