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I Put a Smell on You: Next Generation Sequencing Sniffs Out Olfactory Signals

Chances are you spent some of your teenage years fretting about your social status. You may have even taken steps to change your status. New haircut. New clothes. These are very human behaviors: our complex social constructs include innate desires to broadcast information about ourselves to our peers. The nose knows Science has added layers […]

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In Genomics & Epigenetics 27th of February, 2014
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Tower of Babel: Next Generation Sequencing Provides New Insights on Chromosome Construction

Biologists have long appreciated the complexity of genome organization, but until recently lacked the tools to discern the intricacies of this puzzle. Now, thanks to some handy cross-linking, careful amplification, and (of course!) next generation sequencing, teams from Massachusetts are taking us down the rabbit hole, with some surprising findings from Wonderland. Bend Over Backwards […]

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In Genomics & Epigenetics 30th of January, 2014
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“That Belongs To Me!”: NGS Data and Security Part 2

In the first part of this article, we revisited progress in genetic testing, from mid-20th century blood-typing through to personalized medicine. The huge increase in personal health and genome data drag along security and ethical questions which, in some cases, lag behind the technology. Genomic data obtained in a clinical setting are largely subject to the […]

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In Genomics & Epigenetics 10th of October, 2013
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“That Belongs To Me!”: NGS Data and Security Part 1

Genetic testing has been with us for a century. It began with blood typing and tests for metabolic disorders like phenylketonuria (check the warning label on a can of Diet Coke), and by the mid-20th century we’d progressed  to clinical cytogenetics.  Chromosome spreads on a slide helped diagnose aneuploidies such as Down Syndrome (trisomy 21), sex chromosome disorders, […]

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In Genomics & Epigenetics 3rd of October, 2013
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Land Of The Houyhnhnms: How NGS Turned The Genomic Clock Back 700,000 Years

Some 700,000 years ago, a male horse died alone in the Canadian Arctic.  Though he met his demise during a relatively warm period for the Yukon Territory, his corpse settled between thick layers of permafrost and his bones slowly fossilized until, ten years ago, a team of highly intelligent primates unearthed one of his hoof bones. […]

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In Genomics & Epigenetics 29th of August, 2013
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Pandascape: Applying Next Generation Sequencing To Conservation Problems

You can now add ‘panda conservation’ to your list of next-generation sequencing applications! Earlier this year in Nature Genetics, a team of Chinese and Danish researchers published new findings on genetic diversity and population structure for the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), based on the genome sequences of dozens of wild pandas. Though the darling of Western […]

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In Genomics & Epigenetics 8th of August, 2013