Sunday, December 4, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
ICHG/ASHG 2011: New research on genetic factors associated with autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson's
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Epigenetic control of vasopressin expression is maintained by steroid hormones in the adult male rat brain
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Population Genetic Analysis of the Uncoupling Proteins Supports a Role for UCP3 in Human Cold Resistance
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The genes coding for lactose tolerance in Europeans is well known. However, there are populations in Africa that are also able to produce lactase beyond weaning but the genes coding for this have not been explored. Tishkoff and colleagues identify the SNPs associated with lactase persistence in these African populations, and find that it is different from those that code for lactase persistence in Europeans. This represents convergent evolution (and an adaptation) in humans as the result of strong selective pressure after the domestication of mammals.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Also, this is a news article that discribes the research as well. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110929122751.htm
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have found that they were able to identify where on the chromatin regulatory RNA’s are acting. They utilized new techniques to elucidate the binding specificity of lincRNAs from fruit fly and two mammalian species. They found that these sites are “focal, numerous and site specific”.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Access the full PDF HERE, and the news briefing HERE.
Strong reproductive isolation between humans and Neanderthals inferred from observed patterns of introgression
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The Science Daily piece stresses the limited duration of these 'epimutations': "Epigenetic Changes Often Don’t Last, Probably Have Limited Effects On Long-Term Evolution, Research Finds." I tend to feel like they might be missing a bigger point: methylation is a response to short-term (a few generations) information about the environment. Would we expect that a plant would make epigenetic modifications based on current environmental conditions that would affect relatives 10 generations from now? If the environment were stable enough to warrant that duration of change, why wouldn't we expect that to be in the realm of DNA mutation?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Hand preferences for coordinated bimanual actions in 777 great apes: Implications for the evolution on handedness in Hominins
In this experiment, researchers considered many factors such as the influence of age, sex, and human rearing on species' hand preference, concluding age to be the only relevant factor in certain species. Additionally, there seems to be a focus on compiling accurate data for chimpanzees as man's closest nonhuman primate relative. The authors make a note that the lateralization of handedness is linked to language lateralization in humans, which suggests linked evolution. With this in mind, results from this experiment could shed more light on human-primate divergence.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
CLICK HERE for the PDF
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
It did touch on the fact that rare genetic diseases could then be more prevalent in the population because of this preponderance of offspring of a few individuals that could be carriers for a disease. But it also got me thinking, could you even consider this a sort of unnatural population drift? Maybe drift isn't the correct term, but it does seem like a overrepresentation in the gene pool of a few individuals. This has obviously happened before, bringing to mind the famous example of Ghengis Khan. But here we have a different situation where men who are not "actively" involved are fathering a ton of offspring. These men might not have been viable mates outside of the sperm clinic context for any number of reasons as well (or maybe they would be more likely to have many children ...I don't know anything about sociological aspects of sperm donors but I'm sure there's a study out there somewhere).
Friday, September 9, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
"Some geneticists, sociologists and bioethicists argue that “black,” “white,” “Asian” and “Hispanic” are antiquated categories that threaten to revive prejudices. Others, however, say that meaningful DNA variations can track racial lines and that ignoring them could deny many benefits of “personalized medicine,” which aims to develop tests and treatments tailored to a person’s genetic makeup."
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The protein sequence and structure of oxytocin is widely thought to be conserved among Eutherian mammals. Curiously, these researchers found a nonsynonymous mutation in a handful of platyrrhines and tree shrews, changing a leucine to proline at position 8 in the signal peptide. Of the noncatarrhines sampled, owl monkeys, capuchins, marmosets, squirrel monkeys and tree shrews had the mutation, while titi monkeys didn't.
I took a quick look at OXT across a handful of mammals after reading this study and found that in that 9 protein sequence, mouse lemurs and tarsiers shared the conserved sequence, suggesting that this was indeed convergent in the platyrrhines and tree shrews. Unfortunately, without sequencing this region in atelines and pitheciines, we don't know if titi's lost the P8 mutation or if it never evolved in that clade.
