Author Topic: The Biology Thread  (Read 16489 times)

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 687093
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
Re: The Biology Thread
« Reply #195 on: May 24, 2014, 07:20:56 am »
I'm finally delving into epigenetics a little, and it's wondrous to me just what worlds of information in our DNA is yet to be uncovered. I also LOL at the apparent historical tendency of biologists to dismiss anything they don't understand. "Oh, that bit over there? It doesn't do anything, it's just junk" is a recurring refrain.

Even accounting for relative ignorance, though, how ANY biologist could look at nature, look at DNA, and conclude "Oh, that other 98%? It's junk, it doesn't do anything" is completely beyond me. A structure in nature that's 98% useless? It just doesn't happen. 

Anyway, it's nice to finally know a little bit about what little is known about what "junk" DNA does. And I love that the function and mechanics of almost 98% of the genome is still a complete mystery. It's kind of like when researchers realized that every single neuron makes 1000-100,000 connections, or  that glial cells have a more complex and significant role in brain function than just acting as fillers and insulators... and we don't know WHAT.

We are so nowhere close to having this shit figured out, and that makes me SO HAPPY.

I know I poo poo'd it a little bit before, but it really is an interesting field. And I agree. Biology works on a rule of good enough. It's like what Kai said once, it's not survival of the fittest, it's survival of the fit. Replicating gene sequences takes energy that could be put to other uses. So those bits of "junk" DNA are probably beneficial. They might not code for proteins, but they're probably doing something, and I think one of the most intriguing things I've heard, and I might be getting it wrong, is that those bits give instructions for when to code for the coded bits, and in conjunction with other sequences.

The book I'm reading is "The Epigenetics Revolution", and if you're interested in the topic I recommend it, it's very good. It's essentially just an accessibly-written overview of the state of the research as of 2012.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 687093
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
Re: The Biology Thread
« Reply #196 on: June 01, 2014, 01:58:17 am »
I wrote another installment in "Girl Meets Slough": http://girlmeetsslough.blogspot.com/2014/05/rain-gardens.html
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


Raz Tech

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 3782
  • SPAG
    • View Profile
Re: The Biology Thread
« Reply #197 on: June 01, 2014, 01:09:02 pm »
I wrote another installment in "Girl Meets Slough": http://girlmeetsslough.blogspot.com/2014/05/rain-gardens.html

Good read.  I especially like your idea on allowing nature to find it's own equilibrium.  And I'm going to look into rain gardens now.  Certain to make my homeowners association hate me more than they already do   :)

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 687093
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
Re: The Biology Thread
« Reply #198 on: June 01, 2014, 03:45:10 pm »
I wrote another installment in "Girl Meets Slough": http://girlmeetsslough.blogspot.com/2014/05/rain-gardens.html

Good read.  I especially like your idea on allowing nature to find it's own equilibrium.  And I'm going to look into rain gardens now.  Certain to make my homeowners association hate me more than they already do   :)

Excellent!  :)
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


P3nT4gR4m

  • Official SSOOKN Pariah
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 72473
  • I'm an artist now - isn't that depressing?
    • View Profile
    • fuck you
Re: The Biology Thread
« Reply #199 on: June 01, 2014, 04:41:32 pm »
Cool! The first I ever heard about runoff water was that solar roadways clip. No wonder all our burns are minging :(
Not actually a meat product.
Ass-Kicking & Foot-Stomping Ancient Master of SHIT FUCK FUCK FUCK
Awful and Bent Behemothic Results of Last Night's Painful Squat.
High Altitude Haggis-Filled Sex Bucket From Beyond Time and Space.
Internet Monkey Person of Filthy and Immoral Pygmy-Porn Wart Contagion
Octomom Auxillary Heat Exchanger Repairman
walking the fine line line between genius and batshit fucking crazy

"computation is a pattern in the spacetime arrangement of particles, and its not the particles but the pattern that really matters! Matter doesnt matter." -- Max Tegmark