lessons in evolution from an african fish, another principled conservative and unearned wealth

There was a recent news report in which a scientist claimed the concept of gradualism in evolution was dead. Someone forgot to tell the African cichlid fish, Seeing how evolutionary mechanisms yield biological diversity

Cichlids have several different cone opsin genes that enable them to detect light across the visible and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum. Different species express different subsets of these opsins to create alternate visual systems. The research team found that cichlid fish in the clear waters of Lake Malawi expressed a wide range of opsins, with closely related species differing in whether they used the shorter wavelength or longer wavelength gene combinations.

[  ]….The method of foraging for food was a key factor influencing fish vision. Fish whose diets consist primarily of zooplankton were more likely to have UV sensitivity, which enables them to detect the presence of these small transparent aquatic organisms that absorb ultraviolet light. In contrast, cichlids in the murky waters of Lake Victoria expressed longer wavelength combination of opsin genes, regardless of what they ate.

This long wavelength combination matches the light that is best transmitted through the murky water. A few Lake Victoria fish at clearer sites turned on shorter wavelength genes, suggesting that opsin expression matches the light environment. Therefore opsin gene expression in both lakes is adaptively determined based on important ecological variables.

That a family ( Cichlids belong to the taxonomic family Cichlidae) has closely related, yet intermediate adaptations according to environment, screams gradualism.

rooftops in spain

Truthdig is saying Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) is a Welfare Queen.

Bachmann, of Minnesota, has spent much of this year agitating against health care reform, whipping up the so-called tea-baggers with stories of death panels and rationed health care. She has called for a revolution against what she sees as Barack Obama’s attempted socialist takeover of America, saying presidential policy is “reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom.”

But data compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with profiting from taxpayer largesse. According to the organization’s records, Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006.

Shame on Truthdig for suggesting that another conservative is preaching one thing while practicing the exact opposite. That, subjectively might be welfare queenish behavior, but conservatives honestly see themselves as morally privileged, a modern aristocracy, with the special blessings of an invisible friend that lives in the sky. She is, according to conservative orthodoxy, entitled to anything she gets. As long as the government does have subsidies and price supports – which one would assume a principled conservative would fight tooth and nail to destroy – she is perfectly entitled to break off a piece of that unearned income for herself. Her constituents seem to share her raggedy bag of bizarre and paradoxical beliefs so come reelection time she will not even have to explain herself.

winter wallpaper

winter twilight wallpaper

This makes for a nice mental picture. If you’re writing a horror movie screenplay anyway, How do one-celled parasites move from the salivary gland of a mosquito through a person’s skin into red blood cells?

Under special microscopes, the researchers observed how the sporozoites adhere to several sites on the surface via the TRAP protein and then use the short actin filaments to push their body past these adhesion points. “The parasite can stretch forward while still attaching with its rear end – thus building up elastic energy. At the moment when the rear adhesion is detached, energy is released and the sporozoite glides forward rapidly,” explains Dr. Friedrich Frischknecht. The researchers call this mechanism the “stick-slip” method.

Which is science talk for how people get malaria via the injection of the mosquitoes proboscis which contains saliva which acts as an anticoagulant.