Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Some interesting reads (Catch-Up Edition)...

Joolya has a Gender Studies Crash Course that all of us, in particular us men, need to read & reread on a constant basis. Patriarchy while giving men an advantage in society & oppressing women, limits all and leaves power in the hands of just a few. That society paradigm reiterates itself at all levels, preventing a true dialog between people so necessary for a truly democratic society. To make that a reality occur quicker, us men have to learn at most times when we normally speak, to shut-up and think before we say anything and at times we are normally quiet to actually say something (after thinking of course).

Larry Moran over at Sandwalk brought up the difference between the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology and the Sequence Hypothesis (what usually in textbooks passes as the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology). For those who teach from a textbook please read and go back to the source material & update your lectures. The Central Dogma is basically a negative statement that once sequence information flows from nucleic acid to protein it can not flow back nor from protein to protein. As for the Sequence Hypothesis- "In its simplest form it assumes that the specificity of a piece of nucleic acid is expressed solely by the sequence of its bases, and that this sequence is a (simple) code for the amino acid sequence of a particular protein." (Crick, F.H.C. (1958) On protein synthesis. Symp. Soc. Exp. Biol. XII:138-163).

Crick did update his version of The Central Dogma in a 1970 Nature article where he also reiterated the difference between the Central Dogma and the Sequence Hypothesis, an article to check out.

Moran also challenges the Three Domain Hypothesis though I think there is a bias there as even Doolittle as of 2006 that Eubacteria and Archaea were distinct, separate domains. Gene transfers does make it difficult to really get at the root of the tree of life to the last universal common ancestor or common ancestral state (LUCA/LUCAS). The main difficulty is where you place eukaryotes relative to archaea and bacteria & that is where most of the fuss really is. I will post about this latter.

Biocurious and The Daily Transcript point out the absurdity of how an academic publisher fighting open access journals like those from PLoS.

Dr. Mom has a great series on Writing Your First Paper as well as a nice piece on getting a faculty package together.

Tara at Aetiology writes on a nice smack-down of Jon Wells lack of understanding biology while trying to critique it. Tara also gives a wonderful Introduction to Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Over on Pharyngula, Dr. Myers has a piece on a medical doctor who refuses service to those in need because of his Christian faith (though the MD might want to brush up on his Bible, as Dr. Myers notes). And some people wonder why some atheists are so angry.

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