Women in science

A blog for and about women in the sciences

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My favorite silly gene names

jtotheizzoe:

On the heels of this post detailing the adorable story of the hedgehog gene, here’s some more of my favorite silly gene names, and the mutant reasons their redonkulous names:

  • tinman - Mutants do not develop a heart (Fruit fly)
  • dreadlocks - Causes photoreceptors to sprout dreadlock-like axon projections (Fruit fly)
  • tribbles - Causes out of control cell division (Fruit fly)
  • maggie - Larvae never mature (Fruit fly)
  • hamlet - Affects a type of sensory cell called “IIB” (Fruit fly)
  • dunce - Affects learning and memory (Fruit fly)
  • smaug - Represses Nanos, which means “dwarf” (Fruit fly)
  • groucho - Excessive bristles on the face (Fruit fly)
  • ken and barbie - Lack of external genitalia (Fruit fly)
  • indy - Stands for “I’m not dead yet”, a la Monty Python (Fruit fly)
  • lush and cheap date - Affect alcohol metabolism (Fruit fly)
  • RING - A protein segment that comes from “really interesting new gene”
  • tigger and pogo - Two families of transposable elements, or pieces of DNA that can jump around genomes (Multiple species)
  • kryptonite and superman - Kryptonite represses superman, which causes extra stamens to form in flowers (Arabadopsis)
  • Yuri gagarin - Protein involved in sensing gravity (Fruit fly)
  • callipyge - Leads to formation of large, round buttocks in sheep (from Greek for “beautiful buttocks”)
  • chablis, frascati, merlot, retsina, riesling, cabernet, grenache, chardonnay, chianti, pinotage, sauternes, weissherbst, zinfandel - A set of genes found to inhibit blood cell formation. Get it? Red and white?! (Zebrafish)

I think these would make an excellent art project, all you artistically-and-scientifically inclined people out there. Any of your favorites that I missed?

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sciencenote:

Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) in 1944 became the third woman elected to the Academy. In the 1940s and 1950s McClintock’s work on the cytogenetics of maize led her to theorize that genes are transposable — they can move around — on and between chromosomes. McClintock drew this inference by observing changing patterns of coloration in maize kernels over generations of controlled crosses. The idea that genes could move did not seem to fit with what was then known about genes, but improved molecular techniques of the late 1970s and early 1980s allowed other scientists to confirm her discovery, and consequently she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983. This made McClintock the first American woman to win an unshared Nobel. McClintock was born in Hartford, CT, and obtained her undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture. From 1931-1933 she was supported by a fellowship from the National Research Council; from 1941until her death she worked at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Among the many honors awarded her was the National Medal of Science, the US government’s highest science award, which she received in 1970.

sciencenote:

Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) in 1944 became the third woman elected to the Academy. In the 1940s and 1950s McClintock’s work on the cytogenetics of maize led her to theorize that genes are transposable — they can move around — on and between chromosomes. McClintock drew this inference by observing changing patterns of coloration in maize kernels over generations of controlled crosses. The idea that genes could move did not seem to fit with what was then known about genes, but improved molecular techniques of the late 1970s and early 1980s allowed other scientists to confirm her discovery, and consequently she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983. This made McClintock the first American woman to win an unshared Nobel. McClintock was born in Hartford, CT, and obtained her undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture. From 1931-1933 she was supported by a fellowship from the National Research Council; from 1941until her death she worked at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Among the many honors awarded her was the National Medal of Science, the US government’s highest science award, which she received in 1970.

(Source: nas.edu, via laboratoryequipment)

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Responsible Research is a Matter of Debate

laboratoryequipment:

Responsible research has been put firmly on the political agenda with, for instance, EU’s Horizon 2020 program in which all research projects must show how they contribute responsibly to society. New research from the Univ. of Copenhagen reveals that scientists themselves place great emphasis on behaving responsibly; they just disagree on what social responsibility in science entails. Responsibility is, in other words, a matter of perspective.

“We have, on the one hand, scientists who are convinced that they should be left alone in their ivory tower and that neither politicians nor the general public should interfere with their research activities. In their eyes, the key to conducting responsible science is to protect it from external interest because that will introduce harmful biases. Science should therefore be completely independent and self-regulated in order to be responsible,” says communication researcher Maja Horst from the Univ. of Copenhagen. She continues, “But, on the other hand, there are scientists who believe that the ivory tower should have an open door so that politicians, publics and industry can take part in the development of science. Such engagement is seen as the only way to ensure that science develops in accordance with the needs and values of society, and thereby fulfils its social responsibilities.”

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/responsible-research-matter-debate

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laboratoryequipment:

Synthetic Gene Circuits Shed Light on Parkinson’sSynthetic genetic circuitry created by researchers at Rice Univ. is helping them see, for the first time, how to regulate cell mechanisms that degrade the misfolded proteins implicated in Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other diseases.The Rice lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Laura Segatori has designed a sophisticated circuit that signals increases in the degradation of proteins by the cell’s ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS).Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/synthetic-gene-circuits-shed-light-parkinson%E2%80%99s

laboratoryequipment:

Synthetic Gene Circuits Shed Light on Parkinson’s

Synthetic genetic circuitry created by researchers at Rice Univ. is helping them see, for the first time, how to regulate cell mechanisms that degrade the misfolded proteins implicated in Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other diseases.

The Rice lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Laura Segatori has designed a sophisticated circuit that signals increases in the degradation of proteins by the cell’s ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS).

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/synthetic-gene-circuits-shed-light-parkinson%E2%80%99s

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Duke breast cancer researcher honored for Women’s History Month

“To be standing with this group of women and to realize that we are making history was so invigorating,” Blackwell said. “But truthfully the real kicker for me came when I was driving my son to school the day after the event, and he asked me if I was around when women weren’t allowed to vote.
“That really took me aback because, if you think about it, less than a century ago women in the United States weren’t allowed to vote,” Blackwell said. “To think that things have changed so much … that I can lead a large cancer effort … and that the vice president and his wife can assemble a whole group of female leaders who are changing history really speaks to how far we’ve come.”

Filed under women in science science research womens history month