Thursday, 22 November 2007

I'm marking exams. They're not … good. But they're taking up most of my time, along with endless bloody meetings where we go around and around and around — but not, unfortunately, in ever-decreasing circles. If we did, at least we'd get somewhere.

In the moments between marking and swearing and meetings and swearing, I'm writing for money, which is A Good Thing. And in my spare nanoseconds, I'm reading Sean Carroll's Endless forms most beautiful, which explains evo-devo to those of us who studied embryology before Hox genes were big.

Evo-devo is the branch of evolutionary biology that looks at embryonic development and the way in which it leads to differing morphologies. Development is shaped by a handful of Hox genes, which are pretty much the same whether they're in crabs, crinoids or kookaburras. PZ Myers gives a good intro to their role in this post at Pharyngula. And he's written plenty more about them.

Fascinatin' stuff.

1 comment:

sarala said...

Ah, the life of the Academic. Makes working for myself seem better, lack of benefits notwithstanding.
Hope you get out to enjoy your summer and take more photos for us.
Don't gloat as our snowy weather sets in.