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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Goodbye GATTACA: Environment and lifestyle affect which genes are actually expressed

The genes that matter are the ones that are expressed. A recent North Caroline State University study of North African Berbers showed that which breathing-related genes were expressed depended in large part on whether the individual is living an urban, rural, or nomadic lifestyle.

Vince Freeman, the genetically troubled hero of GATTACA (1997), need not rely only on determination. He has other heavy hitters on his team too, as it turns out. Genes "R" Not Us.

Go here for more.

Junk DNA - oops, non-coding DNA - less junky than ever but still expected to fit the "frame"

Junk DNA has sure come up in the world: From Dawkins's "sea of nonsense" to increasingly biologically important - but somehow it is still supposed to support the conventional explanations.

One consequence of growing efforts to "frame" science is that readers of reports on new research must be skilled at seeing past elaborate frames, in order to discern findings. For more, go here.

More from the Design of Life blog

Cutting edge science: Cambrian explosion ecosystems organized themselves pretty much the way ecosystems do today, and not everyone is pleased to hear that ... (because it implies that there may be underlying patterns and laws within nature that are not merely incidental and mechanistic).

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