Public lecture “Trees of Life: Do they exist?”
In gave my inaugural lecture as Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at Queen Mary University of London on 16th November 2022, the film of which can be viewed below. Inaugural lectures are a chance to give a personal view on one’s research field, at a level that will be understood by the whole university and the […]
Natural v. Artificial Selection
Last week I published a short article in Molecular Ecology on evidence for natural selection. It has proven difficult to show natural selection occurring in real time in wild populations. New approaches may help, and these are being pioneered in studies of Soay sheep. While commenting on these new approaches, I make several general points […]
How similar are human and chimpanzee genomes?
I recently participated in a discussion on the Biologos forum on the degree of similarity between the human and chimpanzee genomes. I was asked for my current view on this issue by Dennis Venema, who had found a old quote online from a newspaper article that I had written in 2008 on this issue. In […]
Adam and Eve: lessons learned
This blog was first posted at Nature Ecology & Evolution Community on 14 April 2018 Preliminary conclusions about the possibility of a short, sharp human bottleneck A few months ago I asked this community if modern genome science had tested an “Adam and Eve” hypothesis that the human lineage has passed through short, sharp bottleneck […]
Responding to Felsenstein, Schaffner and Harshman at The Skeptical Zone
Here is the text of a comment I posted at The Skeptical Zone in response to comments by Joe Felsenstein, Steve Schaffner and John Harshman on my Nature Ecology and Evolution blog on human bottlenecks: Thank you all for interacting with my Nature Ecology and Evolution Community blog, and thanks to Vincent Torley for posting […]
Adam and Eve: a tested hypothesis?
Does genomic evidence make it scientifically impossible that the human lineage could have ever passed through a population bottleneck of just two individuals? This is a question I am asked semi-frequently by religious friends. With my current understanding of the genetic evidence, I can’t state categorically that it’s impossible. In this view, I find I differ […]
“Abundant bioactivity” of random DNA sequences?
This blog was written for the Nature Ecology and Evolution Community where it is posted here. Probing the claims of a recent study Readers of this blog will be aware of the recent Nature Ecology and Evolution paper entitled “Random sequences are an abundant source of bioactive RNAs or peptides”. Rafik Neme, the first author, […]