Homology Weekly: DNA

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 | Ants, Homology Weekly, Humor, Molecular | 1 Comment

dnaAt any given position along their DNA sequences, ants may have any of the following four nucleic acid types: A, T, C or G. Unless we are dealing with the mitochondrial genome that is known to have quite a few A+T-rich regions in insects, in which case expect to find just those two types of nucleotides.

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Sunday’s reflection

Sunday, March 15th, 2009 | Humor, Off topic | Comments Off on Sunday’s reflection

underconstruction_004When did people realize that the Internet will always be under construction and stop apologizing?

Feliz cumpleaños Carlos.

Friday, February 13th, 2009 | Humor, Personalities | 1 Comment


Ever wonder how Charles Darwin gets celebrated the Mexican way? Well, with a piñata of course!

Meet the H.M.S. Beagle piñata.

If you are not familiar with Mexican culture I will just say that beating something with a wooden stick until it bursts into pieces is actually a sign of appreciation. I wasn’t there unfortunately, but I am sure the piñata was filled with exotic fruits and candy.


[Images courtesy of Rodolfo Salas]

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The worst hangover I ever had

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 | Humor, Publishing, Science | 3 Comments

I did my undergraduate studies in Biology at UNAM in Mexico City. While this institution holds the best science libraries in the country, there was always the odd paper I couldn’t find, especially when it came to insect taxonomy with its plethora of obscure journals. Add to this that electronic journals had yet to come into existence (it’s not that I am old, they are really a very recent phenomenon).

Back then, getting papers in the subject of one’s interest consisted in meticulously thumbing  through the heavy telephone books for animals called Zoological Records*, writing down some potentially useful references, and filling a petition for copies at a special place in campus that dealt with international inter-library loans. After that, you only had to wait a couple of weeks to get photocopies of some papers that were not quite what you were looking for. It felt like I was doing some serious research nevertheless. › Continue reading


Coming soon to a web-browser near you.

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 | Humor | 4 Comments

Archetype, the blog

(This blog is not yet rated)

Debuting in late November 2008.

Cast: Various ants, insects, other organisms, and Roberto as the morphologist.

Director: Roberto Keller

Genre: Action/Adventure/Thriller/Phylogeny/Ontogeny/Morphology/Taxonomy.

Synopsis: A one-man struggle to unravel ant evolution and phylogeny, his research will be forever changed when he inadvertently ventures into the realm of comparative anatomy, a mysterious land almost forgotten by twenty-first century Biology. As he tries to understand the connection between queen and worker morphology, development and evolution, he will use the blog to keep track of his almost random thoughts on the subject, while maybe learning something in the process but surely getting even more distracted from publishing his Ph.D. research.

Critic Reviews:

“Get those manuscripts ready for god’s sake” -Former dissertation advisor.

“Blogging is very nice, but publish or perish…” -Officemate.

“Don’t we have enough blogs about ants already?” –Fellow entomologist. › Continue reading

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And as we discussed last semester, the Army Ants will leave nothing but your bones.
- Tom Waits