Archive for the 'Paleobiology' Category

Sep 24 2011

Simple Differences

The last century has seen science and technology used to justify any and all supremacist theories, culminating in the development of a pseudoscience called “Eugenics”, which advocated the improvement of society through what might me called selective breeding. Now, not all of the eugenic goals were crackpot and indeed many prominent scientists (including one of […]

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Nov 04 2010

Blood Detective

Again and again I come up against the greatness of one single man. William Clouser Boyd (1903-1983) appears to be one of those fascinating people who go on to dominate an entire area of research for a generation. It seems as if his creativity knew no bounds. In the 1940’s Boyd noticed that the protein agglutinin in lima bean would agglutinate red cells of human blood group A but not those of O or B; he had in fact discovered that many of these blood agglutinins were actually specific to one blood group or another. With Elizabeth Shapely he coined their modern-day name, lectins, which is Latin for “to pick or choose.”

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Oct 05 2010

Archeogenetics I: Bottlenecks and Superhighways

A fugue is a musical composition in which one or two themes are repeated or imitated by successively entering voices and developed in a continuous interweaving of the voice parts. It is a much used device in classical music, where often one section of the orchestra will start a melodic line, to which other sections […]

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