Ham and Thomas get their Platypus Egg-Genes Scrambled

Reading and understanding original research publications can be difficult when the content is outside your field of expertise. Sometimes reading that original research is just avoided and popular summaries are used to inform us of the importance of new research. The latter appears to be the case when Ken Ham writes about his love of […]

A Flock of Genomes Reveals the Toothy Ancestry of Birds

A tidal wave of genomic information seems to wash up on shore each year.   In 2014, an especially large wave – in those days long ago! – came ashore in the form of 45 entire genome sequences of birds.   The relevance of these genomes and their hundreds of billions of letters of code representing all […]

Where’s the DNA? Young Earth Creationism and the Search for Ancient DNA

So how long can DNA or even cells survive in the environment once an organism dies?   This has been a topic of considerable debate in the scientific literature since the advent of high-throughput DNA sequencing techniques.  This growing field of scientific inquiry is fascinating to me and promises to shed new light on old questions.  I have […]

NH Notes: Tardigrades – Animals that are Part Bacteria, Plant and Fungus

A new champion in the crazy genome sweepstakes has been crowned.  And it is a tardigrade. A tardiwhat?  A tardigrade, or better known as those lovable little “water bears” or “moss piglets.”  These tiny (<1mm) animals have always held the fascination of biologists not just because they are so darn cute and photogenic but because they are quite […]

A Flock of Genomes Reveals the Toothy Ancestry of Birds

A tidal wave of genomic information seems to wash up on shore each year.   In 2014, an especially large wave – in those days long ago! – came ashore in the form of 45 entire genome sequences of birds.   The relevance of these genomes and their hundreds of billions of letters of code representing all […]

Ancient DNA Redux: 700-Year-Old Virus Resurrected from Frozen Caribou Dung

Under nine feet of ice, frozen for 700 years, from DNA extracted from bits of caribou dung, a viral genome has been recovered and brought back to life.   Don’t worry this isn’t a case of mad scientists resurrecting the black plague for nefarious purposes.  This is the story of some inquisitive scientists investigating past environments […]

We’re Going on a Fossil Hunt to Find a Herpes Virus

There is a very recent form of fossil hunting that I have gotten to partake in to some small extent, and I can do it while sitting in front of a computer screen! With some computer skills and some knowledge of animal genomes it isn’t difficult to join this hunt for fossils inside the genome of living organisms.