Molecular Evolution

evolgen

Category archives for Molecular Evolution

A couple of years ago, there was talk in the bioblogosphere about getting the general public interested in bioinformatics and molecular evolution: Amateur bioinformatics? Lowering the Ivory Tower with Molecular Evolution Molecular Evolution for the Masses The idea was inspired by the findings of armchair astronomers — people who have no professional training, but make…

Get Your Masatoshi Nei Trading Card

The Penn State Alumni Association has produced trading cards featuring the best and the brightest of the university’s faculty (Pa. trading cards highlight brains, not brawn). The cards are only available at University President Graham Spanier’s tailgate parties on home football weekends. The biologists featured include entomologist Jim Tumlinson and molecular evolution pioneer Masatoshi Nei.…

Slightly Deleterious in Trans

One of the hot topics in evolutionary biology concerns the relative contributions of protein coding sequence changes and non-coding changes that lead to differences in the expression of protein coding genes. A subset of this debate can be summarized as cis versus trans. Non-coding sequences that regulate gene expression are known as cis regulatory elements…

Sex & SMBE in 2009

The University of Iowa is hosting next year’s meeting of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, SMBE 2009. I usually go to the annual SMBE conference, and I was probably going to attend SMBE 2009. Now I’m definitely going. Why? Because John Logsdon just announced that they’ll be hosting a pre-conference meeting on the…

New Gene Makes Flies Less Gay

We all know that Drosophila are the gayest bunch of gays that ever gayed up genetics. This is especially true when you create mutations in fruitless (nee fruity), “the gay gene”. Male flies with mutations in fruitless will try to get it on with other males (e.g., doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81802-4). That’s gay! But fruitless is an old…

Brian Charlesworth wrote a review of Mike Lynch’s The Origins of Genome Architecture, in which Charlesworth argues that sexual reproduction can explain many of the features Lynch claims evolved under nearly neutral processes (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.01.008). Not to be left out of the party, Deborah Charlesworth has chimed in with her opinion, and it’s much more critical…

El Chupacabra de Barcelona

I think I’m cursed. Or I have bad luck. Or conference organizers think I’m a morning person. Alright, so maybe I really am a morning person. But that’s besides the point. Because it sucks to give a talk on a Saturday morning. Saturday mornings should be reserved for things like Belgian waffles, homemade hash browns,…

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…

Judson on Junk and Genome Size

Olivia Judson (aka, Dr. Tatiana) has a blog at the NYTimes website. It’s usually a good read, but she has been known to go off the deep end. In this week’s entry, Judson posts on how bones are not the only fossils. What other fossils does Judson write about? Genomes. Judson’s focus is on genome…

How Easy is it to Write About Junk DNA?

Alex is pissed about science writers neglecting important discoveries in cell biology: Why are cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology never covered in the media? I’ve spoken to so many science journalists – most of whom have no science training. I’ve come to the conclusion that the barrier is too high – as a result…