genetics


A rambling introduction to chemical carcinogenesis

This is an archive from the old blog, originally written in 2008. Regular readers may have noticed that I get rather annoyed by the casual use of the word “chemical” to mean “synthetic chemical”, and the use of the naturalistic fallacy (natural good, chemical bad) that is associated with this […]


Sunday syndrome #5: The anarchist that wasn’t

This is another archival repost from the old blog — this one from January 2008.  The post is part five in a series. The series so far can be found here. In the first installment of Sunday Syndrome I used the example of Prader-Willi Syndrome. This week we’ll bring in […]


Sunday syndrome #4: Concentrate!

This is another archival repost from the old blog — this time from Nov 2007.  The post is part four in a series. The series so far can be found here. So far in the Sunday syndrome column, we’ve been talking in terms of the all-or-nothing loss (or gain) of […]


Carefully sabotaging the genome

This is an archive from the old blog, originally written in 2007. The “Thursday Paper” column on the blog is for reporting on a recently published peer-reviewed research. Apologies if this one isn’t so polished, but I have a train to catch. It would appear to be medical genetics week […]


A brief taxonomy of mutation

This post is an archive from the old blog, originally written in 2007. I’ve been discussing in the “Sunday syndrome” column various disorders caused by genetic aberrations, but I haven’t really explained how such aberrations occur.  There are several different types of aberration that occur, and several different mechanisms that […]


Sunday syndrome #3: Fight of the century

This is another archival repost from the old blog, this time from november 2007. The post is part three in a series. The series so far can be found here. Some causes of disease are heritable genetic aberrations. Others are diet, pathogens, trauma, and similar environmental factors. One might get […]


Robustness: a new battlefield in the evolution wars?

This is another archival repost from the old blog, originally written in oct 2007. Evolution, from the point of view of the geneticist, is the change in allele frequencies that occurs in populations over time. New alleles are created by random mutation, and others slowly disappear through natural selection or […]


Thursday paper: Epigenetics and drug tolerance

This is another archival repost, originally from oct 2007. Are you an addict? I bet you are (I saw you gambling addicts coming!). It might be coffee, chocolate, or tobacco, rather than alcohol, heroin, or self-harm, and you might not be wasting away because of it, but you’re probably addicted […]


Sunday syndrome #1: Oh God, that’s just morbidly obese!

This is another archival repost from the old blog, originally from oct 2007. It’s not healthy to bottle up your worries and stress. That’s why all the best comedy throughout the ages has dealt with the tough issues that worry us. It’s why doctors make jokes about diseases and pathologists […]


Science and sci-fi: biochemistry on your PC

This is another archival repost from the old blog, this one from May 2007. The Hollow Man was on the television the other day, confirming once again my belief that hollywood lacks the imagination to make sci-fi even a fraction as interesting as real science. There was, however, a most […]


Horizontal transfer and the modern species

This is another archival repost originally written for the old blog in april 2007. Bacteria tend to get ignored to some extent by writers of popular science and science blogs, except in the context of disease and medicine. There is a general assumption that, as single celled organisms, they must […]