GenomeTweet – the first genomes on Twitter

GenomeTweet is a science communication project to give Twitter users an idea of how big genomes are. When I first found out that most of our genome is noncoding, it made me think about how big the genomes are. It’s a difficult thing to visualise. Various textbooks and documentaries have used analogies to help me visualise …

Palaeontology in evo-devo

I’ve always found palaeontology fascinating, probably due to my love of dinosaurs from an early age. These days I have a different appreciation of palaeontology because of the fact that development evolves. I’ve met several people who believe that evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) is all about genomics and has little to do with fossils these days. …

Homology: it’s just similarity, right?

I recently had a discussion where the word “homology” was thrown around very loosely by someone who should probably know better. Those who have at least heard of the word might think it has something do with things being similar. Those with an interest in biology, especially evolutionary biology, probably realise it’s more complicated than …

How many times has a centralised nervous system evolved?

Neuroscience interests me because of the idea that an object (the human brain) is attempting to understand itself. For that same reason, I’m fascinated by the evolution and development of the central nervous system. Scientist’s brains are attempting to discover exactly how they came into existence. Our central nervous system obviously appeared a long time ago. Cows, …