Monday, December 2, 2013

Biology Department Lecture - Nov 18, 2013

Hello all, so due to my computer crashing and the holidays/Black Friday craziness at Best Buy, I was not able to recover my notes and have them transferred to my new computer until late last night, hence why I'm tardy with this post.  However, I hope that it will be interesting none-the-less;
Dr. Paivi H. Leinonen’s graduated from the University of Oulu, Finland.  She is now currently working for Duke University.  Her entire speech/lecture was about ‘Genetics of Adaptation’.  She showed many examples of studies done with organisms and their adaptation to their environment, like the genetic drift of flowers in the Mohave Desert and the color of mice depending on their environment (for the same species of course).  Essentially she strived to show that a species will do better in its own environment than a ‘foreign’ species will do in that same environment.
She then went on to discuss the research that she had conducted and showed her results having the same correlation.  Her research was on plants (Lyrata) that were found in NC and in Norway and she quantified measurements of survival using, flowering status, # of fruits and seeds, and flowering duration, etc.  She later took it a step further and crossed the alleles and found that the local alleles would dominate the ‘foreign’ alleles. 

I found what Dr. Leinonen said was interesting, but I was not thoroughly convinced that this was something that could be considered ‘fact’, or ‘theory’, or ‘law’.  While she was thorough in the process of her experiment, I believe that showing one species in only 2 locations does not make for enough evidence to support a ‘fact’, or ‘theory’, or ‘law’.  When I asked her about her research, she had told me that the experiment had been done in other European countries, but I think she should have taken her experiment to other continents with harsher/different climates and tested different ‘foreign’ plants along with different species of plants/organisms.

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