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Arete

Resident Experts
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Arete last won the day on February 21

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About Arete

  • Rank
    Biology Expert

Profile Information

  • Location
    USA
  • Interests
    Ecological speciation, functional genomics, phylogenetics, population genetics and evolution.
  • College Major/Degree
    PhD
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Evolutionary Biology
  • Occupation
    Assistant Professor

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  1. 1) Literally all that's in the mRNA vaccines is mRNA, phospholipids and phosphate buffered saline. All of these components have been widely used in other medical applications for a long time, and it's actually a shorter and less risky list of ingredients than many widely used live attenuated and inactivated vaccines. There is actually reason to expect that mRNA vaccines are LESS likely to cause anaphylaxis than other vaccines rather than more. 2) All tests so far have shown that while the antibodies induced by the vaccines can have reduced binding efficiency to mutant variants, the bindi
  2. In the same vein as CharonY, life on earth is microbes and other minor contaminants.
  3. In times of darkest need I tend to call upon Illumina tech support.
  4. 1) How did "coal", which is by definition, fossilized organisms, exist before organisms? 2) How did viruses, which by definition require cellular hosts to replicate, replicate before the existence of cellular hosts? 3) SARS COV 2 is a recombinant derivative of two ancestral coronaviruses, with approximately 20 years of evolution between it and its nearest known relative. Conversely, tailed bacteriophages have been on earth for approximately 4.5 billion years. 4) SARS COV 2 arose through the recombination of disparate coronavirus strains and infected the respiratory system of
  5. MMS is a snake oil scam and Chlorine dioxide is an industrial bleach and disinfectant. The people hawking it as medicine are the lowest of the low. It's difficult to convince someone that they are wrong, and in many circumstances, evidence dispelling an incorrect belief can counterintuitively reinforce the belief. Here's some advice that might help you talk to him. https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/07/15/1004950/how-to-talk-to-conspiracy-theorists-and-still-be-kind/
  6. There are a number of genetic causes of intersex individuals, some of which render the physical attributes of the individual to be discordant with their underlying genetics (e.g. AIS resulting in XY individuals with undescended testes and a vagina, or CAH resulting in XX individuals with masculine traits). I imagine that these conditions - typically with frequencies of one in thens of thousands might contribute to discrepancies in the designation of biological sex at birth.
  7. If you look at the proportion of grown adults who will purchase scratcher lottery tickets, or think that the risk of the COVID vaccine outweighs the risk of contracting COVID, etc, etc, etc. You'll realize an astounding proportion of the human population has zero understanding of how odds ratios and statistical probability work.
  8. Apart from the points CharonY made, I don't see a negative control, or if there is one you have a contamination issue. Are you actually asking how to optimise the PCR given the multiple banding? I would say use a touchdown protocol, or optimise your primers, but I would probably cut out my gel bands and call it a day.
  9. A woman carrying a Gadsden flag was trampled to death in the Capitol building riot.
  10. "Black Lives Matter are violent thugs, but also..."
  11. There are countless observations of natural selection in so called "higher organisms". Many feature as model organisms for natural selection - stickleback fish, toads, anoles, killifish, guppies, monkeyflowers, grasshoppers, Drosophila, jellyfish, lycophytes, to name a few. There are dozens of well known manipulative experiments that have comprehensively demonstrated natural selection in populations of relatively long lived, multicellular organisms, and thousands of population genetic studies on natural populations which do the same. Natural selection in modern humans is also directly obs
  12. No, it isn't. The fact that environmental factors can create epigenetic mutations does not imply that the organism has any ability to control which mutations occur, nor what phenotypic changes they manifest. In fact, many are deleterious. Lamarckian evolution is not epigenetics, nor is Lamarckian evolution supported by epigenetic processes. Mutations are random with respect to fitness. Selection is the force that causes fixation of adaptive mutations. It is well understood.
  13. The full title is "Interaction-based evolution: how natural selection and nonrandom mutation work together" It clearly refers to the interaction of selection and mutation, and does not imply that an organism has some sort of ability to control the novel gametic mutations it inherits or passes on.
  14. The fitness effects of a mutation are a moving target in a variable environment. While a mutation may be deleterious or neutral in one environment, it may be highly beneficial in another. E.g. antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Further, even if the net number of deleterious mutations outnumber the beneficial, the process of selection increases the likelihood of fixation of beneficial mutations. This seems to be a version of the irreducible complexity fallacy - of which this is a good discussion of. As pointed out above, mutations do not need to be of benefit in the current environmen
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