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GATAACGCGGATGCGTAT

The Animated Genome is a spirited 5-minute film that uses graphics to explain the makeup of your genome and how it affects life and health. It's part of Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History.
posted by grouse on Apr 25, 2014 - 6 comments

Scientists pinpoint when harmless bacteria became flesh-eating monsters

Bacterial diseases cause millions of deaths every year. Most of these bacteria were benign at some point in their evolutionary past, and we don’t always understand what turned them into disease-causing pathogens. In a new study, researchers have tracked down when this switch happened in one flesh-eating bacteria. They think the knowledge might help predict future epidemics. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 18, 2014 - 15 comments

The genome of the Anzick boy

The genome of the Anzick child, who died 12,600 years ago at the age of three and was buried with ceremony in the American Rockies, has been fully sequenced. The results shed an incredible light on the history of the peopling of the Americas: his people seem to have been direct ancestors to most tribes of Central and South America, and close relatives of the Canadian tribes. The discoveries have had an emotional impact on Native Americans, and the boy's remains will be reburied with great respect. Still, tribal belonging is about much more than genetics, as anthropologist Kim Tallbear reminds us. You can see replicas of the heirloom artefacts left in the boy's grave here, or visit the collection at the Montana Historical Society if you're in the area.
posted by daisyk on Feb 13, 2014 - 24 comments

Follow the Herpes!

The herpes virus genome may correlate with human migration across the Earth
posted by Renoroc on Oct 21, 2013 - 6 comments

One genome, two plants

Mosses Make Two Different Plants From the Same Genome, and a Single Gene Can Make the Difference
One of the most astonishing secrets in biology is this: every plant you see makes two different plants from the same genome. And, scientists recently reported, a single gene from an ancient, powerful lineage can make the difference.

posted by Joe in Australia on May 12, 2013 - 24 comments

Your Happy Ending

Allegations of flawed research techniques at an NIH-funded medical lab at Johns Hopkins get notice in a Washington Post article. Interesting piece on a scientific dispute, the accuser's loss of his job at Hopkins, and the suicide of one researcher from the lab whose analysis, published in Nature, came into question.
posted by smrtsch on Mar 12, 2013 - 22 comments

Breast cancer rules rewritten in 'landmark' study

What we currently call breast cancer should be thought of as 10 completely separate diseases, according to an international study which has been described as a "landmark". The categories could improve treatment by tailoring drugs for a patient's exact type of breast cancer and help predict survival more accurately. The study in Nature analysed breast cancers from 2,000 women [Abstract] . It will take at least three years for the findings to be used in hospitals. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 5, 2012 - 37 comments

Mad scientist in your own basement?

The Genome Compiler is an IDE for DNA projects for all you DIYbio enthusiasts. Previously. Previously.
posted by lipsum on Oct 17, 2012 - 24 comments

Provirophages and transpovirons as the diverse mobilome of giant viruses

Provirophages and transpovirons as the diverse mobilome of giant viruses
Abstract: A distinct class of infectious agents, the virophages1 that infect giant viruses of the Mimiviridae family, has been recently described. Here we report the simultaneous discovery of a giant virus of Acanthamoeba polyphaga (Lentille virus) that contains an integrated genome2 of a virophage (Sputnik 2), and a member of a previously unknown class of mobile genetic elements3, the transpovirons4. The transpovirons are linear DNA elements of ∼7 kb [kilobases]5 that encompass six to eight protein-coding genes, two of which are homologous6 to virophage genes. Fluorescence7 in situ hybridization8 showed that the free form of the transpoviron replicates within the giant virus factory and accumulates in high copy numbers inside giant virus particles, Sputnik 2 particles, and amoeba cytoplasm. Analysis of deep-sequencing data showed that the virophage and the transpoviron can integrate9 in nearly any place in the chromosome of the giant virus host and that, although less frequently, the transpoviron can also be linked to the virophage chromosome. In addition, integrated fragments of transpoviron DNA were detected in several giant virus and Sputnik genomes. Analysis of 19 Mimivirus strains revealed three distinct transpovirons associated with three subgroups of Mimiviruses. The virophage, the transpoviron, and the previously identified self-splicing introns10 and inteins11 constitute the complex, interconnected mobilome12 of the giant viruses and are likely to substantially contribute to interviral gene transfer.
[Full Text PDF] and two explanations in English [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 16, 2012 - 28 comments

Humans are less human than we thought.

