Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kipunji Monkeys

An older article...but the recently discovered kipunji mokey seems to be closely related to baboons, sharing both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA with the genus Papio. It is suggested that they might in fact be a hybrid of Lophocebus mangabeys and Papio babboons.

There's no looking back (evolutionarily speaking)

The authors show that the evolutionary pathway of the vertebrate glucocorticoid receptor is most likely inaccessible to selection in the reverse direction.

Variance in mtDNA Among Bantu-speaking Populations

A study of mitochondrial DNA in two large Bantu-speaking groups, the Shona and the Hutu, shows that both groups display nearly all of the haplogroup markers characteristic of Bantu-speakers. Dispersal Bantu-speaking peoples in Africa was likely a gradual process, as evidenced by the pattern of genetic variability shown in this paper. However, some notable differences in mtDNA haplogroup composition seems to suggest that there was continued gene flow between already dispersed Bantu-speaking groups, as well as between Bantu and non-Bantu speaking groups. Interestingly, such variability was not found on the Y chromosome. Might this be explained by marriage and settlement patterns?

Friday, September 25, 2009

For all you Callithrix jacchus fans out there... now have microsatellite DNA markers and their chromosome assignment. The authors also demonstrate that blood samples are inappropriate for DNA genotyping because of blood chimeras.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reconstructing Indian population history

The authors found great genetic diversity among Indian groups (greater than that observed within Europe). They suggest that this is a result of many founder events followed by limited gene flow. They also found evidence that two populations (one is closely related to Europeans and Central Asians, the other is closest to the Onge of the Andaman Islands) are ancestral to most current Indian populations.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gene therapy fixes color blindness in monkeys

HuGE Navigator

This site will be useful for looking up candidate genes: a "searchable knowledge base of genetic associations" (thanks Sameer!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

recent positive selection on genes associated with/linked to male pattern baldness

From the paper (AGA = pattern baldness):

Interestingly, it is the AGA risk haplotype that
shows evidence for positive selection in the European
population. The AGA risk haplotype also carries a derived
non-synonymous allele (57K) in the flanking ectodysplasin
A2 receptor gene (EDA2R). The 57K allele may have been
the target of positive selection in East Asians: it shows
large allele frequency diverences between populations,
lies in a likely functional domain of the
EDA2R protein, and the ancestral allele, 57R, is conserved
from human to rat. Thus, the AGA risk haplotype may have
hitchhiked to high frequency in Europeans as a result of
positive selection on the linked 57K allele in EDA2R

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where Did All the Flowers Come From? Flower Genomics

Nice review of the evolution of flowering plants, and increasing complexity of their origination. Without angiosperms, no primates...?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Recent de novo origin of human protein-coding genes

. . . human-specific protein-coding genes originating from ancestrally noncoding sequences.


Fossil feather coloration

Yale researchers identify melanosomes in a fossil feather. Color is difficult to establish, but provides evidence of pigmentation that was previously just artistic license.