Archive for the 'Genetics' Category

Oct 12 2011

Walking on Eggshells

After a self-declared coding holiday, I was back at things this weekend working on the Pathscrubber module of the Datapunk platform. A recently developed vexing problem that needed to be addressed was actually two problems intertwined. If you used Pathscrubber and clicked on any gene/protein node, PS would query Entrez-gene for the descriptive text and […]

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Sep 24 2011

Simple Differences

The last century has seen science and technology used to justify any and all supremacist theories, culminating in the development of a pseudoscience called “Eugenics”, which advocated the improvement of society through what might me called selective breeding. Now, not all of the eugenic goals were crackpot and indeed many prominent scientists (including one of […]

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Sep 12 2011

Transposable elements

DNA sequencing is not static. A considerable amount of DNA jumps around from place to place. While other elements compete for representation at a given locus, transposable elements accumulate by copying themselves to new locations in the genome. Transposable elements are sequences of DNA that can move around to different positions within the genome of […]

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Jun 18 2011

Genetics as an Interactive Sport

“For your information, I would like to ask a question.” —Samuel Goldwyn From an evolutionary point of view, in order for something to carry information, there must first be some sort of “receiver” that reacts to the source of information and interprets it. Through its reaction and interpretation, the receiver’s functional state is changed in […]

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Feb 23 2011

On blood groups and heart disease

A recent Lancet article has resuscitated some interest about the influence of ABO blood groups and one’s chances of developing coronary atherosclerosis. Like a lot of earlier studies that documented the influence of blood group phenotypic influences on disease incidence, the researchers went in looking for one correlation and wound up finding another; and possibly produced an oversimplification in the rationale of their results.

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Dec 18 2010

Despised Theories, No. 4: Pangenesis

Natural Selection is the process by which certain heritable traits that convey some advantage become more common in a population over successive generations. These advantages typically make the organism more likely to survive and successfully reproduce.

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Dec 12 2010

Despised Theories, No. 3: Lysenkoism

If contemporary genetic determinism was tainted with the over-extrapolations of eugenics, Lamarkism and epigenetics labored under its own set of miasma –brought about, strangely enough, as much by differences in political philosophy as by differences in genetic determinism.

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