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Archives for March, 2007

On Human Genes and Silent Mutations

Both Carl Zimmer and Larry Moran have posts on the gene content in the human genome. Carl points out that the estimate of the total number of genes in the human genome is decreasing, but we still don’t know what a whole bunch of those genes do (according to the one database he searched). Larry’s…

I Got Your Distribution Right Here

In the comments of my dinosaur genome size post, Shelley asked: So do ALL birds have equally small genomes or is there variation among species? I don’t think she was looking for a trite response along the lines of: “Of course there’s variation among species.” What she was asking, I presume, is how much variation…

The Science Advisor

Dr. Wayne Grody is a molecular biologist at UCLA. But his part-time job sounds like a lot more fun: “technical advisor on a number of motion picture and television productions”. He’s the guy responsible for giving Eddie Murphy’s Professor Klump character a ginormous research lab despite the fact that he worked at a small liberal…

1st ROUND RESULTS | PRESS CENTER | PRINTABLE BRACKETS After the excitement of the first round action in the Octopus region, we can only hope that the second round is half as dynamic. The big upset last round saw Unipotent knocking off Totipotent. There has also been an interesting twist, as Internal Medicine was disqualified…

Your Bones Got a Little Genome

Genome size can be measured in a variety of ways. Classically, the haploid content of a genome was measured in picograms and represented as the C-value. People began to realize that the C-value was not correlated with any measures of organismal complexity and seemed to vary unpredictably between taxa. This was known as the C-value…

1st ROUND RESULTS | PRESS CENTER | PRINTABLE BRACKETS The results are in from the first round in the Octopus Region of the Science Spring Showdown hosted at the World’s Fair. By seed, there were three upsets, but the nine seed Internal Medicine knocking off eight seed Surgery was hardly a surprise (although the 107-76…

Phylogeny Friday — 16 March 2007

New Terms in Phylogenetics I’m a cladist, and as a cladist I want all of my taxa monophyletic. That means anything given a name (animals, plants, vertebrates, insects, etc.) should include all the organisms that descend from the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) shared by the organisms you claim are in that group. Confused? Well,…

If you happen to be a yeast population geneticist, then you probably already know about the Saccharomyces Genome Resequencing Project. They have resequenced 32 strains of S. cerevisiae and 27 strains of S. paradoxus at between 1x and 3x coverage. The nice thing about resequencing is that SNP discovery and genotyping occur simultaneously. That’s in…

Nature Wishes Your Librarian had Leukemia

The advertising department over at the Nature Publishing Group isn’t filled with the sharpest knives in the drawer — as I’ve pointed out previously. They are responsible for the long vertical banners that run along the right column of their webpages (see the example to the right). Each of these banners pushes some journal, webpage,…

I’m really digging the interviews with high profile scientists that Current Biology has been publishing. Last November I quoted their interview with Michael Ashburner (ie, he who will not pose with Prof. Steve Steve) on his thoughts on open access publishing and pointed out that they were being published in a non-open access journal. In…