Questions tagged [history]

Questions relating to how the field of biology has developed over time.

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When did human and animal blood became distinguishable from each other as forensic evidence?

Since a few decades ago, DNA testing became an important tool in criminal forensics, and a lot of information can be gathered from a single drop of blood or from a few cells. Even before that, blood ...
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Pre-linnaean names, where can I ask about current IDs?

I run a large website with lots of historical herb books. For the older ones, finding out current botanical names is very difficult. Can I ask here? If not, does anybody know where I could ask what ...
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What happened to pertussis incidence in the US between 1955 and 1974 and why?

The Wall Street Journal ran a great collection of infographics in 2015 superimposing the dates on which vaccination was introduced for various childhood diseases on their incidence: http://graphics....
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Rushed publications based on flawed data

In 2014 BICEP2 made a very controversial press release. It was rushed, given before any papers where published, because they feared they would be scooped by another similar experiment. In the end it ...
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What ailments used to be completely fatal (or nearly so) but, now modern medicine has a treatment or cure?

My brother was a Type 1 diabetic and back in high school I did a report on diabetes. One of the things that struck me was that before 1921, type 1 diabetes was basically 100% fatal. I was wondering ...
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What are phenetic analyses used for?

Phenetics (grouping of organisms based on similarity) used to be claimed to be an alternative to cladistics, but now it is widely accepted that phenetic analyses cannot be used to infer evolutionary ...
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189 views

First documented beneficial mutation?

I've been reading up on beneficial mutations, and am curious when we discovered and documented the first one. Can anyone point me to the first documented beneficial mutation? Per request, let me try ...
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Book recommendations on the evolution of trees

Trees have been around for hundreds of millions of years, since the first "true wood" evolved during the Devonian period ~400M years ago. This means we have fossilized wood in the form of tree ferns, ...
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High altitude rail travel

This question is primarily about human performance. I do know about hypoxia, hence this question. I'm busy designing a fictional region, currently in the 1930's. I have a railway line that climbs to ...
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18 views

History of plasmid maps

To create a small history of visual representations in biology, I am seeking the earliest published papers or books that have used plasmid maps as figures ; or strategies to effectively search for ...
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134 views

Ray wu DNA sequencing methodology understanding

I'm trying to understand the method which Ray Wu, developed to sequence the DNA 5' cohesive ends of a lamda phage. I'm reading these two papers written by him, but i stuck at the point where he uses ...