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Fantastically Wrong: What Darwin Really Screwed Up About Evolution. Why are there gay, lesbian, and bisexual people? We know now that homosexuality is connected to genetics — and there's probably more than one gene involved.

Why are there gay, lesbian, and bisexual people?

But why would that trait have been selected for strongly enough to make it present in 5-to-15 percent of the population? At The Conversation, geneticist Jenny Graves presents an interesting theory that I'd never heard before. Homosexuality is evolutionarily adaptive, according to this idea, because the same genes that give you women who love women and men who love men also give you men who love women and women who love men. In fact, Graves suggests, it's better to think of these genes as "male loving" and "female loving" rather than "gay" or "lesbian" or "straight". Scientists snap a picture of DNA’s double helix for the very first time.

As chairman of the Grammar Nazi Party, I would like to issue a blanket pardon to anyone who screws up discreet and discrete.

Scientists snap a picture of DNA’s double helix for the very first time

This follows the blanket pardon issued in 2010 for the following words: Pulp Science Fiction Under German Totalitarianism. Pulp Science Fiction Under German Totalitarianism. The 10 Books You Absolutely Must Read to Understand the History of Earth. The 10 Books You Absolutely Must Read to Understand the History of Earth. The origin of breathing: how bacteria learnt to use oxygen. Thursday 26th July saw the launch of SciLogs.com, a new English language science blog network. SciLogs.com, the brand-new home for Nature Network bloggers, forms part of the SciLogs international collection of blogs which already exist in German, Spanish and Dutch. To celebrate this addition to the NPG science blogging family, some of the NPG blogs are publishing posts focusing on “Beginnings”.

Participating in this cross-network blogging festival is nature.com’s Soapbox Science blog, Scitable’s Student Voices blog and bloggers from SciLogs.com, SciLogs.de, Scitable and Scientific American’s Blog Network. Join us as we explore the diverse interpretations of beginnings – from scientific examples such as stem cells to first time experiences such as publishing your first paper. The first cloned animals were cloned over a century ago. Clone really just means copy.

The first cloned animals were cloned over a century ago

When an organism has identical genes to the original. A twin is a copy(ergo clone) of the other twin. Though in this case telling which is the original is a bit hard if not impossible. This post is written in a font made of DNA. Ten Things You Probably Didn't Know About DNA. "One of the most commonly created forms of synthetic DNA is XNA,"

Ten Things You Probably Didn't Know About DNA

XNA is synthetic DNA that's stronger than the real thing. But scientists have been synthesizing XNA molecules for well over a decade.

XNA is synthetic DNA that's stronger than the real thing

Your link appears not to be a link, but certainly PNAs (peptide nucleic acids - not really nucleic acids, but still ...) and GNAs (glycol nucleic acids) have been documented since the early '90s, so, yes, considerably more than a decade. Could Human and Computer Viruses Merge, Leaving Both Realms Vulnerable? Mark Gasson had caught a bad bug.

Could Human and Computer Viruses Merge, Leaving Both Realms Vulnerable?

Though he was not in pain, he was keenly aware of the infection raging in his left hand, knowing he could put others at risk by simply coming too close. But his virus wasn’t a risk for humans. Gasson, a cybernetics scientist at the University of Reading, was walking around with an implanted microchip he had intentionally infected with a computer virus. If he got too close to a computer, he could in principle infect that machine. Although this possibility may sound like a foray into science fiction, information security experts believe the blurring of the boundaries between computer and biological viruses is not so far-fetched—and could have very real consequences.

Human body

Alan Turing's 60-Year-Old Prediction About Patterns in Nature Proven True. Image by Flickr user quinn.anya Nature, for all of its free-wheeling weeds and lightning strikes, is also full of biological regularity: the rows of an alligator’s teeth, the stripes on a zebrafish, the spacing of a chicken’s feathers.

Alan Turing's 60-Year-Old Prediction About Patterns in Nature Proven True

The Oldest Living Trees in the World. Great project.

The Oldest Living Trees in the World

Reminds me of the Douglas Adams book "Last Chance to See", about travelling all over the word to get a glimpse of various extremely endangered species, about which he wrote movingly and as wittily as he always wrote. You remind us with this article that your photographs and journey may also be many people's "last chance to see" some of these Oldest Living Things, because although they seem a permanent fixture of the world, they're still ephemeral, and we humans don't know whether the last day of even their natural lifespan might be tomorrow. Diversity by Design. The recent Nature paper from Jef Boeke’s group, “Synthetic chromosome arms function in yeast and generate phenotypic diversity by design,” begins with an appropriately futuristic sentence: “The first phase of any genome engineering project is design.”

Diversity by Design

While there have been efforts to redesign viral genomes and chemically synthesize bacterial genomes, whole genomes of living cells are not yet something that can readily be designed from scratch. Did Sex Emerge from Cannibalism? Sex, Death and Kefir, by Lynn Margulis (1938–2011) Editor's note: This essay, by renowned evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, was published in the August 1994 issue of Scientific American with the title, "Sex, Death and Kefir.

