After videos like this one, I always feel that I should follow my dream and become a scientist, not a physician… *sigh*
Posts from the ‘Biology’ Category
This time, it’s the honor of Scienceroll to host Mendel’s Garden, the blog carnival totally devoted to all the fields of genetics. I thought I couldn’t find enough articles as most of the bloggers were on their vacation. But I have to share 30(!) blogposts with you and as I would like to make it easier to go through all the submissions, I also present some funny videos on genetics. Enjoy and welcome in Mendel’s Garden!
Let’s listen to music while reading the articles! Mendel-rap?
- Trevor Covert at Epigenetics presents Epigenetic Natural Variation in Arabidopsis thaliana.
- Jonathan A. Eisen at The Tree of Life mentions Metagenomics Based Discovery Highlight: Novel Photosynthetic Organism Discovered.
- GrrlScientist at Living the Scientific Life has an interesting article on Samoan butterflies which evolve rapidly and avoid extinction. An extraordinary flux in the sex ratio for a butterfly species reveals how rapidly a species can evolve and thereby avoid extinction.
- At Agrobisnis, you can read about the evolution of flowers.
- And just a little bit of genetics at Spluch: Tiger gives birth to twin cubs – one yellow and one white:
- Curious Cat shows us Evolution at Work with the Blue Moon Butterfly.
- Simon Greenhill at Henry leads us into the realm of archeology and evolution: Neolithic settlement of Europe, fractal network theory and hunter-gatherers, & rapid butterfly evolution.
- Intellectual property and biodiversity? David Bradley at Sciencebase examines this question: Intellectual genetics.
- CAD at VWXYNot? talks about two papers which contribute to the growing body of evidence that changes to gene expression are important drivers of evolutionary change.
- John Ryskamp presents SSRN-Paradox, Natural Mathematics, Relativity and Twentieth-Century Ideas by John Ryskamp posted at Social Science Research Network, saying, “Recent work in the history of set theory has raised the question whether Darwin and also Mendel, expressed their ideas in natural mathematics. “
- Penny at Genetics and Health has a great series on genetic tutorials. The first one is Tutorial 1: Genes and how they work.
- Larry Moran, our favourite biochem professor, at Sandwalk features The Story of DNA.
- Keith Robison at Omics! Omics! writes about restriction endonucleases.
- Alex Palazzo at The Daily Transcript describes nonsense-mediated decay in the post, mRNA in dendrites: this message will self-destruct in 10 seconds.
- Sandra Porter at Discovering Biology in a Digital World could hardly believe her eyes: parallel DNA.
- Last month’s host, Hsien-Hsien Lei at Eye on DNA introduces Esther Dyson, Genome Enthusiast.
- Steve Murphy, the Gene Sherpa, shows us the Danger in Genetics.
- Blaine Bettinger, the Genetic Genealogist, tells us a lot about Autosomal Genetic Testing.
- Jason Bobe at The Personal Genome is in a great form. He proves it with his post on Richter Scale and Your Genomic Portfolio.
- Kristina Chew at Autism Vox (the best blog ever about autism) promotes the expression, Mutatis Mutandis: Genetic Mutations and Being at High Risk.
- Check out this heart-smothering video about a girl struggling with Down-syndrome. She is the cause of the joy of her mother.
- Jessica Palmer at Bioephemera asks the question, Genetics of autism: is it safe to marry an engineer?
- TR Gregory at Genomicron looks at junk DNA again: Junk and genomes in The Scientist.
- Albin Paul at the Microarray Blog would use microarray to detect mutations in largest Human Gene.
- Chris Patil presents Happy fat: Calorie restriction modulates adipocyte gene expression posted at Ouroboros.
- A new blogger, Ramūnas Janavičius at Cancer-Genetics.com proves his knowledge and enthusiasm by writing a detailed article about Gene-expression Profiling in Cancer | A Brief Review.
- If you’re interested in the social implications of evolutionary psychology, take a look at the Top Ten Tips for Women Who Lead Men from Alvaro Fernandez at SharpBrains.
- Omnome focuses on Cancer: A Mistep into Chaos Quicksand?
- Thomas Goetz at Epidemix checks out: What’s the Status of GINA? An Update.
- Eugenics and biopolitics? Don’t miss The new liberal eugenics? at Long Sunday!
I tried to interpret these genetic news and opinions like that, but there are other solutions as well. Which one would you prefer? Maybe this one?
Are you a biopunk? What is that? Wikipedia says:
A growing number of scientists, artists and cultural critics are organizing to create public awareness of how human genomic information, produced by bioinformatics, gets used and misused. On the basis of a presumed parallel between genetic and computational code, science journalist Annalee Newitz has called for open-sourcing of genomic databases. Biological Innovation for Open Society is a notable initiative of the biopunk movement.
Self-described “transgenic artist” Eduardo Kac uses biotechnology and genetics to create provocative works that concommitantly revel in scientific techniques and critique them. In what is probably his most famous work, Alba, Kac collaborated with a French laboratory to procure a green-fluorescent rabbit; a rabbit implanted with a green fluorescent protein gene from a type of jellyfish in order for the rabbit to fluoresce green under ultraviolet light.
