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Category Archive: genetics

Jul 23 2011

An intro to the neutral theory of evolution

From a top donor: “I’d like you to write a blog entry (primer) about neutral theory aimed at the layperson.” Okay, I’m not going to lie. I’ve been secretly hoping someone would bump this question out of the top ten, mainly because neutral theory is kind of boring and vaguely confusing and hard enough to …

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Jul 23 2011

Neanderthals and the beauty of science

A common creationist debating tactic is to sneer at science, saying something like “It changes all of the time! Scientists can never make up their mind, and often times they’re wrong! Why would you want to trust something that admits it could be wrong?” And my response is usually to laugh, because that’s precisely what …

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Jul 19 2011

Google wishes a Happy Birthday to Gregor Mendel

Pretty and scientific!

Jul 06 2011

Attention Seattle science fans!

The Department of Genome Sciences at UW (aka, mine!) is starting its summer public lecture series, Wednesdays at the Genome. Tonight is the first talk on “Recent adventures in human evolution” by Dr. Josh Akey. I did one of my lab rotations with Josh, and I can assure you it’ll be an interesting, fun presentation. …

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Apr 11 2011

I just bought my genome!

Well, kinda sorta. 23andMe, one of the more popular personalized genomics companies, is having a DNA Day sale today. Usually the price to get your genome analyzed (more on this in a bit) is $199 for the kit and $9 a month for a year for their update service – where they’ll rerun your data …

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Apr 06 2011

You know what else has unique human DNA like a fertilized egg?

Cancer. Just sayin’. Science aside of the day:Well, and T lymphocytes. “T cells” are a type of white blood cell involved in the immune response. They’re special because they undergo something called somatic recombination. Try to remember back to high school biology. During meiosis (the formation of gametes) there’s a step where Chromosome 1 from …

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Jan 24 2011

Genetics will not be used to abort straights OR gays

Not because of ethics, necessarily, but because of science. Genetics is complicated. This is a concept that all non-scientists, regardless of political leaning, seem to have a hard time grasping. I’ve heard liberals who are worried that advances in genomics will result in a simple prenatal test, which bigots would gobble up to make sure …

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Jan 13 2011

More quotes from the lab

There’s another first year graduate student rotating in the same lab that I’m rotating in, though he’s working on a different project from me. How do our projects differ, you ask? 1st Year: *talking to another labmate about something completely off topic*Post doc: Hey, that’s five minutes you just wasted that could have gone toward …

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Jan 06 2011

Grad school is hard

Obvious statement of the day, I know. But grad school is also pretty cool. The new quarter has started, and here are my classes: Advanced Genetic Analysis (first half) – basically how to set up experiments using a bazillion different genetic tricks in order to investigate, well, anything. You know how cool it was solving …

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Dec 05 2010

This is what I do in lab

From xkcd:What, you think we learn something from staring at all those As, Cs, Ts, and Gs? Nah, we just want to freak you out. …Now, back to doing genetic tests :\

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