Molecular Biology

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Category archives for Molecular Biology

Do people still use microarrays?

Larry Moran points to a couple of posts critical of microarrays (The Problem with Microarrays): Why microarray study conclusions are so often wrong Three reasons to distrust microarray results Microarrays are small chips that are covered with short stretches of single stranded DNA. People hybridize DNA from some source to the microarray, which lights up…

Evidence that Men Think With Their Junk

Us dudes are always accused of thinking with our dicks. Perhaps it’s because the genes expressed in our brains are similar to those expressed in our ‘nads: Among the 17 tissues, the highest similarity in gene expression patterns was between human brain and testis, based on DDD and clustering analysis. Genes contributing to the similarity…

Things that pissed me off today

I’m easily annoyed. A lot of things piss me off. Here are the things that irked me today: Fake St. Patrick’s Day. A large drinking school schedules Spring Break the same week as St. Patty’s Day, and they do it two years in a row. This pisses off the students because it costs them an…

Scientists for Better PCR

Let’s pretend this never happened: Those are the Scientists for Better PCR, complete with their own wanna-be Boss. Because when you need to find out who the daddy is, you turn to PCR.

Liveblogging a PLoS ONE Article

PLoS ONE has recently published a paper entitled “Beyond the Gene” by Evelyn Fox Keller and David Harel, in which the authors take a stab at the long standing question: What is a Gene? Because this is such a big picture question, the appropriate discussion of the paper would involve a synthesis of what they…

Sequencing, Mapping, and Chips!

I came across two press releases yesterday, entitled: Entire Yeast Genome Sequenced and University of Toronto scientists map entire yeast genome Upon reading the first, I thought, hasn’t the entire genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae already been sequenced? And haven’t other yeast genomes been sequenced as well? What in the world could they be referring to?…

Previous entries: Part 1 – Introduction Part 2 – The Backstory This post is part of a series exploring the evolution of a duplicated gene in the genus Drosophila. Links to the previous posts are above. Part 3 of this series (Obtaining Sequences) can be found below. Obtaining Sequences In the previous post I described…

Junk on Cancer

The University of Michigan has put out a press release entitled: Bits of ‘junk’ RNA aid master tumor-suppressor gene With a title like that, how could I not blog the hell out of this bastard? I mean, they even put the scare quotes around “junk”. Like that — like I just did. Amazing! The story…

What is a Gene?

It’s not entirely obvious at first, but this article in the New York Times is about the problems with gene patents in a world where one gene does not equal one protein. Now, we’ve known that this model isn’t entirely correct, what with alternative splicing and all. Additionally, the human genome also contains many “genes”…

Last year, Katie Pollard and colleagues published a couple of papers in which they identified regions of the human genome that had recently undergone an acceleration in their rate of evolution and characterized the expression pattern of an RNA gene located in one of those regions. The RNA gene is expressed in the developing brain,…