Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Arsenic Bacteria Paper criticism

Lesson: don't hold a press conference for your paper...?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/science/14arsenic.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=arsenic&st=cse



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

old mouse, young mouse


New Nature paper on reverse-aging and telemerases in mice.

Prestin evolution in bats and whales


Another great example of convergent molecular mechanisms.

(thanks, Tim!) -- oops, see Tim's post from Oct 26th... I should really read this blog more -B

Adaptation genomics: the next generation


New review in TREE...

Neanderthal tooth development


New article in PNAS by Tanya Smith et al...

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus

The title pretty much says it all. The bacterium GFAJ-1, hailing from Mono Lake, CA, has been persuaded to substitute arsenic for phosphorus to sustain growth. This is potentially major in terms of biochem/life on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. Not strictly anthro-based, but very cool and extremely relevant to molecular evolution.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Seeing red

Pop sci article about color vision

Inner Life of a Cell


cool new animation illustrating what happens at the cellular level.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ozzy's genes

This would have been a good dissertation topic . . .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New review paper on MITF


worth keeping in mind for white-patches paper...

Another cool GWAS study--this one on longevity

The authors of this PNAS article found that members of the general population living past age 85 do not have fewer disease risk alleles (coronary diseases, cancer, diabetes) than a random sample of young adults. We have to keep looking for the answer to healthy longevity...

Move over hormones, make some space for direct genetic effects!

As a "hormone person," I found this quite interesting! Some sex differences are not mediated by hormones, but rather by direct genetic effects--for example, on the midbrain dopaminergic system.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Multivariate Selection Theory in Primatology


Rich's new paper in the Open Anthropology Journal provides a nice review of quantitative genetics.

Personalized Epigenomics


soon it will be EWAS instead of GWAS...

epigenetics on the dad's side


A new study in Nature (Ng et al) shows evidence that the father's diet (prior to conception) can affect his offsprings' health. -- perfect timing given our recent lab meeting conversation

mRNA from hair and disease (Usher syndrome)


"mRNA extracted from hair roots is a potentially powerful and convenient tool for mutation analysis in USH-causing genes'

Genomics' X prize


the $10 million prize for 10 genomes in 10 days for $10,000 .... getting close to a winner, but the question is the QC judging...


Emily & Andrew's Baringo work highlight of SVP


Nice little Ann Gibbons plug in Science NewsFocus.

genotyping CNVs


new approaching using short reads (another useful tangent from the 1000 genomes project)

Science special issue on epigenetics


already flagged by Tim, but worth also linking to the ToC of this science issue -- perhaps articles on small RNAs and prions of later interest...

Gene patents ...perhaps no more


This will be a good debate topic for ANTH204

"Friday the U.S. Department of Justice issued a brief saying that the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 should never have been patented."

1000 Genomes Project


The first major paper from the project was published last week in Nature.

So now we supposed have 94% of human variable sites documented -- including the identification of many 'rare variants'.

An interest snippet from the Nature News article:
"results of the survey revealed, with each person's genome carrying some 250 or 300 so-called 'loss-of-function' mutations that incapacitate the gene in which they occur.

"That's quite a lot — it's on the order of 1% of all genes," says Richard Durbin, a genomicist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK, and one of the chief architects of the project."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Plague Origins & Epidemiology Across China, Europe, and Africa



Interesting review of the distribution of plague strains across the west, with their origins - "'The likely origin of the plague in China has nothing to do with its people or crowded cities,' Dr. Achtman said. 'The bacterium has no interest in people, whom it slaughters by accident. Its natural hosts are various species of rodent such as marmots and voles, which are found throughout China.'"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Human adaptations associated with the use of fire



Interesting new EvAnth paper by Wrangham and Carmody.

Some of the adaptations they discuss are of particular interest for us, eg:

"Reduced body hair, with extra warmth achieved at night by resting near a campfire."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Neanderthal fashion


Project Runway contestants design for Neanderthals

(more evidence that you can post anything on this blog...)

Genomes Unzipped



Public access to personal genomics data from the company 23andMe.

This is a good topic for the 'awesome or not awesome?' ANTH204 debate...

