Gene Expression

Archives for May, 2006

This week’s “Ask a Science Blogger” is: Since they’re funded by taxpayer dollars (through the NIH, NSF, and so on), should scientists have to justify their research agendas to the public, rather than just grant-making bodies?

Looking inside the mind….

I had a strange experience the other day. I was walking down a hallway, and all of a sudden the name of a local software company came to mind. I didn’t understand why I was thinking about this, and I was mulling over this strange issue when 20 seconds after I’d started thinking about the…

Let’s talk about sex….

PLOS has a new paper out which fleshes out how SRY might play a critical role in sex determination in mammals. Here is the press release. Below the fold I’ve taken figure 7 from their paper and cropped and reedited it a bit for ease of viewing, as well as adding minor parenthetical remarks (e.g.,…

God lives, deal with it!

I’m an atheist. Just like some people who are Christians but weren’t always tell me that they “always believed in Christ,” myself, I’ve never believed in God. Before the age of 7 I did avow a belief in God, but in hindsight I see only the most minimal of deisms in my conception of the…

Social life & genomic imprinting

My post yesterday offered up a quick sketch of the phenomenon of genomic imprinting. In short, genomic imprinting is the selective expression of an allele conditional upon whether it is inherited from the father or mother. This selective expression is limited to a small subset of loci, perhaps about 200 in the typical mammal. These…

Since I’m on a Dumb Vinci Code kick today, check out this amusing article about the genetics of Jesus! Check it: In humans, females package some of their DNA in two matched X chromosomes, males in a single X and Y. So if you’re a male, there’s only one way you could have gotten your…

Below GrrlScientist asks why The Da Vinci Code is “bad history.” I believe it is bad history because someone whose work I respect and have enjoyed has pointed out manifold errors, incluing in a book which covered this ground. His name is Bart Ehrman, and he is the head of Relgious Studies at UNC. I’ve…

Some of the most fascinating theoretical evolutionary biology that I’ve run into emerges out of David’s Haig’s work on genetic conflict. You’ve probably stumbled into it somewhere, whether via popularizers like Matt Ridley, or other researchers like Robert Trivers and Sarah Blaffer Hrdy. Haig is a biologist who extrapolates from the familiar axioms of evolutionary…

Reading the Dumb Vinci Code

Conservative Christian Pollster George Barna has an interesting report out on those who have read the book, The Da Vinci Code. Some results:

You germy fat pig….

Interesting article in The Boston Globe which profiles researchers who suggest that variation in gut flora (the mix of bacteria) might be the cause of differences in body weight. Interesting fact: there are an order of magnitude more bacteria in your gut than cells in your body. Also, to my knowledge (hearing this from a…