Diseases & Disorders

Alternative splicings (very technical)

From time to time I try to update my knowledge base on specific aspects included in my model. Here is the link to an open access article that may be of interest to others who want to learn more about biologically based cause and effect. This is not the type of information that you are likely to see in news reported by science journalists. Intragenic DNA methylation modulates alternative splicing by recruiting MeCP2 to promote exon recognition Excerpt 1) DNA…

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Pheromone-controlled thermodynamics and cancer

“If you learnt evolutionary biology and genetics a decade or more ago you need to be aware that those debates have moved on very considerably, as has the experimental and field work on which they are based.” — Denis Noble Can thermodynamics help us better understand human cancers? Excerpt: “In a new study, UCLA researchers analyzed the gene-expression profiles of more than 2,000 patients and were able to identify cancer-specific gene signatures for breast, lung, prostate and ovarian cancers. The…

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Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled stickleback evolution

Sexual imprinting on ecologically divergent traits leads to sexual isolation in sticklebacks Excerpt: “Odour differences may be owing to pleiotropic effects of adaptive differences in diet [18], habitat [12] and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles selected by parasite differences [19,20].” Excerpt: “…imprinting has turned odour and nuptial coloration into magic traits.” My comment: In my model, natural odour production in vertebrates is not a magic trait. It results from the role of food odours in nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated ecological niche construction.…

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Functional coding variants are not mutations

Rare coding variants of the adenosine A3 receptor are increased in autism: on the trail of the serotonin transporter regulome “Conclusions: Our results validate the hypothesis that the SERT regulatory network harbors rare, functional variants that impact SERT activity and regulation in ASD, and encourages further investigation of this network as a site for additional functional variation that may impact ASD risk.” My comment: This open access article mentions mutations, but the title and conclusion correctly infer that coding “variants”…

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Mirror neurons and microRNA: theory vs biological facts

Mirror neurons through the lens of epigenetics to be published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences Volume 17, Issue 9, September 2013, Pages 450–457. epub on 14 August 2013 Abstract excerpt: … we propose a new evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) perspective, which predicts that environmental differences early in development should produce variations in mirror neuron response patterns, tuning them to the social environment. See Figure 1: Excerpt: “…the early social experience produces modifications in gene expression through epigenetic marks, such as…

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  • What Darwin proved: there’s no such thing as a species
    GENETICS As Animals Mingle, a Baffling Genetic Barrier A short stretch of DNA is challenging what it means to be a species. By: Emily Singer August 5, 2014 Excerpt: “Scientists have dubbed such regions of the genome “islands of speciation.” The persistence of such islands is a phenomenon that has been observed in a variety of […]
  • Randomness and Divine Providence
    A Q&A on randomness and God’s providence …the main goal is to really put together a collection of scholarly studies of these issues: physicists, biologists, mathematicians, statisticians, philosophers and theologians. replaced: Randomness and Divine Providence Supported by the John Templeton...Read more