Science Podcasts

Naked Genetics episode

Wed, 14th Mar 2012

Genes and evolution - from populations to tumours

DNA Helix (c)

From whole populations to individual cancers, we’re taking a look at genes and evolution. We’re also talking about dogs and their diseases, shining a light on Van Gogh’s sunflowers, and wondering whether the USB-sized DNA sequence is hope or hype. Plus we’ve got our gene of the month - whether it’s Sonic, Desert or Indian, we’ll be carefully getting to grips with the prickly persona of the hedgehog gene.

Listen Now    Download as mp3

In this edition of Naked Genetics

Full Transcript

  • 01:14 - Human evolution - Professor Mark Thomas

    Back in 1973, Theodosius Dobzhansky published an essay titled “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” so to start off we thought we’d find out how the gradual shuffling and shifting of genes over time shapes not only whole populations of living organism...

  • 10:18 - Epstein-Barr virus in dogs

    This is about dogs and Epstein-Barr virus, which is type of virus that can cause some types of cancer. And it can also do that in dogs as well...

  • 11:36 - Epilepsy in dogs

    Another story that I noticed involving dogs and their diseases is about epilepsy. And actually a quite number of different breeds of dogs are affected by epilepsy.

  • 12:44 - Sequencing the microbiome

    Now they’ve sequenced the human genome, they’re trying to move on to sequencing all the bugs in our gut...

  • 14:26 - "USB" gene sequencer

    And another story that hit the headlines, the USB-sized gene sequencer. And I think people just went nuts for this. ...

  • 15:28 - Evolution of cows

    So they were looking at DNA from ancient cow ancestral fossils from Iran, in fact...

  • 17:24 - The Gorilla Genome

    Never mind Gorillas In The Mist, how about gorillas in the lab? Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have sequenced the whole genome of the gorilla - the last of the great apes to have its genome read...

  • 18:07 - Zebrafinch singing

    Scientists at UCLA have identified around 2,000 genes in zebrafinches linked to singing - more than 1,500 than were previously known about...

  • 18:30 - Light-sensitive stinging cells

    Researchers studying hydra - tiny sea-creatures related to corals and jellyfish - have made the surprising discovery that their stinging cells, called cnidocytes, are sensitive to light. ...

  • 19:06 - Salt-tolerant wheat

    Writing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, scientists in Australia have bred a new strain of salt-tolerant wheat, by crossing in a gene from a more ancient strain of the plant with a higher tolerance for salt...

  • 19:48 - Fungi for biofuel

    Researchers in the US have sequenced the genome of particular species of fungus that can turn cellulose into biofuel...

  • 20:33 - Tumour evolution - Professor Charles Swanton

    One of the biggest genetics stories this month came from the world of cancer research. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Professor Charles Swanton and his team discovered that different parts of a tumour - as well tumours that have spread to other parts of the body...

  • 27:08 - Why does cancer have multiple causes?

    Why are there so many different causes for cancer? Most diseases only have one or two causes. Is it all down to damaged DNA?

  • 28:32 - Do genes delivered by gene therapy get inherited?

    Hello Naked Scientists! After an individual receives a treatment of gene therapy, is it the original faulty DNA, or the new corrected DNA, that gets passed on to their offspring? Is it only males that can pass on the new gene, because female eggs are not "updated"? Thanks! ...

  • 29:52 - Gene of the month - Sonic Hedgehog

    If you ask most people what they think of when they hear the words “Sonic Hedgehog”, they’ll probably describe a spiky blue video game character. But ask a biologist, and they might at least pause for a moment, because as well as being the main protagonist of the 90s Sega games,...

  • Van Gogh's sunflower mutation

    They've looked at sunflowers in Van Gogh's very famous painting, figured out there's a tiny little mutation going on in some of the flowers in the picture...

Supported by





Subscribe Free

Related Content

Not working please enable javascript
Powered by UKfast
Genetics Society