Genetics

Gene Expression

Tag archives for Genetics

The luck of the Irish

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is looking for his male Irish forebear using genetics: Well, it turns out that the men sharing that Ui Neill haplotype tended to have certain surnames. If we use those surnames, we narrow the number of possibilities in Allegany and Hampshire counties to 178 men born between 1800 and 1830 bearing…

An interesting exchange in Nature on ways to conceptualize the evolution of virulence. First, Adaptation and the evolution of parasite virulence in a connected world: Adaptation is conventionally regarded as occurring at the level of the individual organism, where it functions to maximize the individual’s inclusive fitness…However, it has recently been argued that empirical studies…

The language families of Europe fall into a few broad categories. There are the Indo-European languages, which include the Romance, Germanic, Slavic and Celtic subgroups, along with Greek and Albanian. The Iranian languages and most of the languages of India are also Indo-European. Then there are the languages of Finland and Hungary, which are hypothesized…

To the left I’ve juxtaposed the images of the four Bushmen males whose genomes were analyzed in the recent Nature paper and compared to Desmond Tutu. I’ve added to the montage a photo of a Swedish and Chinese man. The Nature paper looked at the HapMap data sets which had within them whites from Utah,…

The Bushmen & the Bantu

There’s a new paper out in Nature which details the genomes of several Bushmen, and how they relate to other humans, and one particular Bantu speaking individual, archbishop Desmond Tutu. It’s open access, Complete Khoisan and Bantu genomes from southern Africa. I haven’t read the whole thing, but it is probably best to check out…

Lactase persistence results in the ability to break down the lactose sugar in milk as an adult, lactase being the enzyme which breaks down lactose. If one can not digest that sugar, and still consumes milk, then one exhibits the symptoms of lactose intolerance. Originally diagnosed as a disease it has come to light that…

Aurochs resurrection project

Breeding Ancient Cattle Back from Extinction: The only place to see an aurochs in nature these days? A cave painting. The enormous wild cattle that once roamed the European plains have been extinct since 1627, when the last survivor died in a Polish nature reserve. But this could soon change thanks to the work of…

Interesting that I just pointed to Neandertal DNA, a really big story just came out on ancient Greenlander genetics, Whole Genome of Ancient Human Is Decoded: The genome of a man who lived on the western coast of Greenland some 4,000 years ago has been decoded, thanks to the surprisingly good preservation of DNA in…

In my discussion with Eliezer I referred to “recreational genetics.” Basically, “for entertainment purposes only” genetics. For example, someone with blue eyes confirming that they have the alleles on OCA2 & HERC2 associated with blue eyes. Or a man with the surname O’Neill discovers that he has the Uí Néill Y chromosomal marker. Yes, people…

X chromosome marks the spot, again

A few days ago I discussed a new paper which explores the patterns of natural selection in the genome of the X chromosome. As you know the X is “carried” disproportionately by females, as males have only one copy, so it offers up an interesting window into evolutionary dynamics (see The Red Queen for a…