Irish Times Nov 5th 2014

Our research was featured in the Irish times today (5th November 2014). I think it is wonderful to bring fundamental research to the general audience. The business of understanding life and how it works underpins all of our therapies and treatments for the future … this is where it all begins … http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/great-scientific-mysteries-the-researchers-puzzle-it-out-1.1964445

Two of the Rings of Life.

A consilient view on Eukaryotic Origins

Today we published a manuscript that summarises the current knowledge of the evolutionary history of the cellular life forms on the planet. This is not an easy task and involved evaluating a lot of manuscripts to see what they had to say on the matter. Fortunately, there are many different kinds of data that can be…


Simultaneous miRNA and mRNA transcriptome profiling…

Abstract Background: miRNA profiling performed in myogenic cells and biopsies from skeletal muscles has previously identified miRNAs involved in myogenesis. Results: Here, we have performed miRNA transcriptome profiling in human affinity-purified CD56+ myoblasts induced to differentiate in vitro. In total, we have identified 60 miRNAs differentially expressed during myogenic differentiation. Many were not known for being differentially…


A phylogenetic approach to test for evidence of parental conflict or gene duplications associated with protein-encoding imprinted orthologous genes in placental mammals

There are multiple theories on the evolution of genomic imprinting. We investigated whether the molecular evolution of true orthologs of known imprinted genes provides support for theories based on gene duplication or parental conflicts (where mediated by amino-acid changes). Our analysis of 34 orthologous genes demonstrates that the vast majority of mammalian imprinted genes have…


Selection and the cell cycle: Positive Darwinian Selection in a well-known DNA damage response pathway

Cancer is a common occurrence in multi-cellular organisms and is not strictly limited to the elderly in a population. It is therefore possible that individuals with genotypes that protect against early onset cancers have a selective advantage. In this study the patterns of mutation in the proteins of a well-studied DNA damage response pathway have been examined…


A case-by-case analysis of imprinted retrogenes

Retroposition is a widespread phenomenon resulting in the generation of new genes that are initially related to a parent gene via very high coding sequence similarity. We examine the evolutionary fate of four retrogenes generated by such an event; mouse Inpp5f_v2, Mcts2, Nap1l5, and U2af1-rs1. These genes are all subject to the epigenetic phenomenon of parental imprinting. We first…

We are always looking for collaborators and new people to come and work with us. Please get in contact if you are interested in what we do: m.oconnell@leeds.ac.uk