In a recent episode of This World of Humans, I interview Dr. Dan Graur of the University of Houston about his recent paper entitled, An Upper Limit on the Functional Fraction of the Human Genome. … More How much of our genome is junk?
Traumatic memories are especially prone to distortion and exaggeration over time, complicating recovery of PTSD. But could this phenomenon have once brought evolutionary value? … More Why does Trauma Cause Memory Distortion?
Earlier this year, Columbia University Press published a book entitled “Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome” by Nessa Carey. A popular science book written for a general audience, “Junk DNA” is an exploration of all the ways that DNA can function without coding for proteins. As the author rightly decries, the protein-coding regions of our DNA have gotten … More Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome
No matter their background in biology or medicine, sports fans everywhere are familiar with the anterior cruciate ligament, more commonly called the ACL. This is because injuries to the ACL are among the most common sports injuries. Probably most common in football, torn ACLs also occur in baseball, soccer, basketball, track and field, tennis… basically all … More Why Are ACL Injuries So Common? Poor Design.
The human eye is a well-tread example of how evolution can produce a clunky design even when the result is a well-performing anatomical product. The human eye is indeed a marvel, but if it were to be designed from scratch, it’s hard to imagine it would look anything like it does. Inside the human eye … More The Poor Design of the Human Eye
Gluttony is the overindulgence and over-consumption of food and drink and its something pretty much all of us are guilty of from time to time. We all love to eat. We especially crave rich, calorie-packed foods. Knowing that we “shouldn’t” often makes no difference at all. How often has your willpower collapsed at the sight … More The Evolution of Human Gluttony
Have you ever wondered why we humans need to have vitamin C in our diet, but dogs and cats don’t? American schoolchildren often begin their study of U.S. history by learning about the 14th and 15th century European explorers. I distinctly remember a story we were told about how sailors eventually learned to carry potatoes … More Why Humans Must Eat Vitamin C