It’s official: http://cosmicfingerprints.com/royal-society-evolution/
If one struggles with the whole piece about that “interesting” Roy Soc meeting back in November, the stuff about me is:
“University of St. Andrews scientist David Shuker challenged Denis Noble, who had described an experiment where scientists deleted flagella genes from bacteria.
These cells had re-generated their flagella genes in just four days and grown new tails. A mind-bending example of real-time, high-speed evolution.
“Clearly natural selection can rapidly steer regulatory networks. This is a beautiful example of high speed Neo-Darwinian evolution,” Shuker argued.
Shuker, like Jerry Coyne, was towing the standard Neo-Darwinian line, which insists that in the end, all comes down to “selection, selection, selection.”
Shuker somehow imagined that “selection” is re-wiring those genes. I don’t know how selection re-wires genes in four days. Selection after all is just survival of the fittest; “selection” doesn’t provide us a single detail about how those genes got rewired.
But in the Neo-Darwinian view, for any cell to evolve purposefully is unthinkable. So of course “natural selection” always ends up being the answer.”
Yeah, how on earth did I imagine that?
A warm early welcome to Vicki Balfour who will be beginning a PhD in the lab in the autumn. Vicki will be exploring sexual selection in insects. In fact, it is a bit of a welcome back, as Vicki has already worked in the lab, including with an ASAB undergraduate scholarship, the fruits of which – fingers-crossed – will be accepted in Animal Behaviour very shortly.
Very sorry to hear of the loss of the great Bob Silvers, editor of The New York Review of Books for over 50 years. For a brief obituary, please visit: http://www.nybooks.com/robert-silvers/
The NYR is a beacon of light in dark times; may it keep shining.
Photo credit: Annie Schlechter.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, here is a picture of an inspirational female scientist – Dr Sue Healy – explaining hummingbird behaviour for a Canadian wildlife documentary. (Okay, I may be biased…)
Here is a useful guide for students on plagiarism, first spotted by Christopher Ingraham on Twitter (@_cingraham). Well, an example really. From the current administration in the White House. First, an Exxon Mobil press release, then a White House press release. The plagiarised paragraph is highlighted in yellow.
For our policies on plagiarism, please visit:
I am not sure what policies the WH have in place.