Field of Science

What will go here?

I probably should have thought about this some more before jumping into the deep end, but here's some of what you might find me blogging about in the near future:

Origin and Evolution of Sex. When did meiosis evolve and from what processes did it derive? Is DNA repair the original function of meiotic recombination? Are there any bona fide ancient asexual eukaryotes? If so, how do they persist?

Early Eukaryotic Evolution.
What are the evolutionary relationships among the major lineages of eukaryotes? (& what are the major lineages of eukaryotes?) Can the answers provide some hints about the origin of novel features in eukaryotic cells?

What is the evolutionary history of eukaryotic gene structure? Have spliceosomal introns been mostly gained or lost during eukaryotic evolution? How? Why?

Evolution Teaching.
What can be done to ameliorate the pitiful level of evolutionary knowledge in students (and the public) at all levels in the US? What information do parents and teachers need to communicate the fascinating science of evolutionary biology?

Other stuff relating to politics, religion (or lack thereof), parenting, lab management, professor-dom and other life-pusuits...


  1. Hey, PZ is sending us over here to give you a hard time...

    Actually all of the subjects you mention are quite interesting. I for example would be interested in the evolutionary relationships between spliceosomal introns, type II and type III introns and retroviruses - if you have something in that department. Also, it may be a little old, but information on how introns may have contributed to or participated in intragenetic duplication - specifically with respect to domains - and how this may have resulted in evolution of specialist proteins from generalists... well, you get the idea.

    Anyway, glad to see you are coming online, John.

    Wishing you the best...

  2. Welcome to the blogging world. Prepare yourself for fun and games.

  3. Sounds interesting. I'll be checking this blog out on a regular basis, methinks.

  4. Great. Looking forward to your future posts.

  5. Hi, fellow meiosis researcher (grad-student stage) here... looks like this will be a terrific blog. I look forward to reading it!

  6. I am sure you can come up with a "just so" explanation to come up with an explanation for any phenomena, after the fact.

    But hopefully, your blog will actually be about SCIENCE and not the anti religious/political rant that USES science as a front like the short, fat, arrogant little jerk PZ MYERS.

  7. Welcome. Can you warm us up with a few introductory basic definitions as maintained by John Wilkins at EvolvingThoughts?

    I hope the others have left some blanks in your fields of interest.

    Science we expect. Anti-superstition is optional.

  8. Hello and welcome! I am a longtime reader of Pharyngula, and was surprised and delighted to see him linking to someone that I have actually met! (The CIAR conference in 2005: if I recall correctly, I was the only other long-haired male present....)

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing what you have to write about. Again, welcome!

  9. Great topics! Can't wait to read more.

    A related topic that I'd love to read more about is the evolutionary relationships between unicellular and multicellular organisms. Why are all (or almost all?) obligate multicellular organisms eukaryotic? How many times has a unicellular organism evolved from a multicellular ancestor?

    Thought I throw those out there, in case they interest you as blog topics.

  10. I knew to expect comments like that from "Emmanuel Goldstein", but my blog has been up for less than 24 hours! Geez.

    If you are going to make ad hominem attacks on people, don't make them here, especially if you don't have the decency to reveal yourself.

    By the way, most of what I am interested in understading is, by definition "after the fact". The events in early eukaryotic evolution happened at least a billion years ago.

  11. The ever-changing systematics of Protists?

  12. Also, something for Fridays, like a picture with some explanation, e.g., "Friday Protist Blogging"....

  13. I knew to expect comments like that from "Emmanuel Goldstein", but my blog has been up for less than 24 hours! Geez.

    Those fundies... they work fast. It's ALMOST as if they stalk atheist/science blogs to see where they should go next. ;) But, such reverent and obedient little fundies wouldn't so such a thing like read PZ...or would they?

  14. Goldstein has a point.

    Myers DOES use science as a front for his anti religious and political rants.

    He engages in ad hominem attacks regularly, and note YOUR "fundie" reference "atheist in a mini van."

    Its pure hypocrisy for Myers to spew the vitriol he does and not expect a response.

    After all, thats his purpose...and it helps his count!

  15. I'm very glad to see your blog appear. I greatly enjoyed your papers on intron evolution and llok forward to your discussing the subject here.

  16. Thanks to everyone for the welcome . I'll try not to dissapoint.

    Opisthokont--great name--but who are you?

    tim, JohnnieCanuck, qetzal and coturnix--thanks for suggestions.


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