Martian Matters

Martian Matters

Why are we still curious about Mars? This month on Naked Astronomy, we’re looking into Martian matters to find out how we got to where we are today, ushering in a new era of Martian discoveries from the Mars Science Laboratory. Also, we’ll examine the evidence for liquid lakes below the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan, find out how supermassive stars can form and why the Google Lunar X-Prize is encouraging commercial missions to the Moon. Plus, our guests take on your space science questions…

marissa elman blog exposed

Genes and genomes – Naked Genetics 12.08.14

Geneticsequence (c)

It’s now over a decade since the human genome was first sequenced, costing over a billion pounds and taking 13 years. Today, we’re close to the thousand dollar genome. But what’s in a genome, and what can it tell us about our risk of disease? Plus we’ll be arguing the age of polar bears, and finding out about fish with skin cancer. And our gene of the month is one for the Trekkies out there – it’s Tribbles.

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In this edition of Naked Genetics

Full Transcript

  • Human genome (c) Kate Whitley, Wellcome Images

    01:10 – Genes, genomes and junk DNA

    Since the first human genome was decoded, sequencing technology has sped up almost unimaginably and the cost has plummeted. Today’s machines spit out reams of DNA sequence, usually in the form of tiny fragments of code that have to be assembled and interpreted. To find out how s…

  • Polar bear (c) Alan D Wilson

    08:38 – Arguing the age of polar bears

    The first story comes from a scientist at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Buffalo in the US. And it’s basically about when in history polar bears started evolving out from other types of bear.

  • Models of human teeth as they exist within the alveolar bone (c) DRosenbach

    10:32 – Tooth stem cells

    The other story that I noticed this month was from Emma Juuri and her team at the Institute of Biotechnology in Helsinki and they published this in Developmental Cell. They’ve been studying teeth, particularly in mice, and they found a particular transcription factor called Sox2…

  • Coral trout fish (c) Richard Ling

    11:37 – Fish with cancer

    Researchers have found melanoma for the first time in a fish population. This is a wild fish population off the Australian coast out by the Great Barrier Reef and it’s worrying because it is a commercially important species of fish.

  • Heart Uni-ventricle (c) Mary Sheppard

    13:42 – Revitalising heart cells

    A team at the Heart Institute at San Diego State University have discovered that damaged heart tissue from older patients with heart failure can be rejuvenated by modified stem cells taken from their own hearts

  • DNA Helix (c)

    14:27 – New epilepsy gene

    Writing in the journal Nature Medicine this month, Dr Eva Jimenez-Mateos and her team of neuroscientists at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland have tracked down a new gene involved in epilepsy.

  • Human oocyte (egg cell) with surrounding granulosa cells, after aspiration (c) RWJMS IVF Laboratory

    15:08 – Making eggs in adults

    A new study in PLoS Genetics has thrown fuel onto a controversial debate in the field of fertility research – the question of whether mammalian females, including women, can make new eggs cells after birth or not.

  • Dnahelix_genetic_fingerprint (c)

    15:52 – New childhood disease genes found

    A pair of studies published in the journal Nature Genetics unveil gene faults lying behind two rare but debilitating childhood diseases.

  • DNA (c) Mnolf

    17:42 – Genes and disease

    One big area where sequencing technology has made an impact is in our understanding of the genetic faults and variations that increase our risk of different diseases. Often we’ll see research in this field reported in terms such as scientists find new gene for cancer, heart dise…

  • human eyesight two children and ball normal vision (c) NIH National Eye Institute

    25:04 – Why are children all so different?

    Hi Chris,

    Firstly Love the show. A question that has been bugging me thought it might be good for Question of the Week

    I was wondering what mechanism causes children born to the same parents all have different characteristics from each other. I understand that half the Chr…

  • Tribble (c)

    28:04 – Gene of the month – Tribbles

    our gene of the month may be familiar to any Star Trek fans who are listening – it’s none other than Tribbles.

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