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Different Realities

Thomas Mailund blogs that even though he is a geneticist who studies ape ancestry and dates speciation events, he can't understand paleontology papers. He describes looking through a few papers to determine whether the paleontological and genetic estimates of ape and human speciation match, which, as he understood from one paper has a lower bound of 18 million years ago. "So I tried actually understanding the paper... I probably failed, 'cause as far as I understand it it gives an upper bound of 20 million years ago," he writes. Mailund also quotes from John Hawks' blog: "Many years ago, I got used to the fact that paleontologists and geneticists live in separate realities."

Speaking of paleontology, McGill University's Hans Larsson told Agence France-Presse that he plans to genetically manipulate chicken embryos so that they show dinosaur traits that have long been absent in birds. Larsson's idea came about after speaking with Jack Horner, a paleontologist at Montana State University and the author of How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn't Have to Be Forever.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.