Species Concepts


This is a nice little snippet on species concepts with the great concluding sentence:
" there are n+1 definitions of 'species' in a room of n biologists "

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The energetics of genome complexity

"Virtually every ‘eukaryotic’ trait is also found in prokaryotes, including nucleus-like structures, recombination, linear chromosomes, internal membranes, multiple replicons, giant size, extreme polyploidy, dynamic cytoskeleton, predation, parasitism, introns and exons, intercellular signalling (quorum sensing), endocytosis-like processes and even endosymbionts. Bacteria made a start up virtually every avenue of eukaryotic complexity, but then stopped short. Why?"

The authors suggest that it has everything to do with the energetics of expressing genes and that eukaryotic cells can only express their genes because of their symbioses with mitochondria. Because mitochondrial symbiosis evolved only once, so did eukaryotic cells.

Admittedly, this has very little to do with molecular anthropology, but it's still a fascinating read.

The molecular evolution of ultrasonic hearing in cetaceans

Evolution of the gene Prestin maps closely with the evolution of high-frequency hearing. Furthermore, numerous identical Prestin amino acid changes are shared by whales and bats.

Lamarckian Inheritance in a nematode

Remy found that olfactory imprints of parents (acquired during their lifetime) were inherited by offspring in C. elegans.

Sleep genes

Friday, October 22, 2010

Identifying CNV Hotspots

Flanking SNPs inform CNV mutation rates.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why the leopard got its spots

Interesting paper about felid coloration.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Age and Diet Affect Gene Expression Profiles in Canine Liver Tissue

. . . one more

CNV and Schizophrenia

Timely articles in PLoS ONE today

New article about CNV and amylase in humans

Individual Differences in AMY1 Gene Copy Number, Salivary α-Amylase Levels, and the Perception of Oral Starch

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New articles on animal coloration

Articles about hair structure (with some cool SEM pics) and the relationship between feather color and bacterial resistance.

SEM atlas of hair structure

Otter hair

Parrot feathers & bacterial resistance

Friday, October 8, 2010

Roadmap Epigenomics Project data release

Here is the article I mentioned during our discussion about the release of the first chunk of data from a major epigenomics project.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An example of the extreme morphological diversity that can result from epigenetic effects...

Here's a photo by Mark Moffett of a minor and major Pheidologeton diversus. And you thought primates were cool...

Monday, October 4, 2010

habitat fragmentation affects howler monkey dispersal

Evidence of reduced gene flow in fragmented forests. Not a surprising result, but an example of how genetic data can help answer questions that would otherwise require years of longitudinal research.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Detecting gene-gene interactions in genome-wide studies

A new method to analyze SNPs and identify gene-gene interactions in genome-wide case-control studies. It has a catchy name - “BOolean Operation-based Screening and Testing” (BOOST). This paper is mathematically technical, but worth skimming.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A polymorphism in the oestrogen receptor gene explains covariance between digit ratio and mating behaviour

Finally a mechanism for 2D:4D variation?

Heritable circadian period length in a wild bird population

This study manages to show that temporal patterns of activity are highly heritable.

Gene copy-number polymorphism in nature

The authors review the state of the study of gene copy number variation (CNV), including how to detect them, how they are created and some evidence for natural selection acting on CNV.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sean Carroll Lecture

The National Association of Science Writers is holding their annual meeting at Yale this year from Nov. 5-9. The lineup includes a number of interesting talks, but two that stick out are those given by Sean Carroll and Yale's very own Laurie Santos. I'm going to try to catch a bit of the conference, so let me know if you're interested and we can head up there as a group.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

new tool for whole-genome analysis

A bit technical, but since analysis tools are constantly changing, is perhaps worth posting.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

hybrid species

nice little NYT article by sean carroll

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

aDNA from Moa eggs!


Some big moa species had thin eggshells!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shift Work has a Genetic Basis in Honeybee Pollen Foragers (Apis mellifera L.)

The authors found that the patriline identity of foragers had a significant effect on when they worked during the day

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Epigenetics and caste differentiation in ants

EO Wilson takes down Hamilton?...

New article in Nature uses modeling to argue
"that it is possible for eusocial behaviour to evolve through standard natural-selection processes"
-- that is, no need for kin selection as an explanatory mechanism.

