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Latest Jan Klein Stories

2012-05-09 11:50:03

Max Planck scientists decode genes for a complex characteristic Organisms are adapted to their environment through their individual characteristics, like body size and body weight. Such complex traits are usually controlled by many genes. As a result, individuals show tremendous variations and can also show subtle gradations. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön have now investigated how evolution alters such traits through selection. To...

2012-01-10 23:20:43

The cocktail maintaining immune gene variation The great variation of a specific form of immune genes makes organ transplants so complicated. On the other hand, we need such a great variability in order to resist infectious diseases. This is why it also plays a major role in the selection of sexual partners. Up until now, the mechanisms for maintaining this standing genetic variation have remained an evolutionary puzzle. In a study of sticklebacks, researchers from the Max Planck Institute...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'