Sunday, August 03, 2008

Some interesting points in "Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution" by Sean B. Carroll

Enjoyed Making of the Fittest. Some things that caught my attention:

1 * Vision

- Old world monkeys trichromatic vision vs. new world ones . Duplication of opsin on X. Birds have 4 and can see UV! Only 2 for nocturnal vision.

- Whales and eels at similar depth converged on blue sensing of rhodopsin - an ex. of convergent evol.!

- Whales lost color vision

- Only 2 color receptors in primates & many other mammals since they're nocturnal .

- However, howler monkey (NW) has 3 color receptors & fewer olfactory receptors. Same dupl. of gene but smaller size and diff. AA. Represents convergence since only one in lineage.

2 * Smell

- Humans lost VR1 (vomeronasal) genes

3 * Related to other stuff

- MyH16 is pgene in humans but gene in other primates associated w. a big jaw !

- Glivec as tyr kinase inhib. against CML but evo. fights against this

- Incidence of malaria vs mosquito occurrence in Africa

- "Unique among primates, the colobine monkeys have adapted to a predominantly leaf-eating diet by evolving a foregut that utilizes bacterial fermentation to breakdown and absorb nutrients from such a food source." This monkey has a duplicated ribonuclease which works in more acid conditions as it is ruminant .

More of my notes on this book are at :

(Some even rawer ones are tagged with makingfittest0mg in my email.)