New paper: Independent amylase gene duplications

Stefan (Ruhl) and I recently published a comprehensive survey of the amylase gene copy number and salivary enzyme activity among mammalian species eLife. Petar (Pajic) was the driving force for the sample collection and analysis. Briefly, we found that 1. Amylase copy number evolves extremely fast leading to independent (I daresay convergent) bursts among mammals … Continue reading New paper: Independent amylase gene duplications

New Paper: An incomplete sweep of a metabolizing gene

A whole gene deletion sounds awful! You lose one entire gene and hence the protein that this gene is coding.  However, there exist several gene deletions which have been maintained polymorphically among human populations. In our previous work, we found that a cellular detoxification gene, the GSTM1, to remain polymorphically deleted in both humans and … Continue reading New Paper: An incomplete sweep of a metabolizing gene

New paper: Evolutionary biology of cellular aging (We got the cover)

An evolutionary transcriptomics approach links CD36 to membrane remodeling in replicative senescence Press release by Charlotte Hsu Academic minute podcast by our collaborator Ekin Atilla The evolution of cellular senescence is a remarkable question. It connects to development, organismal life-span, protection against cancer, and its rate seems to vary between species. Moreover, since life-span of … Continue reading New paper: Evolutionary biology of cellular aging (We got the cover)

New paper: Structural variants are awesome – And they affect detoxification genes

Our lab has been excited by genomic structural variation because we believe that they underlie a considerable and underappreciated part of the phenotypic variation in primates. It is just that they are challenging to study and come up with straightforward evolutionary stories. Most of the time, what we find is much more complicated than we … Continue reading New paper: Structural variants are awesome – And they affect detoxification genes

New paper: Of archaic admixture in Africa, cherries, and serendipity

We have a new paper -two years in the making - where we showed evidence for introgression from an African archaic hominin to the ancestors of modern humans. This is a relatively big and, I have to admit, a serendipitous finding, corroborating the emerging notion that an "interbreeding bonanza" has shaped our ancestors. I do … Continue reading New paper: Of archaic admixture in Africa, cherries, and serendipity

New paper: Of light, duplications and UV protection

We have helped Cemali Bekpen and the Max Planck Evolutionary Biology Group of Dr. Tautz in resolving a very complicated and variable gene duplication. Even though, some of the trends remain fuzzy, it is now clear that gene duplications of SPATA31 diversified in humans and remain variable. What is more, some of their function has to do … Continue reading New paper: Of light, duplications and UV protection