Gene Genie #14: Bugs and Beyond

Gene GenieWelcome to edition 14 of Gene Genie, the blog carnival of genes and genetic conditions. My hopes for an entirely prokaryotic issue were dashed, but at least thanks to My Biotech Life and a recent paper in Science, we now know that bacterial adaptation is 1000 times faster than previously thought, which has considerable implications with regard to antibiotic resistance and how fast such resistance is gained by bacteria. Genomicron also discusses the role of these beneficial mutations.

Maybe there weren’t more microbiology submissions this time around because microbiologists like to take long summer vacations. When I go on vacation, it’s long walks in a place far away from computers, but Eye on DNA goes on vacation by listing 100 Facts About DNA.

When you come back from vacation, you might be considering your future career, so you’ll want to read the comments at DNA Direct Talk on the suggestion that the hot job of 2012 will be Genetic Counseling, and consider the suggestion that lots more trained genetic counselors need to step up to the plate.

On the technology front, Epidemix is amazed by the annotation of James Watson’s genome, while Discovering Biology… describes some of the practical difficulties of DNA sequencing.

As ever, there has been a lot of activity in terms of gene discovery and inherited diseases. Genetics and Health gives a fragile X syndrome update, the most common cause of inherited mental impairment ranging from learning disabilities, autism or “autistic-like” behaviors to more severe cognitive or intellectual disabilities. Neurophilosophy discusses the recent identification of a gene associated with obsessive compulsive disorder, a distressing psychiatric condition characterized by intrusive thoughts and ritualized and repetitive behaviours such as excessive hand-washing. Pharyngula want us to help save the babies suffering from Hirschsprung’s Disease.

Ethical considerations from an intriguingly personal standpoint are the subject of the description of the Personal Genome Project by GenomeBoy. Sandwalk believes that aside from the safety issue, there doesn’t seem to be any good reason to forbid the cloning of humans. Cancer Genetics considers genetic testing disclosure and when children should be told the results. Terra Sigillata discusses two announcements from the U.S. FDA on genetic issues in drug safety, concerning Coumadin (warfarin) and the metabolic activation of codeine to morphine. ScienceRoll also keeps us up-to-date on personalized medicine.

Evolgen points to the danger of the misuse of the term junk DNA, and The Personal Genome describes a near-death experience for the gene.

The Genetic Genealogist describes what can be done with the results of a Y-DNA test and describes a holdup on GINA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, a piece of U.S. legislation that would protect individuals from discrimination based upon their genetic information by employers or insurance companies.

Finally, the industry buzz is mostly around Navigenics, and 23andMe, two companies who want you to spit into a cup so they can profile your genome, commented on by business|bytes|genes|molecules, My Biotech Life, and Venture Beat, but Gene Sherpa is bothered by the ethics surrounding the promise to alter your future… by email.
Epigenetics News finishes up the industry theme in describing a new collaboration on epigenetic therapies.

Issue 15 of Gene Genie will be at on 9th September 2007.
You can submit your blog article for the next edition at the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

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5 Responses to Gene Genie #14: Bugs and Beyond

  1. Ricardo says:

    Great work on this edition! Considering it’s vacation time, there are still some very good posts in there.

  2. ramunas says:

    wow – thank you for adding me to the next host list – i’m really proud of that and will try to do my best :)

  3. Thank you, Alan, for making this great edition in the middle of the summer! :)

  4. Alan,
    What great wrap up of the articles. Thank you so much for including me.

  5. Jo Badge says:

    Alan – this is tremendous! the first blog carnival I’ve seen and it’s fab. Jo

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