science forest genetics genome dna sequencing agriculture biology loblolly pine trees
Researchers Sequence Loblolly Pine DNA, Felling Largest Genome Ever Analyzed

image

by Michael Keller

Anyone who has taken a road trip through the Southeast has watched as countless loblolly pines swish past outside the window. Pinus taeda, a valuable cash crop used to make paper and lumber, blankets the region and grows as far north as Delaware.

Its quick growth rate and flexibility in thriving in different landscapes has led to the tree being a dominant presence—loblolly comprises more than half of the standing pine volume in the South, according to North Carolina State University.

Because of its ubiquitousness, the loblolly pine might seem to be an open book, a species whose usefulness means humans have long known what it is. But beneath the thick greyish bark that resembles a giant turtle’s scutes lies a secret only recently decoded. The DNA blueprint that makes a loblolly pine is comprised of some 22 billion base pairs, around seven times more than the genome that makes humans.

Now a research team of 37 scientists from 12 institutions—a big crew to fell a leviathan of a genome—has announced that they have used cutting-edge techniques to decipher the loblolly’s DNA. Their effort represents the largest genome sequenced to date and the most complete decoded conifer genome ever published.

Read More

41
41 notes
http://www.tumblr.com/reblog/80903680020/JCqpyF86
Permalink
text
science medicine health electronic_medical_records big_data genetics disease
Scientists Tap Electronic Medical Records To Mine Human Genome

by Charles Q. Choi

Electronic medical records now exist for millions of people. The data locked within them represent a giant trove that researchers could potentially mine to uncover lifesaving secrets. Now scientists have delved into these records to complete the first large-scale analysis of genetic variants and the medical problems linked with them. 

Read More

40
40 notes
http://www.tumblr.com/reblog/68158631751/eJfI7swK
Permalink
text
history science dna mendel comics web_comics mind_blown genetics genome inheritance

Gregor Mendel, a Catholic friar who lived in a Czech abbey in the 19th century, carried out a series of experiments using pea plants to prove that an individual’s traits and characteristics are inherited. For this, Mendel was recognized posthumously to be the father of modern genetics.
Click through to see why his mind would be blown if he were alive today.[[MORE]]
Mendel loved nature, and studied agriculture, viniculture and natural science.
He knew that gardeners could cross breed two plants to make new color variants, and became curious why those colors reappeared in the offspring of the hybrid parents.  So he grew and cross-pollinated pea plants for years, putting together parents that grew peas of different shapes and colors.
Carefully recording the characteristics succeeding generations of plants displayed, Mendel developed a theory of inheritance after breeding and observing more than 10,000 plants. He published this work in the 1860s, which would eventually serve as the foundation of modern genetics. 
Today, researchers have decoded the human genome and within sight is the complete sequencing of a person’s entire DNA makeup for under $1,000. Genome sequencing is poised to be a part of routine medical care, and researchers are constantly finding new links between genes, traits and diseases. Mendel’s mind would be blown.

Gregor Mendel, a Catholic friar who lived in a Czech abbey in the 19th century, carried out a series of experiments using pea plants to prove that an individual’s traits and characteristics are inherited. For this, Mendel was recognized posthumously to be the father of modern genetics.

Click through to see why his mind would be blown if he were alive today.

Read More

61
61 notes
http://www.tumblr.com/reblog/66790678033/LctYGYxa
Permalink
photo
science genomes genes cyrobanks news long_reads dna dna_sequencing genetics health medicine
The Most Personal Information: Should People’s Genomes Be Public?

image

by Ysabel Yates

When Wendy Kramer decided to have a child through a sperm donor, she didn’t know she would one day become the biggest advocate for donor-child rights in the United States, or that her son Ryan would be the first person to use his own DNA to find his real father.

It was 1990. Ms. Kramer wanted to conceive a child. So, like tens of thousands of women do each year around the world, she contacted her doctor. After carefully considering her options, she decided to take a donation from a California cryobank.

 “Ten years later, I had a donor-conceived child who wanted to know who he was related to,” she says. Looking for answers, she started a Yahoo group in 2000 called the Donor Sibling Registry. “Basically, we were saying, ‘If Ryan wants to know if he has any half brothers and sisters, maybe he’s not the only one.’ Forty thousand people later, it turns out we weren’t the only ones.”

Read More

44
44 notes
http://www.tumblr.com/reblog/65628239254/zGbzFpCn
Permalink
text

LATEST