Icky face-pooping flesh mites are only the tip of the iceberg. You've heard that your gut bacteria are necessary to help you digest, meaning not all germs are bad. Without them, we couldn't digest healthily. But stop and look at how far our interconnectedness with other forms of life goes: 1. Human DNA itself is at least 8.3% ancient viruses; without one of these viruses you could never have been born. 2. Mitochondria in human cells originated when the same type of bacteria that causes typhus disease raided one of our cellular ancestors and instead of hijacking it was pressed into service. (The same origin as chloroplasts in plants from cyanobacteria). 3. Far more of the cells in your body are non-human microorganisms than actual human cells. This relationship is not just interconnectedness. This is integration. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Sep 13, 2012 - 59 comments

Gene Map of Body's Microbes Is New Health Tool

Gene Map of Body's Microbes Is New Health Tool
posted by noaccident on Jun 13, 2012 - 11 comments

Ome

Omes have a long history and describe general interactions of biological information objects in various omes. But not all omes are real omes. Some have a problem with omes as neologisms.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 5, 2012 - 31 comments

Can We Influence Outcomes Together?

Can We Influence Outcomes Together? How can people and computers be connected so that—collectively—they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups or computers have ever done before? Can collective intelligence save the planet? An MIT Sloan Management Review studies The Collective Intelligence Genome [pdf].
posted by netbros on May 5, 2011 - 4 comments

master of information

The New Biology - Eric Schadt's quest to upend molecular biology and open source it. (via)
posted by kliuless on Apr 9, 2011 - 35 comments

Good News for Pregnant Needlephobes....

Invasive amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling (CVS) tests are commonly used to determine the chromosomal, structural and genetic abnormalities in fetuses. But could they eventually become obsolete? A Chinese study has found that a complete copy of the fetal genome exists in the mother's blood, suggesting many prenatal diagnoses could potentially be performed noninvasively. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 8, 2010 - 30 comments

Tragedy Transposed, The Sounds of HIV

There is no question that HIV is an ugly virus in terms of human health. Each year, it infects some 2.7 million additional people and leads to some two million deaths from AIDS. But a new album manages to locate some sonic beauty deep in its genome. Sounds of HIV (Azica Records) by composer Alexandra Pajak explores the patterns of the virus's nucleotides as well as the amino acids transcribed by HIV, playing through these biologic signatures in 17 tracks. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Nov 12, 2010 - 20 comments

Venter creates spiraling coils of self-replicating DNA.

"The ability to design and create new forms of life marks a turning-point in the history of our species and our planet." - Freeman Dyson, on the J.C. Venter Institute's creation of a cell controlled by a synthetic genome. We are now in the business of engineering life.
posted by BoatMeme on May 20, 2010 - 62 comments

Sequencing of the Neandertal genome completed

Neandertals are the closest ancestral relatives to modern humans. Today, Nature published a special report on the Neandertal genome, for which a draft sequencing of three billion nucleotides has been completed. This high-throughput sequencing project shows how the genetic relationship between Neandertals and modern Europeans and Asians suggests localized interbreeding between the two species roughly 40-80,000 years ago, complicating the common "out-of-Africa" story of how modern humans originated. Additional research extends this low-coverage, first-pass sequencing with a microarray approach that uncovers specific differences between the human and Neandertal genomes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 6, 2010 - 75 comments

"You Can't Patent Nature"

Followup to this post: A US District Court has ruled that Myriad Genetic's patents on breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which allow them to hold exclusive rights to a widely used genetic test for inherited breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility, are invalid. Genomics Law Report analyzes the ruling in two posts. The decision is likely to be challenged in a legal appeal — but if upheld, it could have huge implications for the biotechnology industry. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2010 - 51 comments

I'm sure this'll end well....

