I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front for a while. This is largely because I have been busy making a couple of posters for a conference. For those who are interested and where unable to make it to Austria, here is my poster (click for high quality PDF) ->
It's actually the poster for our recent publication in Molecular Biosystems. (When you're self-promoting, go the whole hog, right?) I aim to attempt a proper lay person's summary in the near future but hopefully the poster will suffice for now for a general overview.
It's not the most world-changing paper ever but I am pleased to see it finally out there, being the culmination of about six years' work. (Not a solid six years, obviously, but a lot of work, nonetheless.)
It's the application of methods we developed to identify convergent evolution at the molecular level. (One of the causes of the delay was that we kept improving the methods before finishing the analysis of the application.) if nothing else, it exposes the lie that evolutionary theory has no practical theory. (We actually use signals of both convergent and "traditional" divergent evolution (i.e. conservation) to predict functional sites in proteins.)
As ever, the story is more complicated than we thought/hoped but it certainly seems that convergence evolution has been quite rampant at the molecular level during the evolution of animals. If you want to know what makes me say that... read the paper! :-p (Or wait for a future blog post.) But now, it's time for dinner!
Location:Seefeld, Tirol, Austria