I’m thrilled to announce that I have been invited to speak at the University of Michigan’s Early Career Scientists Symposium! The talks this year will be about the ecological and evolutionary processes of the microbiome, and I’ll be talking about how Euhaplorchis californiensis manipulates the behavior and physiology of its intermediate host (California killifish). I’ll also talk about the ecological and evolutionary implications of parasite manipulation of host phenotype.
The keynote speakers are Drs. Seth Bordenstein and Georgianna May. Reading through the talk titles from the keynote speakers and the rest of the invited speakers, it looks like it’s going to be an really awesome event. Click here or on the image below for more information about the event.
A thought I’ve had for a couple months now relates not to the Killfish, but to our own species. Okay, so 40% or whatever of our own DNA is just retrovirus or something, right? Well, here’s a question. A question we probably don’t want the answer to.
Humans share 99% of our DNA with monkeys, right? Now, is that the strictly human DNA, or is that the entirety of our DNA? Because if it’s just the “human” part, not the whole thing, then would that mean sapience is just the confused interworkings of retroviral infection?
Does that mean that anything can become sentient if we infect it the same way?
Does that mean science would just sequence stuff looking for the retroviral modifications that grant us sentience, and not respect other potentially intelligent species?