Life Fast, Die Young: The Evolution of Aging

Originally posted on the LIFE Apps science blog... By Jordan Pennells To take care of your health is to delay the inevitable biological deterioration of your body, to fight against the unyielding aging process. But there’s another way to view the process of aging, if we expand the time frame from an individual’s lifetime to evolutionary time.... Continue Reading →

Agricultural Challenges (1)

Gene X Environment Interaction: As discussed in a previous post, agricultural biotechnologies developed in the 1990s resulted in increased yields, but these techniques were targeted towards traits controlled by a relatively simple pathway consisting of only a handful of genes (i.e. insect and herbicide protection). However, this was not possible for complex traits such as drought resistance, which... Continue Reading →

Agricultural Biotechnology

As genetic fingerprinting began to develop in the 1990s, molecular breeding (using DNA markers in combination with phenotypic measures to drive the development of new crop varieties) resulted in increased yields despite the drought-inducing action of climate change. These techniques primarily involved transgenes, foreign DNA from other species that could be incorporated into the crop genome... Continue Reading →

Coevolution

by Jordan Pennells Examples of coevolution are not only pervasive between species in nature, but are intimately linked to the complex evolution of plants and animals themselves. Mitochondria, commonly proclaimed as the 'powerhouse of the cell', was likely once a bacterial entity that infected a primordial eukaryotic cell. While the bacteria found a safe habitat... Continue Reading →

Sex and Sexual Selection

Why bother with sex? What's the point of sperm and egg (gamete) production, and the recombination of two parent's chromosomes into their offspring, when we could pass on our genome directly to the next generation in an asexual manner? Despite the high social value humans place on sex, there are a number of reasons that... Continue Reading →

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