genetics   20678

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Grieving the Future I Imagined for My Daughter
The 1p36 genetic disorder that's reshaping my family
"I now had two children, but was only just beginning to understand what it means to be a parent."
genetics  parenting 
2 days ago by jimmykduong
Books | Jamie Metzl
Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity

After 3.8 billion years humankind is about to start evolving by new rules…

From leading geopolitical expert and technology futurist Jamie Metzl comes a groundbreaking exploration of the many ways genetic-engineering is shaking the core foundations of our lives ― sex, war, love, and death.

At the dawn of the genetics revolution, our DNA is becoming as readable, writable, and hackable as our information technology. But as humanity starts retooling our own genetic code, the choices we make today will be the difference between realizing breathtaking advances in human well-being and descending into a dangerous and potentially deadly genetic arms race.

Enter the laboratories where scientists are turning science fiction into reality. Look towards a future where our deepest beliefs, morals, religions, and politics are challenged like never before and the very essence of what it means to be human is at play. When we can engineer our future children, massively extend our lifespans, build life from scratch, and recreate the plant and animal world, should we?

Passionate, provocative, and highly illuminating, Hacking Darwin is the must read book about the future of our species.
2 days ago by basecamp
Evolution and the tree of life | Biology | Science | Khan Academy
How to find allele frequency and how it's different from genotype frequency. What a gene pool is.
2 days ago by id1
Allele frequency (video) | Khan Academy
Allele frequencies in populations and how they differ from genotype frequencies.
2 days ago by id1
The Promise and Perils of Resurrecting Native Americans’ Lost Crops
Yet Natalie Mueller, an ethnobotanist and Cornell University postdoc affiliated with the Network, anticipates a far-out alternative. Advances in genetic engineering, particularly CRISPR, allow scientists to more easily and precisely edit plant genomes for specific characteristics. There’s already speculation that this technology could allow scientists to engineer favorable characteristics from ancient plant DNA into modern cultivars. As this technology advances, Mueller writes, it may be possible for researchers to genetically engineer exact modern replicas of lost ancient plants, de-extincting them Jurassic Park-style.

Yet goosefoot is more than a tasty vegetable—it’s Native American heritage. “Each one of these seeds is a cultural history that really captures the lives of the people who were growing them and who passed them from generation to generation,” says Patton. With the possibility of redomestication and even commercialization on the horizon, researchers must contend with the implications of this cultural history. Who should have the right to extract genetic material from archeological seeds that are the heritage of tribes across Eastern North America—especially since the very act of extracting DNA from ancient seeds destroys them? If ancient crops are redomesticated and even commercialized, who should profit?

While Sacred Seeds works with existing cultivars, rather than lost crops, similar questions of cultural heritage and food sovereignty animate the group’s work. Keen founded Sacred Seeds after a mentor asked him a stirring question: “What are you doing to protect your corn?” Not only were indigenous corn cultivars, including those of his own tribes, at risk of extinction from disuse, Keen’s mentor told him, but they were at risk from large agricultural companies seeking to patent and profit from Native people’s heritage. Ironically, Keen came to realize, the vastly diverse, richly colored, starchy Native maize varieties that were the origins of yellow and white American corn had been largely displaced. Keen discussed the threat at later meetings with fellow Cherokee leaders: Could their sacred corn become the property of Monsanto?
botany  agribusiness  nativeamericans  genetics 
2 days ago by campylobacter
[1802.08188] The spatial Lambda-Fleming-Viot process with fluctuating selection
We are interested in populations in which the fitness of different genetic types fluctuates in time and space, driven by temporal and spatial fluctuations in the environment. For simplicity, our population is assumed to be composed of just two genetic types. Short bursts of selection acting in opposing directions drive to maintain both types at intermediate frequencies, while the fluctuations due to 'genetic drift' work to eliminate variation in the population.
We consider first a population with no spatial structure, modelled by an adaptation of the Lambda (or generalised) Fleming-Viot process, and derive a stochastic differential equation as a scaling limit. This amounts to a limit result for a Lambda-Fleming-Viot process in a rapidly fluctuating random environment. We then extend to a population that is distributed across a spatial continuum, which we model through a modification of the spatial Lambda-Fleming-Viot process with selection. In this setting we show that the scaling limit is a stochastic partial differential equation. As is usual with spatially distributed populations, in dimensions greater than one, the 'genetic drift' disappears in the scaling limit, but here we retain some stochasticity due to the fluctuations in the environment, resulting in a stochastic p.d.e. driven by a noise that is white in time but coloured in space.
We discuss the (rather limited) situations under which there is a duality with a system of branching and annihilating particles. We also write down a system of equations that captures the frequency of descendants of particular subsets of the population and use this same idea of 'tracers', which we learned from Hallatschek and Nelson (2008) and Durrett and Fan (2016), in numerical experiments with a closely related model based on the classical Moran model.
population-biology  genetics  simulation  theoretical-biology  evolutionary-biology  nonlinear-dynamics  robustness  noise 
2 days ago by Vaguery

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