There's something very funny about Gannets, the podcast says. Gannets always lay one egg, even though they're perfectly capable of rearing two chicks at the same time. Nazca Boobies on the other hand always lay TWO eggs, but one of the chicks always dies. The podcast refers to how in Darwinian terms, this would qualify as an 'insurance policy'. And why? Because the second chick is born after the first chick - if the first chick is still alive and kicking, it kills the second. If not, it doesn't, and the second survives to serve as the progeny. What's funny is that the mother doesn't stop the killing of the second at all, so really all Nazca Boobies always create only one chick. In Blue-Footed Boobies, however, there is a possibility, depending on the supply of food, for two chicks to be born instead of one. I find that an incredibly cruel adaptation for any animal to develop, but the point is that Evolution is thoughtless like that. It’s strange how often in Biology we come across things like these that we would want the other way around. In my view ofcourse, there’s no arguing with Evolution, but plenty of people think otherwise.
Click here to see the video.
Nowadays in Biochemistry, we’ve been studying Enzyme Kinetics. It’s all very complicated stuff, really. So many rate constants and equilibria and all sorts of classes of enzymes behave differently. For the first time, we’re watching protein structure be simulated right in front of us (over-excitement?) – to find the P-loop motif in ATPases or the active site of Chymotrypsin (I know I’m just throwing around terms here. It’s fun, you should try it sometime.) There’s one plot I find just too messy for its own good, and just because I want it to be mysterious, I won’t explain what it means. It’s called the Lineweaver-Burk or Double-Reciprocal plot. Hopefully blogging about it will get me to remember it better for the exam.
Also, I’m too lazy to put up the YouTube link, but do listen to Broken Bells’ song The High Road.
Also, isn’t the Toyota Prius just wonderful?