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About MedGen

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  • Birthday 05/16/1984

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  • Location
    Leeds, UK
  • Interests
    Snowboarding, country walking, power kiting, photography, climbing and reading
  • College Major/Degree
    BSc Medical Genetics
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Genetics, pharmacogenetics, molecular biology, cell biology and immunology
  • Biography
    Graduated in July 2010, start a PhD in pharmacogenetics in October 2010
  • Occupation
    Student without portfolio, i.e. a bum
  1. Arlequin is a population genetics program that takes several different sequence types, including whole sequence, SNPs, microsatellites, etc. It's quite computationally heavy if you've got a lot of samples or a lot of variants. It doesn't use R, but rather a much friendlier Java-based front end. Might be worth checking out: http://cmpg.unibe.ch/software/arlequin3/ I've used this in the past for crunching through large amounts of variation data for a number of populations and found it to be reliable. The only down side is the formatting is very fickle, every single line in the project f
  2. You can test your primers (providing they aren't degenerate) using an in silico PCR that's available on the UCSC Genome browser, also providing the organism you are amplifying from has had it's genome sequenced: http://genome.ucsc.edu/cgi-bin/hgPcr?org=Human&db=hg19&hgsid=167311066 This may allow you to see the expected size of your product. I'd also say that when running a temperature gradient it's best to run the gradient from about 3 degrees below the Tm (use the Nearest Neighbour Tm if you can as this takes into account the presence of divalent cations, i.e. Mg2+) upto 72oC (
  3. There are a number of techniques that can be used to knock-out or knock-down genes in recombinant animals. One of these utilises the Cre-loxP system which relies on homologous recombination occuring during sexual reproduction of selected transgenic animals. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_knockout Genes can also be conditionally knocked out based on their cell-type specific expression by removing specific promoter and regulatory regions of the gene in question. I think there are other systems which can induce gene silencing, but I'm not too familiar with those, perhaps one of the re
  4. True, UCSC has its limitations, but I think Apis mellifera is definitely available, not sure about Nasonia though.
  5. If you go to UCSC Genome Browser, you can perform a BLAT search which will align your query sequence against their reference builds, and thus provide you with a genomic location for your sequences (provided those areas have been covered and mapped correctly). The best place to start is with your +1 position and find out where the 5'UTR begins. There are a number of programs that can be used to predict the positions of promoters and regulatory elements: http://www.gene-regulation.com/pub/programs.html http://alggen.lsi.upc.es/cgi-bin/promo_v3/promo/promoinit.cgi?dirDB=TF_8.3 htt
  6. Oh to be sure there is an issue regarding the so-called hidden heritability regarding the findings of most GWAS, especially regarding their limitations, but at the end of the day they still have their uses. For instance, in uncovering previously previously unsuspected pathways that might contribute to disease aetiology and pathogenesis. My personal feelings are that possibly there are multiple rare variants in linkage with the known associations that only fully genome sequencing will uncover. Of course this has its own problems in that these rare variants may each have different synergistic
  7. I was thinking more in terms of GWAS for complex common diseases. I think many of the GWAS to date have utilised samples form other disease-based repositories, for instance using cancer patients as controls for autoimmune disease GWAS (can't recall the exact study now). Though now I recall that the 1958 Birth Control Cohort and British Blood Service were used for the WTCCC GWAS of seven common diseases as controls. Of course the HapMap and 1000 Genomes project could provide a certain number of samples, well if HapMap the populations were also able to provide phenotypic information that i
  8. Every GWAS needs suitable controls. Perhaps there should be a consortium for healthy control volunteers to donate to with all the same informed consent requirements as other clinical samples.
  9. I'm pretty sure the current recombinant insulin produced by Eli Lilly (under the name Humulin) is a fully humanised protein that has an increased pharmacological effectiveness (most likely through an increased affinity for the insulin receptors - don't quote me on that though). The reason they use a recombinant fully humanised insulin is to prevent the 5% of the population suffering from the immunogenic effect caused by the 2 amino acid difference between the human and bovine insulins. It sounds like a bit of an anti-Big Pharma conspiracy to me.
  10. The colours on the plots them selves aren't dyes. Everytime an event is recorded it is plotted based on its forward scatter and side scatter (the two left hand panels). Sometimes an event will occur in the same 2D position (that is at the same X,Y co-ordiantes) as another. Everytime an event occurs in the same position as another it changes the colour of the event on the plot. This goes from blue (few events) through light blue, green, yellow and then to red (many events). So the areas of red are essentially lots and lots of cells all of the same size and granularity and can be indicative
  11. Strachan and Read - Human Molecular Genetics. Your one-stop shop for all things molecular genetics and more. I'd also recommend Roger Miesfeld - Applied Molecular Genetics for a slightly (but not much more) advanced take on recombinant DNA techniques and basics of molecular genetics.
  12. MedGen

    Using Fst

    I wondered if any of the fine minds here would care to shed light on a little conundrum I've encountered regarding the use of Fst and clustering populations by admixture. I've clustered my populations in question using UPGMA with pairwise Fst values, but I'm not entirely sure if this is the right approach to take. I understand that UPGMA relies on the assumption of similar evolutionary rates and that if that assumption is violated any ultrametric trees derived will have incorrect topology and essentially be a useless waste of time. However, the SNPs I'm using are all synonymous or non-codin
  13. I'd be tempted to speculate that they play roles structural integrity as well in chromosome segragation-IIRC thats what the alpha-satellites are involved in anyway. I'm not sure of the exact role they do play though, if any, or it may be that different regions of the chromsome have functions whereas others do not and in fact contain many transposable elements. In this latter case it could further be speculated that the constituitive heterochromatin is essentially protecting the genome from potentially detrimental transpon events. What specific marks or sequence induces chromatin condensatio
  14. I'm currently trying to find a way to perform a hyperbolic regression on a set of data I have as various transformations (i.e. logarithmic and reciprocal) can't linearise it. Having look through the literature it would appear that it can be described by a hyperbola, which is all well and good, but I need to use it as a standard curve for later on. The reason it is described by a hyperbola is because it is a the result of antibody binding and enzyme-substrate reactions which are themselves described by a hyperbola. I have an article which describes a derivation and a description of the
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