Monthly Archives: September 2017

Improving yams with genomics

Yam market

Despite their importance in West Africa, yams have little recognition worldwide and are often confused with the completely unrelated sweet potato. Termed an “orphan crop” because of this restricted recognition, research into improving the crop has so far been limited. But now, new research published in BMC Biology reports the whole genome sequence of Guinea yam, setting the stage for genomics-assisted improvement to the crop.


Long live the bats


Why do bats live so much longer than other small, high energy mammals? I recently attended the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution conference where I not only had the opportunity to witness a large colony of bats leave their roosting site to go about their nightly feeding, but also learned a lot about the research being done to investigate their fascinating and unexpected longevity.

Biology Open Access

Investigating the genetics behind muscular dystrophy in dogs


The sequencing of the canine genome along with next generation sequencing technologies like whole exome sequencing have facilitated quicker, easier and more efficient identification of genes and mutations that can cause diseases in dogs. In a study published in Skeletal Muscle researchers have used these technologies to study a form of Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (muscle wasting and weakness in shoulder and hip muscles) in Boston terriers. Here to tell us about the research and what this means for the breed is lead author of the study Melissa L. Cox.