Genome

Aye aye! Sequence genomes to save species

Publication: NBC News   Date: March 25, 2013   View Article

A study of nocturnal lemurs in Madagascar known for their smarts, beaver-like teeth, and long, thin middle fingers may point to the future of endangered species conservation: cheap and fast genome analyses.

Researchers obtained and compared complete genomes from three separate populations of aye ayes and found that one is more distinct from the others than are humans of African and European descent, suggesting that the population warrants greater conservation attention.

Inventor of plumbing on a chip wins $500,000 prize

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: June 4, 2012   View Article

Stephen Quake, a prolific inventor whose application of physics to biology has led to breakthroughs in drug discovery, genome analysis and personalized medicine, has won the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, a prestigious award for outstanding innovators.

“A big part of physics is trying to figure out how to measure things,” Quake, who is a professor of bioengineering and applied physics at Stanford University, told me. “And so I get interested in a biological problem [and] figure out a way to measure it.”

Cow Genome Decoded – Cheaper Beef for Everybody?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 23, 2009   View Article

The humble cow has now had its entire genome sequenced, a new study says.

Six years in the making, the feat could lead to healthier, cheaper beef and milk, according to scientists.

Entire Synthetic Genome Created

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 25, 2008   View Article

Scientists yesterday announced that they have successfully created an entire synthetic genome in the lab by stitching together the DNA of the smallest known free-living bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium.

Experts are hailing the research as an important breakthrough in genetic manipulation that will one day lead to the “routine” creation of synthetic genomes—possibly including those of mammals.

Mammoth Hair Yields Ancient DNA, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 27, 2007   View Article

The thick coats of shaggy hair that kept woolly mammoths warm on the icy tundra have yielded enough intact DNA to sequence their genomes, a new study reports.

In addition to helping scientists figure out why mammoths went extinct, the feat could pave the way for better and faster genetic studies of other ancient animals.

Deciphering the “Bugs” in Human Intestines

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 28, 2003   View Article

The human intestine is a swirling and churning environment that is host to microbial communities as diverse as those found in the Amazon rain forest. And like the regions beneath the soils that carpet the rain forest floor, much of what lies within the gut remains unexplored.

A series of papers in the March 28 issue of Science delves into this scientific frontier and begins to unravel the secrets of the complex and highly evolved microbial communities that teem throughout the length of our intestines.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach