The title of this entry comes from the data, not from the claims being made about it. The cover story in Cell1 this week has set off a flurry of startling headlines: EurekAlert pronounces, “Evidence that human brain evolution was a special event” and “University of Chicago researchers discovered that humans are a ‘privileged’ evolutionary lineage.” The gist of the research by Dorus et al. from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Chicago is that there is a huge genetic gap between human brains and those of our nearest alleged ancestors. EurekAlert explains:One of the study’s major surprises is the relatively large number of genes that have contributed to human brain evolution. “For a long time, people have debated about the genetic underpinning of human brain evolution,” said [Bruce] Lahn [HHMI}. “Is it a few mutations in a few genes, a lot of mutations in a few genes, or a lot of mutations in a lot of genes? The answer appears to be a lot of mutations in a lot of genes. We’ve done a rough calculation that the evolution of the human brain probably involves hundreds if not thousands of mutations in perhaps hundreds or thousands of genes — and even that is a conservative estimate.” It is nothing short of spectacular that so many mutations in so many genes were acquired during the mere 20-25 million years of time in the evolutionary lineage leading to humans, according to Lahn. This means that selection has worked “extra-hard” during human evolution to create the powerful brain that exists in humans.1Dorus et al., “Accelerated Evolution of Nervous System Genes in the Origin of Homo sapiens,” Cell Volume 119, Issue 7, 29 December 2004, Pages 1027-1040, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2004.11.040.We are glad to be able to announce the downfall of Saddam Darwin to end this eventful year, 2004. Now there are just a few Darwin Party insurgents to mop up, and the public will be free of this deadly totalitarian regime. (Would that it were so easy; it would be like Bush’s premature victory speech.) The science outlets are spinning this story without letting go of Darwinism. They are throwing around phrases like strong selection, intensified selection and other nonsense as if random mutations conspired to sculpt the most complex piece of matter in the known universe. They know better. Orthogenesis (straight-line evolution) is out. Teleology is out. Personifying natural selection is out, so all they have to work with are thousands of random, undirected changes over thousands of different genes that have no ability to conspire with one another. (In fact, they counteract one another; see 11/29/2004 and 10/19/2004 headlines). But if even one beneficial mutation is hard to find (see 03/19/2002 headline), how is any rational person to believe that thousands – “and that is a conservative estimate” – accomplished such a feat? The gig is up, Darwin Party: surrender. It’s over. Throw down your arms. The award for Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week goes to Bruce Lahn for his one-liner that “selection has worked ‘extra-hard’ during human evolution to create the powerful brain that exists in humans.” This can serve as USO entertainment for the liberation troops as they begin their clean-up operations.(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Although not as prevalent this year, one problem that eastern Corn Belt wheat growers face frequently is Fusarium Head Blight (Scab). This disease can cause significant yield loss in addition to reduced grain quality and high levels of mycotoxins. Growers have effectively managed head scab with timely fungicide applications.One additional too available to growers for management of Fusarium Head Blight is gene resistance. The Fhb1 gene is widely recognized as an outstanding source of head scab resistance in wheat. This gene is effective in reducing the DON (Deoxynivalenol) levels in wheat, ultimately resulting in better grain quality. DON levels are a major concern in wheat because they cause animal feed refusal, sickness, and decreased weight gain.For the 2016-2017 sales season Seed Consultants, Inc. is offering a new wheat variety (SC 13S26) with the Fhb1 gene. The Fhb1 gene provides Type II resistance, which slows down or inhibits the spread of the pathogens from the initial infection site. Studies have found that the Fhb1 gene has cinsistely reduced infected grains by 27%. Although this gene provides additional protection from head scab, use of fungicides may be needed to maximize scab protection and reduce DON levels.
A Youth Akali Dal leader was arrested for allegedly vandalising the statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Ludhiana on Tuesday.The police said they have arrested Youth Akali Dal leader Gurdip Singh Gosha and the other accused, identified as Meet Pal Singh Dugri, would also be nabbed soon. According to the police, six to seven people were accompanying the two accused and they will be identified soon. The miscreants sprayed red and black paint on the statue at the Salem Tabri area in Ludhiana, the police said, adding that they carried out the act in full public glare and blamed Rajiv Gandhi for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. A video purportedly showing the episode has also gone viral on social media. The incident also triggered strong protests by Congress supporters at various places in the State. The protesters also threw black paint on posters of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. Strongly condemning the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked Sukhbir Singh Badal to stop indulging in petty politics and warned him that such acts would backfire on his party in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
The National Commission for Women on Monday wrote to Uttar Pradesh Director-General of Police O.P. Singh seeking a ‘free, fair and speedy’ investigation into the alleged road accident involving Unnao rape survivor.“The commission is seriously concerned about the unfortunate incident. Considering the gravity of the matter, it is required to ensure absolutely free, fair and speedy investigation into the matter and take action deemed appropriate for the crime committed. The commission also demands that it be kept apprised at every stage of the investigation,” NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma wrote in her letter.Delay in casesSenior Supreme Court lawyer and women’s rights activist Vrinda Grover says it is the delay in disposing cases that render victims extremely vulnerable.“Where a perpetrator is powerful and victim is from a vulnerable group, it is apparent that that the law is not going to take its own course and the police are not going to act in accordance with the law. So, extraordinary measures will have to be taken to ensure the girl gets justice. I have always maintained that the best form of victim protection is a speedy trial. The chargesheet in the case was filed last July, but the case has not been adjudicated yet, while the survivor’s uncle has been framed in several cases which are moving by leaps and bounds. This is a classic textbook case of what happens when a victim comes from a very vulnerable group and seeks justice.”She added that if there was any political will to ensure reversal in crimes against women and girls, that the party ruling at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh so often talks about, the accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar would have been suspended.White PaperMs. Grover says that the government must issue a White Paper providing details of what stage the case was at, why was there a delay in disposing it of, who got adjournments, what reports were sent by the court concerned to the district judge and what was the supervision being done by the High Court of such cases.According to the last NCRB report for 2016, 89.8% cases of crimes against women brought before courts remained pending.