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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/08/2019 in all areas

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    I appreciate your forwardness mblance. I think your experience with those programming languages will be better suited with the IT team rather than the Data Entry team. The DE team will be focused on inputting data into the explorer, which includes species names, attributions, descriptions, images, etc. that will be present in every clade in the Explorer. Not much will be done about programming on our end except if it poses a significant problem with our duties. As Steve mentioned, Emmanuel and Orwell (the IT leads) may be able to use your programming skills more, but if you're willing to help out in the manual inputting of clade information as I described above, you can certainly lend a hand. Once we get a task list of specific goals to accomplish, I'll reach out and offer you the option to help us out.
  3. 1 point
    Well put! Just as a side note, these distinctions in all the sciences (not just bio) often seem pretty arbitrary especially in small samples or close up. For instance the difference between glass and quartz, they both have a molecular structure of one silicon and two oxygen (SiO2). In glass the molecules are all over the place and in quartz they are in nice ordered rows and if your sample is absurdly small (say two molecules) then you can't tell if they are nicely ordered or if they are amorphous/unstructured thus defining the sample as either is difficult. You see the same issue when trying to determine the boundary between our atmosphere and space, how little atmosphere is needed before it can be called space.
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    I was inspired to sketch this up after watching AronRa interview Robert Schneiker on his analysis of the Sphinx and Gobekli Tepe. One viewer asked the question on whether there were fossils in the Sphinx. This is my rendition of a nummulite which i believe is the kind of fossil they were talking about. I used a photo on wikipedia as reference "Nummulite, Life and Rocks 1894. R A Lydekker"
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    Scyliorhinidae (commonly known as catsharks) are probably the largest extant family of sharks, with at least 160 species in 17 genera (according to knowledge from 2014) and with new species being described every year as commercial fisheries and scientific research move into deeper waters. These cartilaginous fish can be found worldwide from tropical to arctic waters, usually near the seabed. However, our understanding of these animals is greatly limited, as many are deep sea species living below 2000m (6000 feet) depths. For instance, about a third of the species in Apristurus are known from only one scientifically described specimen and in several cases the original and only specimen has been lost. These limitations in taxonomic information have obvious repercussions in identification and classification, as certain species can be very difficult to tell apart without knowledge of very specific taxonomic details. For instance, one of the few ways to tell Scyliorhinus canicula and Scyliorhinus stellaris apart taxonomically are the size of their nasal flaps (skin folds near their nostrils), yet one species is one of the most common in the Mediterranean Sea while the other is one of the rarest. Genetic tests can obviously shed some light on the identification and classification of these animals, but that requires some form of DNA samples for analysis. Until relatively recently, most specimens where preserved in formaldehyde solutions or formalin, which damages DNA by causing single-strand breaks. Although most labs and collections (that I am aware of) seem to be transitioning specimens to either isopropyl or ethyl alcohol for the safety of both specimens and scientists/students, the damage on those old yet unique specimens has already been done, limiting the information we can get from DNA analyses. Yet, DNA analyses have been able to provide new insights on the classification of catsharks and even challenge our understanding of those animals' phylogeny. Dr Gavin Naylor runs the Chondrichthyan Tree of Life (https://sharksrays.org/), an online phylogenetic tree for all extant cartilaginous fish and the baseline from which I have been building the extant clades in the PEP. If you try to find Scyliorhinidae in Naylor's website (inside Carcharhiniformes) you will see that the clade is turning out to be polyphyletic, with genera being organized in three "Scyliorhinidae" clades: Scyliorhinidae I: Apristurus, Asymbolus, Bythaelurus, Figaro, Halaelurus, Haploblepharus, Holohalaelurus, Parmaturus. Scyliorhinidae II: Atelomycterus, Aulohalaerus, Schroederichthys Scyliorhinidae III: Cephaloscyllium, Cephalurus, Poroderma, Scyliorhinus These "temporary clades" are still flawed, but they are good starting point for a better understanding of the phylogeny and evolution of catsharks. It seems that the standard "catshark phenotype" has either been selected through convergent evolution multiple times in Carcharhiniformes or is closer to the basal phenotype of the clade from which other taxa evolved from and has been retained in certain benthic species (I still need to find more information on this). Either way, these little sharks are a bit of a phylogenetic headache when it come to placing them in a phylogenetic tree. If anyone has additional information (papers, news, presentations, videos, etc...) on these sharks and their phylogeny please share them here, as any help is welcomed when it comes to solving the issues for the classification of these mysterious marine predators.
