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In a narrow escape, we evaded catastrophe today when fellow blogger Xeno discovered a giant chicken egg did not contain either a mutated chick intent on razing Tokyo or a parasitic alien, but a second normal chicken egg! Sci-fi fans everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

After my post yesterday I decided to do a few more entries on the unusual routes that have produced new genes. In the first example an intragenic inversion produced two new genes, tomorrow I will talk about a chimeric gene from capture of a gene from a mobile element, and then Thursday aberrant splicing in a fortuitous transcript of two adjacent genes followed by reverse transcription to insert the new gene into the genome. I don’t know about you, but my pulse goes up at least 5 bpm just thinking about it!

I did not realize at the beginning of the week how exciting it would be. It all started when Will Baird at The Dragon’s Tales linked to me, and then a link from Laelaps, and suddenly I shot from 0-5 page views per day to 100, then 130, then 190! I wanted to strike while the iron was hot so I ramped up my posting frequency this week. It’s not so easy! I feel like Mr. de Worde in Terry Pratchett’s The Truth (which you should all go out and buy):

The press waited. It looked now like a great big beast. Soon he’d throw a lot of words into it. And in a few hours it would be hungry again, as if those words had never happened. You could feed it, but you could never fill it up.

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blog readability test

I wonder if I could get the same results by strewing my blog with words like “arglefraster” and “zimmelloid”!

ON FEBRUARY 8 my blog had its best day ever, as upwards of a dozen (!!) viewers flocked to my page on sexual and asexual reproduction. Interestingly, most of the traffic was from tag surfers tracking the tag “sex”. I have reached the obvious conclusion that to draw more traffic, I need to sex up my blog. So kick the kids out of the room and continue to the explicit!! photograph below the break.

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IT’S TIME to christen the new blog, although since I can’t break a bottle of champagne across its bow I’m not sure how I’d manage that.

I decided to start this up and link to it from my Facebook page. Anyone visiting from Facebook–you know who I am. Those who just stumble across this blog–I guess you don’t.

I’m currently nearing completion of my Ph.D. in a concentration that is probably best described as bioorganic chemistry or perhaps chemical biology. In spite of getting a degree heavily slanted towards chemistry, I’ve developed more of an interest in biology in the past few years. I expect a lot of material here will be related to biology, but I should fit in a bunch of other stuff too.

So, time to get to work!