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Archives for August, 2006

The past few Fridays, we’ve been comparing human mitochondrial DNA with the mitochondrial DNA of different apes. We started doing this here, where you can find directions for getting started. And, we’ve found some interesting things.

Too funny to ignore

Chad Orzel posted a cute bit about True Lab Stories: The Party Game. I like these things because, yes, they make it clear that those of us who do science put coffee cups on top of our cars and drive off, just like everyone else. For those of who are thinking about careers in science,…

When can a really bad virus be used to do something good? When we can use it to learn. The human immunodeficiency virus, cause of AIDS, scourge of countries, and recent focus of ScienceBlogs; like humans, evolves. As one of my fellow ScienceBloggers noted, few biological systems demonstrate evolution as clearly as HIV. In this…

Folks have been enthusiastically commenting around the clock on the possiblity of using prisoners in clinical trials. Meanwhile, Thomas Hargrove has analyzed obesity and death rates in the National Football League. He suggests that those pharmaceutical companies with anti-obesity drugs might be better off taking a look at Monday night football. Or, at Monday night…

But that hasn’t always been true. When I was in college, I had part-time jobs drawing blood from patients in the university hospital and as a phlebotomist at local plasma center. Plus, I was a volunteer EMT on an ambulance crew. Needless to say, I saw plenty of blood. And those were the days when…

During these past couple of weeks, we’ve been comparing mitochondrial DNA sequences from humans and great apes, in order to see how similar the sequences are. Last week, I got distracted by finding a copy of a human mitochondrial genome, that somehow got out of a mitochondria, and got stuck right inside of chromosome 17!…

Bio::Blogs#2 is been out for a few days but it’s certainly not out of interesting ideas and things to read. There is some interesting stuff about Brisbane. Queensland looks like a lovely place and much different than my mental images of Australia. Sorry, but when I picture Australia, I get a strange image of a…

It’s hard sometimes when you’re out of synch with the rest of the world. While my fellow ScienceBloggers have been obsessing about breasts, I’ve been really amused by the genetics of ear wax. Eh, what’s that you say? Yes, it’s true. Back in March, when Nature Genetics published this paper from Yoshiura (and friends), this…

One of the commenters on a previous post, pointed out that proteases have pretty diverse structures, even though they also share a common function. What else could I do? I had to take a look. I found structures for chymotrypsin (from a cow) and subtilisin (from a soil bacteria, Bacillus lentus) and used Cn3D to…

Last week, we decided to compare a human mitochondrial DNA sequence with the mitochondrial sequences of our cousins, the apes, and find out how similar these sequences really are. The answer is: really, really, similar. And you can see that, in the BLAST graph, below the fold. A quick glance shows that the ape with…