Life

Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased or because they never had such functions and are classified as inanimate.

Why Human Color Vision Is so Odd

How did our sight evolve to the point where we can see a wide range of colors that other mammals cannot?

How Does a Caterpillar Turn into a Butterfly?

To become a butterfly, a caterpillar first digests itself. But certain groups of cells survive, turning the soup into eyes, wings, antennae and other adult structures.

Optimizing Genes with a Genetic Algorithm

In the simplest terms, genetic algorithms simulate a population where each individual is a possible “solution” and let survival of the fittest do its thing.

Epigenetics: The Sins of the Father

The roots of inheritance may extend beyond the genome, but the mechanisms remain a puzzle. As a postdoc in Kerry Ressler’s laboratory at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Brian Dias had spent much of the two years before his son’s birth studying these kinds of questions in mice.

Creationism vs. Evolution: The Debate

Bill Nye and Ken Ham debated the origins of life last night live from the Creationist Museum in Kentucky. The great success of the debate was to inform and raise awareness of how vital science is to our future.

Epigenetics and the Influence of Our Genes

Each mammalian cell has the same genes, yet performs distinct functions. This is achieved by epigenetic control of gene expression; the switching on and switching off of genes. This course will cover the principles of epigenetic control of gene expression, how epigenetic control contributes to cellular differentiation and development, and

Lamarck, Inheritance, and Instinct

Something has always troubled me about Darwin’s theory and even modern revisions of his work – there is still no explanation for instinct. Ethologists call instincts innate releasing mechanisms or IRM, which in layman’s terms means “we’ll use big fancy words because we just don’t know.” The

Bilateral Symmetry in Embryos and Supermodels

Bilateral symmetry in an organism means that one half is roughly a mirror image of the other half. The plane of symmetry is the sagittal plane (vertically through the head and body, with one of each sense organ and limb pair on either side). It’s not a perfect match