humans

UV-light mutations and gene loss (not gain)

The Neanderthals live on in us March 13, 2015 Excerpt: “He opted instead for a medical degree and then a PhD at the University of Uppsala, where he was supposed to be probing the DNA secrets of a virus.” My comment: If he had done what he was supposed to be doing, he might have learned how viral microRNAs and nutrient-dependent microRNAs contribute to cell type differentiation in all cells of all individuals of all species. If he had done…

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RNA-mediated repurposing in microbes and adaptations in primate brains

Human-specific gene ARHGAP11B promotes basal progenitor amplification and neocortex expansion Excerpt: “…the C-terminal 47 amino-acids of ARHGAP11B (after lysine-220) constitute not only a unique sequence, resulting from a frameshifting deletion (fig. S10), but also are functionally distinct from their counterpart in ARHGAP11A.” My comment: Co-author Svante Paabo is the senior author of this 2003 publication: Natural Selection on the Olfactory Receptor Gene Family in Humans and Chimpanzees The 2015 publication was reported as: A gene for brain size only found…

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More than a bag of chemicals?

From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior (1996) Excerpt: “Small intranuclear proteins also participate in generating alternative splicing techniques of pre-mRNA and, by this mechanism, contribute to sexual differentiation in at least two species, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans…” My comment: How far can this model of RNA-mediated cell type differentiation go? What links the model to ADHD? Could it be a single amino acid substitution (see below)? If so, can the response to ADHD pharmacotherapy be predicted by what is…

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We need pattern recognition, not a prologue

Prolegomenon “a preliminary discussion…; a prologue.” “… we need a mapping from genotype to phenotype, from phenotype to what is selected, and from what is selected to the new genotype (Lewontin, 1961). — cited in Prolegomenon to patterns in evolution Excerpt:  “…we cannot derive what selection, acting at the level of the whole organism in its world, will “select” among the possible but unprestatable…” My comment: Organisms naturally select the nutrients that enable thermodynamic cycles of protein biosynthesis and degradation,…

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Genomic surveillance ends our world of RNA-mediated ecological adaptations

Why is this woman smiling? 1) Identifying Recent Adaptations in Large-Scale Genomic Data Senior author: Sabeti with co-author Rinn Excerpt: “As natural selection can only act on mutations that drive phenotypic variation…”. 2) Genomic surveillance elucidates Ebola virus origin and transmission during the 2014 outbreak  Senior author: Sabeti. Excerpt: “Because many of the mutations alter protein sequences and other biologically meaningful targets, they should be monitored for impact on diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies critical to outbreak response.” 3) RNA and…

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RNA-mediated events found everywhere

Transcriptome-wide Mapping Reveals Widespread Dynamic-Regulated Pseudouridylation of ncRNA and mRNA Related articles Related blog posts on this site Reported as Scientists discover RNA modifications in some unexpected places Excerpt 1): “…there are multiple types of RNA, three of which—messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and ribosomal RNA (rRNA)—are essential for proper protein production. Moreover, RNAs that are synthesized during the process known as transcription often undergo subsequent changes, which are referred to as “post-transcriptional modifications.” My comment: These microRNA/messenger RNA-mediated…

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Pheromones and cancer

Transcription Factor-MicroRNA-Target Gene Networks Associated with Ovarian Cancer Survival and Recurrence Excerpt: “MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that bind to complementary sequences on target mRNA transcripts, and thus, regulate gene expression at the post-transcription stage. Transcription factors (TFs) are a different type of regulator. These proteins bind to specific DNA sequences in the promoter region, promoting or repressing transcription into mRNA, and thus, regulate genes at a pre-transcription stage [4]. TFs and miRNAs can regulate each other and…

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