Genetic similarity and cultural similarity in chimps

Insteresting new paper from Kevin et al in ProcRoySoc...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thar She Blows! A Novel Method for DNA Collection from Cetacean Blow

nice title

Expression of clock genes tracks sleeping cycle in humans

Hmm... we have a collection of hair follicles with RNA...
Link to PNAS paper HERE.

ADRB2 polymorphism and athletic performance



Perhaps another candidate gene of interest to Heather...

Lice camouflage!

Dark bird feathers - dark lice; light bird feathers - light lice! Preening as predation...
Ah, so what about primate grooming?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Light hair, dark skin


GNXP has an interesting post on the high frequency of blondes in a Highland population of Papua New Guinea

"Are humans currently evolving?"


Hmmm... interesting review by Steve Stearns et al on detecting selection in contemporary human populations, including examples of clinical datasets that might be useful for such studies

Genetic evidence of local adaptation in humans


Nice Ann Gibbons article on local adaptation in humans, including variants associated with how
"highland Tibetans survive at high altitude. Others allow Yupik Eskimos to stay warm efficiently, Europeans to thrive on cereal grains, and, perhaps, East Asians avoid alcoholism."

Synchronistic mongoose births aid pup survival


exciting new research on synchronistic births in mongoose from Sarah Hodge (Biology Letters).

Does make me wonder when litters are pooled if olfaction is the only means of offspring identification -- or might those stripes (or the patches of ruffed lemurs) play some role?

eik, a "gene for" pain

New paper in Genome Research:

Cacng2 -- "a gene that seems to contribute to chronic pain in a mouse model of human disorders such as phantom limb pain"

Standardizing and regulating private DNA testing companies


Perhaps something to discuss in ANTH204:

..."the Government Accountability Office (GAO) last month unveiled the findings of its year-long investigation into the sci- entific validity, safety and utility of the gene tests used by the industry. The report called some of the tests misleading, pointing out inconsist- encies in the results they provided, as well as some companies’ shady marketing practices."

Detecting mtDNA heteroplasmy using NGS


New AJHG paper out of the Stoneking lab:
using "mtDNA sequence reads for 131 individuals from five Eurasian populations ...We identified 37 heteroplasmies at 10% frequency or higher at 34 sites in 32 individuals."

Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes


Interesting new review article on the horizontal transfer of genetic material:
"With over 200 cases now documented, it is possible to assess the importance of horizontal transfer for the evolution of transposable elements and their host genomes. We review criteria for detecting horizontal transfers and examine recent examples of the phenomenon, shedding light on its mechanistic underpinnings, including the role of host–parasite interactions. We argue that the introduction of transposable elements by horizontal transfer in eukaryotic genomes has been a major force propelling genomic variation and biological innovation."

Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?


Luumaa & Alvergne reviewed the issue in TREE last year, and debate about their review continues - link HERE

tit for tat citations

At least in Science "There is a ridiculously strong relationship between the number of citations a paper receives and its number of references"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Two overview articles on detecting selection in contemporary human populations

The first is a news focus from today's Science summarizing recent studies on detecting the genes that underlie human population differences
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/329/5993/740

The second is a review in Nature Review Genetics, but rather than looking directly at the genes the authors propose an approach which links measures of fitness with phenotypic traits
http://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nrg2831.html

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Genome at 10 -- resources


This NHGRI meeting program from earlier this summer has links to a lot of great resources (slides, articles, commentaries) for teaching... should keep this in mind for ANTH204...

the "not-missing heredity" of morphological variation in dogs

New PLoSBio paper: >900dogs of 80 breeds (+wild), 61k SNPs and morphological measurements --> relatively few loci explain the majority of phenotypic (morphological) variation
(thanks Dieter!)


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Baboon longevity: friends and status


New Current Biology paper by Silk et al showing: dominance rank and the quality of close social bonds have independent effects on the longevity of female chacma baboons.

Variable tanning, or why spray tans look so unnatural


Paper by the Rees group in Experimental Dermatology suggest that different regions of the body (at least bum vs back) tan at different rates -- areas with previous sun exposure tan more quickly.
Title link to BBC article

Monday, August 9, 2010

NIH letter and the "Great Ape Protection Act"


Debate continues, now in the Senate, on chimps in biomedical research. Title link to ScienceNow article.