  9. 1 point
    An update on the classification of catsharks. A new paper by Soares, Marcelo and de Carvalho has just been published examining the phylogeny of the 16 species in the genus Scyliorhinus. The paper looked at 84 morphological characters on specimens of the 16 Scyliorhinus species, 4 of the 18 Cephaloscyllium species, the 2 species of Poroderma, specimens of almost all the other scyliorhinid genera and 1 specimen of proscyliid (to use as the root of the cladogram). A strict consensus cladogram supported that the genera Scyliorhinus, Cephaloscyllium and Poroderma compose a monophyletic clade: Scyliorhininae. This brings a few changes to the 3 previously made classifications I had entered in the Phylogeny Explorer's tree. This new paper seems to instead support a similar yet slightly different classification of the three major scyliorhinid clades: Scyliorhinidae I: Apristurus, Asymbolus, Bythaelurus, Cephalurus, Figaro, Halaelurus, Haploblepharus, Holohalaelurus, Parmaturus, Schroederichthys Scyliorhinidae II: Atelomycterus, Aulohalaerus Scyliorhininae: Cephaloscyllium, Poroderma, Scyliorhinus Nothing is written on stone however, and this classification will likely further change in the future with new research. Additionally, this paper doesn't address the classification of Pseudotriakidae, Gogolia filewoodi and Pentachus profundicolus, which the Chondrichthyan Tree of Life (https://sharksrays.org/) built by Dr Gavin Naylor has nestled in between these three major Scyliorhinid clades, while also making Scyliorhinidae a paraphyletic clade. Considering this is by far the most diverse group of extant selachimorphs (sharks), keeping track of these phylogenetics papers is important to ensure the accuracy of our tree. Soares,_Marcelo_&_de_Carvalho_(2020)_Phylogenetic_Relationship_of_Catshark_Species_of_the_Genus_Scyliorhinus.pdf
  10. 1 point
    Greetings everyone! I've started working as a volunteer in the Phylogeny Explorer Project, in Data Entry, in January and I've loved it since the beginning. I've joined due to being a science enthusiast and due to my passion of Biology. I've worked on the Lagomorpha clade for a few months and from that moment on I've started meeting and knowing a considerable amount of good and dedicated people that are passionate about what they are doing. It's an ambitious project and I'm honored for being a part of such a good and professional team that has helped me adapt and learn a lot about the project and its vision! As of now I'm the Data Entry Manager along with my fellow Gabe Stroup. There's a lot of work to be done, but with great effort and will the PEP will be very first website that presents a grand tree of life! Regarding my background, it's pretty simple. My name is João Ferreira, and I'm from Portugal. I've finished my Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 2017, and I'm finishing my Post-Graduation in Strategy. I've always wanted to pursue Biology, but due to the low employability in my country on that field I had to pursue something else. I'm passionate about Biology, Genetics and Animal Behaviour and I try to read and stay in touch with that area of interest of mine. I'm also passionate about Philosophy and Religion (the study of it). I hope everybody who comes to the Project feels good about being part of such an amazing team and I look forward with working with everybody who has an interest in contributing to Science! Cheers!
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    Welcome Joe enjoy your stay. Where always looking for volunteers.
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    I am a software engineer by trade but find joy in studying cosmology, some math (I enjoy numberphile) and biology. My dad would spend hours showing me plants and such as we would hike. I like visiting zoos and now finding amazement by the deversity of life. I am hoping to spend some time helping with the software
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    Hi everybody, I am a grad student at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences. I am currently part of the Shark Research & Conservation program (SRC) based off Virginia Key (https://sharkresearch.rsmas.miami.edu). I have always been fascinated with classification and encyclopedias and could not resist the opportunity to contribute to this project. So far I have entered and reviewed almost every taxa in Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays & chimeras) and I am hoping to continue entering data for these clades that passionate me personally. I have a background in marine biology and marine conservation. My goal is to specialize in sharks, hoping to (one day) get into a PhD to study Lamniformes (my personal favorites). I am also an underwater photographer and videographer particularly interested in audiovisual media to convey science. I have a small YouTube channel where I give hints on how to find marine life for non-specialist interested in having underwater wildlife encounters (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm5sLQXwzvNnDXE9cUzvCDg?view_as=subscriber). It isn't much, but I hope to be able to add more content as time goes by. Happy to be part of the team!
