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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-01-2011
There is a huge buzz in the molecular biology community around epigenetic factors such DNA methylation and chromosomal orientation and their affect on molecular pathway activity. In two recent posts, we highlighted a new tool for epigenetic analysis which was recognized as one of the most innovative new products of 2011. However, according to a recent study published in Nature Biotechnology, structural variations involving large scale changes in DNA sequences should be just as “buzz-worthy” as epigenetics.
In a review of this article, Wired Science wrote that structural variations in DNA are more specific to individuals than single nucleotide polymorphisms, and may be more responsible than SNPs for genetic difference among people.
Truth be told, epigenetic factors may play a big role in determining which DNA sequences will be modified by our molecular machinery, so perhaps epigenetics does in fact trump (or perhaps even define), structural makeup. One commentator notes that the wired article has nothing to do with epigenetics, however, based on what I’ve noted above, I’m not sure that he is correct.
What are your thoughts? What’s more buzz-worthy? Epigenetics or Genome Structure?
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-28-2011
In these lazy summer days I find myself spending more time looking for and reading interesting/humorous blog posts by fellow scientists. My latest find is a blog by American PhD candidate “Try Nerdy” (TN). Although I don’t know his/her real name, (it is not listed in the TN about page), I do know that TN is a molecular biologist who helps distill complicated scientific material into easily digestible bits for his/her non-scientist readership. TN also has a great sense of humor and publishes some captivating stuff including TN’s latest post “The Inside Jokes of Scientists.”
If you were ever curious as to how crazy sounding proteins such as R2D2 and C3PO got their names, check out TN’s blog.
I am a scientist and despite TN’s claim that Try Nerdy is not focused on scientists I will continue to follow. Keep up the good work TN!
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-26-2011
George Church is one of the founders of the human genome project and continues to play an important role in the personal genome project, stem cell research and biofuel research. In this video, Dr. Sriram Kosuri, a Postdoctoral fellow in George’s lab at Harvard University discusses the Church lab’s approach to solving problems and developing technologies.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-25-2011
We have written many posts about the MIQE real time PCR standards that are basic requirements for anyone engaged in real time PCR experimets. Now there is a new tool for all ipod/iphone users to add to their arsenal. A MIQE qPCR app!
The MIQE app helps scientitst review scientific work and check their own project’s MIQE compliance. Plus, the app includes a list of the most current qPCR news and events and “emergency” contact numbers that you can call/email should you have any questions about your qPCR experiments.