We may soon be able to clone Neanderthals. But should we? An essay from Archaeology Magazine examines the ethical, scientific and legal ramifications. (Via Heather Pringle's Time Machine blog, where essay author Zach Zorich posted a reply and elicited a response.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 22, 2010 - 207 comments

More humans are alive today than had ever lived before 10,000 BC

The human population of Earth has almost always been about 50,000. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Jan 19, 2010 - 85 comments

Do they preserve scientific transparency, protect profits or both?

On behalf of medical organizations, universities, & individual patients, pathologists and genetics researchers, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Utah-based Myriad Genetics and the US Patent and Trademark Office. Myriad holds the US patents to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, associated with hereditary causes of breast and ovarian cancers. Their patents guarantee the company the right to prevent anyone else from testing or studying those genes, which the ACLU says is unconstitutional and inhibits researchers from finding treatments and cures. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 13, 2009 - 64 comments

Jurrassic World

We get you real woolly mammoth, very cheap, good quality.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 20, 2008 - 44 comments

Personal Genome Project

Volunteers from the general public working together with researchers to advance personal genomics. 10 volunteers, among them noted author and cognitive psychologist Stephen Pinker, have open sourced (so to speak) their genetic information. [more inside]
posted by thatbrunette on Oct 20, 2008 - 13 comments

Down

The Genius of Charles Darwin [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 8, 2008 - 66 comments

“There is nothing quite as enigmatic as a platypus”

It turns out if it looks like a duck it's partly a duck. A bunch of scientist got together and set about to decode the platypus genome, and guess what!?! "What we found was the genome, just like the animal, is an amazing amalgam of reptilian and mammal characteristics with quite a few unique platypus characteristics as well". “You have got these reptilian repeat patterns and these more recently evolved milk genes and independent evolution of the venom. It all points to how idiosyncratic evolution is.” “We have microRNAs that are shared with chickens and not mammals as well as ones that are shared with mammals, but not chickens.” Also, apparently, male platypi have venomous spikes on their heels that can kill dogs! [more inside]
posted by Large Marge on May 8, 2008 - 46 comments

Synthetic life is now just around the corner.

Scientists have built the first synthetic genome by stringing together 147 pages of letters representing the building blocks of DNA.
posted by geeknik on Jan 26, 2008 - 18 comments

Genome

The Diploid Genome Sequence of J. Craig Venter. (Previous MeFi)
posted by i_am_a_Jedi on Sep 16, 2007 - 31 comments

How to Sequence a Genome

How to Sequence a Genome [Flash. H/T to Jay]. Visualization of the process of genetic sequencing. Posted on the Nova website in conjunction with their show, Cracking the Code of Life, hosted by Robert Krulwich [Wiki].
posted by McLir on Aug 23, 2007 - 14 comments

Genome visualizaion with Circos

"Circos is designed for visualizing alignments, conservation and intra- and inter-chromosomal relationships within a genome, between genomes, or between any two or more sets of objects with a corresponding distance scale." Illustrative (via).
posted by stopgap on Jan 23, 2007 - 2 comments

Intelligent Design by Trial and Error

A more efficient microbe genome. A more efficient sorting algorithm. A more efficient keyboard layout.
posted by fatllama on Aug 26, 2005 - 8 comments

It's a small world after all

Six degrees of Nirvana, see how bands are connected to each other.
posted by drezdn on Mar 16, 2005 - 46 comments

It's a hard knock life

New Scientist reports that a virus has been built up from mail order components. Other reports on this are in USA Today and Nature. This isn't time life has been created in the lab, as previously linked.
What's interesting is that this study was funded by the Department of Energy to produce a completely man made lifeform that can create hydrogen or consume greenhouse gasses. The present virus is an artificially created copy of a naturally occurring virus.
posted by substrate on Nov 14, 2003 - 7 comments

The human genome and the new eugenics

"We are becoming the masters of our own DNA. But does that give us the right to decide that my children should never have been born?" John Sundman is a science fiction novelist and the father of two children with severe medical conditions. In this two-part article he shares his experiences and thoughts on bioethics, the Human Genome Project and whether genetics research is paving the way for a resurgent eugenics movement.
posted by homunculus on Oct 24, 2003 - 56 comments

so what's in that 0.1%?

