Conflicts In The Mind

Towards An Understanding Of The Genome And The Brain

TheScientist Magazine Reports on our latest Decision Genetics and Parental Imprinting Research

Imprints on our Biology that Determine our Behavior Our recent study in Cell Reports is big step forward towards our vision of integrating naturalistic behavior, machine learning and genetics to understand the cellular and molecular basis of mammalian decisions and actions. This is important work, since our behavior, including our decisions and actions, are the … Read more

Become A Scientist – You Can Do It!!! Ten Reasons Why

A postdoctoral fellow in my lab recently got an outstanding tenure-track faculty position with a great startup package and hard salary. This is so exciting! But at the same time, I hear of trainees overcome with fear because they feel the road to a tenure-track position is simply too hard and competitive. This is worrisome … Read more

Epigenetics and regulatory elements

Vote! Our paper is in the running for the top science idea in 2019

Epigenetics and regulatory elements

The science website, STATnews , runs an annual competition called STAT madness to select the biggest and best science idea of the year. Go here to read about the STAT madness competition for 2019 and the contenders for this year’s crown. Our accelerated evolution paper (published in Cell Reports last year) has been selected as one of … Read more

The Grant Model Canvas for Developing Great Grants

A LEAN CANVAS-STYLE APPROACH TO DEVELOPING GREAT GRANTS AND PROJECTS   Writing a great grant or designing a transformative new project is hard work and many issues need to be considered carefully. An idea for grant application/project will typically go through many, many iterations before something great emerges. During this process, many different ideas and … Read more

Peer Review and the Dangers of Cognitive Easing

Getting Away With Murder Murder is a serious, but alarmingly prevalent phenomenon in academic science. Every minute, someone somewhere kills another person’s idea. After years of labor, a researcher puts together a paper detailing a question, data gathered and the interpretation of the results. Each paper is a partially correct story presenting an idea and … Read more

Kill Ideas Quickly – Natural selection is why you need to work so hard as a scientist

Creative science involves obsessive information gathering and thinking to generate a lot of ideas. Most ideas are partially or completely bad/wrong in their initial form. It takes years of sculpting to chisel out a great knowledge product. You do not want to spend years pursuing bad/wrong ideas, but in most cases it is not immediately … Read more

The Epigenome Cometh

The factors that contribute to the development of common diseases have been challenging to define. Epigenetic mechanisms may play a role and the field is hopeful that epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) studies will gain new insights.

New Approaches to Gene Co-expression Network Analysis

An important new paper on the methodology for doing gene co-expression network analysis was recently published in PLoS ONE by Kumari et al. (2012).  The paper is entitled “Evaluation of Gene Association Methods for Coexpression Network Construction and Biological Knowledge Discovery”.

Dr. Coni Horndli Receives Prestigious Swiss Fellowship!!

Dr. Coni Horndli has been awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation.  Dr. Horndli is a postdoctoral fellow in the Gregg Lab developing novel approaches to study genetic and epigenetic pathways in the brain that modulate complex feeding and foraging behaviors. 

IGF2:IGF2R Evolution

An Exon Splice Enhancer Primes IGF2:IGF2R Binding Site Structure and Function Evolution   Christopher Williams,1* Hans-Jürgen Hoppe,2* Dellel Rezgui,2 Madeleine Strickland,1 Briony E. Forbes,3 Frank Grutzner,3 Susana Frago,2 Rosamund Z. Ellis,1 Pakorn Wattana-Amorn,1 Stuart N. Prince,2 Oliver J. Zaccheo,2 Catherine M. Nolan,4 Andrew J. Mungall,5 E. Yvonne Jones,6 Matthew P. Crump,1† A. Bassim Hassan2†

Nematocin; identification of a C. elegans peptide neurotransmitter with structural and functional homology to vertebrate vasotocin and vasopressin/oxytocin.

By:  Dr. Paul Bonthuis PhD.   Two simultaneous reports by Garrison et al. and Beets et al. in last week’s issue of Science discovered a C. elegans peptide neurotransmitter, and two cognate receptors, with genetic, structural, and functional similarity to the mammalian oxytocin/vasopressin (and non-mammalian vertebrate vasotocin) signaling systems.

Information for Moms

Stephanie Watson at WebMD has written a nice article for a general audience that addresses some of the basic issues related to maternal health and the long-term health of children – “Blame Your Health on Mom?  Not so fast“.

The Genome’s Dark Matter

Here is a link to an entertaining and thought provoking article about transgenerational effects published by MIT tech review:   The article does a nice job of describing some of the troubles with modern genetics and potential alternative explanations:   The Genome's Dark Matter

Number One on F1000!

The faculty of 1000 (F1000) is a post-publication peer review process performed by leading scientists that ranks publications in a variety of scientific fields. Our paper has the number one spot in Neuroscience! Fantastic.

Parents Rule The Brain

My postdoctoral studies from Catherine Dulac’s laboratory at Harvard have finally been published as two companion papers in the August 6th issue of Science [Gregg et al., Science 2010; Gregg et al., Science 2010b].

Notes On Experimental Design

The goal of any experiment is to address a specific question such that the results will be reproducible and serve as a solid foundation for further thoughts and experimental work.

How to Discover

For myself and my future trainees, I am using this blog entry to reflect on the principle components of the path to discovery in bench science.

What is Genomic Imprinting?

Genomic imprinting is one of the most provocative and exciting fields of research falling under the umbrella of “epigenetics”.Imprinting is thought to be a rare, but extraordinarily important mode of gene regulation in the genome and is the primary focus of my research.For this post, I am putting up an excerpt from Brady Weissbourd’s undergraduate thesis.