Compendium of Earth and Life Histories

“If you take the entire living biosphere, that’s the assemblage of 20 million species or so that constitute all the living creatures on the planet, and you have a genome for every species the total is still about one petabyte, that’s a million gigabytes… And somehow mother nature manages to create this incredible biosphere, to create this incredibly rich environment of animals and plants with this amazingly small amount of data.” - Freeman Dyson

If genes are a reflection of the environment of a cell or organism, then what do we make of an entire genome? An entire record of…


Genes Mirror the Environment

“Fossil bones and footsteps and ruined homes are the solid facts of history, but the surest hints, the most enduring signs, lie in those miniscule genes. For a moment we protect them with our lives, then like relay runners with a baton, we pass them on to be carried by our descendants. There is a poetry in genetics which is more difficult to discern in broken bones, and genes are the only unbroken living thread that weaves back and forth through all those boneyards.” — Jonathan Kingdon, The Self-Made Man: Human Evolution from Eden to Extinction,1996

A reductionist view of…


Human Biology Reflects Habitat

“It is not the organs — that is, the character and form of the animal’s bodily parts — that have given rise to its habits and particular structures. It is the habits and manner of life and the conditions in which its ancestors lived that have in the course of time fashioned its bodily form, its organs and qualities.”- Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

If the alien scientists are to examine the human body (with or without our permission), they are going to discover a wealth of information about our home planet. Our lungs are a dead giveaway about the presence of an…


Evolving the Candidate Species

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”– Carl Sagan

If we are to stand in the shoes — if they have any — of the alien scientists the purpose of their experiment can become clearer. Why should anyone make an evolution experiment on a distant planet? Aside from curiosity, which is a strong driver in itself, we could also be motivated by all the genetic combinations that life on Earth could come up with. If we share the same genetic framework, then such novel genes on Earth…


[These recent years have been quite interesting especially for scientists and the general public who are into knowing more about astrobiology or the search for alien life. Early this year, the United States (US) Department of Defense released declassified video clips of “unidentified aerial phenomena.” Several months ago, a few scientists mused at the possibility that the interstellar object, Oumuamua, could be an alien spacecraft or a probe. And just a week ago, retired Israeli professor and General Haim Eshed made a controversial claim that a “Galactic Federation” has visited Earth and are, in fact, cooperating with the governments of…


Curiosity Gene

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.”- Albert Einstein

There is, indeed, a “curiosity gene.” That gene is called DRD4, which stands for dopamine receptor D4. It was identified by Max Planck Institute researchers in 2007. DRD4 is responsible for building receptors for the neurotransmitter, dopamine, in the brain [1]. The existence of a…


[These recent years have been quite interesting especially for scientists and the general public who are into knowing more about astrobiology or the search for alien life. Early this year, the United States (US) Department of Defense released declassified video clips of “unidentified aerial phenomena.” Several months ago, a few scientists mused at the possibility that the interstellar object, Oumuamua, could be an alien spacecraft or a probe. And just a week ago, retired Israeli professor and General Haim Eshed made a controversial claim that a “Galactic Federation” has visited Earth and are, in fact, cooperating with the governments of…


These recent years have been quite interesting especially for scientists and the general public who are into knowing more about astrobiology or the search for alien life. Early this year, the United States (US) Department of Defense released declassified video clips of “unidentified aerial phenomena.” Several months ago, a few scientists mused at the possibility that the interstellar object, Oumuamua, could be an alien spacecraft or a probe. And just a week ago, retired Israeli professor and General Haim Eshed made a controversial claim that a “Galactic Federation” has visited Earth and are, in fact, cooperating with the governments of…

Paul Rommel Elvira

Non-fiction and science-fiction writer. Has a PhD in cell biology and a PostDoc in molecular evolution. Learn more: https://prbelvira.wixsite.com/website

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