Did Sex Emerge from Cannibalism? Sex, Death and Kefir, by Lynn Margulis (1938–2011)

" Margulis died on Tuesday in her home, according to a statement released by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she was a Distinguished University Professor of Geosciences. She is best known for her work on how symbiosis led to the evolution of organelles, which were once independent organisms (she describes her theory in her August 1971 Scientific American article "Symbiosis and Evolution" (pdf), which you can read if your library has an institutional subscription). She was also a major contributor to the Gaia theory, which posits that Earth is a self-regulating complex system, and was once married to astronomer Carl Sagan. Sex, Death and Kefir The certainty of death was absent at the origin of life. 2012 August 21 - DNA: The Molecule that Defines You. Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. 2012 August 21 DNA: The Molecule that Defines You Animation Credit & Copyright: Drew Berry, WEHI, HHMI, DNALC.

Molecular Visualizations of DNA - Original High Quality Version. Longevity Shown for First Time to Be Inherited via a Non-DNA Mechanism. In October 2009 Stanford University geneticist Anne Brunet was sitting in her office when graduate student Eric Greer came to her with a slightly heretical question. Brunet's lab had recently learned that they could lengthen a worm's lifetime by manipulating levels of an enzyme called SET2. "What if extending a worm's lifetime using SET2 can affect the life span of its descendants, even if the descendants have normal amounts of the enzyme? " he asked. The question was unorthodox, Brunet says, "because it touches upon the Lamarckian idea that you can inherit acquired traits, which biologists have believed false for years. " The biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck theorized in 1809 that the traits exhibited by an organism during its lifetime were augmented in its offspring; a giraffe that regularly stretched its neck to eat would father calves whose necks were longer.

Brunet and Greer went ahead with the experiment. Lions and Tigers Bear Vocal Cords for Roars: Scientific American Podcast. For many potential entrée animals this [sound of lion roar] is one of the scariest sounds around. Scientists long thought the lion’s distinctive roar was due to thick layers of fat inside the vocal cords. But new research suggests that it's not the fat that makes the roar, it's the shape of the vocal cords themselves. Most animals have triangular vocal cords. Stunning Images Under the Microscope Capture the Lives of the Tiniest Creatures [Slide Show]

Evolution: The Rise of Complexity. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Logy Magazine. When a bacterial cell divides into two daughter cells and those two cells divide into four more daughters, then 8, then 16 and so on, the result, biologists have long assumed, is an eternally youthful population of bacteria.

Bacteria, in other words, don’t age—at least not in the same way all other organisms do. But a study conducted by evolutionary biologists at the University of California, San Diego questions that longstanding paradigm. In a paper published in the November 8 issue of the journal Current Biology, they conclude that not only do bacteria age, but that their ability to age allows bacteria to improve the evolutionary fitness of their population by diversifying their reproductive investment between older and more youthful daughters. An advance copy of the study appears in the journal’s early online edition. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Infinity Imagined. Logy Magazine. BOLD Systems. New Magnetic Bacteria! Infinity Imagined. Gold Leaf Painting. Microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Researchers at Michigan State University have unraveled the mystery of how microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste and other toxic metals. Details of the process, which can be improved and patented, are published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The implications could eventually benefit sites forever changed by nuclear contamination, said Gemma Reguera, MSU microbiologist.

Lennart Nilsson Photography. Pictures of the day: 1 December 2011. Evolution World Tour: Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Before DNA, before RNA: Life in the hodge-podge world - life - 08 January 2012. How I became we, which became I again. Most life on Earth exists as single cells. Mammals Made By Viruses. DNA Barcoding Goes Mainstream. 8 Things You Won't Believe Plants Do When No One's Looking. VI. EVOLUTION GOING ON. Alan Turing's Patterns in Nature, and Beyond. Mini Motion: Award-Winning Microscope Videos. Meet the ancestor of all living things on Earth. Can a venus flytrap digest human flesh? Timeline: The evolution of life - life - 14 July 2009. Behold, the future's bioluminescent billboards. Biological clock began ticking 2.5 billion years ago - life - 16 May 2012. Drew Berry: Animations of unseeable biology.

Meet the molecule responsible for giving Earth all of its oxygen. Blonde hair evolved independently in Pacific islands - life - 03 May 2012. Watch this team of scientists make a lion roar. Oh, and did I mention the lion is dead? A plausible end-of-the-world scenario you've probably never thought of. Why Albino Animals Aren't Always White (And Non-Albino Animals Are) Why we evolved two nostrils (hint: it's all about domination) For the first time in 75 years, an entire genus of mammal is on the brink of extinction.

Whoa, a Petri Dish That Has a Pulse. A Microbe Metropolis. Nature Under Glass: Gallery of Victorian Microscope Slides. Life began with a planetary mega-organism - life - 25 November 2011. How does reproductive cloning work? Is it possible to reanimate the dead? Can dead people be brought back to life? Anti-Gravity Machine for Levitating Fruit Flies. Climate Change & Animal Body Size. Life on Earth began in . . . Greenland!? Ancient Plants Resurrected from Siberian Permafrost. Scientists confirm Alan Turing's 60-year-old theory for why tigers have stripes. Zoology & Animal behaviour.