J. K. Wickiser Lab

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Applying Social Network Analysis to Protein Conformations

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Here’s a paper detailing some advances in social network analysis and protein conformations:

Abstract at PNAS

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Ghost of ancestor’s genes lingers: Antiobesity DNA is absent, but its benefits to mice remain

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

From Hannah Lachance (just before she headed right back up to UVM: An article in the April issue of Science News discusses the study of a gene that prevents mice from gaining weight even when on a high intake rich diet. Mice with this gene can eat as much as they want and they remain skinny even though they eat more and exercise less than the control group of mice which don’t have this gene and don’t have any ancestors that have this gene. The mice that are prone to obesity can have the DNA containing this gene injected successfully; they can eat as much as they want and they will not become obese. Researchers discovered that mice who don’t pass this gene on to their off-spring still have decedents up to 3 generations later that exhibit the effects of the gene. This is currently being explained by saying the gene passed on a “ghostly imprint” which is causing the effects to persist. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how this is occurring but they think it might in part be due to a change in the way that small pieces of RNA regulate protein production.

Science News article

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NASA, the undisputed King of Press Releases

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A team from NASA is claiming to have found nucleobase-like molecules on a meteorite. They also claim that their signal (unusual nucleobase analogs to include 2,6-diaminopurine) is well above background and is not found in terrestrial controls. As much as I want to implicitly trust this data, my experience with NASA biochemistry is that they shoot first and think/ask questions later. But the one thing they do better than anyone else: crow about it.

Check these out:

PR: http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/11/dna-discovered-in-meteorites/


PNAS paper

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Schizophrenia and metabolomics

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From the lab’s George Markt: Scientists in Finland have identified specific metabolic abnormalities that are associated with schizophrenia. They produced profiles of the serum metabolites associated with schizophrenia, other nonaffective psychosis (ONAP), or affective psychosis in a general population-based study. Metabolomic analysis involved a global lipidomics platform using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and a platform for small polar metabolites using two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Their analysis indicated that schizophrenia is associated with upregulation of the serum amino acid proline and higher metabolite levels of saturated triglycerides. Using the metabolomic profiles, they were able to create a diagnostic model that has the potential to discriminate schizophrenia from other psychoses.


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Posted in Current Data Papers, Network Science, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Good undergrad cloning site

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

RIT Cloning Class Site

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Posted in Lab Business, Teaching, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Naturally Obsessed: The making of a scientist

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Too cool. I might be letting people know a little too much about me by admitting that I’ve watched it twice and it motivates me to knock out bench work.


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Posted in Lab Business, Science & Belief, Teaching, Uncategorized | No Comments »