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Gene Genie: The First Issue

467px-dna_repair.jpgIt’s always hard to start something new, mostly if you work in the medical blogosphere. Based on Timothy Erickson’s thoughts, I decided to start a new blog carnival on genes and gene-related diseases. Our plan is to cover the whole genome before 2082 (it means 14-15 genes every two weeks). But we also accept articles on the news of genomics and genetics. Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s get ready to the genes (exactly 13 posts)…

Who must be the first? Of course, Timothy Erickson at Sciencesque. Tim uses the Random Word Generator to provide him with search terms. Then he decided to consider Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database as a starting point. The first result was nine so he worked on Acromesomelic Dysplasia, Hunter-Thompson type, a.k.a. AMDH or Acromesomelic dwarfism, a rare autosomal recessive form of dwarfism. The gene’s name is GDF5, or Growth/Differentiation Factor 5. The images are incredible:


His second result was Act so he had to find papers, publications on Activator of Crem in the Testis. In that post, Tim describes male anatomy, sperm production, maturation and the Act gene’s possible role in male infertility.

Hsien Hsien Lei at Genetics and Health writes about dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein (DARPP-32) that is associated with improved brain function and also increased risk of schizophrenia. She tells us an example about the link between higher intellectual capacity and schizophrenia (see Nobel Prize winner Dr. John Forbes Nash and A Beautiful Mind).

John F. Nash

Larry Moran (a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto) at Sandwalk has posted three interesting articles. The first is about gene HSPA5 that encodes a molecular chaperone, BiP. Chaperones are proteins that help other proteins to fold properly. He describes how the most important chaperone, HSP70 works and lists nearly every details of the gene itself. The second is about olfactory receptor genes. The human genome contains 388 different olfactory receptor (OR) genes, and even more pseudogenes. Read on to know more about olfactory receptor gene clusters or choose the third fantastic work on the evolution of gene families.


Let’s see the best gene-related articles of an exceptional scientific community, the The article, Genes Involved In Coffee Quality Identified showed that sucrose accumulation in coffee beans is controlled by the gene SUS2. Isoform SUS1, for its part, seems to be involved in sucrose breakdown and thus in energy production. And here are two major findings in genetics and genomics, Which Small And Large DNA Variants In Our Genome Matter? and Human Genome Breakthrough Reported.


Vahid Chaychi at explains how gene therapy can work with cancer and what kind of genes could be used for this process. DNA Direct features the Most Common Jewish Genetic Disease: Gaucher Disease.

At last, here are my posts made for Gene Genie (sorry for using my works, but in the first issue, it might be forgivable). I wrote about Pompe disease, a rare but important genetic condition and the frequent diagnostic delays. Then I said goodbye to Sonic Hedgehog, a gene with a weird and problematic name.


And if you’re not an expert in genetics or just would like to know more on the subject, then don’t miss this video:

In case you liked the first issue of Gene Genie, then submit your articles for the next issue taking place at Sciencesque two weeks later. And please help us with promoting this carnival. Thank you for watching…

Update: if you would like to host a Gene Genie, send me an e-mail.  

60 Comments Post a comment
  1. whitishrabbit #

    I really didn’t want to leave an airhead reply to this thoughtful, informative blog, but someone should point out that despite the similarities, you are in fact more attractive than Doogie Howser, M.D.

    February 17, 2007
  2. Oh dear, I didn’t even know him, but to be honest, I’m not happy to be compared with a 10 year old teen. :)

    February 17, 2007
  3. Hey there,
    Nice new carnival – I found you via Sandlot and enjoy reading about the genes (although, I must confess that I was a fan of the “Sonic HedgeHog” gene name). For a lay-person science geek, this is fantastic. Thanks for some new material!

    February 17, 2007
  4. sciencesque #

    Thanks for putting this this together, Berci. Looks good! And I hadn’t thought of the Doogie Howser thing before. If you haven’t seen the darkside of Doogie, be sure to watch Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle.

    February 17, 2007
  5. I have nothing profound to offer—so let me just point out that by definition, a ten-year-old cannot be a teenager; that term encompasses the ages of thirteen to nineteen.

    Thanks for the great post, though! What a big undertaking!

    February 19, 2007
  6. Thank you, Darmok! It’s going to be hard to even find bloggers who would like to host a Gene Genie. We’ll see.

    February 19, 2007
  7. Yeah, it seems like a lot of work, though it’s certainly worth it.

    February 20, 2007
  8. wow.. nice video you got… I like it…and the songs too.. ;)

    February 20, 2007
  9. Really interesting topics here. I’m particularly interested in the schizophrenic claims, that people with schizophrenia may have a higher intellectual capacity. Also loved the move “A Beautiful Mind.”
    The pics of the dwarfism are really interesting – and in many ways, very sad.
    Great video. Quite enjoyed it! Nice style. Lol. Reminded me of days in Biology in High School. Good recap though!

    October 10, 2007
  10. This has been one of the nicest posts you’ve ever made. I was actually wondering if the genes that affect growth factor are related to the dwarfism or giantism phenomena.

    December 27, 2007
  11. Yes, they are. The so-called IGF receptor-family plays an important role in the pathogenesis of those disorders.

    December 28, 2007
  12. i am an chinese, i am interested in gene study. i am in southern medical university guangzhou of guang dong province of china.

    January 7, 2009
  13. Great read. Do you mind if I reference this in our next newsletter?

    September 10, 2010
  14. I understand the 2worry;I am very n glad to hear that you got your Supra fixed. I remember reading about some of your questions2x !.

    October 12, 2010

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Genetics and Health » Lewis Thomas Genetics Quote
  2. Sciencesque
  3. » Every axiom hums under a toy
  4. Sciencesque
  5. » Blog Archive » Gene Genie: A New Blog Carnival About Genetics
  6. gene genie « i-Science
  7. Gene Genie: submit articles for the next edition « ScienceRoll
  8. DNA Direct Talk » Blog Archive » New Genetics Carnival: Gene Genie
  9. Gene Genie: Submit your articles at Sandwalk « ScienceRoll
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  24. Gene Genie #20 at BiteSize Bio « ScienceRoll
  25. Gene Genie #21 at BabyLab « ScienceRoll
  26. Gene Genie #22 at Sandwalk « ScienceRoll
  27. Gene Genie #24 at biomarker-driven mental health 2.0 « ScienceRoll
  28. Gene Genie #25 at The Gene Sherpa « ScienceRoll
  29. Gene Genie #26 at Sciencebase « ScienceRoll
  30. Gene Genie #27 at DNA Direct Talk « ScienceRoll
  31. Gene Genie #28 at Greg Laden’s Blog « ScienceRoll
  32. Gene Genie #29 at My Biotech Life « ScienceRoll
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