12 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Neurons Use Viruses to Share Information and Learn

When genes are activated, the instructions encoded within their DNA are first transcribed into a related molecule called RNA. Shepherd’s colleague Elissa Pastuzyn showed that the Arc shells can enclose RNA and move it from one neuron to another. And that’s basically what retroviruses do—they use protein shells to protect their own RNA as it moves between cells in a host. So our neurons use a repurposed viral gene to transmit genetic information between each other in an oddly virus-like...
Folksonomies: dna neurons virus microbiology
Folksonomies: dna neurons virus microbiology
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18 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Falacy of Seeking Too Much Purpose in Evolutionary Adapta...

Darwin’s concept of evolution is centered on natural selection, or survival of the fittest [1]. Although Darwin did realize that organisms possess structures and even entire organs that might not have an extant function, as is the case of rudiments [2], on the whole, selectionist thinking has heavily dominated the biological literature ever since. In its extreme but not uncommon form, the selectionist, or adaptationist, paradigm perceives every trait as an adaptation. Under this view of bio...
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
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30 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Humans are Intelligent and Hierarchical

“You have a mismatched pair of genetic characteristics. Either alone would have been useful, would have aided the survival of your species. But the two together are lethal. It was only a matter of time before they destroyed you." [...] Jdahya made a rustling noise that could have been a sigh, but that did not seem to comer from his mouth or throat. "You are intelligent," he said. "That's the newer of the two characteristics, and the one you might have put to work to save yourselves. You a...
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19 JAN 2016 by ideonexus

 Chomsky on the Failure of Postmodernism to Simplify

Since no one has succeeded in showing me what I'm missing, we're left with the second option: I'm just incapable of understanding. I'm certainly willing to grant that it may be true, though I'm afraid I'll have to remain suspicious, for what seem good reasons. There are lots of things I don't understand -- say, the latest debates over whether neutrinos have mass or the way that Fermat's last theorem was (apparently) proven recently. But from 50 years in this game, I have learned two things: (...
Folksonomies: postmodernism
Folksonomies: postmodernism
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