Genomic imprinting in the mouse brain


New study of the brain transcriptome of mice shows parental bias for >1300 genes!

Title link is to Perspective by Wilkinson.

function of (linc)RNAs


Recent paper in Science about the function (..regulating epigenetic inheritance) of long (>200nt), intergenic, non-coding RNAs, aka lincRNAs.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Women like red


New paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggesting women are attracted to men wearing red as it denotes status...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Human Edge


interesting NPR series on 'what makes us human", includes tidbits on running, pigmentation, cooking, throwing...

chloroquine over-dose kills pigment production


The mechanism of this might be of interest to us at some point.
New England J of Medicine paper HERE:

genetics of sled dog 'running'


New study in Ostrander lab looking at genetic variation in Alaskan sled dogs that have been phenotypically measured for endurance, speed and "work ethic"...
These data set the stage for mapping studies aimed at finding genes that are associated with athletic attributes integral to the high performing Alaskan sled dog.

will be interesting to see if Heather's candidate genes (ACE1, ACT3) stand out...

"Biased Transmission of Genomes According to Parents of Origin"

Laurent Keller on recent PNAS paper re sex-biased inheritance in ants:

A new study shows that wood ant queens selectively pass the maternally-inherited half of their genome to their daughters and the paternally-inherited half to their sons. This system, which most likely evolved from ancestral hybridization, creates distinct genetic lineages.

relationship between mRNA and protein levels -- a lot of noise


Ugh, something to keep in mind for our small sample qRT-PCR projects:

For this week in Science:
Genetically identical cells in the same environment can show variation in gene expression that may cause phenotypic variation at the single-cell level. But how noisy are most genes?Taniguchi et al. (p. 533; see the Perspective by Tyagi) now report single-cell global profiling of both messenger RNA (mRNA) and proteins in Escherichia coli using a yellow fluorescent protein fusion library. As well as a common extrinsic noise in high-abundance proteins, large fluctuations were observed in low-abundance proteins. Remarkably, in single-cell experiments, mRNA and protein levels for the same gene were uncorrelated.

Title links to Tyagi perspective

Bioko "Island Monkeys Give Clues to Origins of HIV's Ancestor"


Debate continues on timing of monkey->chimp->human transmission of SIV/HIV...

Scientists have argued about the origin of the AIDS epidemic since it surfaced in 1981, but this much is widely accepted today: Sometime around 1931, HIV-1, the main virus driving the epidemic, likely entered humans from chimpanzees, which are infected with a related virus called SIVcpz. The chimp virus, in turn, is a blend of SIVs from two different monkey species.

Craig Venter interview with Der Spiegel

excerpt:

Venter: … For me, it's either faith or science - you can't have both.

SPIEGEL: So you don't consider Collins to be a true scientist?

Venter: Let's just say he's a government administrator.

and

SPIEGEL: So the Human Genome Project has had very little medical benefits so far?

Venter: Close to zero to put it precisely.

Hm, this interview might provide good fodder for a Genetics and Society discussion in ANTH204

Low metabolism of orangs

Herman Pontzer study shows that:
"orangutans (are) the world's most energy-efficient primate measured, second only to the three-toed sloth as the most energy-efficient placental mammal for its size"
Original PNAS paper link HERE.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Finches with undesirable colors join groups of other unattractive males"


New paper in Am Nat on Finches -- if you're drab, hang out with other drab birds.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rocks and clocks

New TREE review on "why molecular phylogenies need the fossil record"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Familial DNA on pizza crust

So the LAPD caught the Grim Sleeper based on 2 controversial aspects of DNA profiling: familial DNA matches (they 1st IDed him through his son) and sample-stalking (they retrieved DNA from a discarded pizza crust) -- a good "genetics and society" case study...
LA Times article via title link. Science Insider link here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

CNVs in Nature


Meerkat culture

New ProcRoySoc paper on "traditions" in Meerkat Manor (link from title)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

measuring the close talker?