In a nonprimate note, it seems like elephants have protein changes at positions 3 and 4.
This is an exciting find and it will be very interesting to see what researchers are able to find out about the functional and evolutionary significance of these mutations.
To be a bit more serious, it's an interesting study, but I think this might be one of those statistical vs. biological significance issues.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Maternal diet and aging alter the epigenetic control of a promoter–enhancer interaction at the Hnf4a gene in rat pancreatic islets
Monday, March 21, 2011
New study from David Kingsley's group on the loss of cis-regulatory elements on the human lineage.
"One deletion removes a sensory vibrissae and penile spine enhancer from the human androgen receptor (AR) gene, a molecular change correlated with anatomical loss of androgen-dependent sensory vibrissae and penile spines in the human lineage"
Monday, March 14, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Kamilar, J. M. and Bradley, B. J. (2011), Countershading is related to positional behavior in primates. Journal of Zoology, 283: 227–233. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2010.00765.x
Monday, March 7, 2011
But HERE (Hahn and Worobey -- probably done in connection with Ochman's microbiome stuff) is a recent view of the same issue focused on mtDNA genomes and finds verus + vellerosus vs everyone else split.
"Behavioural ecologists often see little connection between the current conservation crisis and the future of their discipline. This view is myopic because our abilities to investigate and interpret the adaptive significance and evolutionary histories of behaviours are increasingly being compromised in human-dominated landscapes because of species extinctions, habitat destruction, invasive species, pollution, and climate change."
"Data from the pilot for the 1000 Genomes Project suggest that classic selective sweeps were not the primary mode of evolution of the human genome. Instead, it seems that the majority of human genetic diversity is best explained by purifying selection against deleterious mutations."
Byers et al "have over the years collected tissue samples from 835 pronghorns across the generations, and they now plan to genetically profile each animal to determine whether female pronghorns do indeed pick genetic studs."
To find out why this is, Tkačik, along with neurobiologist Vijay Balasubramanian of Penn and colleagues, created a database of more than 5000 high-resolution photographs taken at various locations in Botswana, a place near where humans likely evolved and other primates still live. The same scenes were shot at different times of day, with different exposure lengths, apertures, and distances from the camera. Using an algorithm they developed from previous studies of how human cones detect light, the researchers calculated how many photons of different wavelengths the camera had captured and what cone arrangement would pick up the largest number of them."
... and it matched the arrangement of human eyes.
"We describe how large-scale epigenetic studies of twins can improve our understand- ing of how genetic, environmental and stochastic factors impact upon epigenetics, and how such studies can provide a comprehensive understanding of how epige- netic variation affects complex traits."
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
A. No. I was doing observationally driven research. That’s the kiss of death if you’re looking for funding today. We’re so fixated now on hypothesis-driven research that if you do what I did, it would be called a “fishing expedition,” a bad thing.
O.K., we knew about the Philadelphia chromosome, and after banding we had the technology to discover gains and losses among the different chromosomes. But once you knew that, what were the implications of the gains and losses? That’s the “fishing,” because there wasn’t a hypothesis.
Well, if you don’t know anything, you can’t have a sensible hypothesis.
I keep saying that fishing is good. You’re fishing because you want to know what’s there.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Cool study on relationships between behavior, personality, and genetics in humans.
Correlated genotypes in friendship networks; PNAS 2011
Monday, January 31, 2011
They include one of the fire ants, the Argentine ant and a species of harvester ant. A species of leafcutter ant is on the way next month in PLOS. Including the two already published genomes, this brings the Formicidae total up to 6. Primates currently have nothing on this INTRAFAMILY genomic dataset.
These ants all differ in biology, ecology, etc. But perhaps most interesting is that the various ants also differ in the degree of eusociality. Now we may have an opportunity to look at how epigenetics affect reproduction, colony structure, etc.