Jon_Herron's blog

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A Case of Suspended Animation

In 1977, an outbreak of seasonal flu struck China and Russia. A epidemic of seasonal flu was, of course, no surprise. But the viral strain responsible was something of a shock. The strain was H1N1 influenza A, which had not been seen in the wild for two decades.

New Respect for Opossums

Jon HerronDriving home just now through my neighborhood, I encountered an opossum crossing the road. I try not to think or speak ill of any creature (except maybe some pathogens I've known only too well), but it's hard to avoid the impression that opossums are ugly, stupid, and slow.

Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Hop

Jon HerronTransitional fossils offer tangible evidence of evolution. Examples include feathered dinosaurs, tetrapod-like fish, and the pterosaur I described in an earlier post. These relics, some of which were predicted before they were found, testify to dramatic changes in lifestyle, body form, and behavior. Lately, a terrestrial fish has me thinking about living species that, like these fossils, appear to be in the midst of evolutionary transitions. Yes, you read that right: a terrestrial fish.

How The Gray Wolf Turned Black

Jon HerronMy previous post concerned an apparently beneficial genetic variant, common in modern humans, that some researchers suspect we picked up via sex with Neanderthals.

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