Genetics

Page 3.14

Category archives for Genetics

A recent post by Megan McArdle on her Atlantic blog about the heritability of obesity prompted a discussion on ScienceBlogs about the often confused meaning of heritability. As Razib explains on Gene Expression, “Heritability is the proportion of trait variance within the population explainable by variance of genes.” The more an environment is able to…

All scientific laboratories are not created equal, a fact evident in the differences in regulations and expectations between large research centers and smaller-scale labs. As Mike the Mad Biologist explains, large genomics labs in particular are subject to productivity standards, such as the swift publicization of genomic sequence data, that smaller labs are not forced…

Related ScienceBlogs Posts: Jake on genetics and obesity Razib on obesity and heritability

While historical accounts of the Spanish Hapsburgs dynasty have suggested that prevalent inbreeding likely contributed to the family’s downfall, such suspicions weren’t supported by genetic data–until now. In a new paper in PLoS One, researchers traced the genes of the Hapsburgs through more than 3,000 individuals over 16 generations to calculate the “inbreeding coefficient,” a…

A new paper published in Genome Research provides the most comprehensive scan to date of the genetic signatures of natural selection resulting from the last 10-40,000 years of human evolution, with some intriguing results. The results show strikingly different patterns of selection in distantly related human populations, suggesting that different human groups have adapted to…

Among the non-coding DNA that composes a large percentage of the genomes of humans and other eukaryotic organisms, pseudogenes are genes that were once active but were rendered defunct by mutations at some point in evolutionary history. But some pseudogenes may regain their functionality. A study published in PLoS Genetics last week revealed that a…

Maybe not nearly as long as many anthropologists believe. That’s the thesis of Gregory Cochran’s controversial book, The 10,000 Year Explosion, which Gregory discusses with ScienceBlogger Razib Khan of Gene Expression in this week’s Science Saturday. They also talk about how the evolution of lactose tolerance might explain why Indo-European languages are widespread, whether the…

As the field of genetics sheds its sci-fi image and gains approval in the public eye, the possibilities unravel for mainstream commercial use. But some worry that if couples can use In-Vitro Fertilization to screen for disease during pre-implantation procedures, they could use it to select desired physical characteristics like eye color and gender as…

The Buzz: Was Darwin “Wrong?”

ScienceBloggers are up in arms about the cover article of New Scientist which boldly proclaims “Darwin was Wrong.” The article, authored by Graham Lawton, explains that occurrences such as horizontal gene transfer and hybridization transform the shape of Darwin’s famous tree into something more like a thicket with criss-crossing branches. But some argue that new…