SMBE 2014 Day 3

Day 3 was a blast. Possibly the most interesting talk came from Michael Desai showing that evolution is not as simple as sequential fixation. Large scale approaches to directly study the evolution of populations were presented, as well as several more outstanding questions that are likely to be answered within …

SMBE 2014 Day 2

Day 2 in Puerto Rico. Lots of exciting talks today! Some highlights: – Fernando Racimo from UC Berkeley asking “how far in the past can we detect positive selection on the human genome?” by comparing fixed differences between humans and Neanderthals. Started out by demonstrating that there is significantly lowered …

SMBE 2014 Day 1

The Moses lab landed in Puerto Rico at 5am this morning and the day has already been packed with excitement. Sunburns, authentic Puerto Rican food, disappointing hotel apart, the day can be summarized by the following imagery: at 8pm, Taraneh Alex and Gavin are already bundled up like a cocoon …

Sean B. Carroll’s “Brave Genius”

There is an element of chance to the root of genius (Albert Camus, Notebooks 1942-1951). This quote sums up Sean Carroll’s main point in his interesting new book “Brave Genius”. The book explores the achievements and friendship of two French Nobel laureates: Jacques Monod and Albert Camus. Both men were …

Moss growing on lava fields!

Here’s something I was kind of fascinated by in Iceland last summer. I’m not 100% sure what this moss is called (it might be Racomitrium canescens??), but you can see it all over the lava fields in the southern part of the island. Apparently there are 600 different species of …