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seen Jan 18 at 2:06

Aug
22
comment Why does freshly cut grass smell like a watermelon?
i think so, you can see cis-3-hexenal in this reference on the GLV wiki page: olfacts.nl/index_bestanden/Page7.htm
Aug
17
comment Are there any studies on the fertility levels of humans/mammals as a function of their stay at Antarctica?
I've found a number of health-related reports but none of them have mentioned radiation in that way. Only radiation-related health issues I could find is this, which is fascinating.. apparently the US ran a nuclear reactor in Antarctica for a decade from the early 60ss to early 70s. It was complete with 438 malfunctions and a rather sizable spill. vbdr.org/meetings/2012/Presentations/…
Aug
13
comment What method would you use to genotype SNPs in low quality samples?
It would help to have a little more info. Are you looking at a specific marker gene, or are you trying to assemble long contigs of the original animals' genomes from a metagenome? What sort of sequencing technology? The read length and error rate could be a big problem for some of them.
Aug
11
comment Do animals get sick from eating dirty food or eating off the floor?
One of my all-time favorites :)
Aug
8
comment Use of pigs for obtaining transplant organs
Here's the answer: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
Aug
7
comment Randomness in living systems
Hmm, sorry, I'm not exactly sure what you mean then. In Meiosis you get the random segregation of chromosomes, after a random cross-over that makes hybrid chromosomes. In the DNA mutations you randomly change a basepair to one of the other three, and in V(D)J recombination you randomly splice together one of each of the segments. Each process seems fairly random, and results in an offspring or cell or virus that is slightly different. Whether that random difference is a good adaptation is for the environment to decide.
Aug
7
comment Difference between viral and human genetic material
not having methylated CpG is a big difference, and a red flag for the Tol-like receptors that a certain bit of DNA might be invasive: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CpG_site
Aug
7
comment Molecules and human memory
ah, thanks, I thought I remembered there were some old papers on rats but couldn't find any reference.
Aug
6
comment Are there any pathogenic archaeans?
I agree that their isolation experiments are interesting, and point towards a negative interaction, but their data shows that: "N. equitans had no influence on the doubling times, final cell concentrations, and growth temperature, pH, or salt concentration ranges or optima of I. hospitalis." This does not seem like the characteristics of a parasitism, and I don't think there is a reason to choose a default when there isn't enough data either way. For others: jb.asm.org/content/190/5/1743
Aug
6
comment Are there any pathogenic archaeans?
The conclusion to the paper you are referring to states: "However, the fact that I. hospitalis and N. equitans build a stable coculture without sustained damage to the Ignicoccus population clearly distinguishes N. equitans from the bacterial parasites mentioned above. Therefore, we propose that the association of I. hospitalis and N. equitans represents a highly specialized system. Consequently, assignment to the classical category of symbiosis, commensalism, or parasitism might not be possible even in the future." It is confusing, but thats the nature of the system.
Aug
6
comment Are there any pathogenic archaeans?
I have to disagree with the comment "Since there is no known function of the Nanoarchaeum itself, it should be considered as a parasite." It is an obligate partner of its Ignicoccus host, and genome reduction occurs in beneficial symbionts as well. There is currently no evidence either way, so it should not be assumed to be one way. In the original papers on its discovery it was shown that Ignicoccus growing with Nanoarchaeota reached the same cell densities as Ignicoccus alone. It is quite possible that in their natural environment nanoachaea play a positive role in the symbiosis.
Aug
5
comment Is there any other function of DNA?
Heres the first one I could find that is open source, but if you search "extracellular DNA biofilm" in google theres loads of papers on it: plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0016861