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Chapter 12 Blog: Gene Expression at the Molecular Level (Peter)

Page history last edited by Peter Falk 13 years, 5 months ago

Useful Materials:

Microbe Finds Arsenic Tasty; Redefines Life

This article doesn't really relate to the chapter, but it is really interesting and worth reading anyways.  Scientists have found microbes that can replace phosphorous with arsenic, a groundbreaking discovery. Its application will probably be most useful in determining extraterrestrial life, as scientists now can re-think the necessary chemicals to support life. 
  This image is a different way of visualizing the genetic code. This diagram has simplified it and made it much clearer and easier to navigate through. Its most obvious difference from the traditional diagram is that it has only two nucleic acids featured prominently, and the third is very small and on the bottom, almost as a side-note. This difference in size and location shows visually how much more important the first two nucleotides are in for coding amino acids than the third one. In addition, blue amino acids are hydrophilic while white amino acids are hydrophobic. This image was created by Ben Fry, more of his work can be seen here  
  This video details the whole process of gene expression. It goes through the basics of transcription, translation and shows how genes go all the way to proteins. Overall, a very useful video for understanding the basics of gene expression. Also, they use an analogy about a musical symphony which I thought was pretty creative. 

Clinical significance of Hiwi gene expression in gliomas.

One thing that Dr. Weber alluded to often was that when gene regulation is not controlled properly, cancer cells often result. Therefore, I decided to choose a journal article that examines gene expression and one of the ways that it relates to cancer.  The article I chose examines the presence of Hiwi gene expression and how it relates to gliomas. The article states that in glioma cells there is a significant increase in the expression of Hiwi. In addition, it was found that the more Hiwi expressed, the more severe the tumor is. This discovery is important because it means that Hiwi can potentially be used as a molecular marker to determine the severity and presence of a tumor. Overall, a very interesting article. 






Comments (1)

Derek Weber said

at 9:22 pm on Dec 16, 2010

I really liked reading your article summary. This is a model for others to follow.

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