• Alien Biosphere Evolution #5: Are Cambrian Explosions Universal?
    Articles,  Blog

    Alien Biosphere Evolution #5: Are Cambrian Explosions Universal?

    Bilaterians, the kind of creature we are most familiar with, have dominated the Animal Kingdom for well over half a billion years. But during the long period before their big breakthrough, they were living in the shadows. For tens of millions of years, they were just an odd collection of tiny bottom feeders, crawling over, in and through the muck. However, despite its diminutive origins, once bilateral symmetry evolved, it was poised and ready to seize the stage once the circumstances were right. This moment in time is known as “the Cambrian Explosion”. But how exactly did bilaterians manage to take over in the end? In other words: What kickstarted…

  • Could genomics solve the climate change crisis? | Daniel C. Esty | Big Think
    Articles,  Blog

    Could genomics solve the climate change crisis? | Daniel C. Esty | Big Think

    So genomics, the idea that we can intervene with the genome of not just humans but any species in a way that might harden that species, improve it’s resilience to threats like climate change or make it more amenable to various medical approaches so as to ensure there’s a reduction of harm. And it can also be used in plants, for example, to speed up the growth pace and otherwise to provide ways to help harden the species or improve a species contribution to the response to climate change. So many aspects of society have been transformed by technology breakthroughs in the last couple of decades. And I would argue…

  • Plug-and-play protein modification using Homology-independent Universal Genome Engineering (HiUGE)
    Articles,  Blog

    Plug-and-play protein modification using Homology-independent Universal Genome Engineering (HiUGE)

    The ability to label and manipulate proteins in the body is essential to modern biological research. Unfortunately, current methods, such as tagging with antibodies, are often inefficient and expensive. Even worse, researchers are realizing that many of the antibodies available just simply don’t work. Now, a new molecular tool could help researchers break through that barrier. Researchers in the Soderling Laboratory of the Cell Biology Department at Duke University, have developed a high-throughput system capable of modifying entire panels of proteins using a new dual-vector gene-editing approach. Dubbed Homology-independent Universal Genome Engineering, this system allows for the dynamic visualization and functional manipulation of proteins both in vitro and in vivo,…

  • noam chomsky on universal grammar and the genetics of language with captioning
    Articles,  Blog

    noam chomsky on universal grammar and the genetics of language with captioning

    the first question mister Chomsky comes from Chris Christoph Gudrow how have your ideas on universal grammar changed over the years are you more or less convinced to the theory now then you were initially ok well there’s there’s a lot of confusion about the notion universal grammar you never universal grammar had a traditional meaning but in modern linguistics last 50 years or so it’s had a technical meaning which is not and related to the traditional meaning when is not identical either universal grammer’s just the name for the theory over the genetic component of the language faculty I’ll I mean transparently there some genetic component right there’s…