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Exploring evolution through genes, computers and history

Long Lost Relative of Ticks Pops Up Again

These rare, strange ticks were rediscovered this month. The most precious fluid in the world isn't black. It's red. According to some estimates, there are over 14,000 species of insects and other crawlers that feed on blood.

August 30, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

Where does milk come from?

I'm travelling this and next week, so I don't have time to write. This blog post on the origins of milk is a repost from the earlier incarnation of this blog.

August 15, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

On the leaves of sea lettuce, the luckiest survive

Sea lettuce that washed upon the shore of Maryland. Charles Darwin described life as an eternal struggle for existence. Species compete for a limited amount of space and resources, so only those varieties that are best adapted to their niche will survive.

August 8, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

Coconuts: not indigenous, but quite at home nevertheless

Coconut palms on the Southern Maalhosmadulu Atoll in the Pacific. On January 9 in 1878, the Spanish brig Providencia was en route from Cuba to Spain, but would never arrive at this destination.

August 1, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

Breaking a protein in order to fix it

Randomness often does more harm than good. Take the phrase: "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." I replaced a random word in this sentence with a random, different word, and got: "nothing in biology makes sense except in doctorishness light of evolution." Not only did this random replacement turn Dobzhanksy's famous phrase into a confusing statement on doctors and evolution, the entire sentence also became grammatically incorrect.Random mutations in proteins have similar effects, except that they introduce molecular errors, rather than grammatical ones.

July 25, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

The end of E. coli

E. coli 's career in science has been stellar so far. E. coli lead a simple life as an inhabitant of our guts for thousands of years, until 20th century scientists discovered that the bacterium was easy to grow and manipulate in the lab.

July 8, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers
Welcome to Thoughtomics!

Welcome to Thoughtomics!

Hello and welcome to Thoughtomics! My name is Lucas Brouwers. I am a Dutch science writer with a background in molecular biology and bioinformatics.

July 5, 2011 — Lucas Brouwers

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