Author Archives: sierramiller

Dinosaur Blastulas!

Hey guys!

Since the last unit we covered included animal development, I have been doing a little outside reading and came across this awesome article. Scientists have discovered the oldest fossilized evidence of dinosaur embryos. There are many difficulties associated with dinosaur embryos because as you know, dinosaurs laid eggs. There are many examples of fossilized eggs, but being able to find remnants of the actual embryo is extremely rare. This discovery is helping scientists trace the developmental pathways back to some hundreds of millions of years. Here’s the link if you’re interested!

An Alternative Use for Twitter…

I was looking at my twitter account the other day and found this article posted by Scientific American. Being the nerdy person I am, this is basically the only stuff on my twitter feed.

While the end of this article does point out possible selection bias on the part of the researchers, I found this to be extremely interesting. Until reading this article, it had never occurred to me that all of the autistic individuals I know or have heard of are male. This is definitely something good to read if you are interested in genetics!

Biotech and Viruses

I found this article on ScienceDaily and thought it was really cool since we have been talking about biotechnology. These scientists have been studying the mechanisms that allow hantavirus, a virus contracted from rodent feces, into human cells in the respiratory system. Cases of hantavirus are very rare and localized here in the United States, but this virus has a 30-40% death rate among individuals that contract it. The main pathway this virus follows is linked with cholesterol transport in and out of cells. The studies done suggest that drugs created to lower cholesterol greatly reduce the susceptibility of respiratory cells to this virus. Lowering cellular cholesterol content seems to be an easily attainable preventative measure against this virus.

Here’s the link if you’re interested!


I finally got to see my baby on Wednesday! After going through so much to have one, my phage’s pretty little face presented itself to me through the use of the electron microscope. The titer I used was extremely high, so we had plenty to choose from when we went to take the picture. We were able to find one that was in amazing condition for the image. It has an excellent angular head with a tail approximately twice the length of its head. I am in love.

Comment on Tie between ALS and Genetic Mutations by sierramiller

In regards to the noncoding DNA, I would look up the ENCODE project. It is an offshoot of the Human Genome Project that shows significant amounts of noncoding DNA that scientists and researchers have long considered junk actually has effects on gene expression, translation, and many other cellular functions. As opposed to the 2% of DNA previously considered important, this study shows that at least 20% of DNA is vital.