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molecular genetics

The Rothamsted GM wheat trial

I recently signed the Sense about Science petition in favour of their GM wheat trials. I have just received the following email which suggests that the Take the Flour Back pressure group are afraid to discuss the issues around this… Continue reading →

The life cycle of the enigmatic Trichoplax

Way back in 2008 I wrote a brief blog article about the sequencing of the genome of a rather poorly unusual organism, Trichoplax adhaerens (What the heck is a Placozoan, anyway?).  The interest there was that the genome had a… Continue reading →

On the gain of genes and gene function (Wonderful Life)

I’ve posted a brief article (On the gain of genes and gene function) over at Wonderful Life on two recent papers that reveal something of the rate and nature of gene duplication and diversification within the species of Drosophila.  This… Continue reading →

Microsoft patents phylogenetic method?

This story popped across my screen this morning:Microsoft patents phylogenetic comparative methods. . . say what? – Dechronization blog  (hat tip, PJ over at Groklaw).  Bizarrely, Microsoft appear to be patenting a method for Clustering Phylogenetic Variation Patterns.” The authors… Continue reading →

Neanderthal genome

After a bit of teasing in the blogosphere that the draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome would be released in time for Charles Darwin’s birthday this week, I was eagerly looking for a paper.  Instead what I find are three… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Human expansion across the Pacific mapped by language and bacteria

Just as I finish reading (or rather, re-reading) chapters concerning the fate of Easter Island (Rapanui) and of Henderson and Pitcairn Islands in Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive by Jared Diamond, the 23rd January issue of Science… Continue reading →

The resurrected Pyrenean ibex – anyone spot the problem?

According to the Daily Telegraph, a team of scientists (we’re always "teams") have cloned an extinct Spanish mountain goat from DNA contained in frozen skin samples from the last known specimen, aand using domestic goat eggs. The article, Extinct ibex is… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Reproductive isolation in Drosophila hybrids

Of the many questions in evolutionary biology, the genetic basis of reproductive isolation between species and subspecies is a pretty hot topic. Drosophila pseudoobscura is a new world Drosophila species that has been used in evolutionary biology studies for many… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Polytene Chromosomes and Transvection

For much of my professional career as a Drosophila geneticist I’ve worked with polytene chromosomes, and it’s always interesting to see papers with interesting tidbits of information about their structure and function. Polytene chromosomes are those rather strange structures formed… Continue reading →

My Research: DmWRNexo is a 3'-5' exonuclease

The latest publication from our project investigating a Drosophila homologue of WRN exonuclease is now online.   Ivan Boubriak, Penelope A. Mason, David J. Clancy, Joel Dockray, Robert D. C. Saunders, Lynne S. Cox (2008). DmWRNexo is a 3′–5′ exonuclease: phenotypic… Continue reading →

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