Category Archives: DNA

The viruses inside us

Dendogram of endogenous retroviruses. Source: Wikipedia. Last month I posted a discussion on a PNAS paper that reported the discovery of a new class of viruses, called pithoviruses, found in a layer of Siberian permafrost. In their paper [1], the researchers conclude: “Our results further substantiate the possibility that infectious viral pathogens might be released […]

Hunting For The Signatures of Cancer

Signatures of Mutational Processes Extracted from the Mutational Catalogs of 21 Breast Cancer Genomes. Credit: Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths each year (Source: WHO). A family history of cancer typically increases a person’s risk of developing the disease, yet […]

Decoding the Dark Matter of the Human Genome

First appeared on my Huffington Post blog on February 15, 2016.  In 1994, researchers from Harvard and Stanford published a paper in which they described three mice: one was yellow and fat, one mottled and fat, and the last one was brown and lean. An ordinary image, except for one thing: despite being so different, […]