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    Hi folks, I've been with the PEP fairly early on when we were still growing our Facebook group and helping to get the project off the ground. Most of my contributions were from expanding some clades in the Explorer like the bovids, cetaceans, xiphosurans, and a bunch of other stuff. From my experience learning how the Explorer works, I'm now helping to be one of the team leaders for the Data Entry sector. Once we have all our eggs in a row, ready to accept more people to join our Data Entry team, I and a few others will be around to show how data entry works and help answer any questions that may arise in expanding the Explorer's scope of data that will become useful in the future for scientists and hobbyists alike. I also intend to help out in other sectors of the project whenever something piques my interest. I'm based in the Salt Lake area of Utah, after going to college at Rutgers University (graduating with a bachelor's in general biology), and aside from this, I currently work with the US Forest Service in the Ogden Ranger District (at least until the end of September.) I'm also a photography hobbyist, hoping to break into wildlife photography or filmmaking someday. One can browse my work on my photography blog: GSBytePhoto.blogspot.com Thanks for reading, and I look forward to working with all of you sometime.
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    Hi guys, I'm pleased to be joining this project as a Biology enthusiast, a supporter of Aron Ra, and a data wiz. I have a computer science / IT background with experience transforming and modeling trees as well as exploratory data analysis, full-stack web applications development (Python / Django / Flask / JavaScript / React), and system/cloud ops . I'm studying data science and I have an interest in visualizing, modeling, and making predictions with existing data. I feel like Biology is a great tool to show the world that you cannot simply invent your own reality and that science is the only way knowing things by making predictions and building working models to show how the world works. How can we quantify and qualify this to the average person? If we wanted to prove, for example, that we can predict the exact locations of our ancestry using phylogenetics, what would be a good resource? -Matt Buck
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    Welcome, i will add you to the designers team. edit: added you to the team.
  18. 1 point
    Hi, I'd like to help with art and possibly 3D models of critters for the project. Here's some I did a good while back.
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    WELCOME to the new Forum of the, ‘Phylogeny Explorer Project’! Well, Forum doesn’t quite cover it anymore. We grew up and made a Website that has just about everything in it and we can expand even more if needed. What do we have to offer?: Forums: I think this speaks for itself, but this Forum comes with lots of features and sections (public, invite and private). Blog: We can make blogs. This post is one. Loyalty - only sponsors and people that contribute in some way to the project are allowed to fully access them, but routine updates will be available to all. Store: We have a fully functioning store where you can buy products, services and/or digital merchandise. We are going to build this slowly. Downloads: We have a dedicated/special section where media files can be uploaded and organised. There’s a special, hidden section for project related media too, which is not public. We are even allowing people to sell their digital goods. When you do this you are sponsoring us. Gallery: You can upload images to our gallery. We can then use the images on the project if needed. Articles: What does not belong in the Forums, we can turn into interesting articles. Think of a post that is written with care, that we can promote to an Article for more exposure. Calendar: We have a calendar where we can add important or project related itinerary. What people find interesting, we can even make special calendars that are for dedicated topics only. Subscription: It is also possible to subscribe to us. You will get more Private Mail in return or bigger avatars and even more space for uploads. Donate: It’s now also possible to make donations. You can even choose where (what aspect of the project) the donations will go to. Activity stream: We have an activity stream where you can follow what has been happening on this site, you can even customize it. What is still in development? Well, as Administrator, a website is never done; there is always new suggestions, ideas, updates and one more thing on the list to do. But major upcoming projects here are: · Tutorials that are being written and made into bite-sized video's (to inclusively help everyone to get around). · Making access more available to people with disabilities or difficulties, be it sight, hearing, dexterity, mobility, dyslexia, cerebral or other impairments. · A section where people’s contributions are recognised, or work promoted. · There are many other, largely educational projects (branches/subclades) within the overall project and information will be added on these in time. · If you are interested in contributing your time or skills in any of a range of things – many do not require skills, then a new section which lists all available jobs, roles and positions will be added. These include everything on the project, not just social media, so data entry, developers, admins etc. Please note that we have a pretty full showing on the social media front (all linked at the bottom here) and we need people to monitor, moderate and admin them, as well as be able (or learn/to be trained) to work behind the scenes on them. Don't like the colour theme of the forums? Go to the foot of this pasge and change the theme. If you want to volunteer, contact @brachiosteve or go to our Facebook Group or Page (Links below in the footer).
