Sunday, June 27, 2010

Evolution 2010: Sunday

Hmmmm.... today was kind of a slow day. I guess I picked some boring sessions. Just a few talks stood out.

I started off in a talk by Craig McClain on body size evolution in marine inverts. He made some interesting points about the relationship of insular body size changes and deep sea body size changes. They're parallel, and he it was due to food limitations. Very interesting.

The next talk that really stood out was Matthew Carrigan's presentation on ethanol metabolism in primates (subtitled "Did Ardi party hearty?"). He's reconstructing ancestral Adh4 sequences and assaying the enzymes to see when the human enzyme acquired its biochemical attributes. [ABSTRACT]

Then Chris Organ gave a very interesting talk on food processing and cooking in humans. He basically argued that the adaptation for eating cooked foods first appeared in H. erectus.

I also went to Luke Harmon's talk, which was packed. He told us that when he practiced this talk with two colleagues, both responded with "Huh." He talked about squamate morphology and trends in evolution. Yeah. Huh. But I am glad to see more and more people asking and answering the kinds of big questions he was asking.

And that was my day.

Oh, one more thing: James F, I'm not joining the dark side. Even if you have cookies.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.