Thursday, February 08, 2007


Last night, I had a four hour discussion about Modularity, Complextiy, and Evolvability. Why on Earth would anyone go through with this, you ask?

I was preparing my 40% presentation for my Evo-Devo class next week.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, Evo-devo, also known as Developmental Evolution. It is
so cool. Basically a spattering of senior undergrads and graduate student meet weekly to read defining papers and discuss the hot topics of the field.

The class is taught by two of my favorite profs, one of whom is featured in this video:

(He used to have long hair, but he shaved it off for our cancer fund raiser)
Hans Larsson: he really does giggle when he gets excited about paleontology.

As enthousiastic as I am about entering medicine, there is something about working in labs/attending seminars that I just thrive on. I love the feeling of being on the cutting edge, of discussing new results and having to interpret them with my peers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what kind of stuff do you discuss in developmental evolution?

8:49 p.m.  
Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

I was at the Evo Devo concert sometime in the 80s! Are we not men? (we are Devo) Are we not men? (D E V O)

But cutting edge? Was that a pun on the dinosaur video (about the teeth and stuff), or a joke about things a hundred million years old can be considered "new"?

6:13 a.m.  
Blogger Victoria said...

Oh no, it isn't a paleontology class. We discuss broad topic like exaptation, novelties, heterochrony, evolvability, etc.

Basically evo devo is "a field of biology that compares the developmental processes of different animals and plants in an attempt to determine the ancestral relationship between organisms and how developmental processes evolved" (wikipedia).

We read reviews papers and current papers pertaining to whatever is the week's topic (for example: this week's evolvability; my group is going to talk about increasing phenotypic variability by knocking out the HSP90 protein in Drosophila). Can anyone say cool? Yeah? Yeah?

8:53 a.m.  
Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Well then I am asking the right person this question!

My parents have the most pathetic WIMP of a little dog. He is such a wuss that the cats smack him around and he just cowers in fear.

Can I sell him to the anti-evolution people as "proof" that there is no way he is descended from the mighty and noble wolf?

9:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The general description of the class sounds super interesting, but I have to admit the specific topic for this week doesn't really get my juices flowing :)

3:57 p.m.  
Blogger Beaver said...

You, my friend, have a cute and charismatic teacher. Lucky you.

1:41 a.m.  
Blogger Victoria said...

But Iguana, wouldn't the anti-evolution people deny that descent exists at all? Your plan seems to have a small hitch. :)

10:13 a.m.  
Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

They believe in descent. How else would Darwin get to hell?

7:52 p.m.  
Blogger Victoria said...

Bahaha! Ok, you win this round.

12:23 a.m.  

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