  21. 1 point
    Nice of you to assume that someone has never been dishonest before would be anyway if the very conditions I asked for were met, which is just as wrong as everything else you’ve said. Are you merely projecting your frustration at there never being any evidence of anything ever being created? I don’t think you understand what the word, “objectively” means. It means not dependent on imagination or determined by personal feelings or opinions. If there is evidence of a creator, then why do the heads of all major religions admit that it requires faith instead? Remember that I’ll accept anything that qualifies as evidence, any body of objectively verifiable facts that are positively indicative of, or exclusively concordant with that position. We both know you can’t produce that, and that means that what I said was objectively true. You don’t have ANY authority. You're just denying all the evidence, which I’m not going to let you do anymore. It would be good if you would address where Professor Myers refuted a specific claim of Intelligent Design creationism, since that contradicts what you had just said. However I will only insist that you address what Dr Kenneth Miller said about how we know that the human/Chimp chromosome #2 was fused. I have never appealed to authority at all. How can you absolutely wrong about absolutely everything, 100% of the time for such a long time and still believe anything you say? I don’t "refuse" to believe in God! You just can’t produce any reason why I should. That’s your failure, not mine. I sincerely apologize for the abysmal experience that this discussion board has been due to these technical issues. I will have the whole thing stripped, replaced or dropped altogether, but I’m not going to put up with having to type my whole response into a word document before pasting into the forum. Cut out all your meaningless personal attacks and all discussion of your mythology, and just stick to the topic. Here are the points you have yet to address, but should. You said there’s no more proof of linking the phylogenetic tree, than there is for linking the items in the trash together". But I pointed out that we CAN actually prove a genetic ancestry. In some recent cases, we can even identify specific mutations leading to particular strains, to show exactly how this parent set really did become this daughter group. As I've already told you, we have genetic orthologues definitely linking several different species. For example, check out this 2005 study of Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog. You also failed to answer the Phylogeny Challenge or even admit that you failed. You made another false accusation that it was fallacious but you couldn't explain how. You also need to admit why you can't produce any citation from any creationist who ever answered my simple yes or no questions in that Challenge; because you wrongly alleged that it is "objectively false” when it’s objectively verifiable, while pretending that I had been "called out" several times on this when it hadn’t even been challenged once. You should admit that just as humans don't make up the natural laws of the universe, we have to figure out what they are, we also have to do that with the rules of phylogenetic ancestry. So you were wrong about that too. You said that “certainly can cite academic lessons on evolution which conflates speciation with micro-evolution", but you failed to do so, and should admit why you could not. This is the second time I’ve had to ask you this too. Since evolution is "decent with inherent modification" and a mutated fly is a modification of its ancestor, themselves mutated flies being modified from their ancestors, then why doesn't it count as speciation when they meet all the required criteria of each definition? What WOULD you accept as a new species of whatever? Theodosius Dobzhansky was a pioneer in genetics, famous for publishing the paper, Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except In The Light of Evolution. He was also the first to document unambiguous speciation, which the entire scientific communuty and ever creationist organizations accept. So what excuse do you have for dismissing his work? What about the nylon bug? Or the new discovery of plastic-eating bacteria? In either case, we have a population of one microbial species, but then one subset of that population develops a uniquely distinctive trait exclusive to that population. That’s the definition of unicellular speciation, isn’t it? If leading scientists call this speciation and even the barking mad pseudoscience nuts like Institute for Creation Research and Answers In Genesis accept speciation, even though they’re desperate to deny all the science they can, then what justification do you have to dismiss it? Regarding the new species of mice on Madeira, I asked if they’re just “mutated mice” in your opinion, because they didn’t turn into something else? What do you think speciation is? And where do you imagine evolution requires and teaches whatever you think speciation is? While you’re pondering that, here is a link to a description of speciation provided by Berkeley University’s introductory primer, Evolution 101. And here is a more detailed explanation from the Public Library of Science. I have been 100% correct so far, and you are demonstrating that it is indeed impossible to defend creationism honestly. Again, I’m not the one being dishonest. Not if you make it all the way through without repeatedly ignoring direct points and queries put to you. There are no creationists putting out good arguments for creationism because there aren’t any good arguments to put out. The movement depends entirely on frauds, falsehoods and fallacies. No, you've demonstrated that that *is* the case. This is another lie disproved by all the times I’ve cited Christian scientists, explaining that whether you believe in God or not is irrelevant to this discussion in the end. Disproving God was never and will never be a part of this. I don't have insecurities, and still wouldn’t even if I doubted the veracity of my position. Then produce your evidence of creation, which you already know you can’t because it doesn't exist.
  22. 1 point
    Hi, Here read this article. It might help you find when virus came first. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/what-came-first-cells-or-viruses
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