James and the Giant Corn Rotating Header Image

The Dragon Genome

Since starting grad school, I’ve had a running joke with a couple of other guys about the importance of sequencing the dragon genome. There is even a sign.

Why sequence the dragon genome? Because dragons are an example of vertebrate hexapods (most descriptions of dragons found in our, non-exhaustive, literature search include four limbs plus two wings*). Because we could start our paper off with “To the best of our knowledge, the work reported here represents the first complete genome sequence of a mythological creature to be published.” But mostly, we should sequence the dragon genome because, like Mt. Everest, the dragon genome is there.**

Wait what? Dragons! Little tiny ones. I do hope this isn’t some elaborate hoax. Story from sciencepunk, h/t to denim and tweed for pointing me to it.

Note the four limbs as well as two independent wings. (In all honestly this isn't really a hexapod. The wings clearly didn't evolve from a set of limbs, the origin bird wings, bat wings and pterodactyl wings.)

Now somebody bring me its DNA! (Ideally in pre-sequenced form so I can get straight to the fun parts.)

*The same is true of descriptions of angels, but who wants to walk around campus with a sign saying “sequence the angel genome”? Although I feel like there’s a sleazy genomicist pick-up line in there somewhere if I think about it hard enough.

**George Mallory is famously quoted as having replied to the question “Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?” with the retort: “Because it’s there.” <– quoted from wikipedia give it as much or as little credence as you like.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: