"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Saturday, May 08, 2004


Evolutionary biology and genetics are, in my mind, two of the most interesting fields in all of science. The how-we-got-to-what-we-are question is so huge, and there are so many answers and questions and unanswerables, it's just bloody awesome.
Genomics provides a ton of insight into our collective history, and will probably be the driving force in life science for some time to come. Which brings us to a very cool study recently published: discovery of 'ultra-conserved' regions in human, rat, mouse, chicken and dog genomes. When a stretch of DNA is conserved between divergent species, it means it's probably important. While we share most of our genes with other mammals (and non-mammals as well), things that are Exactly The Same are rare. What's especially fetching about this finding, to me, is that much of these ultra-conserved regions are non-coding: they don't have any visible function. Which supports the idea that this so-called 'Junk DNA' is anything but. I'm very excited for the knock-out mouse studies!

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