It’s kind of dusty in here… 😉
Hi all, I know this site has been pretty dead for a long time. I hadn’t stopped writing, but a lot of that writing was re-directed into a series of scientific papers, now published. My plan is to post a series of postson these papers, but I’ve had a lot of plans to start writing again, and most of them have come to nothing, so until that happens:
- All things being equal, genes with more complex conserved promoters are more likely to have both copies retained after a whole genome duplication. Published in Frontiers in Plant Science, an open access journal, so you can read the whole thing for free if you want to. However I think this paper might be less accessible to a general audience than the second open access one below.
- Maize contains two duplicate and functionally distinct subgenomes created by a whole genome duplication 5-12 million years ago. The subgenomes are differentiated by ancient gene loss, ongoing gene loss, and expression patterns of duplicate genes found in both subgenomes. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This one isn’t open access, so if you don’t have an institutional subscription all you can see for now is the abstract (sorry). The good news is that PNAS makes all articles freely available after six months (so September of 2011).
- You guys all remember the classical maize gene list right? Well I was lucky enough to get the chance to write up a quick paper using this dataset. Briefly, the classical genes of maize genetics are much more likely to be conserved in the same genomic position in other grasses, the ones that cause mutant phenotypes when you break them are disproportionately found only on one of the two maize subgenomes, and there’s still no computational substitute for human annotation. 😉 Published in PLoS One, another open access journal, so anyone who wants to can read the whole paper.
Let me leave you with a couple of fun things. I’ve just returned from the 53rd Annual Maize Genetics Conference. As usual it was loads of fun, and I learned about a lot of cool new science and mouthwateringly useful data sets. For an overview of the science and good times check out Biofortified’s coverage of the conference (with photos!). Both Karl and Anastasia were diligently blogging and tweeting the whole conference while I was walking around in a daze all weekend. Anastasia also introduced the official maize research blog. Which I think has a lot of potential, but could definitely benefit from more contributions from maize geneticists… you know who you are.
Finally, one of the most enjoyable things for me to use this space for has been to tear about bad logic and poor science journalism. In this case (written by Lee Dye over at ABC news) though, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel:
“Until now, it was not known that the evolutionary process took place over many generations.”
That gem of a sentence is talking about research conducted by Doug and Pam Soltis, two awesome researchers at Florida. (They studying whole genome duplications, like I do, but in different species with different methods than I do. A significant fraction of the papers I had to read to get ready for my qualifying exam came from their lab.) Exciting science. Frighteningly bad journalism.