You might think the coolest thing about the Next Generation DNA Sequencing technologies is that we can use them to sequence long-dead mammoths, entire populations of microbes, or bits of bone from Neanderthals.

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Let's play anomaly! Most of this week, I've written about the fun time I had playing around with NCBI's Blink database and finding evidence that at least one mosquito, Aedes aegypti, seems to have been infected at some point with a plant paramyxovirus and that the paramyxovirus left one of its genes behind, stuck in the mosquito genome. During this process, I realized that the method I used works with other viruses, too. I tried it with a few random viruses and sure enough, I found some interesting things. You've got a week to give it a try. Let's see ... Read more
Lots of bloggers in the DNA network have been busy these past few days writing about Google's co-founder Sergey Brin, his blog, his wife's company (23andme), and his mutation in the LRRK2 gene. I was a little surprised to see that while other bloggers (here, here, ... Read more
Part III. Serendipity strikes when we Blink In which we find an unexpected result when we Blink while looking at the mumps polymerase. This is the third in a five part series on an unexpected discovery of a paramyxovirus in mosquitoes. And yes, this is where the discovery happens. I. The back story from the genome record II. What do the mumps proteins do? And how do we find out? III. ... Read more
Part I. The back story from the genome record Together, these five posts describe the discovery of a novel paramyxovirus in the Aedes aegyptii genome and a new method for finding interesting anomalies in GenBank. I. The back story from the genome record II. What do the mumps proteins do? And how do we find out? III. Serendipity strikes when we Blink. IV. ... Read more
One of the things that drives me crazy on occasion is nomenclature. Well, maybe not just nomenclature, it's really the continual changes in the nomenclature, and the time it takes for those changes to ripple through various databases and get reconciled with other kinds of information. And the realization that sometimes this reconciliation may never happen. One of the projects that I've been working on during the past couple of years has involved developing educational materials that use bioinformatics tools to look at the isozymes that metabolize alcohol. As part of this ... Read more
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a paper in Science(1) that I read on a connection between a mutation in the dopamine D2 receptor and the genetics of learning. Only, it turned out that when I looked at the gene map... the mutation mapped in a completely different gene. I presented the data here and wrote a bit about my surprise at finding this mistake and even greater ... Read more
or is it just an idea that's ahead of the curve? Last week, I was stunned to discover at least 31 papers in an NCBI Gene database entry that were in the entry for the wrong gene. I wrote about this here, here, here, and ... Read more
Right or wrong, the word "dopamine" always conjures up images in my head of rats pushing levers over and over again, working desperately hard to send shots of dopamine into their tiny little rodent brains.i-3cfcc7782b63ef3f7b59d2efb7faa4d9-dopamine.png Dopamine, like many other neurotransmitters (chemicals that send signals in the brain), works by binding to proteins on the surface of brain cells and sending a signal ... Read more
In a recent post, I wrote about an article that I read in Science magazine on the genetics of learning. One of things about the article that surprised me quite a bit was a mistake the authors made in placing the polymorphism in the wrong gene. I wrote about that yesterday. The other thing that surprised me was something that I found at the ... Read more

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