Inheriting a ghost chromosome. Genetics Otago Mar 11

The strange story of why your dad’s Y chromosome could affect your biology, even if you didn’t inherit it.

Dead Famous DNA Genetics Otago Feb 19

Dead famous DNA is ludicrous and misrepresents genetics.

How to avoid DNA Genetics Otago Feb 10

How I learned to stop worrying and love DNA

Does exercise change your DNA? Genetics Otago Feb 03

Peter K. Dearden   Last week, on Facebook, an interesting article from the New York Times was being shared. The headline read “How Exercise Changes Our DNA”, and, despite the provocative title, the article underneath was pretty good.  The article explains how a recent published experiment showed that exercise changes some aspects of our DNA. [...]

Defining Genetic Modification. Genetics Otago Aug 05

Peter K. Dearden I have been doing a lot of travelling recently, and have become increasingly perplexed by the term ‘electronic device’ and what to do with them on planes. Some say turn off all your devices; does that mean heart pace makers, insulin pumps, and calculator watches? Some say you can have small ones [...]

Sex and inbreeding (in bees). Genetics Otago Jun 24

Peter K Dearden Tomorrow I am speaking at the National Bee Keepers Association conference in Whanganui and thought I might write a bit about what we have been doing to help me get things clear. Much of my research work is on bees; trying to learn how they work, trying to find new ways to [...]

Two legs better than four Genetics Otago May 13

Peter K. Dearden Perspective is an important thing in understanding science. I, like everyone else on earth should, have an interest in the evolution of our species. I am struck by the conundrum that we seem very different from our nearest relatives, yet genetically we are very similar. I bet a lot of that is [...]

Cheesecake makes you fat, but correlation is not causation Genetics Otago Mar 26

Julia Horsfield I was one of the happy people rejoicing in new gastronomic possibilities after hearing that eating saturated fats may not cause heart disease after all. Yay! I never could bring myself to opt for that trim latte. Maybe I can even ditch the Olivani in favour of butter. But, as my nutritional friends [...]

Meeting your heroes. Genetics Otago Mar 12

They* say that you shouldn’t meet your heroes. Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet one of mine, Professor Lord Robert Winston, as he came to visit Genetics Otago for the day. Prof. Winston, as well as being a pioneer in science communication, is also a key figure in genetics, being part of the team [...]

Why you should care about plasticity. Genetics Otago Feb 26

Peter K. Dearden In my last post I mentioned I was interested in how you get changes in the shape of an animal without a change in genetics. This process is, of course, important for animals like bees, but it is also important in our own biology. In recent years evidence has been building that [...]

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