Analysis of genetic data has discovered 11 new regions of DNA that contribute to a person’s susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. This new study doubles our understanding of the genetic factors that are involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Why is this important? Well, these genetic factors lay a small role in either reducing or increasing a person’s […]

I am stoked to be able to write about a piece of my own research for the first time. A few years ago when I was a baby PhD student I was learning the ropes of hunting for disease genes. I was a bit like Gene Jones: (Yes, I am the mad scientist chick in […]

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a lethal genetic condition, but recent research in mice suggested we could have an affective treatment using gene therapy. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a muscle wasting condition caused by mutations in the gene that makes a protein called dystrophin (DMD). The DMD gene is on the X chromosome, which females have […]

He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past. ― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera Our memories shape us – the good and the bad. I heard […]

I love cats and Sheldon does too. Needless to say, I was thrilled to hear the announcement that tiger, snow leopard and lion have had their genomes sequenced. A team of Korean researchers have released their open access publication of the big cat genomes in Nature Communications. Whole genome sequencing identifies the entire genetic make […]

Extract DNA from a banana! and learn a bit about cell biology too. If you are after something to impress a more adult crowd, I have an alternative recipe that uses vodka, a shot glass and a mouthful of spit. I think it’s a cool party trick – go on and impress a nerd this […]

I confess it! I am a leftie! Only 5 to 20% of people in any given human population are left-handed. Neanderthals, and the purported human-Neanderthal ancestor, Homo heidelbergensis were mostly right-handed like us. But modern apes such as chimpanzees show no population bias when it comes to handedness. It seems that favouring the right hand […]