Remember all that stuff about Hox genes in the first year? Well it IS important! A study from Chicago shows that a primitive fish, Polyodon, shows expression of Hox and Sonic hedegog (one of my favourite gene names) in a pattern similar to that seen in tetrapods. The authors interpret this in terms of the gradual evolution of legs, over a 20 million year timescale.
Nature article (subscription needed to get past abstract), BBC article, an article by me about gene names.
The paperback edition of my book about the 17th century discovery of “the secrets of sex, life and growth” is out (£7.99). It’s called The Egg and Sperm Race and you can get it at Blackwell’s or from Amazon. It’s also in the library…
I have a review in the current issue of the Times Literary Supplement of three books about the evolution of morality, in particular about how (and if) apes show moral behaviour.