Category Archives: Genetics

The expression of DNA, family and inheritance and how we use it in today’s world.

Evolution as a tool at Burlington Maker Faire 2013

This project is an open source reactor based on a design out of Harvard that uses Arduino micro controllers, open computer vision systems, and reclaimed scrap materials in order to accelerate the evolution of viruses for scientific purposes. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Best Practices, Biology, DIY, Genetics, Invention, Makers and Making, Microbiology, Open Science, Open Source, Science Fair, Tools, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Citizen Science Musings: Milu Deer and Beating Extinction

Père David's deer (male). Note the large preorbital glands, backwards pointing antlers, black dorsal stripe along the vertebral column and large, spreading hooves.

For one thousand years, the Milo, an exotic species of deer with the neck of a camel, the horns of a stag, the feet of a cow, and the tail of a donkey, existed only in the Chinese emperor’s private park in Beijing. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Biology, Citizen Science Musings, General Interest, Genetics, History of Science, Nature Study, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Arabidopsis thaliana: the Botanical Answer to the Lab Rat

Scientists have developed a “model” flowering plant that serves the same purpose as the lab rat or the fruit fly. During the last 8 to 10 years, Arabidopsis thaliana has become universally recognized as a model plant for such studies. Continue reading…

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Taking Science to the Streets

Image: Genspace, Citizen Science outreach programs. Photo: Ellen Jorgensen

Biotechnology touches virtually every aspect of our daily lives—from food to fuel to medicines—and is accompanied by a host of social, moral, and ethical questions. Continue reading…

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On Ethics and Self-Policing in (Citizen) Science


Science is experiencing a boost in enthusiasm and participation from the Citizen Science Movement. For those familiar it conjures up images of kids, adults and seniors counting birds or counting stars at night. Continue reading…

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CSL Provides Unprecedented Access to Scientific Literature

The Citizen Scientists League is providing access to thousands of scientific and academic journals and other publications. CSL is proud to be the first such organization to offer this kind of service. Continue reading…

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Scientific Ethics: Did Gregor Mendel Fudge His Data?

Gregor Mendel

The only problem? Mendel’s data seem to be too good for too many of his experiments. Continue reading…

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DNA could have existed long before life itself

THE latest twist in the origin-of-life tale is double helical. Chemists are close to demonstrating that the building blocks of DNA can form spontaneously from chemicals thought to be present on the primordial Earth. Continue reading…

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Citizen Scientists unlock Europe’s genetic history


A group of citizen scientists from Europe and North America are helping to identify vital clues to tell the story of Europe’s genetic heritage. Continue reading…

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A Computational Model of the Entire Life Cycle of a Bacterium

Figure 1: The entire genome of M. genitalium

In what is being called a breakthrough for computational biology, researchers from Stanford University and the J. Craig Vetter Institute have completed a software model of an entire organism’s lifecycle [1]. The good news for amateur scientists is that the entire simulation environment, the model source code, training data, and results are freely available for download and experimentation. Continue reading…

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