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Epigenetics may be a critical factor contributing to homosexuality, study suggests

epigeneticsWhy does homosexuality occur?

Epigenetics is the term used for how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches called epi-marks.  Epi-marks appear to be a critical and overlooked factor contributing to the unanswered question of why homosexuality occurs.

A recent article found on Science Daily concerning this topic was authored by William Rice, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Urban Friberg, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Sources:

http://www.nimbios.org/press/FS_homosexuality


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Sequencing from a Single Cell with Minimal Errors!

“most human genomes are sequenced from DNA extracted from multiple cells, which misses the differences between cells that could be crucial to controlling gene expression, cell behavior and drug response.” Nicolas Navin is now sequencing from a single cell with minimal errors! Molecular Biology has come a long way over the past decade!

memoirs on a rainy day

single-cell-genomics

Nicolas Navin wanted to work out the sequence from individual cancer cells to see how they had mutated and diverged as the cancer grew. Back in 2010, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and exploring the genetic changes that occur during breast cancer.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

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Is Whole Genome Sequencing Data Private of Not?

“What information about an individual’s whole genome should remain private, and when should it remain private?” This blog post by One Crown Office Row addresses the issue of Whole Genome Sequencing and how it will affect the 7 billion people on the planet. How will we protect WGS data?

UK Human Rights Blog

DNA database impact on human rights

I have posted previously on the logistical difficulties in legislating against genetic discrimination.

The prospect that genetic information not only affects insurance and employment opportunities is alarming enough. But it has many other implications: it could be used to deny financial backing or loan approval, educational opportunities, sports eligibility, military accession, or adoption eligibility.  At the moment,  the number of documented cases of discrimination on the basis of genetic test results is small. This is probably due to the relatively few conditions for which there are currently definitive genetic tests, coupled with the expense and difficulty of conducting these tests. But genetic discrimination is a time bomb waiting to be triggered and the implications of whole genome sequencing (WGS) are considered in a very interesting and readable report by the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues  Privacy and Progress in Whole Genome Sequencing. 

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New Genetic Modifications Result in Cows with Allergen-Free Milk

“The cows lack an allergy-inducing protein, which was blocked accurately using RNA interference.”

memoirs on a rainy day

allergen-free-cow-milk

New genetic modification techniques have allowed geneticists to engineer cows that secrete allergen-free milk and pigs that can serve as models for atherosclerosis. The cows lack an allergy-inducing protein, which was blocked accurately using RNA interference. In the pigs, scientists used the TALEN enzyme to scramble a gene that would normally help remove cholesterol.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

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How much modern genetics should be learnt in school?

Wellcome Trust Blog

Science moves so quickly that it would be impossible to alter GCSE and A level courses to include each and every discovery. But occasionally, new knowledge emerges that could be considered ‘game-changing’, requiring special consideration. Is modern genetics an example of a game-changer, and if so, what can be done to prepare future citizens for its applications, ask Peter Finegold and Matthew Hickman.

Genome sequencing is one technology that has already had a marked effect on the way bioscience research is done, and promises to alter our experience of healthcare in the future. Views expressed by crystal ball gazers have been caricatured at the extremes; either as head-in-the-clouds or head-in-the-sand. The loftier visionaries predict a utopia in which detailed DNA knowledge of individuals and populations will prevent some illnesses from developing and turn other, lethal conditions into ones that can be treated and lived with. Meanwhile the ‘ostriches’ fear that cheap…

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