NextBio is a web-based scientific data search engine that offers instant access, search and collaboration across a vast repository of life sciences information. Our query interface makes it easy to ask questions about genes, pathways, study results, disease areas, compound treatments and biomarkers, just to name a few.
Genes, proteins, clinical experimental study result, everything. Give it a shot!
A dear reader of Scienceroll sent me a link to New Line Genetics, a company that is looking for DNA donors. The site says:
New Line Genetics pays at least $5,000 USD for the rights to use your DNA sample.
If your sample is used to generate a replacement organ that we sell, you will also receive a portion of the proceeds. Please visit www.SellMyDNA.com for more details.
The linked webpage is currently down:
So they have the technology to grow organs on demand to avoid the process of waiting on a long list for an organ transplant. How?
We will accomplish our goals by working with individuals who wish to freely sell us the rights to their DNA, thereby avoiding all the legal issues and government red tape that accompany traditional research methods.
In return, we will pay them appropriately, and also provide them with the knowledge that they are helping to make this world a better place for themselves and for generations to come.
- purchase unfertilized eggs from females
- produce an embryonic clone of the DNA donor
- extract the existing stem cells from the blastocyst
- develop stem cells into the specific organ.
I’m going to be honest, I can’t trust a biotech company that doesn’t list the biographies of it’s scientists and uses Google ads on it’s webpage.
Anyway, the idea seems to be strange for me. If I need an organ, then first I should search among my relatives to find a proper donor to avoid the graft-versus-host disease. If they can’t give me their organs, then I have to find an allograft, a “foreign” organ. An allograft should be as much identical to my organ as possible. Organs of others, in most of the cases, are far not identical to my organs. That’s why, if I’d buy an allograft from New Line Genetics, how could I know their organ is identical enough to mine?
What is your opinion? Would you sell your DNA for such purposes? If yes, for how much?
Please welcome the first International Openfree Bioinformation Contents Competition! If you would like to create a new web 2.0 based site or wiki to serve biology or medicine, then register here. The result is due to be announced on the 6th of June. But first, read the official announcement:
User-driven web authoring processes (such as Web 2.0, UCC, and wiki) have achieved significant improvements on the process of collecting and distributing a variety of information on the internet.
In order to adopt the new paradigm of web contents authoring and exchange towards collaborative development of biological knowledge base, we thus hold the first International Openfree Bioinformation Contents Competition.
And the prizes? I thought you’re going to be interested.
– 1st runner : Free-knowledge award: $500 USD
- 2nd runner : Open-sharing award: $200 USD
- 3rd runner : Truthful-work award: $100 USD
Check out the list of criteria as well.
That’s why I admire the work of Vanessa Ruiz (graduate student in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois at Chicago) who is blogging at Street Anatomy:
A polygonal feast of fury; the accelerated methodology of assembling a blood flow 3D animation in Cinema 4D from primitive objects to final rendering.
An other animation about intubation:
Mendel’s Garden is up! Hsien Hsien Lei has made a perfect job with listing many interesting articles and covering them with a strange theme: we love genetics… we love genetics not… Scienceroll has also been mentioned:
WLGN: Bertalan Meskó at ScienceRoll backs up Kristina and Rebecca with some technical details on how prenatal diagnosis is performed. Watch out for a surprise photo at the end of the post.
An international committee of human geneticists recently voted to change the names of a few human genes because the current, sometimes flamboyant names—like Sonic hedgehog—are either offensive or embarrassing… The vote was conducted by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee, which establishes naming protocols for human genes.
The gene map locus is 7q 36 . Sonic Hedgehog regulates vertebrate organogenesis, the growth of digits on limbs and organisation of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, thalamus, zona limitans interthalamica). Additionally, fruit flies with a mutation in this gene don’t have external genitalia.
The so called hedgehog gene (hh) was first identified in 1978 as a morphogen. Sonic got his weird name after a phenomenon well described in the Wikipedia article: the hh loss of function mutant phenotype causes the embryos to be covered with denticles (small pointy projections), much like a hedgehog.
What kind of disorders is this gene responsible for?
- Holoprosencephaly type 3: cerebral disorder characterized by the failure of the prosencephalon (forebrain) development in the embryo.
- Ocular Colobomas: eye related malformations that result from a defect in the fusion of the fetal optic fissure
- Preaxial Polydactyly II: anatomical variant consisting of more than the usual number of digits on the hands and/or feet.
- Cleft Lip and/or Palate
- OMIM: Sonic Hedgehog
- Wikipedia article
- Computed tomography of ocular colobomas.
- UNSW Embryology: Molecular Development- Sonic Hedgehog
Update! One additional sentence from the Wikipedia article: many “[call] it inappropriate that patients with ‘a serious illness or disability are told that they or their child have a mutation in a gene such as Sonic hedgehog.’” (Thank you, Darmok, for the suggestion!)