Wildlife collisions with aircraft pose a significant threat to public safety, having directly caused 221 fatalities since 1988. The “Miracle on the Hudson“, where a plane crash-landed into the Hudson river in 2009, was indeed caused by a collision with a flock of geese. In addition, wildlife collisions cost the airline industry over one billion US Dollars every year through damages.
New research published in Investigative Genetics by a group of scientists from Murdoch University (Australia) demonstrates a new way to address this issue, using an unexpected tool – next-generation sequencing. By analysing the DNA from the stomach contents of birds found in Perth Airport the study identified exactly what species the birds had been eating, …
To mark the BioMed Central conference Epigenetics & Chromatin: Interactions and processes that took place in Boston earlier this year, the open access journal Epigenetics & Chromatin has published a series of review articles that focus on addressing some of the biggest questions in epigenetics today.
The final review of the series, by Anton Wutz (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), has been published today, discussing how haploid genomes illustrate epigenetic constraints and gene dosage effects in mammals. In this review the authors, who have significantly advanced our understanding of haploidy in mammals, provide an insightful summary of systems available to study haploid genomes.
Other reviews in the series include a description of the role of the …
Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys invented the technique of DNA fingerprinting in 1984, a technique that changed forensic science forever. To mark his retirement in 2012 from the University of Leicester, Investigative Genetics has published a series of articles today that discuss DNA fingerprinting, the impact it’s had in divergent fields, and the man himself.
The series launch articles include an introductory editorial by the Editors-in-Chief Manfred Kayser, Antti Sajantila and Bruce Budowle; an personal opinion piece by Mark Jobling on the DNA fingerprinting story; and two reviews outlining the past, present and future of DNA fingerprinting in
forensics (by Lutz Roewer) and in anthropological genetics (by Michael Crawford …
The 5th of November is upon us, the day Guy Fawkes decided to blow up Parliament (and failed). With bonfires and fireworks lighting up throughout the UK, we thought we’d highlight some fiery research. Don’t worry, we won’t be discussing the adverse health risks of fumes or the danger of wildfires. Instead we’ll be looking at the fire ant in all its blazing glory.
The fire ant is just a name for ants of the Solenopsis genus. You may also know them as the ‘red ant’. There are about 285 species of fire ant worldwide.
The ladies are, like most female ants, born into royalty as a queen. As a virgin, the …
Canine Genetics and Epidemiology (CGE) is a new peer-reviewed open access journal, published by BioMed Central with the support and backing of the Kennel Club, the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs.
CGE is now accepting manuscript submissions via the journal’s homepage. The journal will consider genetic, genomic and epidemiological research in both domestic and wild canids, relating to breed and species diversity as well as canine evolution. It will not publish articles describing research generated through experimental procedures that inflict pain and suffering to animals.
The journal’s aim is to disseminate research not only between scientists, but also to inform veterinarians, dog breeders and owners. …
Snowflake, the albino gorilla, was certainly special. As you can see from this beautiful photo, his fur was white, his eyes were blue, and his skin was pink. Although Snowflake passed away in 2003, he left behind a big legacy and an even bigger fan base. Both in life and death, he extended his furry reach into the music industry, onto National Geographic’s cover, and into endangered species awareness campaigns. However, recently researchers have managed to delve into his genome, and with it, the secret of his heritage. But what exactly IS his heritage? What can we learn from his genetic make-up
Well, the findings suggest something’s amiss in Snowflake’s conception: a deep, dark secret …
It’s commonly discussed how each of our genomes contains a story documenting the migration by our ancient ancestors. This is most certainly true in that it is apparent we all originated from Africa and migrated to other continents from there. A study published today in Investigative Genetics proposes that some of the genetic diversity we commonly assume to be ancient may in fact be due to recent demographic events within the last 2000 years.
This study analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 999 individuals at 54 sites across the Netherlands. The authors studied this population in the expectation that the ancient genetic signatures from Paleolithic and Neolithic times, such as the Southeast to Northwest cline observed across Europe, …
BioMed Central will be hosting this inaugural conference in association with its journal Epigenetics & Chromatin at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, on the 11-13 March 2013.
The conference will have a strong focus on how epigenetic components come together to regulate cellular processes. “Epigenetics research is progressing from a listing of component parts to a fuller understanding of dynamic processes,” states Steven Henikoff (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center), conference organizer and co-Editor-in-Chief of Epigenetics & Chromatin. Henikoff continues that “Many disease states are increasingly recognized as having both a genetic and an epigenetic basis, and chromatin regulators are often found to be cancer driver genes,”. This conference will highlight how the discovery of these epigenetic changes …
Predicting externally visible characteristics of the deceased using just genetic information is an extremely difficult task, and one that has only become possible in recent years. New investigative technologies and techniques that improve the accuracy and efficiency of identifying phenotypes from DNA samples are likely to have a huge impact on the fields of forensics and archaeology.
New research published in Investigative Genetics by Jolanta Draus-Barini et al. reports a novel technique to predict hair and eye colour from just skeletal remains. The technology involved, the HIrisPlex system, has previously been demonstrated to do this using DNA samples from live individuals. Using information from these previous studies the study authors characterised 24 polymorphisms that they could identify from …
Coriander leaves (Coriandrum sativum), also known as Cilantro, arouse strong emotions. Eaters are divided into those who find the flavour citrusy, fresh and pleasant against those who insist it is soapy, dirty and foul.
A genetic role has long been suspected, from previous studies published in Flavour and other journals. Mauer and El-Sohemy showed that between 3 and 21% of Canadians disliked cilantro, depending on their ethnic group. Now researchers have found a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) which appears to control this dislike and which is published today in Flavour.
This genome-wide association study was carried out by genomics company 23andme, which has pioneered personal genome sequencing. They tested 14,604 participants of European descent who disliked cilantro, together …