Two good posts by Larry Moran at Sandwalk. One on the number of proteins created by genes in humans and the other on the cost of creating a new gene within an animal or species. The answers (cheating) are about 20,000 genes and not that great, according to the analysis.
Ed Yong explores more exotic sensory systems. This time he presents the mantis shrimp's ability to see polarized light. And then he presents how salmon and bullfrogs are able to switch their visual sensitivity to a different range on the electromagnetic spectrum, in order to see infrared.
Scott Bakker has a piece on Michael Graziano and his attention becomes consciousness proposal.
Michael Smith at Self Aware Patterns says we will eventually have a scientific theory of consciousness.
Lastly, Martin Rees claims if we ever find aliens they will have transitioned to an existence as robotic machines.