DNA used to ascertain race of unidentified serial killer. Florida company DNAPrint Genomics claims their test can identify the race (ie, African, Caucasian, East Asian or American Indian) of a person from their DNA. CEO Tony Frudakis says that "of over 2,200 blind samples tested, the test is yet to get one wrong."
posted by shoos on Jun 5, 2003 - 12 comments

Dr Venter says he will be able to provide an individual's genome on a CD in about a week for $712,000 (£400,000) from later this year with the ultimate goal to sequence someone's entire genome in 24 hours for $1,000 (£562).
posted by nasim on Sep 23, 2002 - 9 comments

Genome liberation.

Genome liberation. "Life science researchers -- even those who work in academic settings -- are finding that corporations are just as eager to patent the tools as they are the data, and in many cases, universities are bending over backward to let the private sector have its way. As a result, a growing number of bioinformatics researchers are beginning to look to the free-software and open-source software movements for inspiration in their quest for bio freedom."
posted by homunculus on Feb 26, 2002 - 2 comments

Why Genetic Engineering Is So Dangerous

Why Genetic Engineering Is So Dangerous Environmentalist/biologist Barry Commoner's essay in the February issue of Harper's magazine warns about the unknown dangers of genetic engineering. "...billions of transgenic plants are now being grown with only the most rudimentary knowledge about the resulting changes in their composition. Without detailed, ongoing analyses of the transgenic crops, there is no way of knowing what hazardous consequences may arise. But, given the failure of the Central Dogma, there is no assurance that they will not. The genetically engineered crops now being grown represent a huge uncontrolled experiment; its outcome is inherently unpredictable. Our project is designed to help develop effective public understanding of the dangerous implications of this critical predicament." He asserts that the "Central Dogma", the basis for the Human Genome Project, was known to be flawed prior to the inception of the $3 billion program. Should we be amused/impressed or very worried when we read about pig/spinach crosses and the like? Related article here.
posted by martk on Jan 25, 2002 - 16 comments

Last week I was watching a Nova program on PBS called 'Cracking the Code of Life', which brought to my attention a disturbing fact about the process of mapping the Human Genome; private companies have applied for patents for gene sequences that they've mapped. Many of these patents were applied for before the government began the Human Genome Project. Although the patent office has put these applications on hold until it figures out what to do with them, many drug companies an researchers won't work with a gene sequence if there is a patent application outstanding. You can get involved yourself by petitioning against patents on life.
posted by Sal Amander on May 1, 2001 - 22 comments

"There are only a few hundred genes that we have in the human genome that are not in the mouse genome,"

"There are only a few hundred genes that we have in the human genome that are not in the mouse genome," says Craig Venter, chief scientific officer at Celera Genomics. Information on the human genome released today reveals that there are far fewer genes than first thought - humans only have double the amount that worms and flies do. [more inside...]
posted by hijinx on Feb 11, 2001 - 6 comments

The Human Genome in Human Context:

The Human Genome in Human Context: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Genome.
posted by tallman on Dec 27, 2000 - 0 comments

The Missyplicity Project

The Missyplicity Project seeks to clone a dog for the first time in history - a specific dog named Missy. Missy is a beloved pet, getting on in years, whose wealthy owners wish to reproduce her. See also Genetic Savings and Clone
posted by riley370 on Dec 16, 2000 - 1 comment

Soon you can get your own copy of the Human Genome.

Soon you can get your own copy of the Human Genome. (Funny, I thought I already had one.)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Sep 19, 2000 - 1 comment

A beta version of the source code for humans is now available for download.

Not that I'd have any idea what to do with this. Anyone up for a 740mb download?
posted by CrayDrygu on Jul 8, 2000 - 15 comments

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Human Genome Project completed!!!!!
posted by grumblebee on Jun 25, 2000 - 7 comments

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