Genetic Future

Archives for February, 2009

From an editorial in this week’s Nature: Indeed, researchers would do well to blog more than they do. The experience of journals such as Cell and PLoS ONE, which allow people to comment on papers online, suggests that researchers are very reluctant to engage in such forums. But the blogosphere tends to be less inhibited,…

James Clarke, Hai-Chen Wu, Lakmal Jayasinghe, Alpesh Patel, Stuart Reid, Hagan Bayley (2009). Continuous base identification for single-molecule nanopore DNA sequencing Nature Nanotechnology DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2009.12 The clever boys and girls at Oxford Nanopore Technologies – one of the most quietly impressive contenders in the hotly-contested next-generation DNA sequencing race – have a new paper out…

Predicting faces from genes

An article on GenomeWeb Daily News discusses some tantalising but still unpublished data from a team at Penn State University led by Mark Shriver: The team has already found a handful of genes that seem to influence different facial features. “I think we’ve got compelling evidence for six genes that we tested,” Shriver said. The…

A tough call

I’m struggling to figure out what is more disturbing about this post – the fact that 23andMe are actually trying to say that BRCA gene testing is not “medical genetic testing”, or Steve Murphy talking about his “man parts”. Subscribe to Genetic Future.

A reader pointed me to this article on the collaborative research project between personal genomics company Navigenics and the Scripps Translational Science Institute. The project aimed to recruit 10,000 people from among employees and patients of Scripps Health and their family and friends. Recruits will receive data from a Navigenics genome scan at a subsidised…

deCODE now licensed in California

Icelandic genomics company deCODE Genetics has received a license to market direct-to-consumer genetic tests (such as the genome scan provided by daughter company deCODEme) in the state of California. This follows the regulatory crackdown by California’s public health department last June, which sent nervous ripples through the direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry. Personal genomics rivals 23andMe…

Warfarin (a.k.a. Coumadin, Jantoven, Marevan, or Waran) is the most widely-prescribed blood-thinning agent on the market. It’s also (in the words of Howard McLeod) a “terrible drug” – it has a very narrow therapeutic window, meaning that the minimal useful dose and the maximal safe dose are very close together. (The effects of over-dosing on…

I’m guessing a lot of us have been waiting for John Hawks to comment in detail about the release of low-coverage sequencing of the Neanderthal genome – well, wait no longer. Subscribe to Genetic Future.

More on race and IQ

I was surprised by the response to my brief post on the question of whether group (race or gender) differences in intelligence are a valid topic for scientific investigation: not only because of the volume of comments, but also because the ensuing debate was largely civil and on-topic. The post was sparked off by two…

Just in case anyone has missed it, the pair of duelling essays in the latest issue of Nature is well worth a read. The topic is whether there is any justification for scientific exploration of associations between gender or race and intelligence; Stephen Ceci and Wendy M. Williams from Cornell argue the affirmative, while Steven…