• Food for thought #10
    Lethal MutationsEVOLUTION NEEDS mutations in genes expressed in the early phases of embryonic development, since it’s in the early phases that basic body plans and organs are laid down. For evolution to do anything more than tinker with existing species within narrow limits, it has to be able to mutate the fundamentals—body plans, core architecture, […]
  • Food for thought #9
    Orchestrating an AnimalFOR BIOMIMETICISTS, nature’s school room regularly puts on a clinic we might call “How to Build an Animal.” I refer not to the building of a fundamentally new animal form, such as the first birds far in the distant past, but just to the ordinary birds-and-bees process of embryo development. We know, of […]
  • Food for thought #8
    Physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies understands cellular information thus:The living cell is best thought of as a supercomputer … Most of the workings of the cell are best described as information … which leaves us with a curious conundrum. How did nature fabricate the world’s first digital information processor—the original living cell—from the blind chaos […]