Time for late confessions. This story dates back to the 2000s, and it is about free diffusion of knowledge, internet, evolution, an angry academic and a monster (I mean "another monster", distinct from the angry academic). It was the 2007, and I was hardly trying to find a way out from my bachelor degree. At the … Continue reading Those viral Evolutionary Biology notes. A late confession.
The genome is a real thing, and this is something we strongly need to keep in mind. The development of bioinformatics has brought us to make a very important, but still bold simplification. A strong focus on sequences, and the information they bear, allowed us to understand how genes determine the structure and function of proteins, … Continue reading Genome3D organisation and evolution. Going beyond flat files.
As we talk about information in biology, mind goes through DNA and protein sequences, on the tracks of what we have learned to call "bioinformatics", along with a fair amount of algorithms, open source methods, coding hacks, genome assemblies, libraries and bugs. Luckily, Biology is much more complex and beautiful than mere green strings, and information in … Continue reading Information and intelligence: let's meet the Smart Slime
James Watson is seriously facing the risk to go broke. After his comments on the linkage between race and intelligence in 2007, when he claimed that Africans were genetically less intelligent than Caucasians, the American molecular biology pioneer suddenly ran into isolation, drawing the contempt of public opinion and academics. Now, his budget is dangerously low, and he decided … Continue reading How reductionism brought James Watson into racism and insulation.
The paper I am going to share today collected my attention because it merges two fundamental topics that are quite a lot undertaken in evolutionary biology: plant genomics and the rule of cis-regulatory elements in evolution. Plant biology provides an excellent framework to perform studies in genomic evolution. Even if the knowledge acquired is applied mostly in agricultural biotechnology, … Continue reading The role of cis-regulatory sequences in Zea mays evolution.
I have never made a big secret of my passion for microbiota biology. The interaction between microbial communities and host organism is definitely one of the best topics to take stock of the amazing complexity of biological systems. In fact, I have already discussed about some possible applications for theoretical biology in this field, and introduced … Continue reading Human genetics, gut microbiome and evolution.
Tajima's D is a statistical test used to distinguish between a DNA sequence evolving randomly or neutrally and one evolving under a non- random process, such as directional or balancing selection, demographic expansion or contraction, genetic hitchhiking or introgression. Created by and named after the Japanese evolutionary biologist Fumio Tajima, this test is very useful … Continue reading Tajima's D statistics explained in a 9 minutes lecture.