The rat genome

science rat

You will often hear creationists claim that there is a growing number of scientists who question evolution, and that Dobzhansky's dictum, that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, is false. They obviously don't read the scientific literature. What's clear in biology is that evolution is the indispensable integrator, the idea that ties together great and growing swathes of information, and that evolutionary biology is becoming ever more essential in research.

A case in point: the latest issue of Nature includes yet another landmark article, a description of the completion of the high-quality rough draft of the rat (Rattus norvegicus) genome (RGSPC, 2004). This is the third mammalian species (after the human and mouse) to have its genome fully sequenced, and we're seeing something that is going to be increasingly true as more and more genomes are completed: much of the interest now is in comparing the gigabytes of data extracted from each of these species, and using that information to evaluate evolutionary hypotheses.

Continue reading "The rat genome" (on Pharyngula)