Genetics

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Genetics

Razib and I on Bloggingheads.tv

Razib and I have a discussion up at Bloggingheads.tv about genetics and behavior as well as a brief discussion of neuroeconomics. Check it out below the fold:

Obesity and Genes

I have been meaning to talk about this story, but I have been busy. A study in Nature looked for genes linked with “common” obesity (more on that in a moment), and it was one of the first to link genes to the disease. Turns out several are genes expressed in the brain: A genetic…

DNA vs. Dog Poop

An Israeli town has come up with an aggressive method to fight uncollected dog poop: DNA IDing the “originator.” An Israeli city is using DNA analysis of dog droppings to reward and punish pet owners. Under a six-month trial programme launched this week, the city of Petah Tikva, a suburb of Tel Aviv, is asking…

Wang et al., publishing in PLoS Genetics, looked at the genetic diversity in Native American populations from Canada all the way down into South America. They wanted to see whether the genetic diversity observed in Native peoples correlated in any way with geography. If the genetic diversity did not correlate with geography this would suggest…

James Watson, Nobel Laureate and member of the Watson-Crick duo that discovered DNA, has been suspended from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory after some comments about race and genetics: James Watson, in London to promote a new book, was forced to return to New York after Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, relieved him of his…

The issue of sympatric speciation — or how to separate species emerge from a single species without geographic isolation — is a contentious issue in evolutionary biology. How can two species emerge without reproductive isolation of two separate groups? Wouldn’t they all just breed together, hiding any new genes in heterozygotes? Bomblies et al. publishing…

Nicholas Wade reports in the NYTimes about a UCD professor, Gregory Clark, and his theory of the Industrial Revolution. His answer is that high fertility rates in the upper classes caused them to steadily supplant lower classes. They brought productive values with them such that when the population reached a critical mass of individuals with…

It’s mad, I tell you, madddd! Mad scientists these days. Always going around saying, “Hey, you know how that animal could be better? If it had another head. Muahahaha!” Anyway, the (possibly mad) scientists Wolfgang Jakob and Bernd Schierwater wanted to know more about the genes that determine the body plan of multicellular organisms. In…

Actually that isn’t fair. It isn’t wrong. The percentage of difference just depends heavily on what you define as a difference. So argues an editorial by Jon Cohen in the latest issue of Science: Using novel yardsticks and the flood of sequence data now available for several species, researchers have uncovered a wide range of…

Two Big Genetics Studies

Two big studies on genetics came out in the past couple weeks, and I want to talk about both. One of them — the ENCODE study — was well covered by the media. The other seems to have slipped through.