New PNAS paper shows that when birds flock they position themselves 1.45 body lengths apart. I wonder if humans position themselves 1.45 body widths apart when queueing? ... which prompts the silly question - do larger people space themselves out at a greater distance?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Q&A with Sean Carroll

in PNAS this week. - he's always interesting and often brilliant. Some of the interview questions are bit hokey though... "smorgasbord of form" ?

Longevity genetics


A BU group looking at centenarians has a genetic panel of 'signatures of' longevity...wonder if it includes apoE e2...
Title links to original Science Express paper.

Neanderthal humerus reflects unusual hormonal status

Analysis of a humeral shaft informs the impact of diet and hormones on bone growth and remodeling in Neanderthals; MSNBC decides this is newsworthy here. Post title links to original paper.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Animal patterns... return of Turing

Science News has a cover story about animal patterns, including a discussion about how Turin might have been wrong...and right. - also mentions a recent study in PLoS Genetics on pigment cell migration and the gene basonuclin-2.

Baboon friendships and longevity

New Silk, Cheney et al paper in Current Biology indicates female chacma baboons with close, long-term friends live longer. Science News tidbit here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

epigenetics, social behavior and cognition

interesting NewFocus article on epigenetics, social behavior and cognition

Selection at high altitudes

New papers in Science using genome scans to identify genes associated with high altitude adaptations in humans.
Perspective on this by Jaz Storz is HERE

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Biotechniques...


And 3rd generation sequencing (includes helpful illustrations of new techniques)

function for pseudogenes

Nature article (also on this week's Nature podcast) on how pseudogenes protect coding genes from microRNAs

Human Genome at 10

Nature special issue marking the anniversary:
"a collection of commentaries and features explores the lessons learned from the first post-genome decade."

Gorilla spit

New paper on obtaining saliva from wild gorillas.
Thanks Gary!

Supertasters


A few interesting recent snippets on supertasters: npr blub and an interview with Linda Bartoshuk in Science

Swabbing Students

Here is a nice little summary on the current debate about students doing 'personal genomics projects' at Berkeley and Stanford. Food for thought for developing ANTH 394...

Monday, June 28, 2010

From genotype to phenotype via epigenetics

The new issue of Heredity is dedicated to the topic:
What do epigenetics and epigenomics tell us?
The intro article is a nice little review.

genetics (ESR1) and D2:D4

Hey, this study on D2D4 in zebra finches might be really interesting:

A polymorphism in the oestrogen receptor gene explains covariance between digit ratio and mating behaviour

structural coloration of butterfly wings

More exciting work (this time on butterflies) from the Prum group...

inbreeding results in poor sperm

...in flour beetles (and also in Gazelles - some other paper this month in Biol Reprod)

malaria shows same pattern out of Africa


The pattern of genetic diversity in malaria (2 genes) matches human migration out of Africa, contracting the suggestion that the 1st human malaria infections coincided with the origins of agriculture. Science tidbit on Current Biology paper here.

FAQs about Human Genome Diversity


I'll have to add this nice TIG review on human genome diversity to the Mol Anth reading list...

"one gene or two"


Here is an interesting Research Highlight on the relationship between gene copy number and protein production, and how this varies among genes -- sometimes there is a clear dosage effect, sometimes not... interesting to look at in terms of history of whole genome duplication (WGD), which has happened twice in vertebrate evolution....

Human skin pigmentation as an adaptation to UV radiation


Here is a recent review article (I think submitted as part of a symposium collection) in PNAS by Jablonski & Chaplin on tanning and UV radiation

"missing heritability" of height

This is a nice little news snippet summarizing the search for common (via GWAS) vs rare variants underlying phenotypic variation, such as height.

comfort food makes you dumb


I like these Nature Journal Clubs, and here is one from Nicky Clayton on recent studies that indicate: "consuming an excessively high-calorie diet can result in marked decreases in cognitive abilities, especially in spatial memory"

Friday, June 25, 2010

"For love and money"

Interesting article in Nature on academic career satisfaction and salaries, with comparisons between men and women across regions. An especially interesting graph demonstrating why all women should read "Women Don't Ask" before negotiating a new job offer...


