In which I present a quick guide for the omically challenged and a defense of 'arth and "ome."
Other SciBloggers have shared their thoughts on the use of ome here and here.
Sometimes I get frustrated too, with the way language is abused and tweaked by those around me. So many word pairs that once made phrases—;log in, data set, file name, set up, and pick up—;have been condensed into single words, that I've had to ... Read more
Razib inspired me to share some of the story behind why white people are considered derivatives.
No red herrings, here! Lamason et. al. found a single gene that controls human skin color while studying pigmentation in zebra fish (1). These zebra fish had an unusual golden color that turned out to be an important clue. Lamason and collaborators found that the golden zebra fish lost their normal color because of a mutation in the slc24a5 gene. When the zebra fish have the mutant form, they produce fewer melanosomes.
If we compare sections 1, 2, and 3, we see that section 2 matches very well in a number of different samples, and that there are differences between the sequences in sections 1 and 3.
We also learn something about the ... Read more
Like biology, all bioinformatics is based on the idea that living things shared a common ancestor. I have posted, and will post other articles that test that notion, but for the moment, we're going to use that idea as a starting point in today's quest.
If we agree that we have a common ancestor, then we can use that idea as a basis to ask some interesting questions about our genomes. For, example, we know that genomes change over time - we've looked at single nucleotide changes here and ... Read more
Have you ever wondered how people actually go about sequencing a genome?
If they're sequencing a chicken genome, do they raise chickens in the lab and get DNA from the eggs? Does the DNA sequence come out in one piece? Why is there so much talk about computers? What are Phred, Phrap, and Consed? What is the Golden Path?
Wonder no more!
You too, can take a virtual tour of the Washington University Genome Center.
I found this really excellent series of short videos that ... Read more
The past few Fridays, we've been comparing human mitochondrial DNA with the mitochondrial DNA of different apes.
We started doing this here, where you can find directions for getting started.
And, we've found some interesting things.
In this installment, we found that humans have practically an entire mitochondrial genome stuck in chromosome 17. ... Read more
When can a really bad virus be used to do something good?
When we can use it to learn.
The human immunodeficiency virus, cause of AIDS, scourge of countries, and recent focus of ScienceBlogs; like humans, evolves. As one ... Read more
During these past couple of weeks, we've been comparing mitochondrial DNA sequences from humans and great apes, in order to see how similar the sequences are.
Last week, I got distracted by finding a copy of a human mitochondrial genome, that somehow got out of a mitochondria, and got stuck right inside of chromosome 17! The existence of this extra mitochondrial sequence probably complicates some genetic analyses. One of my readers also asked an interesting question about whether apes have ... Read more
Last week, we decided to compare a human mitochondrial DNA sequence with the mitochondrial sequences of our cousins, the apes, and find out how similar these sequences really are.
The answer is: really, really, similar.
And you can see that, in the BLAST graph, below the fold.
A quick glance shows that the ape with the most similar mitochondrial sequence is Pan paniscus, the pigmy chimpanzee. Next, is Pan troglodytes, the chimp that we see in movies, and last we have Gorilla ... Read more
We've had a good time in the past few last weeks, identifying unknown sequences and learning our way around a GenBank nucleotide record. To some people, it seems that this is all there is to doing digital biology. They would, of course, be wrong.
We can do much, much more than identifying DNA sequences and obtaining crucial information, like who left their DNA behind on that little blue dress.
Today, we're going to a deeper question about who we are and who are our relatives.
Drumroll, okay, here it comes:
How similar are DNA sequences between humans and apes? ... Read more