Author Archives: DWN

New method now enables scientists to study gene expression in single cells (“RNA velocity”)

When scientists (typically) determine “liver gene transcription, mRNA or protein level, or enzyme activity” –– the entire organ is homogenized and analyzed. Same with lung, kidney, brain, mammary or prostate gland, etc. However, each of these organs comprises multiple cell-types, … Continue reading

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Bacterial death and population dynamics affect mutation-rate estimates and evolvability — in response to ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS

The topic today is directly central to “gene-environment interactions.” Three decades ago, experiments in the lab of John Cairns showed that the effect of “environmental stress” on the mutation rate in bacteria can be remarkably strong (the “stress” they used … Continue reading

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Only certain histone posttranslatinal modifications appear to qualify as “having an epigenetic effect” ???

As often covered in these GEITP pages, multifactorial traits (e.g. phenotypes such as type-2 diabetes, drug efficacy, many dose-independent adverse drug reactions, autism spectrum disorder, cancer) represent the contributions of: [a] genetic predisposition (genotype; DNA-sequence changes); [b] epigenetic effects; [c] … Continue reading

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Dual-spindle formation keeps the two parental genomes apart in 1-cell mammalian embryo

Mammalian life begins with fertilization of the egg. Once the egg and sperm have fused, the parental chromosomes need to be combined. It was previously taught that a single microtubule-spindle is responsible for spatially combining the two genomes, and then … Continue reading

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SLE in in leptin transgenic pigs ???

For anyone interested in SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), this is a weird finding, maybe a paper worth investigating….. Symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus are diagnosed in leptin transgenic pigs Junchen Chen, Weiqi Zeng, Weirong Pan, Cong Peng, Jianglin Zhang, Juan … Continue reading

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The evolution of genome size in maize

The full-length article about “genome size” [attached left pdf file] was shared with all of GEITP on Aug 31st, and that analysis is re-posted furthest below. The editorial commentary [attached right pdf file] was intended to accompany the full-length article. … Continue reading

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The prehistoric peopling of Southeast Asia

Anatomically modern humans are known to have expanded into Southeast Asia at least 65,000 years ago –– leading to formation of the Hòabìnhian hunter-gatherer tradition. Although Hòabìnhian foragers are considered to be the ancestors of present-day hunter-gatherers from mainland Southeast … Continue reading

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A protestor’s change-of-heart sheds light on the public’s reservations about genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

This [attached] article is a 1-page summary of a new book review (by José R. Dinneny, Dept of Biology at Stanford Univ). In Seeds of Science, author Mark Lynas has written this book in hopes of improving the “contentious debate … Continue reading

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The transition (during evolution) — from single cells to multicellular life

From time to time, these GEITP pages examine EVOLUTION –– especially from the standpoint of “how do an organism’s genes respond to the adverse environment at that moment in time, and mutations/insertions/deletions/inversions/duplications (i.e. DNA-sequence alterations) occur, as well as epigenetic … Continue reading

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Induction of innate immune memory: — microRNA targets chromatin-remodeling factors !!

Prolonged exposure of mouse or human immune cells to unwanted microbial products –– such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) –– can induce a form of innate immune memory that suppresses subsequent responses to unrelated pathogens. This is called “LPS tolerance”. Sepsis (presence … Continue reading

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