DailyDirt: Some Quicklinks On Biological Discoveries

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

A long time ago, we used to publish more “bite-sized” technology bits, but somewhere along the way, we started writing up posts with hundreds of words in them. For those of you who miss the good ol’ days (and prefer quick links), here are some randomly interesting biological discoveries (without too much commentary from us):

  • Harvard researchers create mice with a controllable telomerase gene and demonstrate partial reverse aging in those mice. (Roy Batty might want to read up on this.)
  • New Zealand is home to a lot of weird animals — including the tuatara, a reptile which has a genetic code unlike any other vertebrate on Earth.
  • Pterosaurs probably couldn’t fly in stormy weather, according to wind tunnel experiments.
  • The first and only species of squidworm lives in a pineapple under the sea. in the deep waters of the Celebes Sea.
  • A single-celled organism (the size of a grape!), Gromia sphaerica, leaves tracks in the sand as it rolls around the bottom of the ocean.
  • Feel free to add your own commentary with commentful comments.

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    Comments on “DailyDirt: Some Quicklinks On Biological Discoveries”

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    Hephaestus (profile) says:

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    “People develop immune deficiencies as they get old which is a form of evolution”

    The immune deficiencies happen because the cells begin undergoing Cellular Senescence. Basically the cells slow down and stop working. The thought or theory is that as the telomeres become shorter the cells begin shutting down to avoid becoming cancerous. The telomeres act as a sort of buffer on the ends of each chromosome shortening with each cell division. Each human telomere is the genetic sequence TTAGGG repeated around 5000 times at conception.

    On a humorous note, copyright lawyers and Slime moulds share the same telomere sequence.

    See also

    Hayflicks genetic limit
    Cellular Senescence

    Hope that helps


    Hephaestus (profile) says:

    Re: Re: Re:

    “However, a population of immortals would likely experience less selective pressure than a population of mortals.”

    Actually it would depend on if the live in seclusion or not. If everything around them was evolving and they were not, over a long time period … well you get the picture.

    You also have the mixed populace scenario. Where one part of the population is immortal, the other not. This is the one humanity is going to see happen in the next 50 years. Its going cause all sorts of problems. What is interesting is that over population is not going to be one of the problems caused by immortality. There is almost no difference between exponential growth minus some “n” (“n” being deaths), like we have now, and straight up exponential growth. So either way we have an over population issue just a difference of about 5 years between critical effects are felt.

    Thinking about it for a few minutes, through the eyes of an immortal, and taking the long view. My guess is that some immortal or group of immortals is going to sterilize a sizable chuck of the population and just wait for them to die off. Or maybe just kill all the non immortals off if they become to much of a bother.

    And people worry about copyright … ROFLMAO

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