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Chris Boccia's Profile

Chris Boccia's Avatar Joined about 3 years ago
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Latest Discussions Started by Chris Boccia

How did the fusion of Chromosome 2 get passed on to future generations? - last commented 06 January 2012 04:45 PM

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Latest Comments by Chris Boccia

Go to: Bishop Indicted; Charge Is Failing to Report Abuse

Chris Boccia's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by Chris Boccia

"Defence is the noun, defense is the verb."

I thought "defend" was the verb...

Also, I forgot about the British spelling. I'm incorrect on that front.

Sun, 24 Jun 2012 18:53:04 UTC | #948019

Go to: Birds got smart by becoming big babes

Chris Boccia's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Chris Boccia

Now that's some alliteration.

Mon, 28 May 2012 18:10:24 UTC | #944014

Go to: How whales and dolphins focus sound beams on prey

Chris Boccia's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Chris Boccia

Comment 5 by Joonas :

Comment 4 by Chris Boccia :

In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard mentioned something about bats doing the same thing. Coevolution.

Actually, that's not called coevolution.

Coevolution

Convergent evolution

OOPS. I meant convergent evolution, but the "co" at the beginning of each word slipped me up somehow.

Fri, 23 Mar 2012 17:48:20 UTC | #929907

Go to: How whales and dolphins focus sound beams on prey

Chris Boccia's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Chris Boccia

Comment 2 by AULhall :

Paul Nachtigall, who also took part in the study, explained that as well as adjusting their echolocating beam, Kina was able to alter the sensitivity of her hearing - making it super-sensitive when she was hunting, but "plugging her ears" to block out potentially damaging loud noise.

I find this remarkable. I wish humans had this ability.

In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard mentioned something about bats doing the same thing. Coevolution.

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 20:40:58 UTC | #929713

Go to: Publication of the gorilla genome opens window onto human evolution

Chris Boccia's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Chris Boccia

Comment 2 by Functional Atheist :

From the article: "15 per cent of the human genome is closer to the gorilla genome than it is to chimpanzee, and 15 per cent of the chimpanzee genome is closer to the gorilla than human."

The quote above contributes to my suspicion regarding assertions that the human and chimpanzee genomes are 98% (or even 99%) identical. I know we're near relatives to chimpanzees, but either I'm misunderstanding those estimates or those estimates are plainly wrong and should no longer be bandied about. I know Ricky Gervais is no scientist, but he recently tossed estimates like that in his show with Karl Pilkington, "An Idiot Abroad," so I'm not the only layman who needs some clarification: what is the latest and best percentage estimates here? And what's the difference between, say, 98% identical and 98% "similar"?

If there is wiggle room there, where genes that code for the same protein in both genomes, but aren't quite letter-for-letter identical, how does that impact the estimates?

Gut instinct is not scientific, but 95% IDENTICAL sounds much more credible to me than 99%. Variation between and among individual humans must amount to something measurable, so how can a species we diverged from millions of years ago be so close?

Thanks. Apologies if I sound stupid--I'm a mere layman seeking clarification.

I'm not sure about the 15% thing, but we our genomes are 98% IDENTICAL to chimpanzee's. This means that 98% of the letters of our dna match, and only 2% don't. So, to be absolutely clear, if our genomes were 100 letters long, 98 of them would match the chimpanzee's.

Now, we actually have about 25000 genes, and that's about 3 billion nucleotide bases (letters). So, if we differ by 2%, that's a difference of 60 million nucleotides. So, yes, we're very closely related, but we still have over 60 million letters 'wrong.'

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 19:54:24 UTC | #925451

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