Blood Genes Where There Is No Blood

By Carl Zimmer | April 26, 2010 11:13 pm

In tomorrow’s New York Times, I take a look at a new way of finding disease-related genes: search their ancient evolutionary history. Scientists can find genes involved in blood vessel growth in yeast–which have no blood. They can find genes that help build human embryos in plants, where they sense gravity. It’s a twist on a twist on Darwin’s great insights descent with modification. And I’m pleased to see that University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, a tough audience if ever there was one, is swayed by the piece. So check it out!

[Update: 9/27 7:30 am: I forgot! You can also listen to me talk with David Corcoran of the Times about this new research on the Science Times podcast.]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Evolution, Writing Elsewhere

Comments (2)

  1. marcel

    “They can find genes that help build human embryos in plants”

    This sounds like pod-people, or perhaps the Mangaboos in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.

    When are they ensouled? As soon as the bud first sprouts…

  2. Fascinating piece. You could call it holarchic homology.

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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