Human uniqueness and, ehem, "tool use"

Just what makes us such an exceptional ape?
According to Jesse Bering at Scientific America:

(thanks for the tip, Karthik)

"Big Man"


How chimp-like was afarensis? New fossil (pub in PNAS, don't have link on hand), old debate... Here is the Ann Gibbons' science news tidbit complete with Lovejoy vs Jungers quotes.

Sanger Center 10k genomes project

The Sanger center is now doing a (UK) 10,000 genomes projects -- about half of these will be exomes of people with "extreme phenotypes" (obesity, autism, heart disease...). The other half will be full genomes (so should include indels, copy variation) of family pairs/twins in on-going longitudinal studies.

some useful basics on epigenetics


Ah, I'm such a fan of U of Utah's Learn.Genetics site. Their tidbits on epigenetics are especially useful. I'm thinking we should do a special-topic lab meeting on epigenetics...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Genome at 10

Nicholas Wade (NYTimes) takes a look at the decade following the human genome announcement and how the map has yielded "few new cures"

Friday, June 11, 2010

more on oxytocin and (selective) altruism

New paper in Science suggests that oxytocin promotes altruism within groups, but aggression toward out-group competitors -- a "tend and defend" response. Includes a commentary by Greg Miller.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Handedness in Primates and other Animals...

My presentation topic in New Scientist!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mutations in DCC Cause Congenital Mirror Movements

A study of congenital mirror movements in two families in which the condition is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Affected individuals had protein-truncating mutations on the DCC gene, and it appears that DCC plays an important role in the lateralization of the human nervous system.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Neanderthals may have interbred with humans...

Nature's overview of a genetic analysis, apparently on its way to publication, suggesting that Neanderthals interbred with humans. Includes a heartwarming image of an "interspecies love child."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Proboscis Monkeys

Proboscis Monkeys are also known as "monyet belanda," meaning "Dutch monkey" to Indonesians. They have large noses and bellies. Apparently, so did the first Dutch plantation owners to colonize Indonesia.

Also check out a monkey jumping across a river in the Youtube clip at the end of the page.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pathogens and genetic diversity

An interesting review paper.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Adaptation and the genetics of social behaviour

This article doesn't directly relate to primates. Rather, Keller reviews some recent research on the genetic basis of social behavior in ants. It's an interesting read (ants are cool little buggers) and he argues in the conclusion that we need to try to bridge the gap between invertebrate and vertebrate studies in the genetic basis of social behavior.

Human and Non-Human Primate Genomes Share Hotspots of Positive Selection

Using whole-genome shotgun sequences to detect selective sweeps, Enard et al. found that many genes showing positive selection in humans are mirrored in the genomes of other primates. This shows independent positive selection at the same genes in multiple primate species.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bonobo Cannibalism

An interesting though inconclusive article on findings of Bonobo cannibalism...

Sequencing the oldest modern human

Using a tuft of hair found in Greenland's permafrost, scientists have been able to sequence the entire genome and deduce some characteristics about the oldest modern man. A newspaper summary of the article can be found on the BBC website.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Founding Haplotypes

Analysis of mitochondial DNA in 30 Shuswap speaking Native Americans shows that a few had haplogroups rarely found in the Americas, as well as one (C4c) beleived to be a founding haplotype.

A quick look at why DNA analysis is essential to all hypotheses about the founding and peopling the New World.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

you may be older than you think

you may be functionally older because of alleles that shorten your telomere length

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tracing the origins of rescued chimpanzees reveals widespread chimpanzee hunting in Cameroon

An analysis of mtDNA sequences and microsatellite loci in chimpanzees from the Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon reveals the widespread presence of chimpanzee hunting within the country

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Highly Punctuated Patterns of Population Structure on the X Chromosome and Implications for African Evolutionary History

87% of X-linked HapMap SNPs within the top 1% of FST values cluster into five distinct loci; analyses and resequencing data suggest that these five regions have been substrates of recent and strong adaptive evolution. Evolutionary implications are discussed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An explicit signature of balancing selection for color-vision variation in new world monkeys

Using fecal DNA, the authors were able to sequence the L-M (red-green) opsin gene in wild spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) and capuchins (Cebus capucinus). They found that these populations showed greater polymorphism in this gene than other DNA reference points, providing evidence that balancing selection is acting on color vision in New World primates.